After posting yesterday's blog entry, "Industry in a Box," I received a well-constructed message from Ben Terrell, a member of The Mobile Attic, a reputable mobile-storage company. He agreed to share his comments with our readers. Keep in mind, my questions to the self-storage industry were:
How is mobile/portable storage affecting your business?
Is the added exposure good for the storage industry as a whole, or is mobile detracting from your tenant base?
Is anyone offering BOTH services?
Here is Ben's response:
I was perusing yesterdays Storage Speak blog entry, Industry in a Box, and thought I would chime in on how fantastic a complement mobile storage can be to traditional self-storage. Some operators may view mobile storage as fierce competition, while others (namely 11 of our 40 locations) have embraced it.
Those that choose to go beyond the If you build it, they will come mentality can reach a wide variety of customers who might otherwise be slightly out of reach. Those customers might include single mothers without access to a truck; people involved in remodeling projects who want their materials readily accessible; customers requiring on-site records storage; or people enduring fire- and water-damage situations. A few of our multi-tasking locations also offer rental-truck services and full-service shipping. Yes, there are many ways to increase your bottom line and provide a one-stop shop for most any customer.
The Mobile Attic offers this complementary service in such a way that you dont lose the identity in which you have undoubtedly invested a lot of time and money. A storage location can put its own phone number on its mobile-storage containers, controlling customer service by dealing directly with the customer. We apply small-business practices in most areas of our operation because we realize the majority of our business comes from previous customers.
The traditional storage owner also experiences fewer barriers to entry with this model because our containers are weather-proof and designed to sit outside. No costly warehousessimply use the available space adjacent to or already within your site.
Growth is also easier to control through mobile storage. Instead of erecting a building of several hundred individual units (and hoping they fill), buy 30 or 40 containers at a time; let the demand fuel your growth.
Three final things:
Dont go the way of the dodo or the dino.
Give Mobile Attic a call (I would be reprimanded if I didnt say it!).
There are still plenty of territories and opportunities available to bask in the sun shining on mobile storage. However, dont sit there and wave as the wagon passes you by.
The Mobile Attic