Websites, Coupons and Fundraisers: Connect With Self-Storage Customers Through Creative Marketing

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Establish Your Online Presence

Operators who don't already have a website need to get one. It's a sign of credibility today—even if your site doesn't attract much attention, you'll lose business if you don't have one. Many if not most people will choose a business with a website over one without.

Websites don't cost thousands of dollars anymore, and there are many tools available to people who want to create one themselves. Yet many small businesses are still daunted by the perceived costs and difficulties associated with having a website. Using a free open-source content management system like Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal, it's easy to create excellent sites, and there are many free templates and online support for these systems.

Professional website templates, including sites that support flash and other advanced features, are available for as little as $60 and can be hosted for around $5 month. Companies like HostGator.com and GoDaddy.com have competitive hosting prices and offer good products that will get you up and running quickly. You can check online for other companies and packages to make website creation simple even if you have little or no experience.

Savvy self-storage operators are also taking advantage of online social-media marketing. Accounts on sites such as FaceBook and Twitter are free and easy to set up, and can yield big dividends through increased exposure.

Organize a Fundraiser

It’s difficult for many people to give to charity in this slumping economy. When the community sees businesses participating in fundraising events and helping the needy, it leaves a lasting positive impression. Even simple things like putting a sign in front of your facility telling the community you collect canned goods for the local food bank can positively impact your company.

Or join with other businesses in your community to organize something bigger. Local newspapers and media outlets may be willing to publicize worthy events, which will add more exposure for your business. Be sure to publicize the event with your current and past tenants through fliers and your newsletter.

These are just a few ideas for surviving and even thriving in a slow economy. Be creative. Offer exceptional customer service. Give your customers incentives. Actively post content on social-media sites such as FaceBook and Twitter. Be involved in the community. Get your name out there and you’ll be in a great position when the economy recovers.

CherryPlanet.com was founded to help local businesses attract customers by providing a platform for businesses to create coupon campaigns for free. The site offers businesses a way to save money on advertising and marketing while helping customers save money while shopping and doing business locally. Cherry Planet is committed to donating 10 percent of its profit to worthy charities. For more information, visit www.cherryplanet.com.

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