[A guest blog spot by ISS Managing Editor Drew Whitney.]
There was a time when competitors looking to see what the other guy was doing would check the ad in the phone book and then give the site a call and pretend, best they could, that they were prospective tenants inquiring about units and pricing. Hanging up, callers likely felt a little like Columbo and a lot like fourth-graders making prank calls (read: Is your refrigerator running?).
No matter what, I think it still makes us feel a little ridiculous to be checking out the competition, but the fact of the matter is those with higher business acuities always know what the other guys are doing.
It makes good sense to know where you stand in the marketplace. Are your prices higher or lower? Are you overpriced or underpriced? Do they offer better extra security, climate control, wine storage? How can you compete if you dont know who youre running against and what their strengths and weaknesses may be?
Today, shopping the competition is easier than ever. Just Google the facility names and see what pops up. Most established sites giving you a run for your money will presumably have a website of equal sophistication (if they dont, then you have another way to edge ahead of them in the market!).
No longer do you have to try and change your voice to make the call; just visit the site down the street virtually, on the web. Check out pricing and unit mix, services, add-ons and the whole nine yards. Then youll know where you stand and can make your moves strategically.
This all came to mind when an acquaintance of mine said shed read my recent blog that talked about my chicken theatrics (how to keep them safe from doom). Shes not in the self-storage realm, so I was surprised shed even crossed paths with the blog. She informed me that she just Googled my name and linked the company website.
Basically, in the world of Googling, we can find the scoop and dish on just about anything. Why not use it to your benefit? You neednt feel ridiculous, but empowered!
By the way, since my new friend wasnt the only one to have read the blog and made comments, I wanted to let you know the brood is doing well. Theyve easily doubled in size and are now venturing out into the (very well secured) pen next to the coop. Were still months away from having a freshly laid egg but Ill keep you posted.