Friday, June 21, 2013

Self Storage Software? Do I need that?

Ok, here it goes...You know that if you are a small self storage owner, you have thought to yourself...Do i really need a software program to manage my facility?  You may have gone back and forth on the decision several times.  When i make a decision, i like to sit down and look at the pros and cons.  So, lets take a look...

Pros
1- Organization- Stay organized.  Your organization speaks volume about the way you run your business.  If your records and books are a mess, your customers can see that and may not want to store their stuff with you.

2- Collections- Using a self storage software program has been statistically proven to reduce the amount of people you need to chase down for money each month.  A self storage software reduces your collections because most of the time the software has the option to set your tenants up on automatic credit/debit and or ACH payments.  When a tenant pays through an automatic payment method, it is out of their sight, and out of their mind. 

3- Convenience- Having a web based self storage software is convenient because you never have to carry your records around with you when you travel.  If all of your tenant info is accessible through the Internet, why carry spreadsheets and printouts around with you every where you go?

4- Saving $- Why pay more money than you need to?  If you are manually creating invoices for people and paying for postage each month, don't you think it would be smarter to cut your postage costs and send out invoices and all notices via email and text message?  Having a self storage program that sends out automatic invoices reminders and past due reminders saves you tons of money in postage each month.

5- Saving time- Lets face it, if you are going to be creating invoices, adding late fees, posting payments, creating your own lockout and lien letters, and holding auctions, it can be quite time consuming.  If the self storage software does all of these things for you, you will drastically cut the number of hours down that you spend each month managing your storage facility.

Cons
1- Cost- Obviously it is cheaper to not have a self storage software program, you will need to pay for the service that you use.  There may also be costs involved to process credit cards

2- Learning Curve- It may take you some time to get used to a new way of doing things

3- Transition- It may take some time to enter all of your tenant data into a new program.

There are other pro's and con's that i probably forgot but these are some of the main ones to think about.  When you boil it down, the pro's do outweigh the con's because most of the cons are short term and will go away after you start using a self storage facility.  In order to make a sound financial decision, you must figure out how much the "pro's" will save you in management costs and weigh that with the cost of the self storage software you decide to go with.  Good luck in managing your storage facility!  The self storage industry is a great industry to be so make the best of it and always remember to do what is best for you and for your company!

Jimmy Sorenson
Easy Storage Solutions