The Tradeshow Circuit
If hiring an outside training consultant just isn’t in the budget, there are still other avenues you can pursue. How about attending a tradeshow? It is amazing how many people are in this industry yet less than 10 percent have ever attended any kind of industry or state-sponsored tradeshow.
For a real reasonable cost—including travel, hotel, meals and registration—you and your managers can attend a tradeshow over the course of two to five days. In addition to attending seminars with specific topics of interest, you’ll be able to visit with industry vendors on the tradeshow floor and during cocktail hours. The networking is always terrific and the opportunity to share with your fellow self-storage managers/owners/experts has great value.
If you are still not able to afford one of the above methods of training or are not able to travel for an extended period of time, what options do you have? Enter the magical kingdom of the Internet. If there was ever an educational tool that has truly changed the world, this is it. You can take online courses, attend “live webinars,” participate in chat rooms, read blogs or ask questions to get almost instant answers from experts of every imaginable skill set from all over the world.
There are numerous sources for online courses—from industry specific to accredited college courses. Some are free, others are relatively inexpensive, and most can be taken at any time from any computer. I have taken an online course and participated in live webinars and chat rooms, all while traveling. It is truly amazing what you can learn and how easy it is.
Of course, let us not forget our industry publications. The tremendous amount of archived information is readily accessible and relatively easy to get. You can find many articles online, or you can purchase past issues for a nominal cost. Obviously, continuing to subscribe to industry magazines should be a priority. Look at how much you’ve learned just from this issue.
Training is an ongoing task. No matter what combination of tools is available to us, it is and should be a never-ending challenge. By continually learning new techniques, applying new ideas and trying new things, you will surely become the educated one and, in all probability, successful in your self-storage career.
Mel Holsinger is the president of Tucson, Ariz.-based Professional Self Storage Management, which offers self-storage facility management, consulting and development services. He is also a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a regular contributor to Inside Self-Storage. For more information, call 520.319.2164; visit www.proselfstorage.com.