In the space of three generations, the self-storage industry has grown from a relatively unknown commodity to a $20 billion per year business. Not many economic sectors have experienced such significant changes over the past 60 years, especially on the West Coast.
In Southern California’s ultra-competitive self-storage market, it takes a unique combination of customer-first culture, innovative expansion, strategic marketing and honest, tried-and-true service to succeed. Price Self Storage, one of the fastest-growing businesses in the greater Los Angeles and San Diego metro areas, has maintained a strong presence in the region, even while many other self-storage firms have come and gone. The company’s current lineup includes over a dozen self-storage complexes throughout the San Diego – Los Angeles corridor.
Under the leadership of Bill Hamilton, Price Self Storage’s President, the company continues to offer its customers affordable and convenient storage solutions in a variety of specialized, secure spaces all over Southern California. We sat down with Mr. Hamilton recently to get his take on the state of the self-storage business, personal sources of inspiration, the importance of maintaining a strong legacy, marketing strategies and much more. Enjoy!
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
There is a father and son team that have been inspiring and influential to me, Sol and Robert Price, the founders of Price Club. Working for the organization laid the foundation for my career and subsequent founding of Price Self Storage. The Price family started their self-storage business from the ground-up, and it’s an honor to continue the legacy they built.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
Don’t give up on your goals, and don’t be afraid to get in there and work hard yourself to get things rolling. I remember the early days when I pitched in at the counter, hung the signs in the new facilities and did the landscaping, all while search for sites to expand. The degree to which you succeed is directly tied to the effort that you put in. Don’t be afraid to take on the risk, for this is how you reap the rewards.
Where do you see your business in 10 years?
The self-storage market is full of opportunities. We’ll continue to seek opportunities that will allow us to expand and grow the company. Price Self Storage is an established brand and we expect that to continue to strengthen.
How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
As you know, marketing for most industries has shifted to digital and online search, and self-storage is no different, so it’s kind of no-brainer that is where our focus will be. We understand the importance of maintaining a strong mobile presence and targeting local search, and we feel confident that we’re on solid footing in that regard. We’ve got a great group of people working in our organization and with whom we’ve partnered with to continue to succeed in the digital space. Plus, our strong regional brand has led to more than a few word-of-mouth references and recommendations, which we’re always grateful for.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Rather than detail any specifics, let me just say that I learn better ways to do things every day, whether it’s a business deal or knowing when to make directional changes that the company must make in order compete in our market. If I didn’t learn from potential miscues, we wouldn’t continue to be a viable, successful company. Adaptability is one of the great skills that any entrepreneur or business executive can benefit from. Learn, adapt, move on. A simple formula, but it applies to practically any business challenge.
How does your company provide innovation within your industry?
Price Self Storage continues to lead by offering a Free Truck & Driver for tenants to use to at move-in. We did this first and are proud to be one of the few operators that achieves this by having a truck available at every location. Many others try to do it but don’t offer trucks at all locations. We’ll continue to look for ways to innovate based on ways we can make it easier for our customers to rent units, pay for those units, and get their stuff into those units. We’ve been fostering a culture of customer service excellence and it’s becoming a cornerstone of how we recruit and train our staff. And of course, we’re keeping “mobile first” at the top of our focus. We continue look at ways to be on the cutting edge of the mobile user experience. I recently read a quote by Tony Robbins that really makes the point. “There’s the business you’re in, and the business you’re becoming. If you’re constantly managing those two businesses, you won’t have to pivot, because you’re always doing something to innovate.”
Many thanks to Mr. Hamilton for taking the time to spread some knowledge. Young business leaders are sure to find useful advice they can apply to their specific industry or financial venture. To learn more about Price Self Storage, click here for local branch addresses, phone numbers and more information.
Price Self Storage offers advanced security, a wealth of storage unit size options, password-controlled access areas and 7 days per week convenience for storage unit owners. Contact Price Self Storage today!