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The Self-Storage Mid-Year Report Card: Where Does Your Operation Stand?

By Amy Campbell Comments
Posted in Blogs

By Jim Chiswell

If you believe in the hype about the Mayan calendar, we’re now about halfway to the end of the world. If you do believe that, what the heck are you doing reading a self-storage blog?

For the rest of us, this message is to encourage you to take a step back from day-to-day operations and evaluate the plans, goals and objectives you initiated in January. We all start off with a “ready, aim, fire” mentality. Right now, it’s important to add “re-aim” at the end of that mantra.

Giving yourself a six-month report card will help you achieve superior results for the balance of 2012. Don’t cheat the review by just looking at everything pass-fail. Give yourself a true letter grade for occupancy, delinquency handling, marketing, expense control and net operating income. Don’t forget community involvement.

I’m willing to bet few of us have scored straight As. I know I haven’t. But the results of your self-storage operator report card should be used to help you refocus your energy and resources. It should allow you to understand your strengths as well as identify the areas where more attention and effort is needed.

Please don’t forget everyone on your management team needs to participate in the grading of your operation’s performance. This exercise has to be a team thing, not just the boss’s thing. Working together will force everyone to recognize where things have gone well in the first six months, and what other things need to be improved. You can do this even if you didn’t start off the year with specific written goals and objectives. It’s time to re-aim to exceed expectations in the second half of 2012.

Jim Chiswell is an industry veteran and owner of Chiswell & Associates LLC. Since 1990, his firm has provided feasibility studies, acquisition due diligence, mentoring and customized manager training for the self-storage industry. He has served for a number of years on the Inside Self-Storage Editorial Advisory Board, is a moderator on the interactive online community and is faculty member of the Self-Storage Training Institute. He can be reached at or


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