Board Profile: Sally Steel

1. What is your name and what is your position?
Sally Steel – Group General Manager, Guardian Storage

2. How/Why did you first become involved in self storage?
By chance! I applied for a casual customer service position whilst finishing my Bachelor Degree at Deakin University. I had no idea what self storage was or why anyone would use it! Shortly after, I accepted a full-time position and soon gained a great respect for and interest in the industry. 17 years later, I’m still enjoying it immensely and am honoured to also be on the SSAA Board.

3. What do you think has been the biggest change to self storage since you first entered the industry?
The demise of Yellow Pages and the increase of online marketing. Although it could be argued that SEM is Yellow Pages in disguise – once we were fighting for the first page in the book, now we’re fighting for the first page on Google!

4. What is your best tip for managing staff in self storage?
Staff are the core of any business and are often the first point of contact for a potential new customer. It is important to give your staff ownership of the store they work at – responsibilities and guidelines to manage it as their own so they have great pride in it. Respect and appreciation for efforts achieved are also critical, as are opportunities and feedback to assist skill enhancement.

5. What is your message to members of the SSAA?
Use all the resources the SSAA provides its members. There are great tools from HR advice to legal practices which operators at all levels can benefit greatly from. Utilising these resources, in conjunction with attending and networking at regional meetings and conferences, is an excellent way to broaden your knowledge base and keep-up-to-date with what is happening in the industry. The introduction of alternating The Conference and The Summit allows a variety of management and strategic focus, whilst providing a rediscovery of ideas for owners and their business at large.

6. What do you see as the biggest threat to, or competition for self storage?
Each other! The aggressive discounting approach some players adopt, devalues our product and service. Sell the benefits rather than trying to undercut each other on price and ensure our industry keeps thriving.

7. What do you think are the opportunities for growth in self storage?
Funnily enough, I think there is an opportunity to ‘go back to basics’. In an ever-increasing online world, there is a large percentage of the market who just want good old personal and friendly customer service, mixed in with technology. Excellent customer service equals happy customers which promotes positive word-of-mouth and subsequent referral opportunity.

8. If you could look into the future, what do you see for self storage?
With the increase in property costs and decrease in property availability, I see our industry adopting more of the Asian market approach of setting up (smaller) facilities in multi-purpose buildings/properties that are shared with other businesses, to ensure they have presence in high demand and densely populated areas.

9. Describe your ideal holiday destination.
I’ve been fortunate to travel to a number of places and would have to say New York is still my ideal destination. It reminds me of Melbourne and I love it there. Closer to home, Lorne in Victoria is an all-time favourite, no matter the season.

10. Finish this sentence – “Nobody likes a…
….driver who doesn’t indicate when turning or changing lanes.

11. What is your favourite meal?
My Mum’s beef stroganoff, hands down. It’s my annual request at my family birthday dinner.

12. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I love all animals but do adore my cat, Pippa, who I adopted from a rescue shelter a couple of years ago. I only have the one cat though so am far off being a crazy cat lady……but anything can happen!

13. What ‘life advice’ would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Don’t sweat the small stuff.

14. I can be contacted via LinkedIn

Transcorp Removals & Storage Wins Small Business Champion Award

Transcorp Removals & Storage from Sunshine West has been named Small Business Champion Entrepreneur at the Australian Small Business Champion Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony held on Saturday 18th April at The Westin Sydney, with over 1000 guests in attendance.

The Australian Small Business Champion Awards is the only national recognition program for Australian small businesses. The program aims to recognise outstanding Australian small businesses and encourage high standards of excellence in small business practice. “The Australian Small Business Champion Awards is a way to recognise the efforts of small business people whose efforts contribute to the prosperity and vitality of communities across Australia”, says Steve Loe, Managing Director of Precedent Productions and founder of the awards. “As a small business owner myself, I know the vision and dedication to excellence required to succeed. These traits have been displayed in abundance by all of our 2015 Small Business Champions.

Representatives of Transcorp Removals and Storage were presented with an award statuette and certificate, and gained national recognition as an industry leader. Small business from across Australia delivered an impressive array of entries, with winners representing a broad range of industries from all states and territories. The awards are proudly presented by Precedent Productions, a small business in its own right, and supported by Major Sponsors TrueLocal, and Associate Sponsors Castaway Financial Forecasting System, BizCover, Frontline Stores Australia and Key Person of Influence.

Congratulations to Transcorp Removals and Storage!

Getting to Grips with Storage

Self storage is a service that can help in many facets of your life and is one that many people may be unfamiliar with, unsure how it works and be uncertain if it is worth considering. If you are curious about storage solutions and want to dispel any uncertainties you may have, then keep reading.

