Just like any other equipment that you invest in for business and commercial purposes, your mobile homes, RVs, boats, and similar vehicles are investments that need to be protected. They cost a lot of money to procure and it is essential for you to maximize their use and keep them in great working order for a long time. In order to ensure that your investment is protected, you need somewhere safe to store it. The best option for you is a storage solution made especially for these kinds of vehicles.

What are Business and Commercial Storage Solutions?

You may have heard of personal storage solutions wherein you store small items and appliances that do not fit your home. People would often use this kind of storage solution when they move from a bigger house to a smaller house or when they need to relocate to another location on a temporary basis.
Commercial and business storage solutions offer similar services, except that the storage options vary in terms of size and purpose. Some of these solutions could offer spaces for documents and office equipment while there are those that specialize in bigger items such as RVs, boats, and commercial equipment. There are also those that cater to hauling companies and store trailer, 5th Wheel, & ATV units.

Why Use a Business and Commercial Storage Solution?

The obvious reason is that it is more expensive to buy or rent a piece of property specifically for storing the autos & trucks and commercial equipment that you use in your business. Your vehicles and equipment will also depreciate at a much faster rate if they are not properly stored. You need a business and commercial storage solution if you wish to realize the profits that you projected when you bought your vehicles and equipment.
To illustrate further, here are some of the risks that your autos & trucks and commercial equipment could be exposed to when you do not have a dedicated storage space for them:
1. Bumps, dents, and scratches – vehicles parked along the streets or anywhere else where they are not supposed to be are at risk of being hit by other vehicles, by flying objects, and by passersby. The damage that these accidents can result in could be as simple as a scuff mark on your paint job to as serious as a total wreck coming from a fallen tree. Even if you have a huge commercial vehicle, it does not mean that its size makes it immune to damage.
2. Vandalism – you cannot discount the possibility of vandals turning their attention to your company vehicles and commercial equipment. They can paint their gang sign or motto onto the sides of your delivery vans or rip out the advertising tarps on your mobile billboards. The can even deflate or steal the tires of your entire fleet and affect your delivery schedule.
3. Threat of being stolen – when you leave your vehicles and equipment in areas that do not have security guards and CCTV cameras, you are putting them at risk of being stolen. At best, the thieves could just steal a few items inside the vehicles and not run away with your vehicles. Still, whatever they steal would most likely worth some amount of money. Furthermore, the hassle of reporting the whole incident, making a case about it, and filing for your insurance claim is more trouble than you wish to deal with.

What You Will Enjoy with Commercial Storage Solutions

If you have company autos & trucks, boats, RV and motorhome units, trailer, 5th wheel & ATV trucks, and commercial equipment, you can benefit from renting space in commercial and business storage facilities. You get better security and protection for your vehicles and equipment. You also have the flexibility of choosing a storage solution depending on your own specific needs.
Take a look at the following pros of using a commercial storage facility:
1. You can choose how big your storage will be – unlike personal storage facilities where the spaces are pre-built in fixed sizes, business and commercial storage spaces can be configured based on your requirements. You can even scale up or down when your needs change.
2. You still get easy access to your items – you can easily retrieve your stored items easily using the access key or card provided to you. There are some facilities that give you access to your storage unit so you do not have to rely on their personnel to access your items.
3. You can be sure that your equipment and vehicles are secure and protected – storage solutions facilities have their own security personnel and equipment so that your stored items are protected from thieves and vandals. You can rest easy that you will not lose your investments to these criminal elements. Some storage facilities also offer insurance coverage for your stored items in case of a disaster or a calamity. This gives you peace of mind knowing that your items are kept safe and secure.

Storing Small Items

Big items such as RVs and boats are not the only things you can store in a commercial and business storage. You can also use their facilities to store smaller items such as office chairs and other supplies. They have mini storage units available for such instances. Small items that you can store inside mini storage units can include computers, office equipment, and backup data storage. Note that not all facilities offer backup data storage so be sure to check with them first.

