Avoid These 10 Mistakes When Purchasing Self-Storage Management Software

Tom Garden and Alison Kiesa Comments
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Web-based software (also called subscription-based, software on demand, software as a service or online software) requires an ongoing fee rather than a software license purchase. The business owner pays a monthly subscription fee to access company information via the Internet. The self-storage property information resides on the Web, not on a computer at the facility. If the user can’t connect to the Internet for whatever reason, he can’t operate the software.

PC-based/Web-enabled and Web-based software all run in Microsoft Windows operating system environments. 
 
Mistake No. 3: Purchasing Software From a Hardware Company

The primary product of hardware companies is access-control hardware. They do not devote time and resources to management software like they do to their hardware products. They tend to have more limited and rigid software products as a result. Although these companies typically advertise themselves as a “one-stop solution,” in reality, they package their management software with their hardware to feed the hardware business.
 
Mistake No. 4: Allowing Software to Dictate Business Operations

You should always purchase a flexible management program that allows you to define and support your business rules and procedures according to your preferences. Many people purchase management software only to find they can’t operate the business the way they want. As a result, they end up adapting the business to the limitations of the software.
 
Mistake No. 5:  Skimping on Features

Many self-storage owners skimp on important integrated add-on software, such as automatic credit-card payment processing and electronic check/ACH payment processing. As a result, the owner or manager must still run some aspects of the business manually, spending time, money and labor on tasks the software is designed to do.
 
Mistake No. 6: Buying Software That Doesn’t Interface With Your Other Systems

Many people select software without realizing it will not interface with their other business systems, including access control and gates, online payment options, kiosks, connectivity options for remote access and backup, electronic payment processing, photo identification and a host of other features that enable the owner to grow the software with the business.

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