It appears that the theme of this week is community involvement. As a self-storage facility owner or even as a small business owner, it is important to be involved in your local community. The connections that you build with your community help get your name out there and build work relationships that improve your networking. Here are three easy ways to get involved in your local community.
Visit Surrounding Businesses
What is the best way to get yourself involved in your community? Get out there! Your first step is to walk into all of the surrounding businesses. Introduce yourself, leave a business card, take a business card. See if they will let you leave some fliers at their front counter. Maybe you can organize a special together or a referral system. You never know what will come of meeting the other businesses in your area. Your goal is to be on a first name basis with other business owners and managers in your area.
The best part of walking around your surrounding area? It’s free! There is no cost of being a friendly neighbor.
Join your Chamber of Commerce
If you are not already a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, it is time to investigate a membership. Many Chamber of Commerce memberships gives you access to networking events, mini-trade shows, professional development opportunities, public policy forums, public affairs meetings and issue committees. If you aren’t frequenting City Council meetings, it can be hard to stay current on local policy changes. Joining your Chamber of Commerce gives you an organization of individuals all monitoring local and state politics. Additionally, being a part of an organization of other small business owners in your community is a great way to network. All different types of businesses are members of their Chamber of Commerce such as landscaping businesses, construction, advertising and marketing companies, you never know who might be useful to reach out to in the future.
What’s the price to join? That depends. Most Chambers of Commerce offer different tiered membership levels ranging in price. This price typically includes access to programs, events and fellow members. Many Chamber of Commerce offices list your business on their website with links to your company page and social media sites.
Join Your Self-Storage Association or Other Similar Business Association
Most states have a self-storage association or some other corresponding type of organization for other small businesses. Join these. Much like joining your local Chamber of Commerce, joining your state’s industry association allows for you to meet other business owners. Meeting like minded individuals in your same industry is a great way to stay informed and up-to-date. Share tips and compare management styles, discuss products/vendors and offer comparisons on features, services and other portions of your business. It’s always nice to have a friend in the industry, or at least an enemy you hold close. Most self-storage associations also hold seminars, presentations from industry experts and conferences.
What’s the cost involved? Each state association ranges in price depending on what type of membership you choose. Prices range from approximately $50 to $250 depending on how many units you have, how many facilities you have and whether or not they also include national Self-Storage Association affiliation.