Change Is Necessary. Self-Storage Operators Simply Need to Embrace It
By Joel Little
There are many self-storage owners and managers who've been in the industry for quite some time. A handful of them would say they're the pioneers of self-storage and they know everything there is when it comes to the industry. They often begin stories with, “back in old days,” and finish with an insightful revelation about the past.
Even though those stories are helpful and we can learn from our past, there are still many new things coming out that need to be learned and put into practice. What seems to separate the companies at the top of the industry from the ones struggling is the ability to think outside the box and to continue to develop new ideas.
When a company owner thinks about developing new ideas, a particular word comes up that no one likes to hear, especially if he’s been running his company the same for many years. The word “change” can strike fear into the hearts of many because they don't quite know exactly what needs to be changed to continue to grow the business.
But there are many advancements self-storage owners should be embracing—such as speech analytics, call-recording systems and detailed system reporting that companies may not think they need, but they could dramatically impact their businesses for the better. With speech analytics, for example, you can determine how often customers on the phone say your rental rates are too high without having to listen to every call. How efficient would that be? But unfortunately even though the technology will definitely help their business, many companies feel their company is already running well so why change things.
With the self-storage industry growing day to day and new systems being created that can help bring profitability to the bottom line, not everyone feels comfortable with change. The reality is, no matter your comfort level, you should embrace the necessary changes within your company.
Employees, managers and owners all have to find their niche in the company to ensure that when change takes place, they're a part of that change and not a part of the streamlining process. Change is good for the self-storage industry and every company should embrace it. New ideas are created every day and implemented that drive profitability.
There's cause for alarm for facility owners who believe they can run their business the same way today as they did 10 or even five years ago. To stay profitable, you need to think outside the box, be creative and take every opportunity to learn about the new and exciting products that are in the self-storage industry.
Joel Little is the head sales coach at PhoneSmart, a self-storage call center and marketing firm. He's been in the self-storage industry for more than five years, and has been in retail management for more than a decade. He strives daily to help improve the self-storage industry one call at a time, gaining insight from each customer.