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  • Benefits Of A Self Storage Magazine Subscription
    By admin on June 27, 2009 | 62 Comments62 Comments  Comments

    A self storage magazine plays a key role in the storing industry. They are targeted towards owners, customers and professionals working in this industry.

    How Do Such Magazines Help

    You may be a small store house owner struggling like most others.  Many would advise you that you would be better off pursuing clients than reading warehouse magazine at such a time. That is not quite true. These magazines feature articles which tell you how to deal with problems you might bring upon yourself in your daily operations, how to modify your product offering to appeal to a larger audience and so on.

    Listed below are some such issues which these industry specific magazines discuss

    • Scheduling and routing – scheduling and working out the most cost efficient route for pick-up and drop off for goods stored in your store house will help increase efficiency and cut costs. Self storage magazine describe various solutions. You may choose one which will work the best for you
    • Suggestions on selling ancillary products – Products which go with packing and storing, for instance, cartons, crates, shrink film, tape and so on are of great value to a customer who wishes to pack something in the unit he or she has hired. The value of having these products available to him or her at the store house is often much higher than the price of the product itself. A customer thus may be willing to pay a premium for these products because of the ease of availability.
    • Identifying new revenue streams
    • Dealing with problems such as a tenant leaving behind goods in the storehouse after vacating. What should you do with the goods magazines provide alternate solutions for such problems which may arise in the day to day working of a storehouse.
    • Advice on effective facility management including software most beneficial for operating store houses.

     

    How Do These Magazines Help Buyers

    If you are looking at hiring a storing unit, going through a magazine dedicated to this industry is a good idea. It will tell you about important things to look out for before signing a contract. It might also feature a comprehensive list of store houses in the area where you want one. Some features in magazine which may be of use to a renter of a storing unit are

    • Facility listing by product category – this means that companies providing storing services are listed by the type of goods they store. Thus if you need a unit to store documents you will not have to go through the entire list of service providers. You can simply focus on only those who do document storing.
    • Documentary requirements and other legal issues that you need to keep in mind prior to renting a storing unit.

     

    The Self Storage Magazine As An Industry Spokesperson

    Editors and feature writers use the pages of such magazine to highlight issues affecting the industry. For instance, in the current difficult times where industries such as RV manufacturers have suffered tremendously, those offering RV storing units too have suffered. These magazines point out ways in which storing unit owners can reduce costs and continue to profit from their business.

    These magazines are also a platform for cargo space professionals across the world to connect with each other to discuss issues and new technologies and design new strategies.

    Subscription to a  magazine is therefore likely to be worthwhile for all those connected to this industry.

    Self Storage : http://www.SelfStorageBlog.com

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  • Self Storage Magazine Business Plans
    By admin on April 1, 2009 | 79 Comments79 Comments  Comments

    A self storage magazine can be a great source of information all for those who are considering availing the services of the various public storerooms for their storing related needs and also for those who are planning to start their own cargo spaces and storing business. If you are among the later ones, it is important for you to understand that success in this industry is not all about having an empty building with basic security systems. It is much more than that. The first thing that you have to do is to write a specific business plan, based on the specific resources that you have. Your plan must address everything in the best possible manner, such as employee wages, advertising, and plenty of other factors for sustainability. Your business plan will also help you arrange the start up funding while guiding you on how to proceed about the various aspects associated with the venture. Here is a brief rundown on how a good self storage magazine can prove to be a great help for you in this regard.

    Familiarize Yourself With The Industry

    If you do not know much about the public warehouse industry, you will not be able to develop a successful plan. So, before you start writing your plan, it is very important for you to educate yourself on the latest developments, happenings, and trends in the industry. The best way to do this is to read in-depth analysis of successful companies in a magazine related to storing business. There are various publications that publish their success stories. You can get a plenty of valuable information through them.

    What Makes You Different

    Since the competition in the market is very tough, you will also have to come with some unique ideas on how to make your business different from your competitors. A good self storage magazine publishes a lot of informational articles written by experts of the industry. You can find their ideas quite beneficial. However, the idea here is not to copy their ideas as it is. You should take it as expert guidance and try to come up with your own unique plan. When it comes to receiving start up funds, you will have to convince the investors that your approach to business is unique and that your plan has a great potential for profit. You will have to describe everything in great detail on how you are going to attract more customers.

    Sources Of Initial Funding
       
    A self storage magazine will also give you a list of all the sources of initial funding for your plan. Once you are ready with the list, things will become much easier for you, as you will be in a position to determine your actual financial needs. This way, you will also be able to assist the investors in calculating the cost of potential investment.

    Your business plan must also include the details of your facility requirements. For example, you must have at least a basic idea about the number of storing units in your facility and a specific square footage for the entire facility. You also need to outline the sketch of the exterior design and the kind of equipment you will need. A self storage magazine will prove to be a great help for you in outlining all these things in your business plan.

