How Digital Labels can Improve Your Storage Unit Business
A storage unit business can be easy to operate. However, there are still ways to enhance it using digital labels and label management systems.
Storage units, or self-storage, is a rapidly growing industry today. A storage unit business is easy to manage, requires minimal staff, and doesn't require high costs to start or operate. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't put more effort into your business. You need to find more ways to enhance your operations. And you need to find ways to provide maximum satisfaction to your customers as the competition becomes tougher. As a storage unit owner, you need to consider modern solutions such as SOLUM digital labels.
What is the status of storage unit businesses?
At a glance, the self-storage or storage unit business industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S., with growth over the past decade of nearly 10%. According to Mordor Intelligence, the global self-storage market size, on the other hand, is estimated at USD 58.26 billion in 2023. It is expected to reach USD 72.15 billion by 2028.
This growth in the industry is driven by the continued need for individuals and even businesses to have convenient and safe access to their supplies and equipment for short- or long-term commercial storage. It's also fueled by more entrepreneurs breaking into the industry as owning or operating a storage unit business can be inexpensive and straightforward, making it a lucrative endeavor.
From self-storage units to traditional commercial warehouse rentals, the self-storage business is flourishing. However, it's also important to note that, unlike traditional warehousing, self-storage unit businesses offer better and more diverse options for storage space size and pricing plans for individuals and businesses. Self-storage unit facilities and businesses are widely popular in countries in North America and Western Europe.
Lately, there has also a trend from storage unit owners and operators offering various storage unit solutions. This includes digital labels and RFID reader technology, allowing for a more automated and secure way of protecting and managing the goods held onsite. Increasingly, small and medium-sized businesses are joining the trend and transitioning to digital-label technology as a means of ensuring their valuable products remain safe and secure. With this rapidly developing industry, big data and analytics are making it easier than ever to gain insights into the latest storage trends and solutions.
What are the common challenges that storage unit business owners face?
Finding the right (accessible) location
One of the unique challenges facing storage unit businesses is finding the right location. As most self-storage businesses are already located in urban, densely populated areas, finding a location that is accessible to the masses—without being in the middle of competition—is hard.
Spacious parking is also necessary to make it easy for customers to access and load their storage unit. An adequate number of loading docks must be installed, along with wide entryways, to allow for easy access to the storage units. Making sure that there is enough room to navigate large moving trucks and other vehicles in and out of the facility to pick up/drop off a storage unit is key.
Additionally, providing effective lighting, security cameras, and easy to read signage that will help customers access your facility is important.
Another common challenge storage unit business owners face is security. With multiple people coming and going, it’s important to make sure the area is secure and there is always someone monitoring the facility. Business owners will need to invest in state-of-the-art security systems. This includes CCTV cameras, motion sensors, alarm systems, and maybe even smart security systems, to reduce the likelihood of theft and other malicious crimes.
Additionally, self storage businesses should offer 24/7 monitoring services. A code-entered access system can also help ensure that only the people who rent the storage unit have entrance into the building. Taking these measures can not only provide peace of mind to you as a business owner, but to your customers as well.
Pricing can be a tricky subject for storage unit business owners as well. There are many factors involved that may affect how much a storage unit for rent should cost. It requires owners to consider not only their overhead costs, but also the market rate in the region of the unit, storage unit availability, and other relevant factors.
Moreover, pricing should be updated periodically to stay ahead of inflation, and competitors. It is important to keep pricing competitive, while still making a profit. When making decisions about setting prices, many business owners struggle to find the right balance between keeping their customers happy and still making ends meet.
As a self storage unit business owner, maintenance is also one of the top priorities. There are various maintenance issues that come along with renting out storage spaces. From general cleaning of the area to emergency repairs and upkeep, to humidity or water damage, it can be a juggling act trying to keep storage units in good condition while still renting them out.
