Duality is a fascinating facet of life on our planet, and within our society. We are all familiar with the old saying that there are two sides to every story, though when the story is about us, it is quite a bit harder to agree with that notion. Another commonly used term that we have all heard is the expression that a marriage, or other intimate relationship, is a two way street, meaning that both people in the relationship have to work equally hard at sustaining, maintaining and improving it.
Maybe you have a cousin who is two faced, as the saying goes. She seems sweet and sincere when she is talking with someone face to face, but as soon as the person she was talking to walks away, your cousin switches gears and starts bad mouthing, criticizing them, or spreading gossip and rumors about the other person who is no longer present to defend themselves.
Perhaps you have also heard the expression that a situation or call to action of some kind might be a double edged sword. This means that there is a delicate balance that has to be struck in the decision making process. If control is not maintained, no matter which way you fall, it is going to hurt.
Two sides, two way, two faced and double edged all refer to the duality that exists on every level of our lives. Our dualistic nature allows us to experience the gamut of emotions and sensations as the pendulum of our moods and perception swings from side to side. Even our personalities are dualistic. For example, imagine meeting someone at a party whom you are instantly attracted to. The chemistry is there, that sense of excitement and of wanting to make the best possible impression run rampant through your mind, and they are expressed in the words that you speak and in your body language. You are acting and feeling like your best, most attractive self.
Now imagine a different scenario. You wake up in the morning, your is hair uncombed and you are sporting a pre-coffee mentality. As you open the door and walk outside to get your mail, you happen to glance up and see your sixty something, beer bellied neighbor bending down to pick his newspaper up out of the driveway. You get a little more of a peek at his, ahem, boxers, than you were hoping for. He stands up and gives you a friendly smile and a wave as he pulls up his trunks. It is a good thing that we tend to behave differently in various situations. If you reacted to your portly neighbor in the same way that you acted towards someone whom you were intimately attracted to, well, that might be a little awkward. Not to mention really confusing to your neighbor.
Duality makes the world a more interesting, accommodating, and varied place. This same premise holds true in personal situations as well as in business situations. Let us take the example of your neighborhood self storage unit provider . From the point of view of the customer, this self storage unit provider has several responsibilities. First and foremost, they have a responsibility to provide the customer with a clean environment in which to store their belongings. This environment must also meet certain standards of safety and security. Every customer that walks through the door wants to know that their personal belongings are going to be safe there. Customers depend on their local self storage unit provider to meet their needs, unequivocally. They want to know that they can access their unit any time that they wish, and not run into any problems getting into the gate.
Customers expect the employees of their self storage unit provider to be courteous and friendly on the telephone and in person. And if a self storage unit provider has rates that are too expensive, or does not fit into the customers budget, then they will probably go looking for somewhere else to store their things. Customers want to be treated as if they are special, and so being offered a reduced rate or a special deal is something that they appreciate and remember. Great customer service racks up bonus points. Truly, from the point of view of the customer, the responsibilities of their self storage unit provider basically all revolve around them. The customer is king. The customer is the boss. The customer is not concerned with all of the details that have to take place in order for the entire operation to run smoothly. They want the best service, the best deal and the best product. Period.
Now let us take it to the flip side, so to speak, and observe the same position of responsibilities from the perspective of the self storage unit provider . An awful lot goes on behind the scenes that the customer never gets a chance to see. Nor should they. From the other side of the coin, that of the perspective of the self storage unit provider , great customer service is absolutely hugely important. The customer should be treated like the boss that they are because they understand the needs of the customer, and they want them to return. However, customer service is only one of a long and involved list of responsibilities that the self storage unit provider is expected to perform in the interest of the company itself, of which the customers are an integral part.
Assembling an exceptional team of employees who understand the needs of the customers is one of the greatest tasks of the self storage unit provider . It takes courteous, patient, attentive individuals to care for so many different accounts and handle each with a level of superior customer service. Answering the questions, and addressing the concerns of potential tenants, as well as past and present tenants can be a full time job in itself. Lease agreements with new tenants, lease renewals with present tenants and tenants who choose to withdraw their belongings and part ways all require paperwork. A self storage unit provider maintains records of every transaction, every payment and every non-payment notice.
Paperwork is time consuming and is a never ending stream of work for people in the self storage unit provider industry. In addition to the tenants files, there are purchase orders for supplies and retail products, such as boxes, packing materials and other accessories that they may sell on the side. There are invoices for services rendered from outside companies such as exterminators, maintenance crews, landscaping crews, and security companies. Many companies also rent moving trucks, which adds a whole new dimension to the work load, in the way of mechanical maintenance and repairs, licensing and registration of the vehicles, and of course, insuring them.
Insurance of all kinds is important in the self storage unit provider industry. Not only do they require insurance on the facility itself, but they also need to be able to offer insurance coverage to their loyal employees, which add up to even more paper work. Many of these facilities offer insurance to the tenants themselves, as an added measure of security. And as mentioned, the moving trucks must be insured, and the tenants must have the option to take out insurance on the vehicles when they rent them, as well.
