Do you use data or your gut to make decisions about your Self Storage facility? Some can argue that your gut feeling is the only way to make tough decisions; but what if data was to prove that your gut instinct is wrong?
Can you afford to use your gut instinct? Is it your years of experience in Self Storage that forms your decision making habits?
Many years ago, I asked an operator an important question: “Where do your customers come from?”. He pointed south of his facility and said they all come from down there. He said no one comes from the north because the main road goes right through the suburb. An interesting view.
I was doing some software maintenance and I asked if I could run a postcode report for him. He said “Sure, go ahead!”.
After the old dot matrix printer had jammed up a few times, the printout was finally done.
Over 60% of his customers came from the north, not the south…
At first, he didn’t believe it. He was sure it was the other way around. I asked him why he was so sure of his gut feeling.
He was the owner and he wasn’t always at the facility, but when he was, he processed a few move ins. He recalled that all those move ins he’d processed had been from customers living south of the facility. Out of thousands of move ins, the few he had processed formed his gut feeling and controlled his decision making.
He was mortified when a multinational operator decided to build a facility a kilometre down the road because he was sure it was the end of his business. Data analysis proved they had a negligible impact.
The only way data can lie is if it’s wrong in the first place. Data driven decisions, using reports from SiteLink and supporting software District Manager® can be invaluable in the decision making process, far outweighing their cost.
Many facility owners ask their builders whether they should incorporate more space in their facility. How many decide if they should build more space using reports from their software?
Too often, owners build more space without analysing the data from their move ins and move outs. Over many years, the trends for sizes change and picking up on those changes is critical not only to the new spaces contemplated, but to maintaining and building occupancy in the spaces you already have.
Here are SiteLink’s five best tips for using reports to make good decisions:
- Use unit history reports to see trends in unit occupancies. Spaces that were once popular may not be popular today.
- Take your reports to your builder. Don’t rely on your gut and their advice as to what you should build.
- Check historical reports for move ins and move outs. This will help to determine the rate of growth for your facility and determine if you need that next stage.
- Use your discount reporting to analyse the costs of discounts. That offer you have let run forever because it seems to work might be bleeding your bank account unknowingly.
- Check reports regularly. Trends and changes can be missed if you only look at the bank account.
The only tangible way to really see what’s going on in your facility is to analyse the data that comes from day to day transactions. Insist on accuracy and completeness when data is created, and you’ll be rewarded with insight, often very different to your gut feeling.
SiteLink Web Edition contains powerful reports that help with decision making. District Manager is one of SiteLink’s marketplace partners and their analysis software is world leading. Those that use these two powerful tools together make informed decisions, based on actual results and data.