In addition to cleaning and repair, another common maintenance challenge storage unit business owners have is pests, rodents, and other nuisance animals. They can easily creep into self storage units, cause damage, or leave behind odors. Having a plan in place to routinely inspect and maintain your storage units for rent can help mitigate the cost and hassle of dealing with these issues.
Customer Service Challenges
And of course, customer service is also a big challenge for storage unit business owners. Staying on top of customers’ needs is necessary for the growth and reputation of self storage businesses. When customers need to rent a storage unit, get answers to their questions, check availability, or have a specific feature or service, they expect to have their issues addressed quickly and professionally. It can be difficult to offer quality customer service while trying to manage a busy business. To ensure customers are satisfied with their experience, storage unit business owners should make customer service a priority and invest resources in personnel and technologies to streamline the process.
How can digital labels improve storage unit business operations?
Fortunately, SOLUM digital label solutions can aid storage unit business owners and their daily operations. SOLUM ESL has developed the Newton Sub-Giga specifically for industrial settings. It works best in factories, warehouses, and distribution centers, and it can help self-storage unit businesses thrive as well.
The SOLUM Newton Sub-Giga is a powerful digital label solution made for large-scale commercial use. With high-speed data transmission and a low-interference connection, every digital label or signage in place will be able to communicate with each other and process data even with obstructions in the environment. This means that for storage unit businesses, digital labels will be able to function seamlessly for more automated, accurate, and secure management and access to each storage unit.
The Newton Sub-Giga 11.6" can also be the ideal digital label for a storage unit for rent. This is because apart from its bigger size, it also boasts Newton technology, and other features like Full Graphic E-ink Display technology, 3-page capacity, 7-color LED blinking indicator, fast update speed, two programmable multifunctional buttons, and up to 5-year battery life.
Here's how digital labels like the Newton Sub-Giga can help improve self-storage operations:
1. It's more accurate and detailed
Digital labels, such as the Newton Sub-Giga, can display accurate information for clients and the storage facility staff. Since it has a capacity of three pages, the Newton Sub-Giga can display essential information including the storage unit number, the current client or rentee, their current pricing plan, the nature of the storage whether it's personal or business, and more. This can help the staff better manage every storage unit and ensure correct access and security.
2. It can help automate operations
The Newton Sub-Giga is more than enough to help you streamline storage unit operations by automating certain processes. Instead of manually updating physical storage labels, facility owners or managers can centrally manage and control the digital displays. This saves a lot of time and effort. You can easily update the labels of vacated and empty storage units, update pricing plans, add essential information to displays, and more.
The interactive LED blinking light can also be programmed to help notify the staff regarding cleaning or upkeep duties. This way, you'll be able to regularly inspect and maintain every storage unit in your facility.
3. It can reduce the administrative burden
Once operations are automated and streamlined, it makes way for better time management for owners or other staff. It reduces administrative burden, all the while giving them the power to perform other urgent or priority tasks.
4. It contributes to branding and professionalism
Digital labels and signage also contribute to a modern and professional image of a self-storage business. You want your customers and prospects to know that you have implemented modern solutions to help manage storage units better. This enhances the overall customer experience and builds trust with clients.
5. It's a sustainable option
Adopting digital labels and signage in self-storage facilities can also reduce paper usage and carbon footprint. Your storage business will be able to reduce any waste associated with traditional printed materials and contribute to a more environmentally friendly operation. Newton Sub-Giga is also known to last up to five years with an IP67 rating, which means it's long-lasting, water-resistant, and dustproof.
6. It can add to analytics and data collection
Newton labels can be powered by Aims (Advanced Information Management System), which can then be used to create reports and analytics. It can help gather data on customer interactions, such as the most viewed or opened storage, or the peak visiting hours for customers. This information helps facility owners make informed decisions and optimize their operations, as well as their marketing strategies.
A storage unit facility is a profitable business. And with the help of digital labels, you can take your business further and provide a better service for your clients.
Talk to SOLUM today and get started on a digital label solution for your storage unit business.