Week 3: How to select the right size self-storage unit

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ENT 655 Week 3: How to select the right size self-storage unit

 

It is overwhelmed and stressful when you must move and realize you have too much stuff to fit in the new place. So, in waiting for building a new garage or a shed, you need a temporary place to store your household items. The same for a business people when he/she needs to rent a self-storage unit for their inventory. It is essential to know what unit size could meet your needs, the budget, and the location, etc.,

So, to help you save time and money, here are some useful tips about self-storage unit capacity guild before renting one. Please note that how much can a unit hold depends directly on the type and number of items to be stored and the way they are packed and stacked in the unit.

Below is the general unit size guideline:

  • 5 feet by 5 feet (25 square feet): looks like a size of a small walk-in closet that fits a twin mattress set, one to two pieces of small furniture, chair, boxes, and miscellaneous small items. Other suggested uses such as business or personal records; college students’ belongings and seasonal items.

 

  • 5 feet by 10 feet (50 square feet): looks like a mid-size bedroom, fits a studio apartment with typical contents such as furniture, couch and chair, box springs and mattress set, small items and boxes.

 

  • 5 feet by 15 feet (75 square feet): looks like a large walking closet, fits a one-bedroom apartment with appliances; several boxes and small items.

 

  • 10 feet by 10 feet (100 square feet): looks like a standard bedroom, fits a two-bedroom and boxes.

 

  • 10 feet by 15 feet (150 square feet): looks like a huge master bedroom, fits a three-bedroom apartment.

 

  • 10 feet by 20 feet (200 square feet): looks like a small garage, fits a three-bedroom apartment and appliances.

 

  • 10 feet by 30 feet (300 square feet): looks like a single-car garage, fits over a four-bedroom apartment.

 

  • 15 feet by 15 feet (225 square feet): looks like an extra-large master bedroom, fits a three-bedroom apartment and boxes.

 

  • 20 feet by 20 feet (400 square feet): large size, looks like a two-car garage, fits a six to seven-bedroom apartment with boxes and more.

Note:

Above is an estimated guideline. Every unit sizes may vary by facilities and or locations.

For the sized from 100 feet and up, there is plenty of room for other suggested uses such as outdoor furniture, lawn mower, motorcycle, car and big tools or items.

Before renting, see the storage unit in person if possible so you can visualize how your stuff fit in and bring a measuring tape, just in case you go home and try to create a similar-sized box to see how your stuff will fit.

After packing, make a list of what you want to put in the storage, label and put them all on the floor in a room so you can have a general idea how they fit in a unit.

Here are some packing tips:

It is essential to choose the right box and how to pack the light and bulky items separately and safely. If you combine different weights of things in one box, make sure put the heavier items on the bottom and mark the box “this side up.”

Use large boxes for light items and smaller boxes for heavier ones.

Keep in mind the storage ceilings are usually about 7-8 feet high so that you can stack boxes and items better. Always working from the heaviest items on the bottom to provide a stable base, then to lightest things on top. Think vertical to make the best use of every inch of the space.

Make sure to know how to use the lock.

Resources:

https://www.storeassured.com/size-guide.php/#tiny

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Making Business Connections and Growing Customer Base

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ENT 655 Week 2: Making Business Connections and Grow Customer Base

As in real estate and self-storage business standpoint, clients come to you because they need help and believe you can help them by solving their problems – providing the real estate needs and or rental self-storage needs. Helping people and continue to connect with them is an important strategy for any business. Connections are the fuel that keeps businesses and customers connect. For an entrepreneur with a small business knows how to find the potential customers, make connections, and keep maintaining these long-term business relationships are priceless. Understanding your specific audience, target customers of the niche market to get to know them on a personal level are essential. Connections can be in person, by phone, by email, by mail or online, etc.

Here are some tips to help to connect with your clients:

  • With the potential clients: Understand and knowing these potential clients’ needs within one to six months or one to two years from now until they are ready to sell or buy or rent. If you have your business email contact list, send them the information updating on the local current market, trend, business location and anything that relates to what the prospects interested in.
  • With the past clients: You must take good care of them because they are your best customer base and if you want to receive their referrals, testimonials, and good reviews.
  • With the current clients: You must take time to get to know them, let them know you appreciate their business and they are your valuable clients. Making the business impression by allowing your professional, personality and excellent customer service shine when meeting in person. Answering any questions that your clients may have and provide prompt information directly to them.
  • Online platform connections: they are great tools for the business. Take advantage of the convenience of the speed internet, finding good reasons to reach out to the clients personally, not just commenting on their Facebook feed or following on Tweeter. Create the valuable posts that keep customers’ support and that they want to share with their family and friends. Private message them and let them know you are here to help. Update regularly social media webpage business and blogs with great information to keep people checking and researching on your website and or following you on social media.
  • Farming letters:  They are an effective way to expose your business to people and in the target market. Be consistent and provide relevant information that meaningful to the client and be on top of their mind when it comes to deciding to buy, sell or rent from you.

There are many ways of connecting in today’s digital world, and the above tips are just a few examples. It is not easy due to time-consuming, challenges and or seems overwhelming to create personalized connections. However, if you schedule and do it correctly, it will help grow your customer base, create value-boosting your business’s exposure and your loyal customers would thank you for being their resource and keeping them in the loop of what’s happening in the market.

