Self-storage managers can deck out their facilities in red, white and blue to celebrate the Fourth of July—without breaking the bank. Industry experts say it’s important to acknowledge the holiday and have fun with it.
“I really think it’s important, because if you’re going to become the trusted community resource, you need to be decorating for the holidays and that keeps people looking at you,” said Anne Ballard, president of marketing, training and developmental services at Universal Storage Group, an Atlanta, GA-based self-storage operator. “If you don’t ever do anything curbside, they quit looking. So it’s not only important to be patriotic, but to get some kind of decorations going for all of the holidays.”
Grand old flag
Ballard said managers can start by displaying the American flag. You can buy flags at dollar stores, at party stores or online. Small American flags can line your facility’s driveway and property, and you can give small flags to customers.
“They’re not expensive, and you can get a big discount if you get a bunch of them at a time,” Ballard said.
She also suggests hanging red, white and blue balloons at your facility as well as America-themed paper or plastic bunting across the front of your property.
Marc Goodin, president of Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Storage Authority Franchising, gets in on the patriotic spirit at his facility in Connecticut.
“For the Fourth, we do two things to make our sites colorful for the cars passing by,” he said. “We stick a ton of small U.S. flags along our frontage to wave in the wind, and we hang red, white and blue pennant banners from our sign.”
Ballard said managers also can buy American “car flags” to put on their vehicles and rental trucks, along with American-flag backpacks to hand out as “cute” move-in gifts or to use as marketing swag bags.
If you want to go bigger, how about a large inflatable?
“One of our area managers had a giant inflatable Uncle Sam on the roof for Fourth of July,” Ballard said.
Places like Amazon and eBay sell everything from inflatable American eagles to an inflatable Statue of Liberty.
“You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and most of this stuff can be used every Fourth of July as well as the other patriotic holidays,” Ballard said.
Throwing a Fourth of July event?
If you’re celebrating the Fourth with a party, you can pick up an “American flag super party kit” at Party City that includes a tablecloth, streamers, a centerpiece, bowls and cups. You can find American-flag folding chairs at discount stores. Perhaps you can tie your event to a blood drive or a veterans’ fundraiser, Ballard said.
“If your community is going to have a parade, you could rent a convertible and deck it out for the Fourth of July, and maybe you throw out Dubble Bubble American-flag gum,” Ballard said. “Or maybe you even get a human directional [someone holding up a promotional sign] and dress him up as Uncle Sam and put him out by your entry, where he’s wishing everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July.”
Another idea courtesy of Ballard: Sponsor a Facebook contest seeking schoolchildren’s submissions of patriotic essays. The winner could receive a Fourth of July “party pack” with a small grill, party decorations and coupons for festive food.
Cindy Bellomy, co-owner of Able Self Storage in Pearland, TX, and Crowley Mini Storage in Crowley, TX, said her facilities display the American flag every day, not just on patriotic holidays like the Fourth of July. That’s because every day at Bellomy’s facilities is “Celebrate America Day,” she said.
Bellomy’s facilities do go the extra mile on the Fourth of July, though, with red, white and blue pictures, signs and flowers adorning the properties.
Although it does take time and effort to decorate for the Fourth of July, “there’s plenty of stuff out there to make a celebration,” Ballard said.