When weighing your online options, consider where your data will reside and how you will access it. Ask the provider where your data will be stored and what fees are involved.
You also want to make sure your online solution has all of the features you want. The system should create less work for you, not more. At a minimum, the solution should allow customers to rent or reserve units, make payments and view their transaction history instantly. They should be able see available units in real time, and you should see updated activity in real time.
Choose your Web software based on what makes you comfortable. You have to feel good about the product before you can offer it to customers. Pick software that is easy to understand and gives you information quickly and effortlessly. This will translate into faster customer service and happy managers.
Consider tech support and the longevity of the software provider. These are important issues to address when upgrading to an online solution. A reputable company should readily provide you with references. Self-storage experience is also paramount.
You’d be surprised how easy it is to make the wrong software choice; the decision-making process is filled with pitfalls. In particular, it can be difficult to look past the high price of today’s advanced software, but consider how much your business is worth―and how much more it’s worth with the right online solution. Make an investment in software. It’s the backbone of your day-to-day business.
We have a clear path to the future as the Web opens ways for business owners to maximize their time and resources. If you’re not using some form of online system, it’s time to make a change. Find a company that is on the leading edge of technology and understands your business. The companies creating innovative products will take your self-storage operation to the next level.
Sean Cargo is a self-storage consultant and senior account representative for QuikStor Security and Software in Van Nuys, Calif. He specializes in using the latest technology to maximize site profitability and efficiency. To reach him, call 800.321.1987, ext. 228; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.quikstor.com.