6 Things You Wouldn’t Expect to Find at a Self Storage Facility 

1. Music Studio

A stone’s throw from West London’s M4 lies a rather unconventional storage facility. The only one of its kind, Magenta Storage doubles up as a live music venue and recording studio. Equipped with 17 sound dampened units, a recording studio and a series of vocal booths, this self storage facility is always alive with the sound of music.

2. Dr. Who

From Pompeii during the Roman Empire to the lost city of Atlantis, Dr. Who has done and seen it all. His next destination? The inside of a storage unit!

That’s right, visit Smart Storage in the North West for the chance to meet the Wirral’s very own Dr. Who, Daniel Parr. Daniel, a huge fan of the ever-popular sci-fi show spent 3 weeks building a replica Tardis to raise money for children’s hospice, Clare House (as detailed in this article in The Chester Standard). In total, the pseudo-Dr. Who raised a whopping £650.

3. An F1 Race Track

Recreating iconic racetracks is no easy feat, but that is exactly what Guy Jessett, owner of Slot Track Scenics, does from his 125sq ft unit at Magenta Storage. Alongside his father, the scalextric-making duo create everything from small-scale tracks to large replicas of famous motor racing circuits. Among the pair’s most extravagant creations was a seven by four metre replica of the world famous Silverstone, a slot track which sold to a collector for thousands.

4. A Giant Breast

Each year 55,000 women and 390 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK (Breast Cancer Care). To help us get to know our breasts and eradicate late detection of the disease, breast cancer charity, CoppaFeel!, organises an annual event: Festifeel. This festival, now in its 8th year, requires a lot of props for demonstration, most notably, a giant breast. Where does this breast go when the festival is over? In self storage of course!

5. An Art Gallery

Earlier this year Attic Self Storage became the UK’s first bookable, interactive art gallery. What goes and what gets to stay? It’s up to you! Every piece of art at the Market Road Gallery is up for peer-review via a specially developed web-app.

Since its launch, the self storage gallery has hosted a series of professional artists including illustrator and graphic designer, Caio Beltrão, visual artist, Boxhead and fine artist, Paul Robinson. Could you be the gallery’s next addition? If you’re feeling creative, pack up your paintbrushes and head over to the site in London’s King’s Cross.

6. Fashionistas

Last year, around 10,000 new enterprises were launched from self storage containers in the UK. So many fledgling businesses are turning to self storage that up to 20% of all 605,000 storage units in the UK are now home to successful online retailers.

One such retailer is the Hippy Clothing Co who, despite only beginning trading earlier this year, is already on track to turnover £250,000 by year-end. From harem pants and swing dresses to sequined waistcoats, this burgeoning business helps people around the world get their eclectic festival fashion fix.

5 Great Ways to Market Self Storage In 2018

5 Great Ways to Market Self Storage In 2018

Many self storage companies have been amassing property to lease out empty space for storage, many show interest in being part of the movement, but some find the road to self storage marketing, very hard to manage due to a lack of knowledge within the subject.

For instance, what steps you can take to make sure your business stands out from others when potential customers are searching for specific services within your surrounding area?

How much time will you have to invest in advertising and marketing, and what is the cost?

We thought we’d outline 5 great ways to market self storage, whether you’re new to self storage or an existing owner on a budget.

 

1. Social Media

Find your audience, before you start focusing on a social platform, find out whether your target audience is on it. Use visuals, once you know where your target audience is, it’s time to grab their attention by using eye-catching visuals with the content you offer.

Images and videos play a big role in helping you grow your brand awareness on social media channels because they not only increase engagement but also boost social shares.

 

2. Run Promotions

Your potential & existing customers are your businesses lifeline, treat them how you would want to be treated as a consumer. Running regular promotions for existing & new customers will help to keep them involved with your brand and let customers know that you have customer relations somewhat at the top of your agenda, setting you aside from your competitors. Offering a month’s free storage or offer it at a reduced rate for a period, is one of the best ways to keep their attention and loyalty.

 

3. Reach Out to Local Movers

It’s no secret that the moving industry and the storage industry converge in several areas. Having one of your employees reach out to the local companies in the area to build a rapport with them, is without a doubt a great idea. For example, long-distance movers need to store their belongings until they’re ready to travel across the country, offer them incentives to use your storage facility instead of competitors.

 

4. Make Upgrades as Your Business Grows

Self storage companies tend to have a lot of property on their grounds and as the industry grows and changes, your brand must follow suit and change with it. For example, if your storage facility is external, investigate following the advances of modern technology, cost providing, an investment into an advanced security system or even a perimeter fence to keep intruders from venturing in the property. If you offer the services people are looking for, people will want to use your services over anyone else, especially if you’re located in a convenient location. When space internally becomes full to capacity, look at growing by investing in drive up external units or additions to, or, a new mezzanine steel structure.