ENT 670 Find the Potential Customers and Make The First Sale

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Week 2 Blog

Starting a new business from scratch is an exciting feeling, but at the same time you may feel a little bit scared, don’t you? I know I do, for real, knowing a start-up requires more than just determination, energy, motivation, and knowledge. However, it is undoubtedly a unique experience, and someday you might be glad that you did start your new business.

According to the U.S Small Business Administration, approximately “31% of small business survive for at least seven years – never mind making it big”. Let’s just talk about marketing strategy. From start-up to growth stage, as you can be overwhelmed that there are so many marketing tactics for a business and you are not sure what, when, where to start. It seems like these marketing tips can be applied and worked for large corporations with the big budget to spend. Everyone wants to make the first sale. For the start-up and small business that does not have the customer-base yet, the questions are how to create and find the customers? How to grow and bring business to the big leagues someday? And increasingly just more questions, what is the product, and services that you will be providing and who is your “ideal customer”? Is there a niche in the marketplace? Etc.

The book “The Four Steps to The Epiphany – Successful Strategies for Products that Win” by Steve Blank that I found so helpful to my real estate and vacation rental business. It is so important to identify and understand your core business and answer “who your customers are and why they should buy your products.” Find your customer segment based on age, gender, interests, and spending habits then find out what specific niche and what type of customers that will buy your product and service. Besides announcing your new business on public relation, “learning and discovering customer needs,” it is time to “leave the building and talk to customers,” said Steve Blank. Time for action.

Cultivate and grow your network opportunities with other local professionals, such as real estate offices and agents, attorneys, insurances, sales agents, restaurants, retail stores. Become a member of the Chamber of Commerce where you can display your business brochures, flyers and benefit the free advertisement on their platforms. You can also have opportunities to attend various business events and meet the business owners. One of my favorite activities is volunteering in the churches and helping in different events and festivals. It requires time, but community involvement is the best way to meet and develop business supporting. Another natural avenue to network with people is talking to the established business owners, the like-minded individuals that can potentially turn into your customers and or send referrals your way.

Step up with your digital marketing strategy that incorporates social media to spread the word about your new venture, makes it more exposure and attract more customers. Start a blog webpage, regularly update your business website that helps bring consumers and business together. Stay active and engage in social media channels to connect and create more leads. Must find time to study and analyze the top five competitors in your area and find out what your competitors’ strategy is. Then create your new solutions and ideas that will suit your customers better.

These are some necessary steps; they are essential and well worth it if you stay focus and remain consistent. The critical point is connecting, making everyone know that your business exists in the marketplace, that you provide the right product and service to the customer’s needs.

References:

The Four Steps to The Epiphany – Successful Strategies for Products that Win – by Steve Blank – Fifth Edition – 2013

ENT 650 Week 8 Blog by Mary Schuler Expectations for entrepreneurs and does it feel right?

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I learned a big lesson when reaching out to outside lenders and investors for my future business. After meeting and talking with some banks, it felt like what I saw on Shark Tank. I truly feel like there are more challenges await.

To help the road of finding money less rough and clearer, lets prepare for what the lenders and investors expect from entrepreneur:

  • They don’t lend or invest as a charity. They want to make money just like any other business.
  • They want entrepreneur to succeed so they can get paid back.
  • They want to make sure that if your business fails, there is guaranteed way to get paid back. So, no surprise why there are many mandatories and requires and conditions on process.
  • They will look at your business plan; financial projection; personal guarantee the loan; collateral to secure the loan; compare with other businesses in the area regarding financial and business projections to see how you performed.
  • They want to know how much you can invest in the business; they may require the entrepreneur to put in at least 30% of the project cost in equity; how much you want to borrow and why; is your cash flow makes sense and if you can afford a loan.
  • They want all information related to your “5 C’s of Credit”:

Character: do you have proper experience, skills needed to run the business? Does your credit history show that you paid your debts?

Capacity: does your business have sufficient cash flow to pay the loan payment?

Capital: what is your business and personal’s net worth? How much your own money in hand?

Collateral: what assets do you have to secure the debt?

Conditions: what is the state of the economy? Are there other issues that may impact the success of your business?

You may ask yourself “why I have to borrow money? I don’t want to be in debt”. In another hand, your business surely needs capital to operate and if your business grows, you probably going to need more than one loan or a future investment. That why knowing your business and its potential success is so critical, same as finding answers for “what if” questions are not easy. But chasing your dream takes risks and remember that in this world “there is no free money”. The good news is there are government agencies and some non-profits organizations that support start-up businesses. Borrowing is an opportunity and just becomes a part of business as a regular customer/partner with your lenders/investors. Don’t get discourage for searching them.

PS: When getting a loan or an investment for your business, make sure to consider all the terms, read the fine print carefully. Interest rates on loans are important, but a low interest rate paired with high fees and a prepayment penalty may be more expensive than another loan with a slightly higher rate but lower fees. If you get a loan with an adjustable rate, make sure you will be able to pay the loan after the interest rate adjusts. Never sign any paperwork if it makes you uncomfortable, it could be a sign that the loan terms are not right for you.

 Resources:

Rogers, Stevenson (2014). Entrepreneurial Finance, Third Edition: Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur. McGraw-Hill Education.