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  • Hats Off!
    By admin on May 16, 2006 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments
    Sarah Little, Secret Shop specialist and former call center operator, reflects on jumping in to help out with calls in our busy call center.
    Welcome to the Phone Smart call center bog, an insider look at the self-storage industry.

    Hats off to you!

    When I started working in the secret shopping department I transitioned from the call center. It had been about 1-½ years since I’ve spent any quality time in the call center- until today that is.
    I filled in for a bit this morning because we had a high volume of calls coming in. I’ll admit when Tron asked me to help out I was a little anxious because it had been so long. What if I didn’t remember what to do or say? What if I did something wrong??? So I was a little bit nervous.
    After a few calls I was right at home again. In fact, it seemed like the caller’s hadn’t changed a bit. There were still the few trying to pay overdue bills, a few trying to talk to the manager, a few wanting a storage unit 3 weeks from now, but most wanting a storage unit NOW. It reminded me of the importance of listening.
    I find myself sometimes so busy that I don’t really listen to what people are saying to me. The worst time for that is when Tron is telling me about a new project he wants. Then I have to go back and ask questions that he probably explained the first time. Anyway, my point was that taking calls, rather than evaluating them, refreshed my selling senses, the most important of which is listening.
    In the first few calls I took I’m sure I asked the same question twice, so I made a mental note to PAY ATTENTION! After that, my calls were much smoother and I was able to get reservations and appointments.
    Using the caller’s name is a good way to let them know you’re listening, and it makes them feel good. At the end of the call I was able to bring back home the date they needed the unit and then reserve it for them on that day. So listening is key whether you’re selling a toaster or a storage unit.
    I’ll admit that I had become a bit disconnected with the call center and their day-to-day duties. It was fun for me to get back to where I started for a little while. Maybe I’ll go visit them more often.
    And I’d like to tip my hat to all therepresentatives in the Phone Smart call center who sit in their cubicles every day and give our customers great service! Your perseverance is appreciated! “You ROCK!”

    Have you seen this summer’s self storage forcast in Mini Storage Messenger ? Tron Jordheim projects that, “The last weekend of April was quite a bit busier than we anticipated. Already the beginning of May has been stronger than we thought as well. From what we’ve seen from demand, May is going to be gangbusters on a national level. I think we’re going to have a stronger season than we anticipated.” To read more on this subject check out the upcoming issue of Mini Storage Messenger

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  • By The Numbers
    By admin on April 14, 2006 | 8 Comments8 Comments  Comments

    April and May start “The Season”