 

5. Partnering with Affiliates

Creating affiliate relationships with Real-Estate Agents, Property Managers and other members of industries that frequent self storage is always good for a number of leads per year, however, compensate them for their referrals and loyalty to build an even stronger business relationship.

All-in-all there are undoubtedly copious amounts of ways to build an even bigger customer base. It is up to you, ‘the brand’ to do the research and evaluate different strategies through trial and error. If you’re going to take the leap and invest in marketing your business, set aside a budget and an amount of time prior to doing so. Test the waters first see if it’s successful then gauge whether it’s worth doing on a continual basis. Once you find a process that works, allocate a percentage of the budget towards that one process, then use some of the rest to try some other new things. Be frugal until you know it works.

Considerations When Moving Home

The time has come, you are moving to a new house. You are trying to choose the right self storage service for your belongings and to gain a secure place whilst you’re in the process of moving. The demand is very high on leasing storage space to home movers. The solution is ideal; self storage or self service storage allows you to bring your items to a storage unit under lock and key within a secure facility.

There are points to consider before you select a self-storage service to make sure they can cater for your storage needs.

Access and Security To Self Storage Units

One of the many points of self storage is to gain space for your goods when moving home. This service should only allow you, the owner, to access your goods.  In certain circumstances, you may point out access rights for staff members, some of which may be authorised to enter your storage unit.

The contract should also clearly state access hours to your storage unit: 24/7, business hours, weekend restrictions. Do you plan to make frequent visits to your storage units? Consider the expense and time consumed if the storage location is many miles away.

A secure environment offers a CCTV surveillance system 24/7, cameras will monitor your storage access points for visitor entry and exit.  Other services offer PIN access control only so access to your goods is restricted to yourself and any authorised staff.

The Storage Space Dimensions

You can choose from a selection of unit sizes to fit your needs. This level of flexibility suits home movers needing to relocate a small or large amount of furniture for example. The dimensions of your unit should be clear on your contract.

When given the spatial size, is the figure showing the storage amount by cubic feet or square feet? Ask about the height and give examples of your item sizes. You may not need a lot of high ceiling storage space so check to avoid paying for more space than needed.

Check the storage space comes with enough ventilation to prevent any moisture getting into your precious items. Check the unit with a staff member. Is the air fresh or stale?

Pricing and Insurance

The price will depend on the size required and also the length of time. There may be incentives and discounts available; look out for very affordable prices. Another cost is insurance and this varies from one storage service to another. For example, does the insurance cover fire, floods, and other disasters. Check the insurance is not extra and included in the price.

What are the advantages of a Mezzanine floor?

Over the years, mezzanine floors have become one of the most popular self storage solutions for businesses looking to maximise the space within their building and when you consider how easy and cost efficient it is to install a mezzanine floor, it’s easy to see why.

The main benefit of a mezzanine floor comes simply down to cost, by installing a bespoke steel mezzanine floor you will maximise your space for your existing storage areas and potentially double/ treble your net lettable area for a one-off cost depending on how many tiers you fit out.

Self storage operators may opt for this solution when their existing space is no longer big enough to accommodate their potential new customers. By expanding your space with the use of a mezzanine floor you can save the substantial cost and inconvenience of moving to a new property while maximising your storage space in a short timeframe and with minimal disruption.

When introducing a new mezzanine floor to your facility, you can naturally expect to increase the number of self storage units, thus increasing your customer intake & income. For instance, if your current facility is at 80% capacity with a high demand from potential customers for 75 sq ft units, you would be able to build more of the desired units onto your new mezzanine floor.

Mezzanine floors are lightweight steel structures with excellent capabilities for load carrying. Depending on the use that the mezzanine floor will be put to, it can be designed to accommodate varying loads. Therefore, a self storage company can always rely on the mezzanine floor to be able to withstand the load of customer goods that are placed on it.

Due to the numerous range of sizes, heights and loading options available, mezzanine floors are designed to meet individual customer requirements, which in turn avoids the risk of having work done that may not be 100% suited to your self storage company.
It is vital to the medium to long term lifespan of your self storage facility to consider the implementation of a mezzanine floor right from the outset to ensure that its installation does not interfere with any self storage rooms that you want to install in the short term.

Our structural mezzanine floors are designed to be installed in phases so that you can avoid the need to move existing customers and dismantle rooms in order for the mezzanine to be installed. The added benefit of this is that you can minimise your spend on such items at the beginning of the project and spread out the cost through the lifetime of your facility as it grows in capacity.