Protect Your Investments

There’s great value in choosing to use business and commercial storage solutions. Whether you have personal RV and motorhome units for rent, a set of trailers, 5th wheel and ATV units, or a fleet of refrigerated delivery trucks your food service business, a business and commercial storage facility is the right choice for you. It is convenient and cost-effective. It is practical yet flexible. Assess your storage requirements and get a quote for the amount of space that you need to store your business vehicles and commercial equipment.

The self-storage industry has boomed in the last few decades. In 2009, the United States had about 46,000 storage facilities out of 58,000 units across the world. The number keeps increasing as more and more people opt to store their personal belongings or business products in rented spaces instead of stacking them in the basement, attic, or garage.
There are four primary reasons why storage spaces have become widely popular — dislocation, downsizing, divorce, and death. All these require space to store essential and memorable possessions.
If you have a place to build a storage facility or the chance to own a building, this can be a lucrative business for you. Whether you are a new entrepreneur or already in this business, you need customers to sustain your venture. And if you want to be successful, you need to constantly attract customers and keep existing tenants.

Here are some factors you need to consider:

Storage Units

The basic requirement is a facility which offers units that can cater to all kinds of storing needs. The units should have a variety of sizes to accommodate small to bulk amount of items.
Storage units must be well-kept. The walls should be painted regularly, gutters kept unclogged, and roofs made leak-proof. Customers want their valuable possessions safe and secured at all times.
Make sure to install the latest security system in every unit. This includes individual door alarms and closed-circuit television (CCTV).
For expensive and priceless possessions such as paintings, furniture, electronic equipment, and musical instruments, customers would definitely want to rent climate-controlled units.

Add-on Features

If you want to be at par or surpass your competitors in the self-storage industry, offer add-on features that can lure customers to choose your company. A one-stop self-storage facility is a great idea.
Here are some of the possible amenities and services you can offer:

Parking Space

People who are new in the area and living in apartments without a garage can have the option to rent parking space in your storing facility. It is less costly instead of renting a private garage. You can offer a daily, weekly, or monthly parking service to your customers. If you have a huge building, you can even offer space for yachts, boats and RVs. It will be more convenient to rent out self-storage units and parking space in one location.

24-Hour Access

This is for business owners who need to access their goods for inventory and delivery purposes. It is crucial for home-based entrepreneurs and business companies who have availed of self-storage units to have constant access to their products as part of their daily operations.
You can offer free WiFi service, install business centers, or provide delivery acceptance.

Online and Auto-Bill Payments

This is beneficial for customers who are stationed or need to relocate overseas. You can offer flexible lease arrangements such as monthly rental services and pre-payment discounts. If they opt for monthly payment, having an online and auto-bill payment system in place is ideal.

Moving Services & Packing Supplies

Truck rentals can benefit those who don’t have car to transfer their personal possessions to their rented self-storage unit. It is especially advantageous for students who are moving out of their dorms temporarily. With transport and packing supplies available, they can get a hassle-free transfer of their belongings. Likewise, offering student discounts is very much appreciated — you’ll up your chances that they’ll choose you over other self-storage facilities.
Whether you are new to the self-storage industry or you want to market your business to a wider range of clients, it is vital to stand out among the rest. Here are some of marketing strategies you can apply to make your self-storage business a success:

Create and establish your brand.

Every business needs an image, a brand, and/or an identity that sets it apart from the rest. Your brand becomes more established when you are able to provide not just the ideal leasing units but also by providing high-quality and exemplary service. You can do this by analyzing which service or feature is your unique selling point or USP. For example, you might be the only self-storage facility in the area to offer parking spaces or delivery services as add-ons. Capitalize on that so you can differentiate your business from your competitors.

Know your market.

Identify your target customers. You want to attract the right tenants. Of course, you like customers who can afford your rates but it’s also good to attract people who are amiable and follow your leasing rules. You want happy, satisfied customers to spread your excellent services to their friends and relatives.

