By Evita Williams
The current economic climate has forced many small businesses to rethink their approaches to spending. Tight budgets have taught them to be more resourceful and played a role in self-storage becoming a popular choice for inventory and document storage as well as a viable alternative for inexpensive office space.
Self-storage operators have a tremendous opportunity when marketing their benefits to commercial customers. Following are some unique selling points you may want to consider.
One of the main benefits associated with self-storage is the extra security it provides. Security is essential for businesses, especially when it comes to storing important documents and records, and self-storage units offer protection from water, fire or environmental damage that may occur at a place of business.
Climate control can help preserve the condition of materials, and keeping contents offsite at a self-storage facility keeps them out of view from unwanted eyes.
Play up the security features of your business when marketing to potential commercial customers, and ensure that your facility is fitted with the latest security systems to offer tenants peace of mind.
Many small companies use self-storage as an extension of their business and to help them operate more efficiently. This is particularly true for business customers who operate out of their homes.
Businesses operating in industries like fashion and gardening often have excess materials during particular seasons and holidays. This may mean carrying extra stock, which can make self-storage a necessity. Once peak seasons and celebrations are over, their need for extra storage space may diminish. Target these types of businesses prior to their busy seasons and offer seasonal incentives.
Emphasize the advantages of using self-storage, including the value of extra space (from storing at your facility to creating more room at their place of business) and applicable facility amenities and services like office space for employees, a meeting room for clients, package shipping and receiving, free WiFi, and more.
In addition to flexibility, self-storage also requires less investment. In the United Kingdom, for example, renting a separate office might cost a business in excess of £1,000, while adequate storage space would be in the neighborhood of £155-£300 per month. This can make a significant difference in the long run, saving customers a great deal of money. Office-related costs are rising each year, which means business owners must be mindful when it comes to planning and expenses.
Self-storage facilities that offer small office space in addition to storage and other business-related services have a distinct advantage in offering customers an all-in-one monthly payment. This eliminates any worry a small business may have about business rates, utility bills, security, solicitor and service charges. For U.K. operators, the only tax your business customers would pay when renting self-storage is the value-added tax (VAT), and if the business is VAT-registered then this cost will have little impact on the customer.
Business customers can always start with the basics and then upgrade by adding service extras to help their businesses run more smoothly. Talk your customers through the different amenity and service options available to them.
Ultimately, business customers want to feel like you care about them. Work to build their trust by taking a consultative approach toward solutions. Perhaps a customer is looking to expand, which will require additional staff and business facilities. How can your self-storage business address his particular needs?
Discuss various payment options and packages, but don’t be too overpowering. Listing your facility’s features and benefits and explaining how they apply to the individual customer will help you secure the deal. Small businesses should see the advantages of using self-storage for securely storing data and stock, reducing expenses and adding greater flexibility to operations.
Evita Williams writes for John Day Decorators Ltd., a full-service decorator serving commercial, industrial, public and residential clients in the United Kingdom. She is passionate about home improvement, refurbishment and do-it-yourself projects, and is always searching for new inspirations.