Life moves pretty fast, and with it come with new advancements. Today, all sorts of businesses run differently than they once did. For example, while we may not quite have the paperless office yet, with the advent of cloud storage, virtual private networks, and more, we’re getting closer to it. However, when it comes to running your facility in the 21st century, there’s more to consider.
Does your facility need a serious update? Let’s look at six important areas.
Climate control has been around a long time and is vital to keeping many items in good condition while in storage. If your facility doesn’t have it in any units, or in too few units, that’s a sign that your facility is behind the times.
Heat, cold, humid air and dry air can all damage the myriad of belongings that people keep in their self storage units. Climate control keeps the temperature and humidity levels in a narrow, safe range for everything from musical instruments to electronics. Make sure you have enough climate controlled units to match local demand.
How old is your security system? By “security system,” we mean all the components that go into keeping your facility secure. This includes the wall around the facility, the gate and access panels, the cameras and monitors, the lighting, and the alarms.
Does your facility have a fence surrounding it, or a wall? Fences are easy to cut through and to scale, making walls generally safer. If your facility has a fence, consider replacing it with a granite or concrete wall eight or nine feet tall.
Over all, what’s most important is that your system be effective. However, older systems can break down and may require excessive maintenance. You may also want to invest in a camera and alarm system monitored not only by you and your employees, but by an outside company, that can contact you and the police should a break-in occur after hours.
The software that runs your cameras, monitors, and access system may also be out of date, and possibly vulnerable to hackers. If the related software is no longer supported or getting updates, and if new software does not support the old hardware, it’s time to upgrade everything.
How old is your office building? If more than a decade or two, it may not have adequate electrical wiring for today’s needs. Before the mid-1990s, offices had few computers. Your facility may have had one PC, a dot matrix or early laser printer, and a copier. That computer wouldn’t have been on the Internet, either. There would have been overhead lights and perhaps a lamp or two.
Today, you likely have several computers and printers, your router for Internet access, monitors for the camera system, and more. You may find you’re using several power strips to expand your electrical outlets.
This may not be an issue. Your wiring may be able to handle all that just fine. However, we recommend you have an electrician check to make sure there is no fire hazard.
One of the major marketing considerations today, for brick-and-mortar businesses, is curb appeal. In other words, the outside of your facility should look appealing and attract customers. Things that help include an interesting and memorable logo, inviting colors, and welcoming trees and other foliage outside the walls and around the office. (Do not keep plants around the storage buildings though, as these can harbor pests that can then get into the storage units).We recommend looking at what other self storage facilities have done to look attractive, and borrowing their ideas. You may also wish to hire a professional landscaping company to assist you.
These days, it’s almost a requirement for self storage facilities to sell storage and moving supplies. Customers appreciate the convenience of being able to go to one place to store their belongings, without having to drive elsewhere to get boxes, tape, locks, and so on.
However, many older facilities have small offices that are big enough to talk to new and old tenants, but not big enough to carry supplies. If this describes your facility, consider a change. If you can get a larger office on the premises, you’ll have room to sell storage supplies, making your business more competitive.
Also, what does the decor look like in your office? Is the carpet old? Does it have a 70s shag look? Are the seats uncomfortable? Is the lighting still fluorescent rather than LED? If your office feels behind the times, it may be time for an update. Make your office inviting. You may even want to consult with an interior decorator.
Every self storage business has a website these days, right? And of course you’re using email to contact your tenants! Well, we sure hope so!
Since the mid-90s, we’ve all learned that you can not only find information you need on the Internet, you can take care of business, too. Your tenants will expect to be able to pay their rent and manage their units on your website. Many will prefer to receive notifications via email or even text than through the postal service.
So, if your facility is behind in any of these areas, do what you can to modernize it. Any improvement should help to bring in new business.