Looking toward 2015

With 2014 behind us, it is with excitement and anticipation that I look towards 2015. My first few months in the chairman’s seat have been eventful and extremely informative. Since the AGM in October 2014, I have travelled with Simone Hill, our new CEO, and her team to regional meetings in Perth, Wellington and Sydney, as well as attended the meetings that took place in Melbourne. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet with operators from all over Australasia and talk about the challenges and benefits of self storage in Australia and New Zealand. Through these discussions we have gained some real understanding into how the SSAA can best serve our members and optimise our services.

At the start of every calendar year it can often be a good time to set some professional goals for the upcoming year. Your SSAA office and board are no different and we are currently working on the following areas:

Website update
We are reviewing the current SSAA website in an effort to make it more effective and beneficial for our members. The SSAA website ranks very well and appears on the first page of Google for most popular storage related searches. This can often mean that the association website will be the first resource your potential clients see when they are looking for self storage. With this in mind, we are formulating strategies to streamline the potential client interaction and deliver our members more referrals from the SSAA website.

Owners summit Uluru
The Uluru summit is taking shape and most speakers are confirmed. The draft schedule that Simone and the team are working on is really taking shape. The speakers that the team have managed to engage are exceptional. Please make sure you diarise the dates from August 11th to August 13th 2015.

The conclusion of the Uluru summit will see a review of our decision to alternate the years in which convention and summit would be offered. This was a 2 year test and the results will help us determine whether this should continue or whether the members prefer to have summit and convention repeated each year.

Staff in storage training & development retreat
Simone, Rachel Muir, our Member Services Officer and the team are busily finalising plans for the training and development retreat. This is the first time that the association has decided to offer this to its members and the program they have developed is interactive, informative and educational. If you are involved in the day-to-day management and operations of a self storage centre, then this retreat must not be missed. Further information and details will be distributed.

Membership categories
The SSAA board and office are looking at methods to increase the members in all of our regions. We are currently formulating strategies to best achieve this and each board member will be allocated a region to review.

Membership classification
At times the membership classification can be confusing. We are assessing the classifications and looking at some clearer definitions for each member category. The addition of a ‘life member’ category was tabled at the 2014 AGM and this will form part of the review.

Communication with members
An ongoing strategy of the SSAA team has been to communicate more openly with our members. The team at the SSAA office has increased their member communication avenues and you will see informative interaction through the SSAA blog articles, comprehensive weekly newsletters, electronic regional meeting invitations and webinars. In addition, Simone and Rachel, along with your board, have recently had face to face time at regional meetings and provided extensive legal training over the past 3 months.

Review of the Almanac and demand study
The format of the Almanac and demand study has been static for a number of years and we are assessing these in an effort to make sure they remain valuable and relevant to the members and storage industry. The board will be discussing this review at our next meeting and we hope to have some more information in the near future.

Staff & Board changes
We would like to welcome Sally Steel from Guardian Self Storage, who has taken over the casual vacancy of the large operator representative until the 2015 AGM. We would also like to welcome Liz Davies, who was elected as a general member. We would also like to thank Shaun Bain for his dedication and advice in the casual vacancy position as a general member representative. We are hoping to see Shaun back on the board in the future and we wish him well in his endeavours.

The 2015 year is shaping up to be busy one for the SSAA office and board. We implore you to make the most of your membership and engage with us through webinars, legal training, regional meetings, summits and weekly newsletters. We are here to support you and to make your SSAA the best it can be, however we need your engagement, feedback and input to achieve that.
All the best for 2015 and we hope that it will be successful and productive.

Guy Wilson
SSAA Chairman

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