Marketing is a big deal for the self storage unit provider . The more people who know about their service and rent their units, the better off the company will be, financially, at the end of the fiscal year. It is important to get the word out to the public, and it takes a lot of work. Radio advertisements, television commercials and billboards are just a few of the ways that a self storage unit provider might market themselves. Fliers, newspaper ads and circulars are another. And do not forget the immeasurably important web presence. Marketing is another aspect of the business that can be a full time job.
In the same arena as marketing is the promotions department. There is a lot of creativity going on just beneath the surface, busting out new ideas for sales promotions, monthly specials and incentives that will entice people to come in and be a part of the existing family of satisfied customers. The self storage unit provider has the customers best interests in mind, as well as the best interests of the organization as a whole.
Yet another behind the scenes duty is, of course, compensating the wonderful people who spend forty hours or so a week busting their tail to make the customers happy. Payroll, employee training and mentoring programs, vacation and sick leave, and other employee based aspects of the job often go unnoticed by the lady who walks in off the street expecting to have all of her questions answered on the spot. People are impatient, and they do not often have compassion for the girl behind the counter who is wrapping up her first day at her new job, unsure of what is really supposed to be going on. That is why new employee training programs are so important.
For a self storage unit provider to be effective, even when a person is brand new to the company, the customers needs must always come first, as long as they are in the office. Keeping track of people who walk in off the street looking for information is a way to compile a mailing list of sorts. In addition, employees are responsible for keeping track of tenants that are moving in, and moving out. With so many people coming and going at all hours of the day and night, this can be a challenge.
But there is so much more to the business of being a self storage unit provider than this, even. Think about it. Management of the property itself is a huge concern for the property manager. Regular inspections must be made of the units, the parking area and all of the on site locations. Maintenance issues must be dealt with in a timely manner. In climate controlled facilities, the operation of the air conditioning and heating systems are of primary importance and should be regularly checked and maintained. Over all cleanliness of the property, the lobby area, the restrooms, the parking area and every other aspect of the facility must be maintained at the highest possible standards. This includes curb appeal. Worn, faded signs must be replaced, parking lots repaved, a fresh, bright coat of paint applied to the trim, rust proofing the metal entry gate. Just as a residential home requires upkeep and regular maintenance to keep it from aging disgracefully, so too do all of the physical aspects of a self storage unit provider location.
Even though the customer is king, every once in a while a facility will come across a tenant who is a joker. Unfortunately the tricks that this joker plays are far from funny. Non paying tenants are rare, but they do occur occasionally. When some one decides that they do not want to pay for their unit anymore, steps have to be taken that are not always pleasant. The process is long, legal and must be followed to the letter. The self storage unit provider must have a working knowledge of non payment options, delinquent account proceedings and actions, evictions proceedings and lien laws. It is, perhaps, the most distasteful aspect of the job, but it is a reality that must be dealt with.
And then there is the tedious business of taxes, from which no one is immune. Financial reporting is just as important as being knowledgeable about the city zoning laws, regulations and other important permits that may need to be applied for when running this type of business.
Despite all of this work, organization and responsibility, there is one aspect of the business of self storage unit provider that we have yet to discuss, and that is the competition. Considering that there are over fifty thousand of these companies in the United States alone, it appears that competition would indeed be a major consideration in this industry. So it is important to the success of a facility for them to be wise to the ways of their competitors. If a companies competitors are having a promotion, chances are that they need to come up with a better one. It is all about business, even though it is also all about the customers. If the competition decides to open up a moving accessories store and sell boxes for four dollars each, then it is time create an even better promotion that the competition and to sell boxes at a price cheaper than the other guy, say two boxes for six dollars.
All of this work is done, every day, behind the scenes of your local self storage unit provider . If the company is reputable, honest and investing in good business practices, one would never guess upon walking into the establishment that anything other than full attention was being given to them, the customer. Finding that balance between maximizing profits, staying under budget, taking care of all of the maintenance issues, honoring the employees for their work and dedication, filing all of the legal paperwork, and most importantly, servicing the needs of the customers who make it all possible is a crazy, busy game of skill. Though the self storage unit provider is in business for the bottom line, profits, they have a full understanding that profits come about as a result of making customer service look easy. But as we can see, there is nothing easy about the day to day behind the scenes reality of the self storage unit provider and the tasks that they must complete in order for them to be able to pull it all off.
It is comparable to the two sides of a coin. Here is why. The side of the coin which displays the head represents the customers perspective. The customer gets to be greeted by the smiling faces of the organization, the warm welcome as they walk through the door, the sparkle in the eye of the new girl at the desk, and the customer service that makes them feel special and appreciated.
Now flip that coin over to the other side. What do you see? Ah, yes, tails. The side of the coin that depicts tails represents the perspective of the self storage unit provider . Can you guess why? Well, it is because these hard working, responsible and dedicated employees, property managers and company owners work their tails off in order to attend to the incredibly long list of details and responsibilities that must be taken care of in order for the customer to even have the opportunity to feel special and appreciated. It is the duality of the business world. The two sides meet in the middle. The pendulum finds its happy medium, the balance on the tip of the double edged sword has been reached. And when this happens, relationships happen, profits are made, needs are met, customers feel like kings. As it should be.