A couple of weeks ago, my son and his friends visited some local business owners with a request. The high school was gearing up for its annual spring musical so the drama club was hoping to post some flyers about the show in shops near the school. But the community’s business owners were less than accommodating. Of dozens of retailers, only a handful agreed to display the flyer.
It was disheartening to a group of teens excited about a show they’d labored over. Attendance, of course, would be a welcomed indicator of their hard work. So to be shot down, time and time again, was a bit of a blow.
As a business owner, becoming active in your community should be a no-brainer. But all too often, some business owners just don’t see the benefits. Perhaps they’re afraid if they reach out to one community organization or charity, they’ll be flooded by requests for monetary donations, a free unit or use of the facility moving truck. Or maybe they just don’t know how to get involved.
Supporting the community in which your facility resides can be a critical component to long-term success. It’s an easy marketing strategy that can reap big rewards. Why? Because it helps your community see you as a person, not just a business. Yes, you’re there to serve their storage needs, but you want your customers to see you as a part of their community every day, not just when they need storage. To do this, you have to be more than just a row of units and a sign out front.
Getting involved in our community doesn’t mean you have to commit to a complicated or expensive endeavor. It could be something as simple as having flyers in your lobby for an event at the local school, purchasing some equipment for a kids’ baseball team, or offering one month of free storage for a charity drive.
Many operators find great satisfaction in doing these simple things. Others prefer to be more hands-on—joining a charity, serving on a board or even spearheading an event such as a health clinic or car show. Regardless, any community involvement can make a difference.
To help you get started, here are several articles and news items from the ISS website about what other operators are doing in their communities, and why you should, too. You can find more on the website through the easy-to-use search engine.
- Attracting Self-Storage Tenants by Connecting With Community
- Marketing Through Community
- Westy Self Storage of Norwalk Assists Stone Soup Food Drive
- Security Self Storage Hosts 'Eggstravaganza' to Benefit Boys and Girls Club
If you’ve become involved in your community through a simple gesture, share it with us by posting a comment below or at Self-Storage Talk.