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Edifying Self-Storage Managers: Keeping Staff Current on Industry Legislation, Technology and Operational Methods

By Matthew Van Horn Comments
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Improve Management Techniques and Operational Methods

The great thing about management techniques and operational methods is they don’t have to be industry-specific. You can pick up ideas by reading small-business magazines such Inc., Entrepreneur and Success. These cover a range of topics including employee motivation, small-business finance and technology. Also, don’t be afraid to browse your local book store or online book dealer for the newest management books. Often, great ideas are picked up from somewhere unexpected.

For industry-specific ideas, read self-storage trade magazines, browse storage-related websites, and attend storage-themed conferences. These events offer an invaluable amount of industry information. Consider joining online groups through Facebook or LinkedIn, or follow self-storage themed groups on Twitter.

Finally, never be afraid to seek an experienced self-storage management company or industry consultant. Most have people on staff that will gladly answer any operational question you may have.

Gather Information

As the self-storage industry changes, we must change with it. Legislation, technology, facility management and operational methods are extremely important to the day-to-day operation of every facility. You should share this information with your employees in a complete and timely manner.

Consider subscribing each of your facilities to industry trade magazines, so information is provided to them automatically. Join your local self-storage association, and invite your staff to attend meetings and events. Send managers weekly e-mails containing relevant articles, operational discussions, motivational pieces and links to relevant websites. Consider scheduling regular conference calls to discuss operational and management issues. Send employees to industry seminars and conferences when possible. Most important, implement regularly scheduled training sessions. Nothing can replace working with employees in a one-on-one environment.  

Remember, the most important asset of any self-storage facility is the people who manage it. Self-storage managers are some of the hardest working men and women in any industry. The things that come up on a day-to-day basis at some facilities would make a reality TV star blush. Keep your employees up to date and trained with relevant material, and it will make a huge impact on the operational harmony of your facility

Matthew Van Horn is vice president of Cutting Edge Self-Storage Management, a full-service management company specializing in management, feasibility studies, consulting and joint ventures within the self-storage industry. Mr. Van Horn is well-known for finding hidden profit centers in self-storage operations. For a complimentary “Hidden Profit Discovery Session,” send an e-mail to . For more information, call 866.970.EDGE or visit . Follow the company on Twitter at Cuttingedgemgt, and on Facebook at Cutting Edge Self-Storage Management.

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