You get out what you put in. Ever hear that? Of course you have. Whether you're talking about a class, a computer, a car, a relationship or your own business, if you don't take care of it, it won't take care of you.
My first car was a 1973 Dodge Dart, lime green with a green, vinyl interior. It was the car my parents had purchased when I was a toddler. My father, always meticulous about his automobiles, had pampered this vehicle, and it was in mint condition when the keys were turned over to me at the tender age of 16. Now, granted the car was old, but in the final two years of my high-school career, I saw a great deterioration of its vehicular health. I'd neglected to maintain it, forgoing oil changes, tune ups and even car washes at every turn. I had, in short, contributed to its decline.
The same may hold true with your self-storage operation if you choose to neglect it. With competition on the rise, there isn't an owner or manager out there who can afford to slack on maintenance. In his article "Maintenance: A Competitive Edge." Tom Berlin points out important areas of concern. Pamela Alton also contributes to the conversation in her Managers' World column.
Of course, if you're going to maintain a facility, first you need to have one. But development can be tricky, especially if you don't have a keen understanding of the processes involved. Buster Owens addresses the zoning process, which can either make or break development opportunities. In other areas, Jim Chiswell outlines the true value of utilizing the Internet to enhance your business, and learn how the self-storage industry is both changing and expanding Down Under.
Seeing as how we have extolled the importance of maintenance in this issue, it seems appropriate that we should expend the effort we do on the upkeep of this magazine. I received some wonderful feedback from attendees at the roundtable discussions at the Inside Self-Storage Trade Fair in Biloxi, and intend to implement some of the suggestions I received. Just keep them coming. In the meantime, I hope to see you all next month in San Diego.
Best wishes until next time,
Teri L. Lanza