Valet storage has quickly become an indispensable feature of self-storage businesses. Reading this guide sets you off onto a right path of superior valet storage services.
Valet storage began as a potential competitor to the self-storage industry. Offering a simple customer experience, and often suited for those needing a small amount of space, valet storage has grown into an industry trend. Many self-storage companies either partner with valet service in their area, or incorporate their own valet service. If you’re considering breaking into valet storage, stick with this article - here are some major considerations and helpful tips to set you off in the right direction.
Valet Storage: Is it right for you?
The idea of a valet service in self-storage has been around for a while now, with the basic setup being that customers are given a chosen number of boxes to pack, with those boxes then being picked up and stored at a facility. This differs from the traditional model of renting units for a period of time. Valet storage is a simple but very marketable tweak in the self-storage formula. It has proven to be popular with users in urban areas that might just have a few things to put in storage and don’t require a full unit. Customers who value convenience over anything will definitely be drawn towards this service, and in a post-covid storage world, valet storage might be more popular than ever.
So what are the pros and cons? In short, the pros are quite plentiful:
It's an appealing, easily marketable service that will bring in new customers as well as a selling point to retain customers.
The cons on the other hand are mainly the initial money needed, as well as the overhead costs that will incur throughout its use. You’ll need to rent out trucks, find somewhere to source boxes, as well as start with marketing your valet storage services on an existing website.
If you’re still on the fence about whether valet storage is worth your time and money, here are key things to consider:
A major aspect to think about is whether any of your direct, local competitors offer a valet service. Your customers will always be searching the market for a better deal, so if other self-storage businesses near you offer this service, you don’t want to be left behind. Alternatively, if they don’t offer it, you could see it as a potential unique selling point for your company. Look into why they don’t offer it, and if there’s anything they’re overlooking in not offering a valet service. Local industry trends will be set by your competitors and yourself, so it’s good practice to keep an eye on them anyway.
Feasibility in budget
Of course, you’ll have to consider whether incorporating this service is feasible with the money you currently have to run the business. Depending on how large your operation is, you’ll have to think about whether you can maintain your margins while incurring the costs for maintaining this service. You’ll need trucks, boxes, bins, extra labour costs, and many other extra expenses. Make sure you know how much you’ll need to spend to set it up. We recommend you have a professional perform a solid feasibility study before making any serious investments.
Target audience and demographic
As with many other trends, some customers might not take to it, or think that your standard service is more preferable for them. Depending on where you are, who you serve, and how you serve them, you’ll have to make sure your target demographic actually likes a valet service. Again, urban residents and students are often drawn to this, while customers in a more suburban environment might just prefer normal self-storage. If you don’t do some digging, you’ll just be sinking money that won’t make any back.
Search the market for the best prices
Definitely stating the obvious here, but if you want your new valet service to succeed, you’ll need to find the best place to source the things needed to set it up. Much like your customers, you have to scour the market for the best deal you can get. There will be a large variety of prices, perks, and other considerations while you search, just remember that the lower your expenses are, the larger your eventual profits will be.
Use technology to help you
As with adding any service, there will be an increase in processes, paperwork, and hassle, so using technology to your benefit will keep everything centralised, reducing clutter and making everything much easier. Most management softwares can help with paperwork and other menial tasks, which means you can focus on offering the best service to your customers. Additionally, valet services are super simple to incorporate into your website, making it much more accessible and easy for customers to look into the new offering.
Even with a great product, customers will still want an extra incentive for trying a new service. Knowing that, you should think about how to price the valet service, as opposed to the traditional self-storage. Pricing it lower than the regular service makes it more appealing as a new product, especially when introducing it as an opening offer. The thought is that if there is enough demand, it will still make up the money needed to offer it. Alternatively, pricing it higher means you market it as a premium service. Premium pricing has to reflect the extra utility from this service as opposed to your regular one. These would include the added convenience, added suitability, and added simplicity to the whole process.
Tailor it to your customers
Not to sound like a broken record, but if you want to sell something, you’ll have to consider who you’re selling it to. The tips and considerations given above are all centred around making sure the product suits the customer. For example, if you know valet storage is popular among students, advertise more during the peak times such as during winter and summer break. You could also introduce referral deals or lower prices during these times as well.
Overall, introducing valet service will be at times tricky, but should be rewarding in the long run. Hopefully these tips will help set you onto the right track, so that you can set up a successful and profitable valet storage service at your business.
How Storeganise can help
Storeganise offers both a self-storage and a valet-storage (shown above) customer facing app so that you can offer both services at your company. Using our Operations App, you and your team can manage both services in one system, allowing for more efficient management of orders and deliveries.
Get a firsthand glimpse into what Storeganise can do for you. Book a free demo here.
Related Article: Ancillary Profit Centres in Self-Storage