    By Tron Jordheim

    As Seen in the April Issue of The Mini Storage Messenger. www.minico.com
    Self storage is less of a seasonal business than it used to be. Over the last several years people have been using self storage more for extra space than they used to. However, our business is still seasonal. April and May start the busy season no matter which market you are in. This is the start of house selling season. This is when college students are getting ready to take off for the summer or graduate. This is the time when people are doing outside projects and home remodeling. And it is when many people choose to move to new homes or new cities.
    It is important to pay attention to your phone and walk-in traffic during these two months, because you will learn a lot about what sort of a season you will have by the patterns you see in April and May. We’ll talk more about what to expect and how to interpret this patterns in this article.
    There are several traffic volume influencing events you need to be aware of. Spring break will end for many schools on the 3rd of April. Others will be a week earlier or later. The first Monday of April is always busy. So assume the buildup to the first Monday on the weekend of April 1 and 2 will be very busy as students and their families finish projects on this weekend. Monday the 3rd will then be very busy as spring break activity always increases demand and the end of spring break will mean many projects have left-over stuff that will need to go into storage.
    Daylight savings time kicks in on the 2nd. This extra hour always makes people get outside and get projects going. This will also increase the activity on Monday the 3rd as people will be wanting to arrange storage for the weekend of the 8th and 9th to take advantage of the first weekend of longer light.
    Easter and Passover observances coincide beginning on April 12th. This means three things will happen. Many people will want to get things done before the holidays creating a lot of extra traffic throughout the whole week of April 3rd through the weekend of the 8th and 9th.
    Other people will take advantage of some time off over the weekend of the 15th and 16th and will try to get things done on the weekend. This means that demand will spike again on Monday the 10th and Tuesday the 11th. You will see some softening on Wednesday and then more activity on Friday and Saturday. Many people use Easter Sunday as a family gathering day. But many people will be trying to get things done on that day, too. Traffic will not be heavy, but there will be a good proportion of rental demand on Easter Sunday. If you can stay open during the middle of the day on Easter, you will write several rentals.
    The third group of people will wait until after Easter to get things done, so Monday the 17th will be very busy and the whole last week of April will be slamming. The last week in April is typically when the flood gates of demand start to open anyway. But with some pent up demand coming from the Easter/Passover holidays, the last week of April should be very, very busy.
    The last day of April falls on a Sunday, which will contribute lots of demand to the weekend of April 28 through 30, as well.
    April has many demand generating events working together, making it doubtful that anyone should have a weak performing month even if broader economic forces are not working completely to our advantage.
    May will start out with a bang. The first Monday of May is also the first day of May. This means two demand generating events happen on the same day. Expect traffic to stay very heavy through the 9th of May, when you will catch a little bit of a break for only a few days.
    Many colleges and universities are graduating and ending classes on May 12 or 19. Most students will want to start their leases in the month of May, so expect student traffic to be overwhelming in the student markets starting the last week of April and running hard up until the last week of May. By the last week of May, most students have finished their summer arrangements and are heading off to the four corners.
    Some of you may want to start promoting student rentals in April and signing leases in April to make the May stampede a little easier to deal with.
    The week of May 15-21 will seem somewhat sane as many people will have already taken care of their May and June storage needs. This is just the quiet before the storm. Starting May 22nd, you should see markedly increasing demand that will stay steady throughout the entire week. You may get very little time to come up for air until the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
    Memorial Day weekend usually works like this. Friday is very busy as people are trying to get things done so they can play on the weekend. Saturday is very busy as people who had to work on Friday are trying to get their projects tied up so they can play on Sunday. Sunday is usually quiet as many are trying to play and rest. Monday starts slow and then gets very busy in the middle of the day as people who are trying to get things done on their day off are trying to get done early. Then by about 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon traffic will go dead. People are traveling back home, trying to get to the picnic before it gets too late or heading to the fireworks display.
    If you can staff your store over the weekend, you will rent a lot of units. I would staff heavy on Saturday, close earlier than normal on Sunday and be open in the middle of the day on Monday to write leases.
    Then watch out, because the day after Memorial Day, demand will go nuts. All the people who did not get their projects finished or who chose to not do any projects on the weekend will be calling and coming in on May 30 and 31. Be prepared for a 20-30% increase in demand on the 30th and 31st as compared to the period of the 15th through 28th.
    Several factors can influence these projections. Is your advertising in order and placed and timed correctly? Are your competitors trying to make money or just gain occupancy? If they are doing price cutting and “giving it away”, it may hurt your entire market. If they are playing to be in a mid priced to higher priced slot in the market, then you will all do well…unless your market is significantly over-built.
    Will the increase in home heating and gasoline prices over the winter have hurt consumers enough to dramatically change their storage behaviors?
    Will a softening in the housing market cause less or more people to sell or buy?
    Will looming corporate lay-offs mean a slower economy or just more people getting new jobs or moving to other areas of the country?
    Will the pending retirement of the first wave of baby boomers mean more things are going into storage? The first wave is turning 60 and thinking about paring down, retiring, moving up, giving away possessions or getting more possessions.
    If you live in the colder part of North America, you will see that April gets off to a bit of a slower start than the rest of the country. This is a normal effect of the longer winters in your area.
    If you live in the areas that are experiencing heavy growth, like Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc, multiply everything I wrote by another 10%.
    Pay attention to demand traffic each day to see how your particular patterns are working. Consult the sample demand wave and see where you fall. You may notice indicators that tell you your demand is going

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  • Blogging about the blogs
    By admin on February 15, 2006 | 133 Comments133 Comments  Comments

    Welcome to today’s self storage blog. We track the happenings in the self storage industry for self storage insiders.

    Teri Lanza, the former Editor of the Inside Self Storage Magazine and the current Business Development Manager for ISS has started a blog on the ISS site. I was quite tickled that she chose to mention the self storage blog in her entry today.

    Go to www.insideselfstorage.com

    Teri was my editor for my Speaking of Sales column in the ISS for years. I liked working with her. She did a good job editing my pieces so they read well and fit the tone of the magazine.

    Teri mentioned the Self Storage Association’s affiliated council. I mentioned in an earlier entry that I couldn’t think of much of a downside to affiliation.

    I guess Teri thought of a downside to affiliation. My first reaction was to chuckle. There is a saying that goes something like, “You don’t know you’re doin’ right ‘til someone starts complainin’ ”.

    You have to think that the SSA is doing a lot of “right” things if Teri is writing about it. The fact that her mention of the affiliation process is painted with a negative brush is just a reflection of present day journalism. Positive coverage is boring to most people.

    I would think that the ISS would find some benefit in covering the SSA and its growth and progress over the last few years. They could get more readers if they covered all of the goings on in the industry.

    I realize some people think that the ISS and the SSA are in competition with each other. I suppose to some extent they do compete for advertising dollars and conference attendance and vendor sponsorships. I see them as benefiting each other. It seems to me that there is enough going on in the industry that both organizations can do well.

