There is a new business model that self storage businesses across the nation are embracing. That model is offering a business center for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Clovis Self Storage & Office Suites in Clover, California, is one such self storage facility that successfully incorporated that new model into their business plan.
Clovis Self Storage literally does not have any competition in their area for the services they provide. They have “smart offices” that include a small furnished office, phone and Internet service, conference room usage, freight receiving, a street address and mailbox (and the cost of utility) in one single price. Clovis has 50 executive office suite that are 91% occupied.
These suites are right in front of the self storage facility. Entrepreneurs also have easy access to a copier, fax, USPS postage meter, and FedEx shipping and receiving. There is a lounge and kitchen with free coffee.
Clovis also has “workshops” for those who want a smaller office option. This work space offers everything an entrepreneur needs – except four walls. It is a cubicle space with a dedicated phone line and lockable storage space. Clovis also offers virtual office space. Entrepreneurs who choose this option have the benefits that the other office tenants have except they don’t have the physical office space. Clovis has about 100 virtual office clients.
There are several aspects of these types of offices that make them really appealing to the small business owner or entrepreneur. First, Clovis Self Storage is strategically located in the community and is easy to get to. The prices for an office space are more flexible and affordable. There aren’t long-term commitments. And, on-site storage space is available, too, if the small business owner needs it to store products or inventory.
If your are interested in developing a business center in your self storage facility, there are several things that you need to do. First, you need to evaluate your competition. What other small office space options are available in your area for entrepreneurs and small businesses? How is your competition like what you would have to offer? How are you different? What additional options would you have to offer to attract customers?
Do a complete, in-depth analysis of your prospective small office customers. What are their typical traits? What are their needs that aren’t being met by your competitors? Is there a service that is not being met that you could provide? How will you differentiate yourself from your competition? Is there something unique that you could offer your customers that nobody else does?
“Meet Your Next Major Business Center Competitor.” Officing Today; 18 June 2013.
“How Well Do You Know Your Competitors?” Intuit Small Business Blog; 6 March 2013.