Contributing Editors

FL Self-Storage Company Offers Free Storage to Local Diaper Bank

by John Stevens February 18, 2010 9:42 AM
Quality Self Storage, of North Fort Myers, Florida, started donating space to Destiny Diaper Bank this month, helping to make it possible for Destiny to expand its services to the North Fort Myers area. Quality Self Storage will also host a fundraiser for the diaper bank on April 24.

Destiny Diaper Bank is the only diaper bank in the state of Florida. It is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in Cape Coral, FL, that provides diapers and incontinence supplies to individuals and families who cannot afford to purchase their own. The diapers and supplies are used by babies, toddlers, special needs children, and the elderly. The diaper bank's founder, Rev. Rebecca Hines, who has lived in Cape Coral since 1978, says that the need for the diaper service is high right now, because there is so much unemployment in Lee County. She says that Destiny receives between 40 and 50 calls a day from people who need diapers. Some days, the diaper bank receives 60 calls. [More]

Michigan May Include Self-Storage in Sales Tax

by Holly Robinson February 17, 2010 9:10 AM
Michigan's Governor, Jennifer Granholm, proposed yesterday that Michigan's sales tax be extended to cover consumer services, including self-storage. Granholm hopes to see the sales tax reduced from six percent to 5.5 percent. The change would raise another $550 million in revenue for the state of Michigan. Under Granholm's plan, the money would be used to help pay for public education, making it possible for Michigan schools to maintain their current level of spending. Michigan's Senate Fiscal Agency, which is a nonpartisan organization, previously announced that Michigan's school aid budget will have a $423 million deficit if more money is not raised. Michigan's general fund, likewise, will have a $1.2 billion deficit. Over the last two years, Michigan's general fund has dropped by $2 billion.

This is not the first time Michigan has considered extending its sales tax. A similar attempt was made two years ago, but was defeated as a result of lobbying and advocacy by the national Self Storage Association and the Self Storage Association of Michigan (SSAM). [More]

Small- to Medium-Sized Self-Storage Owners Form Alliance

by Holly Robinson February 17, 2010 7:54 AM
More than 200 small- to medium-sized self-storage firms announced yesterday that they have banded together to form the Storage Business Owners Alliance (SBOA). The founders hope to use economies of scale to improve the buying power of smaller self-storage businesses. SBOA members will be eligible for discounts on commonly used goods and services such as office supplies; resale retail items such as boxes, tape, and scissors; credit card processing fees; and payroll processing. They can also participate in an online forum for SBOA members.

The idea for the SBOA came from three industry veterans, Morgan Hanlon, Ian Burnstein, and David Levenfeld. As owners and operators of multiple self-storage properties, the three saw a need for small- to medium-sized businesses to have an umbrella organization that would allow them to better compete with larger self-storage firms. [More]

Marketing Software Updated for Use with iPhones

by Holly Robinson February 16, 2010 2:44 PM
Omniture, a leading producer of business marketing software, announced yesterday that it is making its online business optimization software compatible with native iPhone applications. Online business optimization uses the strategy of collecting data from customers as they interact with websites, and using that data to drive the growth and direction of the business, and uses Internet marketing to try to build customer loyalty. Omniture's Test&Target software is widely used within the self-storage industry. Extra Space announced last May that it had increased its online incremental revenue by 26 percent, and its online reservations by 13 percent, using Test&Target.

Now that Test&Target is compatible with iPhone applications, its standard optimization functionality, including A/B and multivariate testing, dynamic content targeting, and audience segmentation, can be used to customize iPhone applications and improve their effectiveness. Data can be collected from customers whether they connect to a website via a computer or through an iPhone. Developers and marketers can now remotely modify the content and user experience of their iPhone applications in real-time. Content modification can be done right from the Test&Target online console. Omniture suggests that businesses use the Test&Target software with the iPhone to test and fine-tune registration and lead generation forms, to optimize ecommerce checkout flows, and to dynamically target content to specialized audience segments selected based on their likes and dislikes, and using their prior application activity to increase the relevance of content that is provided to them. [More]

Jim Ponti of Extra Space Elected President of Louisiana SSA

by Tony Gonzalez February 16, 2010 2:03 PM
The Louisiana Self Storage Association's Board of Directors announced last week that it has elected Jim Ponti, of Extra Space Storage, as its new president. At the same meeting, the board appointed Shawn Herrick as its new executive director.

