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Outside the box thinking

Thinking Outside the Box: Expanding Your Reach With Self-Storage Profit Centers

A self-storage unit can be used as more than just a place to store furniture and boxes. Expand your market reach to commercial tenants, entrepreneurs, hobbyists and others with alternative uses and profit centers.

When most people think of a self-storage unit, they think of it as a place to store belongings. Why not broaden your customers’ horizons and showcase other uses for the product? These might include ideas your prospects never even considered but will soon wonder how they ever lived without. Let’s look at some fresh ideas for storing more than just furniture and carboard boxes.

Office Space

Think about and address the challenges your potential customers might face if they own a small business. The most common issue is often lack of space for inventory, files, etc., however, they may not be able afford their own premises. Rent on real estate could affect their ability to turn a profit. The idea is to market to this problem. Promote your self-storage units as:

  • A safe place to store the overflow from a home office, especially items they don’t need regularly.
  • An actual office space. This can help cut costs when starting a business, as it will reduce overhead. A storage unit would be cheaper than renting an office for one person.
  • A secure location. Security is paramount to keep businesses safe and operational. With so much important inventory, equipment and paperwork that needs to be protected, it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase your facility’s security measures.

Self-storage units are a brilliant resource for sole traders, or small or medium enterprises. They offer extra space, low overhead, added security and unmatched flexibility. Seriously, what more could a business customer want?

Workshop or Studio

So many people these days have “side hustles.” One example is Etsy, an online creative marketplace where people sell unique and creative goods. If your customers work with a lot of physical product, it can easily overcrowd their apartment or garage, never mind all the distractions that come with working from home. When thinking about potential tenants, consider crafters. They might have endless deliveries of stock, both coming and going. They could use a storage unit to keep the inventory until it’s needed. Storage can also be used to prepare items for shipment.

You can also market your units as a relaxing space for a workshop or studio, away from home or a busy office space. If you offer amenities such as free Wi-Fi, a kitchen and restroom, share this. Again, mention your facility’s security, adequate lighting and operating hours.

Gym

Many consumers don’t like paying fees for a gym membership, or the madness of peak hours and the fight for machines. And most don’t have the room for all the equipment in their home, or even want it there. If you have a unit that’s air-conditioned, spacious and well-lit, sell it as a perfect place to set up a personal gym, one they can access whenever it suits them.

Hobbies and Interests

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. There are millions of people out there with hobbies and interests that just aren’t practical to do or keep in the home. Here are some messages you can pass on to potential customers:

  • Wine collection: Need to keep your expensive collection secure and in a climate-controlled environment? We got ya.
  • Band practice: Drums too loud to play at home? Not a problem here.
  • Art gallery: Nowhere to display your eclectic art pieces? Set there up in a storage unit and gaze until your heart’s content.
  • Gamer: Want your own space to avidly play? We have you covered.
  • Bunker: Worried about the end of the world? Stash your supplies with us.

Not all these “outside the box” ideas will work at your facility. The point is to think beyond the storage of old clothes, furniture, tools and other typical items. Consider what your business can offer that’s unique and will solve customers’ problems. It’s time to offer your tenants more than just space!

Fraser Sutherland is the marketing director for Storage Vault, which operates three facilities in Glasgow and Paisley, Scotland. He has a varied background, having worked in many digital roles. For more information, visit www.storagevault.com

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