Advertise your business.

You can use various advertising methods to promote your business — print, radio, TV, or the yellow. You can choose to have well-crafted messages sent through direct mail or email.

Create your company website.

Making your presence felt virtually is crucial. People are constantly searching for solutions and answers to all their needs, including self-storage facilities. Potential customers search the Web and make choices based on the services, rates, and customers reviews that they read on the Internet. Ensure that you have all the information you want people to know about your self-storage business, especially your contact details. Responding promptly to their queries won’t hurt either.

Distribute fliers.

This conventional method of promoting your business is still one of the most effective in terms of attracting prospective customers. Hand out flyers that show your business logo, information of your services, unit sizes, phone numbers, address, and contact person. Include a detailed map to help them locate your place.

Offer referral incentives.

Create a pool of “marketers” who will refer your self-storage facility to potential tenants. Giving them a percentage for every unit rented by the customer they bring is an ideal incentive.

Give out special discounts.

People will always love discounts. Attract prospective customers by offering special discounts to new customers or loyalty rewards for regular customers.

Harness the power social media.

Aside from your own company website, reach out to potential clients through Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+. Update your social media accounts with posts containing positive reviews of your customers or articles that talk about the benefits of renting self-storage units. You can use your social media accounts to interact with your current and future clientele as well.

Check back and follow up on existing and prospective customers.

Ensure that you have regular communication with your past and regular tenants. Send customized holiday cards as a subtle strategy to remind them of your services.
The self-storage industry is fast becoming a saturated and competitive one, given the booming population and the rising premiums on space. Be one step ahead of your competitors and learn to attract more prospective customers by using the above mentioned strategies.

Having a self-storage space for large family heirlooms, recreational activity gears, or any excess furniture that are taking a lot of space in your house seems an ideal and trendy approach these days. Over 50, 000 self-storage facilities are budding all over the US.

Here’s something to remember though, when it comes to renting storage units

Tacoma’s top facilities can be expensive, especially for those on a tight budget.

To allot a chunk of budget for storage rent is a leap and needs to be justified by utilizing the space and making sure that the need to rent one is necessary in the first place.

Sort it out

The first step before considering a self-storage unit is to sort out your house. Make a list of the major furniture that you want to set aside then picture each room without it. After that, declutter and reorganize each room. Chances are, you already have more space in your house and the excess valuables can either be put in a storage space or a yard sale.

Sort out what’s valuable and what’s not. Many tend to hoard and get emotionally attached to their possessions that can cause their homes to look jammed or crowded. Note that if you are planning store a furniture only to keep it boxed after taking it home again, it has to go.

Find the right unit

After finalizing the furniture or stuff needed to be stored, you need to look for the appropriate kind of unit. Search for right storage unit that is good for your crafts and arts collection, or seasonal household supplies, recreational and lawn furniture, or even antiques. There are a number of storage types like indoor, outdoor, standard, heated, and climate-controlled spaces that will not damage your belongings.

Do not settle once you find a self-storage facility near your home. Search for all the self-storage units near you and compare their price range. If possible, you can even search for areas that offers low-cost rent spaces with larger units.

Size up your options

Note that the smaller the storage unit, the more money one can possibly save. After finding a reasonable priced-facility, drop by and see it for yourself. Picture how you can pile up your furniture. Use your Tetris game skills and plan on making it a puzzle with every space filled from top to bottom.

Measure the length and width of your belongings and plan on categorizing each stuff that can safely be placed at the bottom.

Negotiate

Finding a reasonable price is a step but negotiating to make it more affordable is another. Avoid settling on what’s on the paper and inquire if there are lower rates other than the ones they advertised. Justify why your request is needed. Not all prices are fixed and make sure to tally the price range.

Share the space

Consider sharing the space. Ask your friends, a relative, or co-workers who are also planning to rent a storage space. In this case, you can rent larger units that meet both of your desired budget.