Other members of the Louisiana Self Storage Association's board include outgoing president Lana Griffin, vice president Mitch Clark, secretary Tanya Amburgy, and at large members Shaun Ferguson, Allison Walling, and Eric Avery. [More]

Boston Self-Storage Firm Enlists Bruin Broadcasts as Marketing Tool

by Kim Kilpatrick February 15, 2010 1:22 PM
Humboldt Storage and Moving, of Boston, MA, announced today that it will sponsor broadcasts of Boston Bruins games on The Sports Hub, 98.5 FM. In addition, Humboldt will sponsor several contests and in-game and on-air promotions, such as "Move Around the NHL," a pre-game segment that previews all the games going on in the NHL that night. An in-game segment will also be part of "Move Around the NHL," and will provide scoreboard updates for other NHL games. Humboldt will also sponsor the Sports Hub headlines from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sponsoring a sports team is a commonly-used advertising technique for businesses of any size. Self-storage businesses most often help local teams by providing them with free equipment storage space. Providing free storage space, though, may only generate one press release to give publicity to the self-storage business -- while becoming an ongoing sponsor of game broadcasts insures that the business name will be heard frequently on the air. [More]

Fargo ND Seeks Temporary Sandbag Storage Sites

by Winnie Hsiu February 15, 2010 12:36 PM
Officials in Fargo, North Dakota, announced yesterday that they are searching for sites at which sandbags can be stored to prepare for the spring flooding season. According to Fargo Enterprise Director Bruce Grubb, the city is currently calling for volunteers to fill the sandbags. Fargo plans to fill one million sandbags over the course of two weeks, starting on March 1. While the city has some storage sites in mind already, they are still looking for others.

The National Weather Service is predicting that the Red River has an 86 percent chance of producing major flooding in the Fargo-Moorhead area this spring. Conditions now are very similar to the conditions that preceded last year's Red River flooding. [More]

Overland Self Storage Owners Disappear Amidst Foreclosure Proceedings

by Winnie Hsiu February 12, 2010 5:42 PM
Tenants who stopped by Overland Self Storage, in Morgan Hill, California, were startled this week to find that Overland's normal security gate had been disabled and that the facility was apparently being foreclosed on by a lender. Overland had a steel gate that was usually kept closed and locked, and could only be opened by customers or staff members who knew the electronic code. But this Tuesday, it was locked open instead of closed. Renters who went in to check on their self-storage units found that nobody was in the office, and instead a sign taped to the door read, "Closed! This is now the bank's property." The note did not say which bank now owns Overland, and did not list any contact information. In one exterior wall, a space that once held a window is now covered with a loose piece of plywood. Signs on the building's remaining windows said that the building is now "for lease." Overland's listed phone number is out of service. [More]

StorQuest Self Storage to Aid California Mud-Slide Victims

by Tony Gonzalez February 11, 2010 10:46 PM
StorQuest Self Storage announced this week that it will provide two free months of self storage to victims of the mudslides in three Los Angeles County communities: La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, and Tujunga Canyon. Mudslides damaged at least 41 homes over the weekend. At least nine homes were deemed uninhabitable, while six others were flooded with mud and debris. About 25 vehicles were also damaged, and streets were rendered impassable. [More]

Comic Candidate for CA Governor Displays Self-Storage Unit Contents

by Tony Gonzalez February 11, 2010 4:30 PM
California gubernatorial candidate and media-wise comic artist Lowell Darling kicked off his campaign yesterday by hauling the contents of his self-storage unit to San Francisco's Gallery 16 and putting them on display. Darling's possessions, which previously were stored at Southpoint Self Storage in Sebastopol, California, comprise an exhibit entitled "Full Disclosure." Darling says that putting the self-storage items on display shows that he has nothing to hide. Darling's possessions will be on display until March 31. In addition to the things that Darling was keeping in self-storage, he is also exhibiting all the rest of his worldly possessions. According to Gallery 16's website, Darling has put on exhibit "everything he owns." Some items, however, will remain in boxes.

"I took everything and set it in the middle of the gallery," Darling said. "Forty boxes containing the history of how I became an artist." The possessions on display include Darling's first drawing as a child, leftover documents from his previous failed gubernatorial bid against then governor Jerry Brown (who is expected to enter the race again this year) in 1978, and Internal Revenue Service documents from a dispute Darling had with the IRS in the early 1970s. Darling battled the IRS for years because it refused to classify him as an artist, claiming he did not make enough money at it for it to be considered his occupation. [More]
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