Self Storage is little different to other businesses when it comes to natural disaster, except for one major difference…
Self Storage facilities are called upon in time of civil emergency. Self Storage Startup reveals the top 5 points to consider when you’re preparing for a local disaster.
Prepare your facility
- Make sure your facility is ready. It’s hard to help others if your own house is not in order. If the disaster impacts your site, customers will deluge you with enquiries about their goods.
- Communicate early. If you’re closed, send an email blast to all of your customers and put a prominent message on your website and social media.
- Check your insurances. Make sure you’re covered for floods, fires, earthquakes, and all other natural disasters, not just for your own protection but for the protection of the goods you store.
- Understand customers will be anxious. Customers first thoughts turn to their family and loved ones, and then their possessions, so make sure you show empathy and understanding towards them while they’re anxious.
- Back up everything on the Cloud. Using web based software, like SiteLink, means data is stored in the Cloud. Ensure all agreements are electronically stored. This will pay off if your own office is damaged or destroyed.
Now that you have your own site sorted out, you can turn your attention to your customer’s needs.
Here are our top 5 tips to be ready for customers.
Prepare for customer needs
- Have good stocks of boxes. In times of floods, Self Storage sites are asked for boxes and cartons. In the 2013 Brisbane floods, many Self Storage sites ran out of boxes and some sites received over 100 calls per hour.
- Update your website and socials fast. Make it clear you have boxes and other suitable materials and that you have immediate dry storage spaces available, but be careful not to overpromise.
- Tell the media. Let local radio and TV know you have boxes and are ready to help victims and those in need.
- Offer temporary help. Offer local service organisations storage space to assist their recovery efforts.
- Advertise widely that you’re open and have dry, clean space. Many don’t know about storage until an event triggers their need, so make sure you match the need with your visibility by advertising. Consider a temporary, hi-vis variable message display at the front of your site.
Real disasters do happen and Self Storage sites need to be ready. Currently as this story is published, Houston has over 200 Self Storage sites closed. The impact of those closures is yet to be felt.
To read more about what the Houston Self Storage community is doing click here: http://www.insideselfstorage.com/blogs/iss-blog/2017/09/selfstorage-businesses-impacted-rally-in-wake-of-hurricane-harvey.aspx/