Running a storage business requires the use of supportive software. Managing multiple storages or even facilities is not an easy task. However, storage software might be the tool your company needs to connect all the dots and simplify business processes. Nevertheless, you should be very careful. Spending company resources on a piece of software should not be a rash decision. To help you make the right call, here are seven mistakes to avoid when purchasing self-storage software.
- Not considering multiple options
When you start looking for software to complement your business, you should not buy the first option you find. No matter how good it seems, it would be best if you looked at other options. What you want is to compare self-storage facility management software and look at features, functionalities, implementation, cost, and many other factors before making a decision.
- Not understanding the needs of your business
Another crucial mistake is to purchase software without knowing what your business needs. Different software has different functionalities. Before you make a purchase, sit with your team and create a list of all requirements. There must be a clear goal of what you are trying to achieve with this purchase. If it's not helping your business processes, you should not invest in it.
TIP: Get to know your software provider inside out. If they are not transparent and they do not answer all of your questions, do not do business with them.
- Allowing the software to dictate your business requirements
Let's continue from where we left off in the previous section and define a few requirements for your business. For example, you might need the option to manage multiple facilities and track mobile storage units. You may also offer storage for sensitive items that demand specific conditions. That means that handling delicate items that require temperature-controlled storage facilities is a common need of your clients.
If you find a piece of software that you like but it does not satisfy all of the above, you are allowing the software to dictate your business needs. Do not attach to it; look for something else.
Remember, this software should help simplify your operations. If it does not deliver in all fields, that means you will either have to stop doing a vital part of your business or look for another software to manage it. That only complicates things and increases company expenses.
- Looking for customized software solutions
Let's face it; there is no better solution than to pay someone to create customized software that fits your business perfectly. If you are a large company with domestic and international customers and partners, this is probably the best option. However, if you are running a small storage business that operates locally, this will be a considerable expense. When choosing self-storage management software, the truth is that most of the platforms have essential functions that your business will need. There is no need to go all out immediately, purchase advanced features, and so on.
TIP: Inquire about the payment options. Software is often sold today as a subscription, and the price depends on many factors.
Find a solution that best fits your business, and only go for the advanced plan when your company starts to grow.
- Do not forget to consider the future requirements of your business
If you are starting your storage business, your company's needs are probably smaller. You want to manage employees, keep track of customers, manage storage rentals, make payments, etc. Purchasing self-storage software that covers all of this is terrific. However, you also need to leave some space for improvement when the time comes.
For example, you might need advanced options to remotely manage self-storage facilities. Carefully check if the advanced plan has everything you will need to expand your business at one point.
- Do not outsource the purchase of the software
As the business owner, you need to be included in the purchase of company software. If you outsource it to other teams, they might purchase something that does not meet all of your requirements. Even if you don't have enough time to run the project yourself, be a part of it.
Whoever is in charge must inform you regularly and consult about making decisions. This is the best way to make sure your investment does not go to waste.
- Do not forget to inquire about the implementation and the trial period
The trial period is perfect for deciding whether the software does the job or not. You can test it, see if it delivers everything you need, and only decide whether to purchase it or not. Do not skip this step because it will give you an insight into what you are buying. You can check this post by Digital.com which talks about multiple self-storage management software options available in the market.
If you decide to go with the purchase, ask for a detailed plan of the implementation process and the total cost. This will tell you if you need to pause any business operations and if the implementation will delay your business. Furthermore, if you are migrating to this new platform, make sure to understand how the data will be transferred and if you will have access to it during the implementation.
TIP: Understand software terms and conditions before committing to a purchase.
Finally, ask for the implementation costs. Some companies offer free implementation if you purchase an advanced plan. In other scenarios, you will have to pay a one-time fee.
Before the implementation starts, check with the vendor if they offer employee training or certification. This will significantly boost your employees' careers and help them learn how to use the software properly.
Understanding mistakes to avoid when purchasing self-storage software will help in making the right decision
The biggest mistakes when choosing company software are:
- not comparing options;
- forgetting to define business needs;
- allowing the software to define your business needs;
- spending too much money on tailored software solutions;
- not considering future requirements of your business and software upgrades;
- outsourcing software purchase and not having a part in the process;
- not using the trial period, and forgetting to inquire about the implementation fees and employee training.
Learning about these seven mistakes to avoid when purchasing self-storage software will ensure you make an intelligent investment that will help your business. Our key takeaway would be to take your time, cover all the scenarios and get answers to all questions before making a purchase.