By Grace Bailey, Guest Blogger
Self-storage need increases each day. Why? Mainly because people buy many commodities and often reach a point where they no longer have any place where to store them at home. And the basement/garage/attic can’t always fulfill one’s storage needs. This is when a self-storage proves to be the best option in situations like these. During the past few years, the demand for storage has been stronger than ever. However, everybody knows the ‘supply and demand’ economic model. The more need for storage there is, the more facilities there are. This, itself, leads to competitive pricing, which results in more customers. That leads to the conclusion that in order for any given self-storage unit to flourish, there needs to be a constant flow of customers. Targeting the right audience is the key to attracting more customers.
Prior to start ‘hunting’ for clients to set your ‘business’ machine in motion, you will need to do a lot of research and to think of effective methods of advertising. You have to build a brand, increase your sales and only this way you will be able to acquire a consistent customer base. But, in order to achieve the last, you need to have the information on who actually takes advantage of a self-storage. The biggest percentage of these people is those who go through a certain important period of their lives:
• A move: One is going through the process of selling his home or has just moved in a new house.
• Military service: While abroad, soldiers need a safe place for storing their belongings
• Apartment or campus living: People living in a dorm or in an apartment often experience lack of space and therefore need some extra room
• Inheritance or divorce: Those who go through such an event might need to store extra belongings
Once you get to one (or more) of these groups you will fulfill one of the three major ways of expanding one’s business:
1. Acquire More and New Customers (Increase Occupancy)
2. Increase Each Customer’s Value
3. Lower Your Operating Expenses
In order to obtain more customers, you need to know what your future clients want and need. What are their motives for renting a self-storage? The best way to learn that is, as a matter of fact, the simplest one – ask them. By employing various methods, conduct a good amount of surveys – over the phone, direct mail, etc. That is going to build you a winning strategy for smoothly running your business. It will also establish a loyal group of customers for your storage unit. When you already know what the ‘consumers’ want, it is an obligation of yours to make them a good offer. One they cannot refuse. To be able to do this, you need to know what your competition offers. This is the way to meet your customer’s requirements and to be the best around. Once the plan is already crafted, the next way is to actually deliver your message out to the world. Utilize advertising mediums to do so. Note that, in most cases, investing in advertising methods different than direct mail, internet and yellow pages is a complete waste of money. If your storage unit operates on a local level and is not a large corporation with storage units all over the country, there is no use of advertising on radio or TV to people living hundreds of miles away from the storage itself. What to-be customers need is convenience. They need the storage unit to be nearby their home or workplace. Advertising to folks that would not accept the offer even if they want to makes no sense at all. Focus on those 30-50 thousand households that are closest to the facility. Even if two to five percent of them become your customers, the storage unit would be completely occupied. And don’t be hasty in your conclusion that the direct mail method is old fashioned and wouldn’t help. The Direct Marketing Association still considers it the most effective and efficient way of advertising. Yes, the bigger percentage of people will throw away the mail right away, but don’t forget that you only need to get 2%-5% interested to get the ball rolling.
Running a successful business is relatively easy. The difficult thing is to find the proper method of doing it.
Grace Bailey is a writer and expert in the field of relocation and storage working on behalf of London Removals professional company . You can find them on Twitter at @LondonRemovals_ or enjoy their Facebook page – Londonremovals.co.uk.
This is a guest post. The thoughts and ideas expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of USstoragesearch.com.