ISS Blog

Christmas Week in Self-Storage: Feast or Famine?

We're one week away from the most distracting holiday of the year. Are you eager to enjoy it ... or to get it over with?

Now don't bristle. There are a lot of wonderful aspects to Christmas, but even those who find joy or spiritual inspiration in the event have to admit it causes a lot of brain damage, too. People are more testy this time of year. Traffic is heavier. Stores are more crowded. Money is tighter. Expections are higher, energy often lower. And unless you're in a retail business, you may be struggling to maintain status quo around your place of work. Good luck keeping employees' (and customers') heads in the game this coming week.

What lies ahead for you self-storage operators out there? Will you be busy with folks using units to hide gifts from prying eyes, or will you be watching the tumbleweeds blow through your office? Historically, how does Xmas week fare for your business? If it's a strong dose of quiet you're anticipating, here are a few suggestions for idle hands:

  • Reorganize your office. Nothing feels better going into a new year than clean shelves, desks and filing cabinets.
  • Make a list of maintenance items to tackle in the year ahead. A list will help you keep track of the to-do's. Remember: What gets measured gets done.
  • Create a newsletter for tenants. Make 2010 the year in which you reach out to your customer base with news, tips, specials and reminders via e-mail. Communication improves collections, and a newsletter is fantastic marketing.
  • Spend time on Self-Storage Talk, the industry's largest online community. Have fun reading and interacting on topics such as late-paying tenants, manager-owner squabbles, difficult customers, marketing, special events, legal challenges and much, much more.
  • Read your own website. When's the last time you checked your facility website for out-of-date info, typos and missing information? It's easy to take a website for granted, but it needs maintenance, too. Your site should be updated and refreshed regularly.
  • Call or e-mail your 20 best customers with a special holiday greeting. They'll appreciate it.
  • Visit neighboring businesses with a treat. Many of your fellow shopkeepers may also be experiencing a lull. Take advantage of this time to chat it up and create fodder for referrals.

Please add to this list! What do you do during the downtimes? Share your comments and suggestions on the blog.

Whatever you do over the next week, busy or not, I hope you enjoy a wonderful, relaxing holiday. Even if it's not "your" celebration, take advantage of the distraction of the world, and do something you wouldn't normally make time for. Salute!

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