Today’s blog post is a networking case study. The original question was shared on Sane Spaces Facebook page.
I am fairly new to the organizing profession. I have been in business for approx. 1 1/2 yrs and have a small but steady client base. I am looking to branch out. Next week I am going to do some cold calling at storage unit businesses. Just wondering if you could give me some advice on how to approach them. I know I could refer people to them that need extra storage, but I am not sure what I could do for them. I know other organizers work with them. I am just not sure how to approach them. Any advice you could give would be great.
Here’s Our Answer – At 1 1/2 years into this, you’re probably realizing that it’s time to step out and broaden your net a bit. You’ve likely done well to enroll your family and friends into your venture – but you may be on the cusp of reviewing your rates, your programs, your offers and your packaging…
SO – One of the biggest challenges that you’re up against now is trying to see your services from others’ eyes… IN other words, storage services are selling storage but if you think about it – what are some of the other things that they may be involved in…?
- Estate closings
- Divorces or separations
- Corporate moves
- Unpacks/Move Ins
- Abandoned storage areas
- Debt clean up
- Home clean outs
- Disaster recovery
- Storage Sales
- Shipping and packing…
- Etc…I’m sure there are dozens more
If you continue to brainstorm your list – you’ll likely come up with several other targeted business and client groups. The important part is to figure out just how related these things are so that referrals are easy and that your business expands organically. One of the best and cheapest ways to obtain new clients is to go through referrals from other businesses, so combining with like services makes a lot of sense.
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The next thing you want to do is to figure out exactly how you are the answer to their need. What is the pain they encounter that you can fix? What specific problems do storage sites (and their customers) have that you have a unique solution for?
Now, SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS. figure out the best way to package your rates and services that handle something for them they continually struggle with. So many mom entrepreneurs launch businesses with the idea of helping others and are surprised when they encounter resistance from potential customers. You see most people don’t want help… but they will pay anything for you to solve their problem or relieve their pain. It is a subtle but critically important difference that you need to understand about your business so you can market to others in a way that is appealing to them.
I suggest you make a meeting with the owner and the office manager of all the storage facilities in your area – and present them with a ‘joint venture opportunity’… Then, having done your research and matching up their needs prior, you’ll already have targeted your problem-solving offers.
Perhaps you can create a postcard that outlines your process to leave behind at each facility?
- Do you list used goods on Craig’s List or eBay?
- Do you know a consignment shop owner?
- Do you offer services for packing and unpacking for homeowners?
- Do you offer estate sales as a service?
- How about home inventories?
To encourage networking with others, create a list of YOUR services relevant to a potential joint venture partner. This creates a very easy way for others to find and hire you. You can be the solution to someone’s problem.
When they NEED you they’ll WANT what to eventually want to hire you.
Another possible idea is to come up with a ‘clean out day’ or some type of community event.
If you find a storage shed owner that is willing to host an ‘event’ or maybe a ‘sale’ – you could create some buzz, help your community, and host a HUGE press opportunity if you plan it out.
One of your greatest assets as a professional organizer is your ability to see order through chaos. Your executive functioning abilities would be well-received by others if you create opportunities for their success.
Of course, with joint venture partnerships, you may also consider a ‘finders fee’ or a ‘referral reward’ to the owners of the storage facilities as a way of saying thanks for their business referral.
Be sure to check with your accountant and tax adviser before you set it up and offer it.
Many times newer biz owners offer a ‘service’ trade in lieu of a referral payment – but in my experience, services are by nature non-deductible.
IN conclusion, many people are considering joint venture partnerships as a way to expand their business! And if you should need some help strategizing your plan or working through the details of joint venture agreements it may be a good time for Coach. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to set up a Discovery Call and see if I can help.
How have you joined forces with others to create a profitable result in your business please share your tips and ideas in the collaborative comment space below!