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The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Jul 19, 2013

by Brom Hoban, TSSA Director of Communications

As  managing editor of TSSA’s Self-Storage News, I often have the chance to meet new folks in the self-storage industry, whether it’s interviewing them for a magazine article, or getting to know them at a live event.

One thing that has always stood out to me is the entrepreneurial spirit and go-to attitude of our members. Every time I get to know a TSSA member, I’m always impressed by their business knowledge and drive.

Although people enter the self-storage industry from many different backgrounds, they all share some common attributes that have helped them to succeed.

Though the payoffs can be great, it’s not easy starting or running your own business. TSSA owners and operators I’ve talked with have had to deal with any number of challenges along the way, and perseverance has led to success. The ones who succeed are the ones who can persevere through failure and try again.

Seek outside advice
It’s amazing how much you can learn from others in the business, and how much that can help your business. TSSA member Michael Sass, of Store House Self Storage, recently told me that he had a great deal of help from other TSSA members when first got started, from board members and others in the industry.

Starting and running your own business can be a leap of faith, and it takes courage to leave the status quo and make that leap. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon  for other people to discourage you in the early days of your new project. Note that the word “discourage,” includes the word courage. When you’re hearing negative things, don’t pay attention to the “dis!”

One key difference between running a business and working for someone else, is that no one will be pressuring you to complete your tasks when you run your own business. It’s up to you to be completely self-motivated and to do everything it takes to get the work done. That’s not easy, but I consistently see that in TSSA facility owners.

Know your Customers
Not only must you find just the right niche for your location, but one of the most significant competitive edges a small business entrepreneur has over the larger competitors is the personalized attention. TSSA facility owners have told me time and time again that they never underestimate how important that is. In fact, it can mean the difference between success and failure.