Joining self-storage associations, attending events, and participating in online forums are some great ways to connect to the industry! If you want to start a self-storage business, we’d like to help you along the way. All businesses start with an idea. And turning your idea into a product or service requires research, planning, and execution! We know that there is a lot of information out there. To help you get started with your research and information gathering, Boxwell is creating a content series of blogs to go over the many aspects of how to start a self-storage business.
Welcome to the first topic for our content series: Associations, Events, and Forums!
As a new business owner, you’ll want to join the self-storage community of owners. And there are several steps you can take. In fact, as we started digging into this specific topic for our content series, it was amazing how much information we found. This week’s post will go over the plethora of places you can connect with the community of self-storage owners and operators. Everyone likes their information a certain way. And there are several options for researching and gathering information for your business endeavors. Whether it’s through storage associations and groups, events, or online forums or publications, the information is out there!
The first thing you can do is connect with the self-storage associations. These groups can offer you resources to help with networking, education, and exposure for your self-storage business. There are several associations and publications available to self-storage owners. There are national, regional, and state self-storage associations. Overall, joining these associations can help you stay informed, connected, and engaged in the self-storage industry, which can ultimately help you build a more successful business. Some of the most prominent associations include:
Inside Self Storage (ISS) is a media company that provides news, information, and resources to professionals in the self-storage industry. They also produce a monthly magazine, online articles, and webinars. Basically, it’s a community of self-storage professionals, including facility owners, operators, managers, investors, developers, and suppliers. ISS offers resources and services to its members. So, things like, educational events, industry news and analysis, marketing and advertising opportunities, research and reports, and networking opportunities. For current news and industry-related blog posts, check out the ISS News page and the ISS Blog page. They recently held their annual Inside Self-Storage World Expo. Be sure to sign up for next year!
The Self Storage Association (SSA) serves as a resource for industry professionals by providing education and networking opportunities, as well as advocating for the self-storage industry at the national and state levels. The organization also conducts research on industry trends and best practices. Membership in the SSA is open to self-storage owners, operators, developers, investors, suppliers, and other professionals who are interested in the industry. Here’s the link to join. The SSA hosts an annual conference and trade show, where members can learn about the latest industry trends, network with other professionals, and attend educational sessions on topics such as marketing, technology, and legal issues. For current news and industry-related blog posts, check out the SSA News page and the SSA Blog page. They just held the Self Storage Association’s National Spring Conference and Trade Show.
Joining self-storage associations can help with the following:
Networking: Associations and events provide an opportunity to network with other professionals in the industry. Networking can lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.
Education: Associations and events often offer educational programs and resources that can help you stay up to date with industry trends and best practices. This can help you improve your business and better serve your customers.
Advocacy: Associations often advocate on behalf of the industry, working to shape public policy and promote the interests of self-storage businesses. By joining an association, you can help support these efforts and have a voice in important issues affecting the industry.
Exposure: Participating in industry events and associations can help increase your visibility and exposure within the industry. This can help you build your brand, attract new customers, and establish yourself as a thought leader in the field.
There are also state level self-storage associations. Joining a self-storage association in your state can help enhance your credibility in the industry. It shows that you are committed to staying informed, engaging with your peers, and supporting the growth of the self-storage industry in your state. Plus, some state level self-storage associations offer discounts on products and services that are useful for self-storage owners and operators. For example, they may negotiate discounts on insurance, security systems, or rental software.
In addition to associations and groups to join, there are trade publications with great articles and advertising opportunities. Here are some trade publications in the self-storage industry:
- Inside Self-Storage
- Mini-Storage Messenger
- Self-Storage Now!
- Self-Storage Canada
- SSA Magazine (Self-Storage Association)
- Storage Business Owners Alliance (SBOA) Newsletter
- Self-Storage Almanac (MiniCo Publishing)
Self-storage industry events, such as conferences and trade shows, are great opportunities to meet other self-storage owners and learn more about the industry. Look for events hosted by industry national or state associations. Attending industry conferences and trade shows can also be a great way to connect with other self-storage owners. These events often offer educational sessions, networking opportunities, and a chance to learn about new industry trends and technologies.