If you need more help and advice, see here!

 

 

 

 

Over 40 ways small businesses or groups could use your space

Self storage operators offer a level of commercial self storage for local businesses including archiving, office space, trade storage, online sellers and other workspaces as a matter of course and many of you have dedicated blogs or web pages to reach out to the would-be business self storage user. We started to wonder on a wider scale; exactly what type of businesses or groups are run from a humble self storage unit so did some research and came up with the well-known ones as well as some that are more obscure as well as adding a few of our own ideas!

So, in this blog, we’d like to share what we found, in the hope you might get a few ideas to expand your advertising and increase your inbound leads and hopefully, attract a few more business customers your way!

 

We’re sure new opportunities are always hiding out there and believe that there are many more potential business type users that still really don’t know the extent to which a self storage unit could be very useful to them, beyond the typical household storage uses; the would be start up entrepreneurs, club organisers, private groups or charities – all of whom don’t realise that they could drastically reduce their business rates and insurance by renting a self storage unit instead.

Some of you may have a surplus of smaller self store rooms to fill and some of you may have the larger ones in need of a terrific use, so we’ve listed our own ideas in terms of small (25-75 sq ft) and larger room uses (100-200 sq ft). Whilst some of these uses might not be suitable or desired for every facility, we are listing all those we found and hope they open a new avenue of ideas for generating some inbounds leads.

 

The ones we know…

• Online gift companies

• Professional e-bay sellers

• DIY & property maintenance companies

• Tradesmen tools & stock

• Trade counters

• Trade showrooms

• Landscape gardeners

• Joinery workshops

• Antique/vintage sellers

• Personal training gym

• Local retailer’s additional stock

• Local businesses/sales people sample stock storage

• Off-site archive storage

• Removals companies needing third party storage

• Courier depot

 

The more unusual ones…

• Kids mail order clothing

• Fashion designers & sellers

• Wheelchair restoration

• Prosthetic limb store

• Pigeon fanciers mail order supplies

• Music lessons Academy

• Band rehearsals

• Martial arts & boxing clubs

• Indoor climbing wall

• Photographic studio/ dark room

• Mobile phone/ laptop repair shop

• Art & music exhibitions/ workshops

• Kayak & canoe instructors store

• Amateur theatre group props

• Online pet supplies/ pet supplies shop

• Pharmaceutical supplies for sales people

 

Ones we thought of…

• Archery club

• Local club events

• Circuit training

• Pilates & yoga rooms

• Car maintenance repair shop

• Car/bike restoration

• Local club events

• Seasonal pop-up shops

• Jewellery workshop

• Cake making & decorating workshops

• Private self-catering supplies and preparation

 

The self storage unit has a lot to offer beyond the conventional uses we are all familiar with. We suspect the list is endless and hope that our blog has provided you with a taste for adventure in seeking out the more unique self storage user that doesn’t know yet what they need. So, if you are an existing operator or thinking about setting up your own facility we wish you happy hunting in your locality in the hidden market of sellers, storers, curators and creators!

If you need help with your self storage design and construction, click here!

TO PHASE OR NOT TO PHASE YOUR SELF STORAGE FACILITY!

Phasing your self storage fit-out is a process often used in the self-storage industry on projects both small & large projects. But is it a good idea? Several factors should be considered before deciding which approach is best for your individual needs.

The strategy is often used to build or expand a facility one stage at a time; where an operator/developer builds a facility, watches business roll in and, when the rooms are full, builds additional mezzanine flooring and self storage units to keep up with the demand.

A second phase self storage facilityPhasing your self storage facility can be slightly more expensive than constructing all of your rooms on day one. However, it is often prudent to look at a project in this fashion to enable a positive cash flow situation, especially if this is your first venture into the industry. There are several further advantages to phasing. At the forefront, phasing allows the client the flexibility of judging their market and what the needs of the specific facility are in its exact location. Often, self stores will have completely different room size demands even when they are a short distance apart, so it is vital to get this right and not to jump in at the deep end without having this evidence. The earlier phase can serve as market research for the operator to understand what kind of unit mix is definitively required for the next phase. If the operator gets more demand for a specific unit size not available in the first phase, they can add that or other sizes in the expansion.

A big plus with phasing a fit-out is that revenues created through a phasing self storage design and constructionproject can be applied to future expansion. By way of example, the operator of a 30,000-square foot initial phase of a 60,000-square foot project – with later plans to add three, 10,000 square foot phases; can keep debts low and use the money generated from the existing rooms directly to finance the latter phases.

