The self storage business evolves like any other business. It changes as consumer demands and needs change, and successful companies anticipate these needs and prepare for them in advance. To that end, there are some indicators you can use to determine when the time is right to expand your operations.
Confirmed news of a new company, university, military base, manufacturing facility, etc. means that the demand for self storage is going to grow when these facilities open their doors. Moreover, if you see that there are a large number of apartments or new homes being built in the area, you can bet your bottom dollar that the need for self storage is going to increase in the immediate future.
Low apartment vacancy rates are a good indication that the need for self storage is high. Conversely, high apartment vacancy rates indicate a lower demand for self storage units. Monitoring these and determining the trends for the area can help you decide when to build new units and what kind of units to build. If you notice that high-end apartments are being filled with ease, then adding specialized, climate-controlled units with top-notch security is a wise investment.
Are your storage facilities filled to the brim? Are you turning away new business because you don’t have the space to offer? If this pattern has developed over the past few months, it’s something you will want to pay attention to. If the pattern is growing stronger and more prevalent, it’s a good idea to look at building new units and expanding the self storage options you offer based on the requests prospective clients are giving you.
A good economy means people are moving and pursuing new career opportunities. A bad economy means they are downsizing and moving many of their possessions into self storage facilities. Thus, it can be tricky to determine which trends you need to pay attention to. The best way is to review the economic history of your self storage business. Doing so will tell you how the changes in the economy have impacted the area in which you operate.
Knowing when to expand is just as important as knowing how to expand. Determining this begins by collecting data on what your clients need. Knowing whether they need RV/Boat Storage, climate-controlled units, portable self storage containers, etc. can help you make the best investments for your business. The best way to collect this data is to record the inquiries made to your business and to take a look at what your competitors are doing.
However, you should be careful not to stretch yourself too thin in areas that you will find difficult to fulfill. For example, if you’re already landlocked, you may not be able to add RV/Boat/ATV storage very easily. However, your self storage business can offer more portable units. The key to successful growth is determining which niches you can fill that will boost your bottom line without stretching your investment and putting your business in jeopardy.
Knowing when to expand a self storage business requires careful research, detailed planning, and solid execution. As with any business, growth should occur in measured steps to ensure that the business’ remains flexible while standing on a solid foundation that can absorb changing market conditions in the future.