Is it possible for finding storage space to be simple, inexpensive and perhaps even fun? Austin company SpareFoot, which uses the web to help people do just that, thinks so.
“A lot of people who book storage units are going through life-changing events like moving, a death in the family or going off to college,” said John Egan, who does public relations for SpareFoot. “They can be pretty stressed out about whatever it is they’re dealing with, so we try to bring a little bit of levity during that life-changing event.”
SpareFoot was founded in 2008 in Los Angeles by Chuck Gordon and Mario Feghali, but they didn’t take long to hurry themselves to Austin, opening up shop here in 2009. The company is now located in downtown Austin and experiencing tremendous growth, expanding onto more floors of its building with no plans to slow down — which is good, because no one wants them to.
“The startup community and tech community in Austin are very supportive, which just lends another advantage to SpareFoot growing the way it has,” Egan said.
SpareFoot prides itself on providing an unexpectedly warm customer experience, referring to its crew of over 60 employees as the ACE (Awesome Customer Experience) team, for doing everything possible to make a customer happy.
That’s a large reason why people gravitate to SpareFoot, according to Egan. That and providing the largest inventory of storage units, with over 7,000 facilities across America.
The company further sets itself apart by trying to provide the best possible experience for their workers as well, and they’ve been continually ranked by The Austin Business Journal as one of the best companies to work for in Austin.
That’s not just any title; it was well-earned. SpareFoot’s employees even filmed their own music video in 2012, hoping to convince the Journal that the company really is just that great:
Beyond providing catered lunch daily, great health insurance and the option to bring your dog to work, SpareFoot also offers an unprecedented level of financial transparency.
“Everyone in the company has access to our financials,” Egan said. “Everyone in the company has access to the top executives. Everyone is part of the team. There is no emphasis here on hierarchy.”
While it has long been known that happy workers make happy customers, SpareFoot’s formula of good pay, solid benefits, financial transparency and an emphasis on equality is so rare for medium-sized companies that it’s almost revolutionary.
Photos: Rebecca Bennett, Brave Bird Photography.