Planning and Achieving Your Self-Storage Business Goals in 2014
By Amy Campbell
I’m a very goal-oriented person. I make a lot of lists, and I’m thrilled when I put pen to paper and cross off a task or milestone. For me, there’s few confidence-builders better than setting a goal, creating a plan to reach it, then obtaining it. It gives me a sense of pride, a little pep in my step, and the willingness to push myself on to the next goal.
Recently, I helped my daughter set a few personal goals. She’s been struggling in math, and nagging her about studying wasn’t getting us anywhere. If she wants to improve, she has to step up. So she created a list of three goals, added one thing she would do every day to obtain her goals, and then a deadline to reach them.
With the new year just around the corner, just about everyone is thinking about personal and professional goals. The turning of the calendar often sparks a sense of renewal, encouraging us all to plan for the year ahead. Now’s the time to start thinking about your own personal goals and the ones for your self-storage business.
I came across a great article about not only ways to set goals, but also ensuring they don’t fall by the wayside. Michael Hyatt, author of “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” says the most important thing about goal-setting is to write it down. Obvious to many, but not everyone does it. Hyatt notes that people who put their goals in written form “accomplish significantly more” than those who don’t. So if one of your goals is, say, to improve your self-storage facility’s occupancy in 2014, write it down somewhere prominent. He also suggests limiting goals to a short list—five to seven items at the most. This way you can focus on each goal and not spread yourself too thin. Seriously, who can juggle 10 goals at any given time. You’re really just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, tackle a handful at a time.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. You’ve likely heard your goals should be “SMART,” meaning specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. You many even have seen some variations on this well-known catchphrase. What does all this mean? Basically, it’s an outline to drive you toward achieving your goal.
For example, if your goal is improve your self-storage facility’s occupancy, following the SMART design, you’d first be specific about your goal. Perhaps it’s to increase occupancy by 10 percent. Next, you design a way to measure your goal. Next is a critical step: What action will you take to meet this goal? Will you amp up your marketing, hold a community event or start a referral program? Your action needs to be specific. It should also be realistic. An elaborate community event with carnival rides and live music is likely not realistic. However, offering to sponsor a local sports team or starting a Facebook page are definitely more doable. Finally, what’s your time frame? Again, be realistic, but also don’t set your deadline so far out that there’s no sense of urgency.
Once you have your written outline in place it’s time to set the wheels in motion. You should also review it often to make sure you’re on target to reach your goal. You can even set mini goals to support your larger purpose. I often find breaking a bigger goal into smaller parts helps me focus on what I need to do today while keeping my sights on the end game.
Whether you’re hoping to achieve personal or professional milestones this year, the power of setting goals cannot be understated. Keep them real, write them down, then go after them. If you’re looking for guidance, the ISS topics pages have hundreds of great articles and blogs on just about any self-storage topic, or you can ask your peers for insight on Self-Storage Talk. Another good resource is the ISS Store. Good luck!
What are your goals for your self-storage business this year? How will you achieve them? Post a comment below or share your thoughts on Self-Storage Talk.
- A Self-Storage Operator's Guide to Hiring Outside Service Contractors
- Private Investor Buys All Star Self Storage in Celina, TX, for $4.2M
- UK Self-Storage Operator Safestore Reports Fiscal 2014 Financial Results
- Why in the World Would You Hire a Self-Storage Broker? Pros and Cons of Using a Real Estate Professional
- Sovran Self Storage Announces Executive Leadership Changes, Board Appointments