Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Self Storage 2000 - 'Thought for the day' article in the Self Storage Associations Magazine 'The Insider' by Lee

1. What is your Self Storage "Thought for the day"?

    Think outside the square and be prepared to change to suit the times.

2. How is the industry different from when you first got into the business?

    I started in the storage business in Adelaide in 1997 in a small facility with about 180 units.
    We had an old daisy wheel typewriter, gave handwritten receipts and wrote all transactions 
    into a double ledger book.
    Cleaning units, toilets, driveways & office was all part of the job.
    The storage industry has grown immensely since then, with computers, Eftpos machines, 
    electronic banking, emails and, thank God, maintenance persons.

3. Where do you think the storage industry is going in 2012?

    I think the storage industry will continue to grow as the demographics of the cities change.
    We have smaller block sizes and a growing population and more small businesses emerging
    on the scene.
    Therefore, as domestic clients realize that we are offering a place for their second and third
    cars, boats and excess goods, and business clients hear that we are offering services such as
    forklifting, acceptance of their deliveries, conference rooms and safe, clean pickup areas for
    their products, and being a stepping stone for them while their business grows, then I can
    only see the industry becoming more viable.

4. As a Manager, What do you believe is an important part of your job?

   I believe that a Manager must look at the business as if they were the owner and look at ways
   of improving the business and not just running the facility without offering new ideas.
   The Manager is in the best position to see what is working and what could be improved for
   better business outcome.

5. How important is staff training?

   Staff training is very important, especially the way the industry is now being made more aware
   of the legal issues involved in the running of the storage business.
   The problem I have encountered over the years though, is that most facilities do not have the
   luxury of allowing their staff to attend an all day training session, as most facilities have only
   one or two employees and are not able to cover staffing.
   Therefore many training sessions are cancelled due to lack of attendance.
   It would be good to see more emailing to Managers from the SSAA to pass on some of these
   ideas for selling and also legal issues and scenarios, so that Managers can then do their own
   in house training of staff.
   "Just a Thought" 

6. How do you push referrals? 

    I think the most effective way to gain referrals is by giving your existing clients the very best
    service and making each and every one of them, no matter what their socio economic
    background, feel as though they are special and worthy of our attention.
    This way you will be sure of repeat business and referrals to other family, friends and
    My pet hate is bad customer service, and I experience enough of that in many other areas of
    my life.
    Would you go back to a business where you were treated with disinterest or rudeness?

7. What self storage advice would you give a younger version of yourself?

    I would tell myself that the job would be the most interesting and fulfilling job you could take on.
    You will need to have empathy and understanding, be a counselor, and a great listener.
    Your day will be a different experience with each client who walks though the door.
    With the daily interaction of people from all walks of life, you will become addicted to the job.

8. What would you say is your motto in life?

    Never say NO it cannot be done. Look at ways to make it happen.

Self Storage 2000 Adelaide

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