Store it elsewhere

If you have large furniture or household supplies that are quite big, try lending it to a friend or a relative. You can also post an ad online to have your recreational equipment rented. This can be your time to be creative and acquire an entrepreneurial attitude. Turn your excess belongings into events equipment for extra income. If there’s really no room in your house, who says it has to stay there ‘always’?

Just note to store your most used belongings near the entrance of your storage units or somewhere that is easier to access. Pile up your belongings in a way that is convenient for you. If you constantly rearrange the piles in your storage, it might eventually damage or break some of the equipment.

Look for perks

As you negotiate for a lower rent rate, inquire or search if they are offering discount storage units. Tacoma’s biggest storage firms offer specials or discounts for students, the military, or members of certain organizations. Some even offer discounts for recreational items like kayaks and boat gears.

Ask for free racks and compartments. Make use of the occasional freebies or any perks that make your renting transaction smooth and convenient.

Inquire if you can have a free moving truck or assistance if you pay a few months ahead. There are also coupons or promos that are posted on self-storage websites during certain seasons that you can look forward to.

Box it properly

It is best to box your equipment and compartmentalize those that are irregular in shape or too small. Use bubble wraps on fragile antiques or glassware and make sure to put them on top of the pile. You can wrap fragile lamps, figurines, or porcelain items in old newspaper. Make sure that all items are dry before packing. At times, the ink on the newspaper can be transferred on your delicate glass wares.

It is a must that you label each box and categorize before moving on whether they are fragile or not. Place moth balls and insect repellant sprays in the storage units to ensure that rodents or insects won’t damage your belongings. If possible, place a dehumidifier in the unit.

Make an inventory

Make sure you have an inventory of everything that you put on the storage unit. You can make one while boxing and labelling your equipment, as well as when placing things in your storage unit. This can be helpful when categorizing your items based on weight.

This way, you can also monitor the items you take out or add in. It may be a tedious habit but knowing you have all your equipment on a checklist after the renting period can be a relief.

Have it ensured

Lastly, look for a storage facility that offers insurance for your items, especially if you have high-value items or antiques. If you’ll be renting storage units, Tacoma’s best facilities should be able to protect your personal items – providing assurance that everything is covered for cases of fire, theft, storms, or other accidents.

Marketing a self storage rental for businesses and organizations is often done using online channels and general advertising practices these days. But, there are other ways to make it known that such self storage rentals exist.

How to Market a Storage Rental for Businesses and Organizations

Here are some great examples of what can be done to get word out about such services:

1. Community marketing – community marketing can be a great way to help build awareness about self storage rental for businesses and organizations. This is done by getting involved in the activities of the communities near the facility. Self storage rental companies can join nearby community events like local fairs, conferences, town hall meetings, and other gatherings in order to become more visible.

Companies can also try holding events or sponsoring events within the storage rental premises and invite the members of the business community so that they can see the facilities. It will be good to have people who are known in the business community and are considered to be influential in the guest list. If these people like what they see, they would not only avail of the services but also endorse or recommend them to their peers.

2. Sponsoring events – many events are held every day and getting word out about self storage rentals can easily be done by sponsoring one or several of these events. This, of course, will require the company to spend money. A good way to address the budget issue is to work out an exchange deal with the event organizers.

Free services or fee waivers could be offered in exchange for having a booth in the event where the company’s representatives can connect with the attendees and gather leads. Ideal for these sponsorships are events where owners and ultimate decision makers of businesses and organizations that are most likely to need self storage facilities are present.

3. Referral marketing
– the idea behind referral marketing is to have existing customers help in finding new customers for the self storage rental company. This can often be done for only a fraction of the budget that is required for full on marketing campaigns. What the self storage company needs to do is to provide incentives that will encourage customers to refer the company to their family, friends, and colleagues.

