Get Down To Small Business: Commercial Self-Storage

September 27, 2011 0
Get Down To Small Business: Commercial Self-Storage

One of the biggest challenges in marketing your self-storage facility is determining who to target. To do this, you must think creatively about what “types” of potential tenants your unique facility most appeals to, what features they want, and where to reach that audience. Today we’ll be stepping out of the consumer sphere to focus on small businesses in need of storage— where to find them, and how to attract them to your facility. Storage is a necessity in many fields, and we’ve listed a few industries that are likely to seek out self-storage for commercial needs.

Outdoor companies
Landscaping and construction businesses rely on bulky, expensive equipment that requires ample and secure storage. Generally, these companies will need large units with drive-up access and flexible hours, while climate-control is often a non-issue. We always advocate online marketing efforts, so target blogs and forums related to landscaping, construction, contracting, etc. In the offline world, try seeking out home improvement stores to distribute fliers or announcements for limited-time offers that appeal to patrons of these businesses.

Auto sales
This is an excellent market to advertise your vehicle storage options. Stress the space and security, as well as the accessibility of your storage units. Again, climate control might not be much of an issue, but be aware of special cases like custom paint jobs and antique cars. Blogs and forums that focus on auto repair, vehicle ratings and comparisons, and car salesmanship are great online marketing opportunities. Seek out independently owned dealerships opening up in your area, and attend car shows and meetups with fliers, business cards and discount offers. Experiment with specials like, “Mustangs get half off the first six months.”

Pharmaceutical reps are known for having a close relationship with the self-storage industry. Climate control, easy access and flexible hours are a must. Many facilities attract pharmaceutical reps by offering package handling services. While this is great for the customer, there are legal ramifications to this that you’ll need to go over with an attorney. See this article for more information.

Start-up companies in any industry often grow faster than anticipated, and may need affordable storage solutions for documents and supplies until they can find a larger office. Sizes and features will vary according to the nature of business. Offer shelving units and filing systems to help facilitate their move-in. A growing trend in self-storage is to offer clerical services like faxing and copying, as well as free Internet access. If there is enough demand, you might even consider converting one of your units into a temporary office, which you can offer for free use to tenants and rent out to non-tenants.

Consult potential tenants over the best storage solutions for their business. Helping them figure out how to perfectly (and cost-effectively) fit in to one of your units will make them feel more secure dealing with you, and will set the groundwork for a profitable long-term relationship. As we mentioned in a previous article on tax-deductible storage, you should make business owners aware of opportunities to write off storage use on their taxes.

One final thought: Consider registering your facility at the local Chamber of Commerce. While this shouldn’t be your sole effort, it’s a great place to network with local businesses and get your facility on the radar.

Does another type of business utilize storage at your facility? Have any other commercial storage marketing tips to share? Leave us a comment below with your ideas.

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