There comes a time in every business effort where you will find that you are in dire need of new customers. For the self storage industry that could mean that you recently had a number of customers move out for whatever reason or maybe you were able to add on to your current structure and are now having trouble filling your new units.
Finding new customers will of course mean the survival of your self storage business so it is something that you must aggressively pursue. There are a number of things to keep in mind when trying to attract new customers.
First off, you can’t just think about it. Everyone has good ideas on what can do and can come up with some great theories in which to drum up new business. The trick can be in actually getting off your figurative tail and actually doing something. It does not always take a lot, but it does take something.
You don’t want to just start doing random pieces of advertising either. Come up with a plan of action so that way you can maximize your time and money into the most effective strategy for your self storage business.
You definitely want to take advantage of whatever free promotional/advertising opportunities there are. Posting ads on Craigslist can be a great way to bring in new people. With the internet quickly becoming the modern day newspaper. You can also get your self storage business listed on other places online like Google Places, Yelp, Backpage and CitySearch.
Another thing you should do is redo your website. Too often people just throw up something basic akin to a virtual yellow pages ad. Websites need to be eye-catching; something that draw people in at a glance. However, take care not to go for too much flash. A good website will give people the chance to interact (i.e. via Twitter), pay online, a chat room, and maybe even a classified section for tenants to use. Whatever you do be sure that your site has a clean professional look to it. You want to draw in customers, not just people surfing the web because their bored.
It may seem silly, but you should also make use of promotional products like pens, Frisbees, hats, and the like. Everyone loves free stuff especially useful things that most people are prone to losing like pens. They are a great way to get your name out in a way that is almost viral (as pens get left, taken, stolen, or borrowed from one person to the next).
There are many other ways that can help you attract new customers. Social media can do wonders if used appropriately. Sending flyers and/or coupons to current or past customers via email addresses that you have collected can be a great way to get old customers back (or new ones when they pass the coupon on to a friend). Be sure anything you do on the internet is SEO friendly. Adding in the right key words in the right places can increase the ease at which people will find your self storage facility when they make a search.
“Want to Advertise/Promote Your Self Storage Facility for Free?” Self Storage Industry News; 23 February 2011.
“Occupancy Recovery.” Self Storage Now!; Fourth Quarter 2010.