As of 2016, self-storage companies have paid over $3.5 billion in property taxes. In fact, there are more self-storage facilities than McDonald’s in America! (Which is to say that Americans have a lot of junk.) And the business of storing that junk is booming.
As someone in the self-storage business, you’ve made the leap from knowing the market to owning your own business/start-up (or you’re at least in the thinking stages). When it comes to running a business, though, your success rests on more than just the storage units themselves.
It’s all about how you market.
Getting the word out to potential customers is a must, especially in today’s competitive and continually growing market. From leveraging your networks to boosting your online presence, here’s the Marketing 101 for a start-up self-storage business.
1. Get a Solid Location
You’re a brick and mortar business, which means having a great physical location is really important. Your physical location will have not only geographic importance (of course) but it will mean a lot for your local marketing strategy.
If you haven’t set your location yet, think about the surrounding areas before you commit. The majority of your customers/renters will be close to the area. (People don’t want to haul their junk far!) That means it’s important to pick places where the demographics match your ideal customers.
If you’re looking at exclusive areas where more retired people may live, the demand for larger or ritzier storage units (for example, climate-controlled) may be in higher demand. If you’re in a smaller or just beginning community, the demand for smaller and cheaper units might be higher.
It’s also important to consider the competition. Are there other storage unit facilities in the area? Are you competitively and reasonably priced?
For other questions and self-storage business tips, feel free to read more.
2. Develop Your Brick and Mortar Visuals
Just as your location is important, so is what that physical location looks like. In terms of design and structure, the best self-storage businesses have a clear presentation of their name and logo, a manicured lawn area, an obvious security system, and a solid color scheme.
As you think about your logo and marketing, it’s important that your physical location matches the branding you’ll use to advertise. Everything from the colors to the fonts should be in sync.
You should also make your renters feel comfortable with a solid, visible security system in place.
3. Tap into Local Networks
When you first begin advertising efforts for your self-storage business, think local first. The Chamber of Commerce can help get the word out about your business and location. They might be able to add a link to your website on their pages, too.
You can also use things like local billboards, newspapers, and television to reach people in your area. Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive, either. You can find a plethora of cheap advertisement ideas that will pull customers (both online and in-person) without putting a strain on your wallet.
4. Grow Your Online Presence with a Website
Physical location is super important, but your online reach is just as important, if not more important as it helps you reach customers in the local area more effectively.
Although it might seem cumbersome at first, creating a website will help you reach customers who may not even know you exist! The components of a strong website are:
- Simple Navigation: First, your website has to be user-friendly. If it’s confusing or hard to navigate, it will turn customers away (which is the opposite of what you want).
- Graphics: Adding color (and color schemes), photos, and other forms of visual content can make your site more appealing.
- Smart Coding/SEO: It’s one thing to create a website, it’s another to make it a solid one. Having correct coding, no broken links, and strong SEO (more on this later) will ensure your site is a good one.
5. Strengthen Your Social Media
Over 3.48 billion people use social media. That’s a huge number! Being able to tap into that number through a solid website and social media page(s) will only help your business to grow.
Something as small as social media graphics can make or break the success of your business. Having solid graphics, consistent posting, and content writing that appeals to your audience will help bring users to your page.
Use your social media not only to point back to your main website but to boost visibility through posts and sharing things like sales/discounts and updates. Down the line, you might want to consider creating a newsletter and email list, too.
6. Work on Your SEO
As a component of your online presence, it’s important to give your business a better chance for success through boosting online visibility. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is helping your pages climb in search engine rankings. This, in turn, brings more users to your website.
SEO includes components like keywords, website usability (think user-friendliness), and links. As you work on increasing this—through blog posts, proper keywords, and website configuration—you can build your business (and marketing efforts).
Now You’re Ready to Start Marketing Your Self-Storage Business
Your business is only as strong as your marketing efforts. Once you have the physical location, the virtual thought process, and the excitement to get started, you can begin your marketing efforts!
For other marketing ideas, or for more tips on how to build your self-storage business, feel free to browse our website.