In any referral marketing campaign, the quality of the company’s services and the perceived value of the incentives are critical elements. The customers need to be satisfied with the services that they are getting. At the same time, the incentives have to be attractive enough to compel the customers to actually give referrals. Some companies give free items while some offer discounts and free services to referring customers.

4. Traditional advertising – companies with advertising budget can choose to buy spots in traditional tri-media. A short mention from the local TV news anchor or a local radio DJ would be a good idea. Choosing the time slots when business owners and organization leaders are listening would also make the ad more effective.

Companies that wish to advertise would have to consider the production side as well. TV and radio ads, for instance would require writing a script and hiring talents. Companies would have to spend time and effort to come up with their advertising materials.

5. Promotions – probably the simplest way to market companies that offer self storage rental for businesses and organizations is to hold promotions. These could also be quite costly. Depending on the available budget, advertising can be done through various channels. Flyers, posters, and brochures can be printed for display and distribution.

Promotions can be in the form of general campaigns as in billboard ads, posters in the lobbies of business buildings, print ads in leading newspapers, pop up internet ads, etc. They can also be done more strategically as targeted campaigns like direct mail special discount offers and business organization newsletter ad placements.

6. Printed materials – omnibus posters and flyers can be printed out for distribution to various audiences. Flyers can be left in take-one racks at convenience stores, bookstores, furniture stores, home depots, and other places where people usually go. Posters can be displayed in community bulletin boards, school announcement boards, and similar locations. To distinguish the brand from all the other companies using the same marketing channel, a self storage rental company should ensure that his printed materials are well-designed and strategically displayed.

7. Freebies and giveaways – unlike fast moving consumer goods like food, clothes, and gadgets, self storage rental for businesses and organizations do not have any tangible product that they can give as free samples to organizations. To help promote their brand, companies can give out pens, hats, t-shirts, caps, and other promotional items. Aside from the company logo, the complete company details should be printed on the promotional items so that businesses and organizations can easily call or visit if they have inquiries.

All-occasion gifts to business owners, organization officers, and ultimate decision makers can also be given. Corporate gifts and tokens are likewise popular during special events and holidays like Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. The gift does not have to be extremely expensive. More importantly, it has to be something that will be useful to the recipient and something that will make them remember the brand.

It is important to note that some companies have gift giving policies that prevents employees and officers from receiving gifts. There are some that allow gifts that exceed a maximum value as set in their policies.

8. Tie ups and partnerships with moving companies – moving companies can help build a clientele for self storage rentals. Their own clients would most likely have the need for storage services as well. These clients are usually those who are downsizing or relocating their offices. Such a tie up could entail giving commissions for every new customer that is referred by the moving company.
Partnerships and tie ups can also extend the reach of the advertising efforts of companies offering self storage rental for businesses and organizations. These businesses can arrange to have their logos and corporate information appear in each other’s promotional materials.

9. Social media marketing – this is one of the more popular ways to market various businesses these days. It is relatively inexpensive, yet flexible enough to serve the specific needs of each company. For companies offering self storage rental for businesses and organizations, having a social media marketing officer would be a good idea. This officer will take care of all the social media activities of the company and its target audience. He will also be responsible for conceptualizing, implementing, and monitoring various social media campaigns to generate leads and eventually increase the number of customers availing of the self storage rentals.

Just like any other business, a self storage rental should have a well-thought of marketing plan. Not all marketing initiatives are effective for all self storage rentals. Choosing the ways to market the company would have to depend on what its business goals are.

How to Invest in Self-storage

No matter how hard people deny it, there’s a bit of a hoarder in everyone. Somehow, a lot of people just cannot resist the urge to buy stuff and hold on to them for a long time. Even when some of these items have already gone beyond their usefulness, they are still kept for sentimental reasons or maybe in hopes that they can be used again someday.
The penchant of a lot of people to hold on to things that they do not necessarily need at the moment has helped the self-storage industry stay afloat. Even during the times of recession, self-storage still managed to get profits unlike other forms of real estate.

