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Make a Plan to Smash Your Self-Storage Goals in 2024

New year, new you? It’s traditional to set goals in January but many of us abandon them by spring. How can you make these targets for yourself and your self-storage business stick in 2024? Here are some thoughts to help you have a smashing year!

Amy Campbell

January 5, 2024

4 Min Read

As we embark into a new year this week, many of us are thinking about what we hope to achieve in the coming months, both personally and as a self-storage professional. Whether you’re the type who creates “new year’s resolutions” or simply likes a roadmap, setting goals is probably on your mind. I’m a huge fan of this endeavor. I like to write them down in a cute notebook each January, along with my strategy on how I’ll achieve them. A few years ago, I even jumped on the bullet journal bandwagon. I spent countless hours creating elaborate pages with multicolored pens and adorned them with colorful and inspirational stickers. I had grids for each month, along with short- and long-term plans for the entire year.

Even though I love setting goals each January, like many people, I have trouble with follow-through. There are many reasons we don’t always achieve them. Life gets in the way, of course. Sometimes we lose our focus or our circumstances change. Perhaps the objectives aren’t specific or we haven’t created an action plan to achieve them. The “new year, new me” momentum burns off by Valentine’s Day, or we simply lose interest or sight of why these things were so important to us just a few short weeks ago. If this is you, you’re far from alone. According to a “Forbes” article, 94% of people abandon their commitments within two months. So … should we simply give up or is there a way to make them stick?

More than likely, you’ve heard about how to create SMART goals. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. One reason this method works is it lays down the foundation, and keeps you organized and also accountable.

As an example, Anne Ballard, aka “The Hat Lady” and an executive with Universal Storage Group, wrote an article about how SMART goals can help you improve your self-storage sales. She says rather than creating an objective that’s vague, such as “I want to improve my occupancy this year,” a SMART goal might be “I want to rent a unit to 75% of my sales prospects” or “I want to rent X units per month.”

To get to this point, however, you’ll need to do some due diligence. Think about what’s really critical to your business or career. What changes would you like to make this year? Perhaps it’s time to seek that promotion or change jobs. Maybe you want to take on a bigger role at your property or learn a new skill. If you’re an owner, you might be ready to expand your self-storage portfolio with a development or acquisition. Are you finally ready to add more technology to your facility or embark on a capital-improvement project that has been put off for far too long?

Here’s another acronym that can help—SWOT. This analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, can help you assess where your business is today and how to make improvements. What are your company’s strengths and weaknesses? Where are there opportunities for improvement and growth? Finally, what threats might come your way?

Next, make a list of 10 possible goals, then begin to narrow it down to the three to five most important ones. You’ll then be ready to create an action plan to achieve them. While a fancy bullet journal bursting with motivating stickers can be fun, it isn’t necessary to create—and keep—your purpose in focus. But they should be written somewhere so you can refer to them and make revisions. They should also have deadlines. Using the example from Anne above, you might have a goal of renting X units by March 31. This gives you some time to set your plan in motion and launch any marketing campaigns to help you reach your target. You can also have a longer-term objective, such as reaching 97% occupancy by Oct. 1.

It’s also imperative to track your progress. There are numerous software options, but a simple word document or plain old pen and paper also works. You can go elaborate with charts and graphs, too. Visually seeing what’s been accomplished will keep you on track and help you make adjustments.

Finally, be sure to celebrate the wins, big and small. These are the motivators that’ll help you keep your target in sight. They can also reveal information about your self-storage business that’ll assist in you determining your next set of goals. And, yes, creating benchmarks for yourself and your business should be ongoing. I hope you keep them SMART, follow through and find success!

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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