The moving and storage industry is dominated by thousands of family owned and operated companies that have been in business for several generations and have weathered the many twists and turns of the economy. To help navigate the current economic situation, many traditional self-storage companies have expanded their services to offer complementary products. One of the more successful products offered today is mobile-storage containers.
Diversifying with new products and services enables self-storage owners and operators to sustain their businesses and even reach a niche market with specific storage needs and lifestyle characteristics.
The Mobile-Storage Customer
Mobile-storage customers include young 20- and 30-somethings, do-it-yourself types and consumers on a tight budget drawn to portable storage because it offers more flexibility than traditional self-storage options. The container is delivered onsite, and the household goods are loaded and unloaded at the customer’s convenience.
As one homeowner put it, “The mobile-storage container came in handy during a recent home remodel for temporary storage of furniture, and the staff worked with us for the most convenient times for delivery, pickup and redelivery.”
Mobile-storage containers allow customers to free up space during the remodeling process, says Frank Amodio Sr., secretary for the Mobile Self-Storage Association and president of Amodio Van & Storage in New Britain, Conn. “It’s a terrific way for our customers to protect their household goods, and it allows them to retain the container and access it as needed. It’s a luxury they wouldn’t have with traditional storage units.”
One customer in San Antonio agrees. “I have already recommended portable self-storage containers to friends and associates who are getting ready to remodel their homes,” he says. “It’s great to have my stuff right here and not have to cart it to an offsite, temporary storage unit.”
Not Just a Passing Fad
The mobile self-storage concept is one of the few business models that can withstand a poor economy, which is why traditional self-storage companies are attracted to this new market. With affordable rental fees and the luxury of convenience, this storage solution is one that caters to its customers’ exact needs and wants.
Amodio believes mobile self-storage is more than just a fad. In fact, expanding into mobile storage was one of his company’s smartest moves. “Our customers appreciate access to mobile self-storage, because it provides them with a low-cost option they have more control over,” he says. “Every time I have an opportunity, I run through the benefits of mobile self-storage to those in the moving and storage industry. I’m a firm believer that we should be providing as many solutions as we can, whether it is for commercial or residential moving and storage.”
Tom McCormick is president of SAM–Store and Move. He has nearly 30 years experience in the rental, leasing and moving industry. SAM–Store and Move is a convenient portable-storage and moving solution delivered to the customer’s residence. The company offers one-way, interstate rentals to customers in more than 4,500 cities across the country. For more information, call 800.438.2726; visit www.getasam.com.