Why Invest in Self-storage

A self-storage business is a good investment to put your money in. It belongs to an industry that is not affected adversely by economic swings. It’s also a business that does not require a lot of operational processes and capital infusion. You only need a piece of real estate property, storage containers, and a secure perimeter for this business. For those who do not want to run a self-storage business themselves, investing in self-storage companies would be a good option.
During recessions, when people are downsizing their homes, self-storage facilities remain to be high in demand. In most cases, it is cheaper to store their stuff inside self-storage facilities rather than to try to cram everything in a small apartment. Besides, it would be expensive to look for a bigger apartment just to accommodate all the accumulated furniture, fixtures, and other miscellaneous items.

On the other hand, when the economy is doing well, people tend to turn to storage facilities for excess items that result from their increased ability to purchase more goods. The more the buy and the less they throw away or give to others, the more they need additional space in which to store their items.
Experts in investing predict that the demand for self-storage units and facilities will remain high in the coming years. Anyone engaged in the self-storage business and those who have put their money into these businesses are in for great returns.

Opportunities to Invest in Self-Storage

There are many ways for you to tap into this market and cash in on its gains. Here are a couple:

• Stock Investment – The easiest way is for you to buy shares of stocks of publicly listed self-storage facilities. This works like any other stock investment. You simply have to contact a broker to look for a viable self-storage company where you can invest your money in. If this is your first time to invest in stocks, ask the broker to run you through an introduction to the rudiments of investing. This way, you have an idea about what to expect especially when it comes to risks, returns, and investment amount involved.
Carefully study the risks of investing in stocks and be wise about your choices. This goes for your choice of broker as well. He should be able to give you credible information about the stocks that you are about to purchase. You should also do your own research on the financial viability of the self-storage company you are planning to invest in.
Try buying stocks of well-known storage facilities to ensure that you are getting stocks that have high rate of returns. Well-known storage facilities, unlike smaller companies, have facilities all over the world. So even if one facility get compromised, there are still more places where they get income. Stocks of well-known storage facilities are also more stable than smaller up and coming companies.

Take note of the amount of time within which you can reap the gains. There are some stocks take a number of years to make substantial gains. Ask about lock-in periods within which you cannot liquidate your stocks or recover your investment. There could also be restrictions when it comes to selling these stocks to realize your gains. It is best to find out what these restrictions are as well as the penalties and options you have for cashing in or opting out of the investment.

• Owning a self-storage facility – You can build a self-storage facility yourself. If you have a piece of property somewhere that’s just sitting empty, why not convert it to a self-storage facility? A self-storage facility takes less cost to build than a set of apartments. It also requires very little maintenance. This means there is no need to hire a full maintenance crew. In some cases, all you will need is one or two caretakers.
Building a self-storage facility is a more economical way to earn income from your real estate property. There is also no need to spruce up the place once the last tenant moves their stuff out. You do not need to hire an interior decorator to make the space beautiful. Just clean it up and place a for rent ad online. The turnover rate for self-storage facilities is also lower as people tend to hold on to their containers for long periods.

Your Risk Appetite and Investment Personality

Whether you choose to invest in self-storage stocks or set up your own self-storage business, there are always risks involved. It could be quite difficult for you if you do not have the heart to take these risks. Make sure that you know what you are getting into and that you are ready to face all the challenges that your choice will bring. The self-storage industry is one where lucrative options abound. It’s up to you to choose which one of these options you are ready to risk your money and resources on.

Self-storage facilities are easy investments that anybody can get into. Whether you choose to invest in an existing company or create your own storage facility will depend on your capacity to invest. You should dedicate ample time and effort into making sure your investment will flourish.

Think also about how this investment will affect your day to day spending and the long-term implications. Though there are proofs of success in this kind of investment, nothing is ever full proof. Always be aware of your rights as an investor. Do your research, go with reputable brokers, and take every precaution to protect your investment.