Self-Storage Association Annual Conference & Trade Show is held annually and brings together self-storage owners, operators, and vendors from around the world to network, learn about industry trends, and discover new products and services. Check out the SSA Events Calendar.
The Inside Self Storage World Expo event offers a wide range of educational seminars, keynote presentations, and networking opportunities for self-storage professionals. Check out the ISS Events Calendar.
National Portable Storage Association Conference and Trade Show. This event is specifically geared towards portable storage companies, but self-storage owners can also benefit from attending. Here is the NPSA Events Calendar.
Here are just a few of the many state-level events:
- FSSA Lunch & Learn in Tampa, Florida / May 2023
- NCSSA Seminar in Cornelius, North Carolina / May 2023
- Great Lakes Owners Summit and Expo in Chicago, Illinois / June 2023
- ORSSA Annual Meeting in Salem, Oregon / June 2023
- NMSSA Annual Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico / September 2023
- Executive Ski Workshop in Whistler, BC / January 2024
We get it, you’re busy! Starting a self-storage business takes a lot of planning and work. So, it’s great that there are several free online resources that you can participate in when you have time. These online spaces are filled with people sharing their experiences and recommendations to others in the storage industry. You’ll learn about properties for sale, legal advice, best practices, new products, etc. Did you know that there are also a lot of how-to videos available and podcast interviews with industry professionals? Here are some popular online resources to choose from:
Self-Storage Talk: This is a forum run by Inside Self-Storage magazine and is the largest online community of self-storage professionals.
Self-Storage Insider: This is a forum run by SpareFoot, a self-storage marketplace, and is a great place for self-storage owners to discuss marketing and advertising strategies.
Facebook and LinkedIn You can join self-storage owner groups on social media platforms. These groups can provide a platform for discussing industry-related topics and networking with other owners. Here are some popular Facebook groups:
- Self-Storage Income Community
- Self-Storage 101
- Super Simple Self Storage
- Self Storage Zone
- All About Relocatable Storage Units
Self-Storage Reddit: The Self-Storage subreddit is a community where self-storage owners and enthusiasts can share news, tips, and strategies.
Storage Forum: A forum for the SiteLink community. Open to the entire self-storage industry.
As you see, there are several ways to find a community of self-storage owners. With all of the available resources for self-storage owners, it’s easy to gain valuable insights, learn from others, and form meaningful relationships with other owners in the industry. By joining one or more of these resources, you can start building connections with other self-storage owners and becoming a part of the self-storage community. There are a quite a few things you’ll want to research. And there is a lot of great information about how to set up a storage facility.
When starting a self-storage business, the easiest and most cost-effective choices can be the most solid. The future of storage is looking good, and it feels like it’s going to continue to grow. Whether you do the research yourself or get some help from industry experts, the more information you gather, the better prepared you’ll be. Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors, advisors, and fellow entrepreneurs, and don’t be afraid to seek help when needed. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey! Join us next week for our next topic in our content series, “How to Start a Self-Storage Business.”
At the core, Boxwell uses a hands-on approach to business that is carried throughout everything we do. When we need to talk, we pick up the phone. If there are questions, we demo our product. And when we’re intrigued with something new, we give it a try. If a team member needs help, we offer it. When our community needs support, we lend our resources. With compassion and innovative ways of “thinking outside of the box,” anything is possible. That’s our culture.
When building Boxwell, Rod Bolls set out to create a company that prioritizes a balance between working hard and playing hard. He aligns a strong business model with a strong team and a sustainable work environment. To achieve an ideal company culture, Rod nurtures every relationship. For example, this includes customers, partners, vendors, local non-profits, neighborhood sports teams, and museums. Our products include drive-up self-storage units, relocatable self-storage units, portable storage containers, moving containers, and restoration containers.
Boxwell units can help you increase your business’ revenue-generating space with units in a variety of sizes, including our new 10 x 20 units and our 8 x 20 units. Our portable containers and relocatable self-storage units are flexible, stackable, and beautiful! Boxwell is here to ensure that our products help you achieve your business goals.