Having access to a storage unit has numerous benefits as it can grant you a space where you can place goods so they are out of the way. This may be necessary for various reasons such as:
– Wanting to get rid of junk in your home
– Clearing clutter
– Keeping goods safe
– Undergoing decorating or construction work

Placing goods in a unit during a move lets you do things in parts and get unneeded items out of the way. It can also make time at university simpler as it gives you place to put things you can’t fit in your accommodation and can protect things during the holidays. Office storage is another thing to consider. A workplace can be cluttered with many files and equipment, so having a secure spot to place goods means you can free up space and help the office look its best. Various industries also find mobile self storage useful as it allows them to store goods on site when needed but have them kept securely at a storage facility when not needed.

There are several things you should consider when choosing storage including:
– What size space will fit all of your goods?
– Do you need to access your goods regularly?
– What the storage space will be used to store (do you need vehicle storage or climate controlled storage)?
– Is the unit resistant to strong temperatures, weather etc?
– What type of security does the storage facility offer?

Finding the right storage can be tricky, and you should keep in mind that obtaining the cheapest price may not always mean the best facility. Research companies by looking on-line, in newspapers, listings, yellow pages, etc. Make a note of each firm and look at reviews and comments. Contact each one, learn if they offer what you need, and request a free quote to ensure a fantastic price and a great storage experience.

Ella Andrews is freelance writer and blogger with great passion  for home maintenance and self storage projects. She’s been writing about similar topics for a long time, but is also constantly searching for new sources of inspiration. Find more related tips at: Removal Services Movers Ltd.

Member Profile: Koala Self Storage

Koala Self Storage, O’Connor is a purpose-built centre, located south of the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia. It opened in October 2001 with 842 units and has continued to grow to more than 1000 including vehicle bays. The site is ideally located between two major roads, Leach Highway and Stock Road, giving the building great visibility to passing traffic. Koala have taken advantage of this with huge sign writing on the side of their buildings which is clearly visible from the roads and nearby area. The site is sloped which posed some challenges for construction, however this has been used to advantage with drive up access to both levels of the main two-story building. This clever design has maximised the amount of drive up access units on the site, and minimised the distance of travel for the internal units from the many access points and loading areas. All the units have 3 metre ceilings and there is a range of sizes to suit any potential storage need.

koala ss

Koala Self Storage also opened a high security boat storage section not long after opening. This area not only has state of the art security, with key-pad access, infra-red beams and electric fences, it also has all the facilities a boat owner could need. Wide driveways enabling easy manoeuvring of boats are just the beginning, storers also have exclusive use of a boat wash, power to the boat bays, a kitchenette, lounge room and even a hot shower. It’s no wonder there was a waiting list for the boat storage during construction, which within weeks of opening was full.

“The advanced security features are just one of the reasons that people store with Koala”, says Norma O’Hara, manager of the O’Connor centre. “We have individual key pad access, infra-red beams across every access door, as well as self locking internal doors, which makes unauthorised movement within the centre almost impossible. Our closed circuit TV cameras cover the who facility and are displayed in the reception area as well as being recorded. It’s our bright staff and professional service that people are always commenting on though. We don’t aim to be the cheapest storage option, but we offer the best service, which gives storers great value for money.”

The service at Koala, O’Connor doesn’t stop with the friendly staff. All storers have access to free internet, fax, photocopying and phone services. There is even a cappuccino machine to use. A small conference room is available for commercial customers, and most importantly the facility is always presented in a clean, fresh manner. There is a great merchandise display in the foyer and flat screen monitors in reception show images from the extensive CCTV coverage in the centre.

koala ss1

There is a fairly typical mix of storers in the facility,although the number of commercial customers has increased. “We are not so much actively targeting commercial customers with marketing campaigns,” Norma says, “it is more that they have heard of the service we offer. We are members of the local chamber of commerce, which gives us some exposure to local businesses. We have also been influential in lobbying efforts regarding Fremantle Bypass changes. Our service speaks for itself, and referrals and word of mouth continue to bring us more business, particularly in the commercial area.”

Koala O’Connor has a great rapport with its customers and all staff are well-trained, and experts in demonstrating all the benefits that Koala Self Storage has to offer. Their laughter and humour makes storing with Koala an enjoyable experience. If that’s not enough there is always the cute koala clip-on’s, attached to all the new contracts. Just another way in which Koala tries to stand out from the crowd. Norma, as the manager, says she is totally convinced that to include as much humour into sales advertising is a very important feature in self storage. “If you make people laugh they will buy from you.”

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