These days, no matter what industry we’re talking about - the field is pretty crowded. And that means one thing; the companies who are most ready to adapt to changing circumstances will reap the highest benefits. But staying ahead of the curve isn’t easy, especially when it comes to the effort to stay ahead of your storage competitors. After all, this is a sector with many companies, most of which offer a fairly similar array of services. So, how do you stand out from the crowd? We’ve got a couple of tips on that below!
Knowing the market
For companies in the storage industry, the effort to stay ahead of your storage competitors is a constant difficulty. Indeed, differentiating yourself from the plethora of similar companies is a problem, no matter where you’re situated. If you’re aiming at customers who are interested in storing items in a safe facility, for example; you’ll still have to compete with plenty of other companies to get their attention. But before you can try to sideline the competition, there’s one thing you need to do first: and that’s familiarizing yourself with them.
First and foremost, you need to understand one thing - in the world of business, there’s nothing more valuable than accurate and timely information. Primarily, you need to take a look at your sector from the perspective of the customer.
- Why would a customer browsing storage companies choose you, among all the competition?
- Conversely, why would they opt for someone else instead?
- What makes you stand out from your business rivals?
This is the only way to view the playing field objectively. And that, in turn, is a prerequisite for improving on your flaws and becoming an industry leader.
Knowing the competition
When you take a look at your own company to try and stay ahead of your storage competitors, what you’ll be doing is taking a look at the competitors themselves. In this regard, there’s no room for jealousy or unobjective thinking. For example, you need to take a look at companies such as Neeley's Van and Storage, or other similar storage firms in your given area. That way, you can start to understand what they’ve got on you, and vice versa. That’s the best method of determining what your crucial competitive advantage is; which is something you’ll want to emphasize in the future.
But even more importantly, this will allow you to get to know the larger market, in a view wider than the one you get from just considering your own self-storage facility. Perhaps some of your competitors are interacting with the customer base in a different way than you are; with more or less success.
"It’s always better and less costly to learn from the examples of others, than changing something too radically yourself."
Innovation is key
While we did say that you should take a look at what others are doing, you need to make one key distinction; this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t innovate in the way you do business. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. But you need to take a look at any ways that the competition is straying from the mainstream path - and if they’re failing, avoid their ideas and practices. On the other hand, though; you’d be well advised to always be one step ahead of the others.
"If you want to be an industry leader, even just in your area; you’ll have to be on the forefront of industry innovation. "
We don’t just mean this in a metaphorical sense, either. Meaning that you can’t be afraid to, albeit carefully, experiment with the way you do business. In a more specific example, you need to utilize the newest technologies quicker than the others, and adopt the innovations that allow you to be more practical in your business conduct. Why not try out self-storage cloud software, for example? Or some of the other wonders of the Internet era. These will definitely allow you to reach a wider customer base.
At the end of the day, you need to accept one thing many industry leaders are afraid to say. And that’s the fact that sometimes, customers simply don’t know what they want. Or rather, they do - but while choosing the right company for the job, they can make their choice irrationally. Meaning that they won’t go with the company that might objectively be the most professional; but with the company that leaves them with the strongest lasting impression. And that’s nothing new, or necessarily bad. Really, it’s a fact that rings true for every single consumer-oriented industry out there. To put it simply - marketing yourself intelligently is crucial if you want to stay ahead of your storage competitors.
"No matter how well put-together a marketing campaign is; what you need is to build long-lasting relationships with your customers. "
And while this is a challenge in the storage industry, the solution isn’t just having a great marketing push once a year. Meaning that you should utilize the Internet and all the assorted technologies to remain in constant communication with your average consumer. They need to feel that you’re a company that cares for them beyond the mere business transaction - someone who has their long-term interests in mind.