The self-storage business has seen exponential growth in the past ten years. If you are considering starting a storage business by opening a storage facility and maintaining it remotely, first and foremost, you need a good plan. Managing a successful storage facility is challenging. Your typical everyday duties include those that are common to any other small business. Some of those duties are bookkeeping, leasing, collections and maintenance of housing and utilities.
Moreover, you need to establish and maintain professional relationships with your customers by providing quality customer service. Since we live in the digital era, remote working is now easier and more popular than ever. Many industries have embraced this trend and the technology is there to support them. The self-storage business is no exception.Here’s what you need to take into consideration when maintaining your self storage facilities remotely. Try to use automated storage management software like 6Storage. The software will manage all your tasks in one place that is very easy to track and update anywhere anytime.
The benefits of working remotely
We are all different, therefore, the benefits of working remotely are subjective. Some of the commonly mentioned benefits are reduced levels of stress, less time and money wasted, higher productivity, and overall greater happiness. If you can identify with some of the above, working remotely might be a good decision for you. You can do it form the comfort of your home, from another office, or from a coffee shop. The possibilities are endless, really.
What kind of software to use?
Cloud technology has revolutionized remote working. Thanks to cloud apps, you can have budget-friendly access to office tools, regardless of your location. Dropbox,Microsoft Remote Desktop, Google Drive, Team Viewer and other online file-sharing services allow you and your employees to work as a team, wherever each team member is located. Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Viber are tools you can use for work as well. When it comes to video chat tools, Google Hangouts is a popular choice that enables you to make video calls. Citrix’s GoToMeeting is another platform that enables remote workers to hold video conferences with colleagues as well as customers in different locations.
The security of your sensitive data should be a priority
It goes without saying that you must have anti-virus/anti-malware software installed, especially if you store important data on your computer.
Do everything you can to protect your clients’ private information, especially financial. Hackers are becoming more skillful by the day, and no business is safe.
Again, the use of cloud based self storage software can be of great help. Of course, using strong passwords that include both letters and numbers is recommended. This way, in case your laptop or mobile phone gets stolen or lost, there is no risk of your data getting in the wrong hands. Ask your employees to back up data on a regular basis. Connect to the web via a secure virtual private network (VPN) to improve security whenever you use public Wi-Fi.
How to manage employees?
Managing your employees when you don’t see them every day can be challenging. While technology helps a lot, it is not the same as being there in person. So, make sure you visit them every now and then. In addition to team meetings thatshould be held on a regular basis, take time to meet employees one-on-one to address their individual needs and concerns.
What kind of equipment do you need?
Maintaining your storage facilities remotely does not normally require any special hardware. The smartphones, tablets and powerful laptops we have today allow you to run your business effectively wherever you are based. However, before investing in new equipment, take things such as hard-drive size, storage capacity, processor speed, wireless connectivity and compatibility with existing networks into account. Furthermore, you may need a good webcam and headset, especially when you are in a noisy environment or when you have online meetings with your staff or customers.
The importance of video surveillance for maintaining your storage facilities remotely
As a customer, the idea of keeping your belongings in a safe place, away from your home or office, and being able to access them whenever you need them is truly appealing. When in need for a long term storage solution in NYC while you are working abroad, it’s good to know that your stuff is taken care of. As a private self storage owner, you are the one who is responsible for the safety of your customers’ belongings. You can reassure your customers that their personal items have maximum protection, and they can have complete trust in you. But know very well that your self storage facility is a gold mine for criminals and that there is no such thing as perfect protection.
You need to go way beyond a lock and a key to increase the security of your storage units. Nowadays, maintaining your self storage facilities remotely without a proper surveillance systems next to impossible.
Identify the most vulnerable areas of your self storage facility to decide where to place the cameras.The entire property, including the front desk, driveways or thruways, entrance/exit gates and payment kiosks, has to be covered in order to have maximum protection against intruders.
After strategically positioning the cameras, you can see what is going on in and around your self storage facility wherever you are, 24/7, 365 days per year.Thanks to modern technology, you can do it from home or anywhere else in the world. Monitoring your self storage facility during the night, when there is no one around, is particularly important.
Hiring a night guard may be a good addition to this security measure.
Remote video surveillance has numerous benefits
- Maintaining your storage facilities remotely will be much easier, since you can spend more time away from the actual office if that is what you prefer.
- You will be able to focus on other aspects of running your storage business, knowing that security is taken care of.
- Your storage business will save a lot of money – after all, your primary goal is to make money in storage.
- Your employees well feel safer at work with an extra pair of eyes watching over them.
- You can have that peace of mind everyone who’s responsible for other people’s valuables finds seems to lack.