If you do want to look at designing and constructing your facility in day one though, then you should spend lots of time looking around the local area at your competitors, to see what they are offering. Do not ever assume that you know the market. All villages/towns and cities will have varying demands and it is vital that the facility is designed to focus on these specific requirements. You will need to consider ease of access throughout the building, escape routes, security and a whole host of other factors. Design is the key here to ensure the flexibility of room sizes should you need to dismantle and reinstall blocks of rooms at a later date to meet demand.

A mezzanine floor design and installed in phasesAlways look to use a self storage design and construction company with a proven track record – one that has been in the industry for many years and who can provide you with contacts for people they have worked for. This way, you can be certain that you will be getting both value for money and a professional service. Ask to look at their existing projects and be sure to spend time discussing the options.

 

Need more advice for your next self storage phase? Click here!

Are You A Remover And Storer Sitting On A Hidden Opportunity?

 

Self Storage Walling and Design

Over the years the self storage industry has helped many removals companies across the UK enhance their existing wooden containerised storage customer base by adding self-storage to their repertoire. Not so long ago this was an entirely new concept but there is something about self-storage that really works and meets the demands of modern day family life and small business.

Besides new self-storage start up’s, Removals and Storage companies have realised the potential they are sitting on. Fox Moving Group saw this opportunity in their warehouse set-up and after some research begun planning the self-storage design and installation of their facility to increase revenue and strengthen their storage portfolio. More recently Burke Brothers also decided that by adding a mezzanine floor and self-storage facilities; it enabled additional rental income opportunities too, maximising the space in the warehouse. Other add-ons like mailboxes, lockers and shelving have all added valuable rental income to such businesses.

The SSA 2016 Annual Survey in association with Cushman and Wakefield states “..occupancy growth indicates that demand is growing faster than the supply of new facilities…”

 

Are you sitting on a hidden opportunity? You may think the available space is not there right now, but your future business plan could tick the boxes in terms of your warehouse location, size and local demographics, to increase your storage customer type and revenue. Our customers large and small start with as little as 2,500sq ft in their first phase and use income generated from this to add a 2nd phase and so on.

Self Storage Construction UKSELF-STORAGE OPPORTUNITIES MOVING WITH THE SEASONS

Do you have partial warehouse space for a self-storage conversion? It’s autumn already and with Winter (and Christmas) fast approaching many people have a cluttered house and cluttered mind so a self-access, self-storage unit could be the solution to help them clean up, tidy up and store away seasonal items from the garden, summer hobbies or other household items that they want to move but not lose. Likewise, the spring and summer months bring winter equipment storage needs too along with the University student/traveller needing temporary storage. Then there’s the small business operator working from their self-storage unit sending mail-order items out or other small business types like tradesmen needing access to equipment regularly.

 

Are you a remover offering containerised storage Self Storage Containers & Installationwithin the realms of people moving home? Could you add self-storage units alongside your wooden containers to increase your customer type and warehouse storage income stream, perhaps during a period when the moving customers have gone a little quiet? Do you have partial warehouse space for a self-storage conversion? In experience, removals clients have converted as little as 2,500sqft to offer a more versatile storage service to a broader customer base. We can help you set up in self-storage with self-storage walls, partitions and doors and we can help you with self-storage design and construction through to security systems and offer plenty of setting up advice along the way. Self-storage design and construction is our speciality. If you have the roof space a mezzanine floor will give you additional self-storage units which can further increase your rental income per sq ft.

The SSA 2016 Annual Survey by Cushman and Wakefield said: “Average net rental rates have now reached the highest level seen over the last 10 years, increasing beyond the previous peak experienced in 2010.”

For more information and help, click here!

THE COLOURS OF SELF STORAGE – 3 Reasons Why There Isn’t One Right Way With Colours

So perhaps you’re starting out in self-storage or plan to, tasked with creating your business brand identity. This will undoubtedly mean choosing colours including your self storage doors and frames. So where do you start?  Keep things simple, take a chance and pick your favourite colour(s), delegate to someone else or do some research on colour and end up in a myriad of theories and suggestions around colour psychology?  Are you Blue for Trust or Red for Passion? Perhaps you don’t go for that approach and just do what feels right?  Surely, however you choose your branding and your door colours the important thing is that you like it, it establishes your brand and you believe it will work for your potential customers.  Looking around the self storage industry it would seem that all the primary colours have been used in a combination of ways successfully and whilst other retail sectors colour choices impact us (think high street, fast food, & supermarkets for example) the self-storage operator also knows that their location is priority over what colour the self-storage doors are but that their brand identity beyond location also needs to be seen and recognised.  So to answer some of these questions let’s look at how you can choose your colour.  Here are 3 reasons why there isn’t one right way….

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