Sponsored By

Setting Your Self-Storage Goals for 2016

With the end of the year just a few weeks away, many self-storage operators are setting goals for the coming months. While most of us have a basic understanding of how to do this, the process can still be daunting. Here's some guidance on creating and achieving your 2016 objectives.

Amy Campbell

December 17, 2015

3 Min Read
Setting Your Self-Storage Goals for 2016

By Amy Campbell 

With the end of the year just a few weeks away, many of us are reflecting on the past months, our successes and failures. We also tend to use this time of year to make resolutions for the coming year. Whether it be to eat healthier, save money or spend more time with family, many resolutions are abandoned by Valentine’s Day. There’s a simple reason for this: a resolution is how we intend to behave, whereas a goal is quantifiable, specific and measurable.

While self-storage operators should certainly set personal and professional resolutions, they should also focus on their goals. Most of us have a basic understanding of how to set goals, but the process can be daunting. What do you include? How do you measure your progress? What if you need to modify it and how do know when you’ve achieved your goal? These are just a few of the questions you might have.

The first step is to determine your long-term goals versus short-term ones, according to an Inc.com article. Long-term goals will have a three- to five-year timeline, while short-term goals are more immediate. Your short-term goals will generally support longer ones, but it’s not a requirement. They could be completely disassociated.

Next, your goals should reflect why you’re in business. The article states most responses fall into one of four broad categories: growth, profit, service or social. Growth relates to the expansion of your company. Profit is pretty self-explanatory. Service goals are focused on improving customer service or retention, and social goals relate to philanthropy.

Once you have your objectives in place, you need a path to reach them. Many use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. to stay on target. Goals should be: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-specific. For example, perhaps one of your goals is to increase your rental rates next year. You first need to determine how to measure your goal, then take action. This might include shopping your competitors to get insight on market rates, phasing out discounts or relying on your management software to better manage rental rates. Remember, your action needs to be specific, but also realistic. A 10 percent rental increase for existing tenants likely is too much, but a 3 to 5 percent increase is more reasonable. Again, this is where many software programs can lend a hand.

Finally, what’s your time frame? Is this something you can roll out in the next six months? Perhaps you can begin by raising your street rates by a small percentage, then focus on current customers. Your plan doesn’t have to be set in stone either. Be flexible. If a 3 percent increase is not doable right now, try 2 percent and revisit it in six months. The important thing is to keep working toward your short- and long-term goals.

I recently asked Self-Storage Talk (SST) members their goals for 2016. Not surprisingly, increasing rates is No. 1 for many operators. Property renovations, new security equipment and improving facility occupancy are also on the agenda. Be sure to share your goals in this thread.

Creating goals can be scary. It requires careful planning and, more important, your willingness to change. But that’s the best part about entering a new year—it’s the perfect time to make changes. And we’re to help. As you build your 2016 objectives, be sure to glean information from the Inside Self-Storage (ISS) website, ISS Store, SST and, of course, the upcoming ISS World Expo. These valuable resources will help you achieve your goals—whatever they may be.

What are your goals for your self-storage business this year? How will you achieve them? Post a comment below or share your thoughts on Self-Storage Talk.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter
ISS is the most comprehensive source for self-storage news, feature stories, videos and more.

You May Also Like