You’ve decided to own and operate your self-storage facility. You saw a need in your area for simple self-storage solutions and figured you could step up to the challenge. But you don’t want to go into your new venture blind, and a little heads up on what sort of issues you should expect while running your facility is a major advantage.
So what are some of the problems new facility owners encounter? This post will go through the major setbacks that facility owners will have to take into account when operating their new business.
Where your facility is located and how easily accessible it will greatly impact the traffic at your facility. You want your facility in a convenient location, as this will have the greatest influence on your business.
Having your building in an inconvenient location, whether your customers have to turn down a winding dirt road or your building is cramped into the back of an outdoor shopping center, will have a dramatic effect on the traffic you receive. And if your facility is in a place that’s hard to find or a pain to visit, people will simply store their belongings somewhere else.
You want to think about accessibility, in terms of how much access your tenants have to their belongings. Is it unlimited? Are there gate hours? Investing in the latest and greatest in touchless tech might open up the possibility of 24/7 accessibility. It’s up to you as a business owner if you want to invest resources into this aspect of your company, but your tenants will surely appreciate it.
Security is going to be a big expense, but it is something you want to invest in. You can take simple steps for the bare minimum, such as a facility that is fully paved, well-lit, and fenced in, and the option to buy locks for storage units at your facility.
Take this a step further through the use of security gates that only allow entry via a personal access code. This is not only a great security measure, but it also allows you to skip the process of manning your facility regularly. If customers have access to their belongings without the need to contact and wait for service outside of business hours, that is a plus for your company.
You want to rent out everything in stock. The whole point of the industry is to store away items at your facility and the only way to make a profit at your company is by renting as much space as possible. It would be great if occupancy was at 100% every month of the year, but that isn’t realistic.
But you want to keep your occupancy up, typically shooting for 90% occupancy or better. That number seems daunting, and it is a steep goal. You should avoid stress beforehand by conducting market research in your area. If your town has a lot of the elderly looking to downsize or a college town with students constantly shuffling around in between semesters, you should know about this and set up your facility accordingly.
Staffing seems to be an issue everywhere these days, not just in the storage industry. So you already know how difficult the issue of staffing can be, so how can you avoid the headache? A simple solution to this is to set up your facility in a way that can be unmanned or limited in how much staff is onsite. With the latest in tech advances, touchless storge is not only possible, but it’s also the norm.
The need for storage has skyrocketed over the last decade, so competition is fierce. But with a little planning and dedication, getting your new facility to take off will be the hardest part, but it will be well worth it in the long run. The Storage Group should know: we’ve been in the business for a long time and know the ins and outs of the industry. If you need help getting your facility off the ground, The Storage Group, or TSG, has all the resources you could ever need for your business.
TSG is the leader in self-storage digital marketing, and we are the engineers of ClickandStor®, the first and only online rental suite. We made the rental process simple and secure, with a ton of handy features. No one can succeed by themselves, and it isn’t cheating to bring in outside help. The Storage Group has all the assistance you need in operating your facility. Check out our resources on our website or contact us today to see how we can get started.