If you’re looking to build a stronger self-storage business, you need to nurture relationships both within and outside your company. That’s the key. When you do, you’ll realize faster growth and greater prosperity. An industry manufacturer explains why.

Rod Bolls

February 23, 2024

3 Min Read

In business, “success” is often synonymous with profitability and market dominance. However, a shift is underway. Over the years, I’ve learned that a company is only as good as the relationships it’s able to build. Whether it’s within our own team, our network of partners, our local community or our loyal customer base, each connection truly matters.

This is particularly true in the self-storage industry. Below are specific examples and insights from my own organization.

Establishing Teamwork

Building a strong workplace community can boost employee morale. When staff feel a sense of belonging and connection, they become more engaged and motivated. This leads to increased productivity, ultimately benefiting the bottom line. It also fosters collaboration and creativity. When people feel comfortable sharing ideas and working together, they can innovate as a team.

At my company, we’re dedicated to strengthening our team both inside and outside of the office. One notable initiative we've implemented is our quarterly book club. We dig into topics such as leadership, work-life balance, teamwork and sales. This not only adds a fun break from our usual day-to-day tasks, it ensures everyone is literally on the same page.

Beyond that, we place a strong emphasis on team-building within the local community, participating in events and philanthropic efforts. For us, these efforts are all interconnected, making teamwork the foundation of our success.

The self-storage industry, while robust, has seen its fair share of obstacles including the fluctuating price of steel, increasing expenses and labor shortages, all of which reshape the market. As a manufacturer, my company must remain adaptable. While drawing from past experiences is wise, it’s also vital to keep an open mind and pay attention to industry partners and customers for new ideas.

Our strategy is straightforward: We listen, remain accessible and stand prepared to address potential challenges. We do whatever it takes to serve our customers and recognize that their pain points can guide us toward future solutions.

Establishing Core Values

Every business has a story to tell. The key is knowing your values and establishing your company culture from the very beginning. When I started my company, I was committed to avoiding a narrow-minded approach. Rather than focus solely on profit, we formulated our mission statement with an emphasis on three key pillars: we work hard, we innovate and we give back.

Being a well-rounded company will pave the way for sustainable success. So, we aim to be open-minded, embrace the benefits of strong relationships and prioritize a healthy, balanced life. We roll up our sleeves, dig in and do what it takes to make our product the best it can be. We explore technologies, materials, size options, features and manufacturing locations. And we share our resources and time with our local communities. It’s our relationships and core values that guide us every step of the way, shaping our decisions and defining our corporate character.

Building Customer Loyalty

It only makes sense that a business with strong relationships in other areas will also have loyal customers. Today’s consumers choose companies with cohesive teams, strong partnerships and community ties. And this allegiance can be a lifeline, especially during economic downturns. Engaged and loyal customers often become advocates, helping us attract new business through word-of-mouth.

Additionally, customers provide valuable feedback and ideas for improvement. We prioritize their satisfaction and take action to address any issues that arise. Over the years, we’ve made several upgrades to our products based on these suggestions.

Business success isn’t determined by profit alone. Strong connections with team members, partners, the community and customers are equally important for long-term growth and resilience. The trick is to look beyond your organization and find an interconnectedness with the greater world. Your business is about so much more than the products and services it sells, it’s about core values, culture and the relationships you build within the self-storage industry and beyond.

Rod Bolls is founder and CEO of Boxwell, a Boulder, Colorado-based manufacturer of portable and relocatable self-storage units. He’s committed to the success of his customers and the well-being of his team. It’s Boxwell’s company culture to know the value of strong relationships in business. For more information, call 303.317.5850.

About the Author(s)

Rod Bolls

Rod Bolls is founder and CEO of Boxwell, a Boulder, Colorado-based manufacturer of portable and relocatable self-storage units. He’s committed to the success of his customers and the well-being of his team. It’s Boxwell’s company culture to know the value of strong relationships in business. For more information, call 303.317.5850.

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