What’s your New Year’s resolution? Maybe you want to exercise more, quit smoking, learn a new language or save more money. Whether your resolution is something big like losing 50 pounds or something small like cleaning out your email inbox more often, if you’re anything like most people, you’re probably going to give up on it by February. As this year ends and the next one begins, why not do it differently this time around and make a New Year’s resolution for your self storage business instead? Choose one—or all, if you’re feeling ambitious—of the following resolutions and you and your business will both have a happy New Year.
1. Create Additional Sources of Revenue
Here’s a great New Year’s resolution for anyone: Make more money. One way to do this at your storage facility is by creating additional sources of revenue. The way in which you choose to do this will ultimately be determined by your market, your budget and your creativity, but here are a few ideas to consider: moving truck rentals, a retail store with packing supplies and RV/boat supplies along with other items like snacks, soft drinks and road maps or perhaps a business center where customers can pay to use the internet, print, scan and fax. Less common ideas include charging a small fee to shuttle customers (especially RV storage renters) to and from your facility or even allowing bands to practice in storage units
2. Add a New Feature
Today, self storage is much more sophisticated than it was 10 years ago. Customers expect state-of-the-art facilities with modern features. A great way to attract discerning clientele is to make a resolution to add at least one new feature to your facility. This could be something as simple as beefed up security (better surveillance cameras, lock selection or even the hiring of a security guard) or something as complex as installing RV/boat storage. You can offer specialty storage, like wine storage, update your storage units so that they’re all climate-controlled or consider offering 24 hour access to your facility. Whatever upgrade you’ve been meaning to give your storage facility, make this year the year that you go for it.
3. Focus on Customer Service
You may think that you’re already offering great customer service to your new and existing tenants—and you’re probably right—but the truth is, you can always do better. If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution for your storage facility that doesn’t require a ton of money but can still offer a nice return on your investment, this is the one for you. This year, promise to emphasize excellent customer service when it comes to training your staff and addressing your own interactions with tenants. Greet customers graciously over the phone and in person. Make your storage facility’s office a comfortable, inviting place where guests can relax and enjoy complimentary water and coffee if they have to wait. In addition to this, strategize how to handle difficult customers. A wise man once said, “Be thankful for the customers who complain. You still have the opportunity to make them happy.” Take that advice to heart this year.
4. Think Digitally
Technology is shaping the self storage industry, so this year, vow to stay on the cutting edge. Start by improving your storage facility’s website so that it’s consumer-friendly and easy to navigate. Get rid of convoluted text in favor of streamlined content in the form of self storage and moving tips or size guide videos
. Consider offering online bill pay if you don’t already. Next, address your social media presence. Resolve to be active on Facebook or Twitter, or expand to another social media platform if you’re already a pro at the basics. This is a great way to attract millennial customers and incentive them by offering online specials and promotions.
5. Get to Know Your Competition
This resolution for your storage facility involves a two-step process. First, know your market. What defines the people who use storage in your area? Are they college students? Military families? RV or boat owners? Do they tend to rent long-term or short-term? Do they have a high disposable income or are they budget-minded? After determining this, do some research on the facilities in your area and see how the competition stacks up. If they’re offering something to meet the needs of storage users in your community, it might be time to upgrade. If there’s something they’re lacking (for example, wine storage in a region with a large number of vineyards) you can be the first one to offer it. Seize this opportunity! Align your storage facility’s features with the unique needs of your market and watch your occupancy go up.
Whatever New Year’s resolutions you choose to make for your storage facility and for yourself, stay on track by clearly defining what you want, setting check-in dates and staying motivated. Lastly, don’t forget to showcase your achievements by advertising those new features and upgrades. This is a surefire way to attract new business and keep your existing customers satisfied all while achieving your goals. Looks like it’s going to be a very happy New Year indeed.