    The ISS and the SSA appeal to different groups and have different missions. ISS is in the conference, exhibit and magazine business and they do a great job. The SSA is a trade association and has made great strides in becoming a more cohesive and more relevant organization in the last few years. Both organizations are really good for each other.

    I expect there to be some tension as things develop to a next level. I am sure we can handle it.

    Teri is also doing a good job with her internet marketing. She needed people to read her blog. An effective way to get page views is to find a hot button. Is the non-compete section of the affiliation agreement a hot button? Maybe.

    She does raise a good point. Many people were unsure of the non-compete items in the affiliation agreement. It seems that the intent of the provision has been explained and is now better understood. I seriously doubt North Carolina and Florida would have affiliated if they had not been comfortable with the non-compete issue.

    She may have created a great opportunity for the SSA to restate how the affiliates see benefits in the affiliation and how the non-compete items are not an evil scheme.

    I understand why people in the industry might be unsure of an affiliation between state associations and the SSA. There is a lot of power and influence consolidating under one umbrella.

    There is another old saying in Hollywood that goes, “It doesn’t matter what they are saying about you, as long as they are talking about you.”

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  • Super sunday demand
    By admin on January 16, 2006 | 6 Comments6 Comments  Comments

    Welcome to the self storage blog, our self storage diary.

    You may have seen the column I wrote for the Mini Storage Messenger about the anticipated demand volume for February. I missed one very important demand influencing event…Super Bowl Sunday. It is on February 5th this year. It means that the end of the week of the 1st through 3rd will be busy as everyone is trying to avoid having projects left over for the weekend. Saturday will be busier than I projected for the same reason. Once the game comes on, it will be stone dead at the stores and on the phones.

    There will be some activity after the game as people will be holding their to-do lists until after someone becomes the new and undisputed champion of football.

    It also means that Monday the 6th will be very busy as people who put off weekend projects will be getting on the stick.

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  • AAC
    By admin on January 13, 2006 | 176 Comments176 Comments  Comments

    There is a new set of initials for the self storage world: AAC

    AAC is the Affiliated Associations Council of the Self Storagte Association. You shuold take a look at the associations that have chosen to affiliate. Go to this link

    http://www.selfstorage.org/affiliates.aspx

    I think what we will find, is that the more we get together the better our businesses will run. This group is going to be able to leverage their own activites with neighboring associations and with the whole group of affiliates. You might want to see if your local association is on this list. Contact your association leaders and find out more about the AAC.

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  • AAC moves forward
    By admin on January 12, 2006 | 134 Comments134 Comments  Comments

    Today’s session of the affiliated associations of the self storage association was primarily an open forum for attendees to voice their concerns and bring up issues of interest.

    We discussed how affiliated associations can use the SSA’s resources to find new members, provide services to members, design valuable meetings and sessions and make additional revenue to use to grow the associations. The mood was very positive as most people felt like yesterday was a productive day. Some of us were not too sure how this meeting might go. We were all pleased to see that the SSA staff had prepared a great many programs and topics that would be of real help to the affiliated associations.

    It is difficult to get an association up and running and keep it relevant. Most associations have few if any paid staffers and everything is done by volunteers. The self storage association has gone as far as hiring a staff person specifically to support the affiliated associations. She is Kathie St. Claire. She promises to be a capable and engaged supporter and resource person. I hope everyone will take her up on her offers of assistance.

    As it turned out the group was asked to select a chairperson to help move things forward and prepare for the next meeting of the AAC (affiliated associations council). Somehow my name came up and several people asked me to take the post. I was nominated and accepted. I am not sure if I should say “Thank you” or “Thanks a lot” . I think I just volunteered for a big and important post.

    But it will be an honor to work with the group. So if you are active in a state or national association that is already affiliated with the SSA or is thinking about affiliating, let me know our thoughts on issues you have on your mind.

    Thanks,
    Tron

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  • Slob Hunters
    By admin on May 5, 2005 | 2 Comments2 Comments  Comments

    Check out the Final Word column in the back of the latest issue of the Mini Storage Messenger. Cris Burnam, the COO or Warburg-Storagemart, our parent company writes about why he is leading his company in the retail direction. Now he does get in the readers face a little bit, but sometimes that is required. His piece wraps up the focus of the whole issue, which was all about becoming retailers. If you read Cris’s comments, you’ll see that he thinks there are two kinds of operations: slobs and slob hunters. The slobs won’t care how their storage places are staffed and presented to buyers. The slob hunters will be building new and attractive projects across the street from the slobs and taking all of their renters. I think he is right about the slob hunters. Buyers are slob hunters, too. They hunt down slobs so they can run from them. So don’t send any of your customers running from you into the arms of your competitor.
    Bye for now, Tron

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