Self Storage Locations – Some Considerations

When you are looking for a location for a self storage facility, what are the key elements you should consider? There are numerous considerations and I will only touch on a few in this article.

Originally with self storage the most important element of the decision was location as with any retail business and I would say this is still the number one priority today. But what constitutes a good location? This is a subject on its own; however let’s assume you have identified your target town.

In the past a good location would be a highly visible building or site on a busy road, in a built up area with thousands of cars passing the door every day. This would basically become your billboard.

Times have changed to a degree with the dominance of the internet. Although a prime pitch a highly beneficial, you may be able to operate in a more secondary location. The reason or this is that when your customer goes looking for you, they will not be driving, they will be surfing.

Approximately 85% of self storage enquiries are now from the internet.  This is a massive change over the past five years, and with the increase in social media and digital marketing, this trend is only likely to continue. Therefore from a property perspective; you may be able to compromise to a degree on a prime location.

Other digital advances have enabled further flexibility with location, for example the use of Sat Nav. These days it is not an issue finding any location; all you do is plug in the postcode it and the gadget will take you there!

However let’s not forget the benefit of highly visible locations acting as an advertising hoarding. Self storage buildings are big, and provide the first impression to a potential customer. They help to create your brand.

Once you have identified a potential location there are a number of issues you need to look at before making that commitment.

These are numerous but in this article one of the obvious ones includes access. This might seem quite straight forward, but let’s say you are on a busy urban dual carriageway, is the traffic going too fast to turn into your business off the road? Can customers turn in from both sides of the road, or do they see you and then have to go down the road, turn round and come back?

Also do you have a location that everyone can see, but no one can get to? For example, can you be seen from a flyover, or a motorway? Although sat nav may help, it makes life easier if the access to your store is obvious and easy.

Another consideration is the location of your competitors. This is a subject that will be considered in depth in future articles, but if your potential customers have to drive past your competitor to get to I am sure they would do what I would do, and get a price off them as well.

You may have done everything right in terms of your marketing, even taken the reservation, but then the customer is driving to the store and they see your competitor, they make a drive in enquiry. Even worse they mistake your competitor for you and move in there. This happens!

Location decisions are vital to the success of a self-storage business, and they go much further than just whether the business has good street presence and the building is the right size. I will be looking at this issue in more detail in future articles, but you cannot consider too much with location, because it is the one thing you can’t change!

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