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Avoid These 10 Mistakes When Purchasing Self-Storage Management Software

Tom Garden and Alison Kiesa Comments

After investing time and money into the development and construction of a new self-storage facility, owners are then faced with choosing the right management software to run their business. But all too often, they rush into the purchase without taking into account whether the software fits their needs.

Because the self-storage model is unique, with tasks and reporting unlike other businesses, its management software must be designed to meet a facility's specific needs. Determining which program will best suit your requirements today and tomorrow can be a challenge. Here are 10 mistakes owners should avoid when purchasing management software.
Mistake No. 1: Buying Software too Late

You should purchase management software at least six months before you open a new self-storage property. When establishing your business phone number, Yellow Pages listing and ad, company website and business bank/merchant account, you should already be gearing up to accept inquiries on rentals, take customer contact information and reserve units.

Also, research and determine your business rules, including the terms of your rental agreement, whether you’re required to charge tax on rent or merchandise, or when you’ll expect rent to be due.
Mistake No. 2: Confusion About Software Terms

If you don’t understand the terms PC-based, Web-enabled and Web-based, you’ll have a difficult time making an informed decision about which management software program is best for your business.

PC-based software (also called Web-enabled or desktop) installs directly on a computer and does not need to be connected to other computers unless you wish to share the information. With this software, all company information belongs to the owner of the software license and resides at his business’ location. A user does not have to log onto the Internet to access the software. There are no purchases other than the software license with this software except occasional updates or service programs. 

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