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Using the Intelligence in Past Mistakes: Sidestepping Self-Storage Gaffes in 2015

We’re conditioned to think of January first as a magical portal, the passage through which strips away the shortcomings and disappointments of past months and imbues us with renewed hope and determination. Though it sometimes feels like a setup to fail, it’s vital to set aspirations and benchmarks for the new year, though we know there will be gaffes along the way. What’s important is to learn from mistakes—our own and those of others. Here are some you can avoid in 2015.

Teri Lanza

December 11, 2014

4 Min Read
Using the Intelligence in Past Mistakes: Sidestepping Self-Storage Gaffes in 2015

What are many people thinking about as yet another year comes to a close? I mean, besides how much money they’re spending, how much weight they’re gaining, and how much they’re dreading certain aspects of the holiday season? A lot of us are contemplating our accomplishments of 2014 and goals for 2015, measuring the year’s outcome against previously stated resolutions. After all, we’re conditioned to think of January first as a magical portal, the passage through which strips away the shortcomings and disappointments of past months and imbues us with renewed hope and determination.

It’s a bit like going to confession. Or through the car wash. You enter mucky, woeful and dejected and emerge sparkling and fresh, ready to go out and start the whole degenerative process anew.

I have a friend who every year states but a single New Year’s Resolution: to give up resolutions. He never fails.

On one hand, you might say it’s foolish to set ourselves up this way, creating an unnecessary milieu of pressure based on a single date on the Gregorian calendar. After all, the beginning of a new year changes by culture. For example, the Celtic New Year begins on Samhain, known to most folks as Halloween. The Chinese New Year, aka Lunar New Year, is based on a lunisolar calendar, which means it's determined by the cycle of the moon as well as the Earth's course around the sun.

That said, it’s also vital to set aspirations and benchmarks to drive our actions throughout the year. It’s like they say: “What gets measured gets done.”

Yes, there will be gaffes along the way. Opportunities to learn. Sometimes, we’re clever or lucky enough to learn from someone else’s mistakes, so we needn’t experience the pain first hand. In fact, I’ll tell you that some of the most heavily consumed content we publish through Inside Self-Storage includes articles and other resources that advise readers on mistakes or pitfalls to avoid. Regardless of the specific focus, these pieces always attract attention.

Which is how I knew you’d like this new slideshow, “Self-Storage Building Blunders: Common Development and Construction Mistakes to Avoid,” assembled from expert advice provided by self-storage owner, civil engineer and author Marc Goodin, and industry construction expert Jamie Lindau, national sales manager for Trachte Building Systems Inc. Our contributors share insider info based on their many years of experience in designing and building self-storage facilities. It’s information you can’t afford to ignore if you’re looking to launch a project.

We keep hearing that self-storage development is back on the climb, and the healthy attendance we saw this year at our live and online Developers Conferences support this remark. I receive inquiries almost daily from people interested in breaking into the business as an owner or investor. What’ll be critical moving forward is that the facilities being built are viable for their individual markets and designed to deliver the quality experience customers have come to expect. Anything less hurts the industry as a whole.

If you’re pursuing a new storage development in 2015, do yourself and your industry peers a favor: Take a little time to listen to those who have gone before you and attend to their counsel.  A small investment of time now can save you a good deal of money, time and aggravation down the road. We know it’s good to learn from our mistakes; it’s still smarter and more expedient to learn from those of others.

So, check out the above-referenced slideshow, and then come to Las Vegas, April 6-9, for the 2015 Inside Self-Storage World Expo, where both Goodin and Lindau will be presenting live as part of our Construction & Development Track of seminars. They and other professionals in the business will be happy to share with you lessons they’ve learned along the way and steer you around the potholes. If building isn’t your thing, you can choose from the show’s nine other seminar tracks. We’ve created a program to help attendees learn about (and avoid mistakes in) every aspect of the industry.

Being that this is my last blog of 2014, I’ll leave you with something inspirational. The following quote, by American writer and Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, has saved me more than once from diving face first into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice-cream or a bottle of Grey Goose. I hope it serves you equally well.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

From the ISS family to yours: Happy holidays, and may your new year begin brilliantly.

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