Some self storage business owners find it difficult to resist the allure of a nice, shiny billboard trumpeting their name to the masses. As with any branding scenario, the question to ask is whether you’re going to get a return on your investment. In other words, how much extra business and, more importantly, income will a billboard generate? For those who might be unaware, billboards aren’t cheap. Even in a small town you’re probably not going to get one for less than $300 to $500 a month. If it directly creates an extra couple of thousand dollars a month – that’s a no brainer – go for it.
There are a couple different concepts to keep in mind while dithering over whether or not a billboard will reap dividends for your self storage business. The first is that you need some way to track the response. The easiest is to simply ask every new customer where they heard about your business. If the answer is the billboard, bully for you. Keep track of how much money billboard traffic creates each month. Consider it probably only makes sense to rent a billboard if you can find a location relatively close to your business, within five miles would be nice, two would be better.
The other thing to keep in mind about a billboard’s effectiveness is this – it might seem like you’re getting nothing at all in return for the attempt at billboard branding. Not a single new customer says he saw your message there. The funny little fact about human nature is that the subconscious mind is always at work. Someone who drives past your billboard twice a day going to work and coming home might see the scenery so many times they don’t even realize what they’re looking at any more, but when the time comes to look for a self storage business, for some strange reason, yours is the name that pops to mind. They have no recollection of having been persuaded by the billboard. Sorry, that is sometimes the nature of branding. They could just as easily have come across your name on a business card, writing pen, t-shirt, or in the Yellow Pages.
If the monthly expense of maintaining a billboard doesn’t strain your ad budget or put your business in jeopardy, go for it if you feel the urge. On the other hand, we at MHP Listings suggest you don’t bet everything on the hope a simple billboard is going to keep a steady flow of customers dropping in because you simply don’t know if that will be the case.
The MHP Listings Team
Flickr / numberstumper