Contributing Editors

Self Storage, Savior to Small Businesses World-Wide

by Holly Robinson May 25, 2011 4:54 PM
There is not a corner of the world that has not been affected in some way by the economic downturn of the last few years. Individuals have been hit hard with many losing their homes and forced to declare bankruptcy. The struggles of large businesses have been well-documented in the media as well. Perhaps the hardest hit has been the small business owner. [More]

Federal Taxes Take Their Toll on Small Businesses

by John Stevens April 18, 2011 5:31 PM
Taxes are due today and according to a new report, small businesses take the brunt of the burden and are spending billions of hours on federal tax compliance. Researchers from IBM Global Business Services, IRS NHQ Office Research and Quantria Strategies have released a report with some surprising small business news on how much time taxes actually take. [More]

Sometimes Doing Nothing Can Be Doing a Whole Lot

by Tony Gonzalez February 3, 2011 9:40 AM
Every small business owner, self storage and otherwise, will tell you that one thing matters above all else when it comes to success in the business world—location, location, location. Picking the right location can make the difference between turning a respectable profit every year and just scraping by. [More]

New Act Could Cause Self Storage Industry Financial Woes

by John Stevens November 19, 2010 10:44 AM
President Obama has put forth much legislation in the hopes of helping small businesses grow and thrive, depending on a person’s opinion of his political objectives. But a major trip up in a new act could cost self storage owners a lot of money in the form of taxes and require piles of paperwork. [More]

Stay in One Place, Sunrise Self Storage Facilities, and Google Will Find You Eventually

by Winnie Hsiu September 22, 2010 11:57 PM
According to the United States Search and Rescue Task Force, the thing to do if you get lost is to stay in one place -- and stay together. Sunrise, Florida, and its more than 86,000 citizens have been doing just that for 50 years, since Sunrise (originally called Sunset) was first established. Yet for almost a month this summer, Google Maps sent viewers who were looking for Sunrise to Sarasota -- a city that is 200 miles away and on the other side of the state -- instead. Not only was the city of Sunrise lost, but so were all its businesses (including many self storage facilities), addresses, and even city hall, much to the mayor’s dismay. [More]

Will the Small Business Jobs Act Help Self Storage Businesses?

by Tony Gonzalez September 17, 2010 4:53 PM
The U.S. Senate passed legislation yesterday designed to make it easier for small businesses to create new jobs. The bill is called the Small Business Jobs Act. It was passed in the Senate by a vote of 61 to 38 and is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives, and signed by President Obama, next week as well.

According to the national Self Storage Association, about 90 percent of self storage companies are owned by individual entrepreneurs who each operate just one self storage facility. In the United States today, there are around 27,650 self storage owner/operators who own and operate one facility each. Will the Small Business Jobs Act help these self storage business owners? [More]

Florida Self Storage Owner Fights Fire Service Tax

by Kim Kilpatrick September 2, 2010 3:51 PM
In many states, fire departments facing budget deficits are responding by charging fees to local area residents for fire service -- fees for equipment used, for the time served by firefighters fighting a fire (including overtime for night fires), etc. Some states, though, have banned the practice of fire departments charging fire victims for their services. Florida is one of those states. However, a few localities are getting around the ban a different way -- by assessing a new tax on businesses and homeowners. The tax is often called the fire service tax or fire service fee. Now a Florida self storage owner is leading the fight against fire service fees in the city of Brooksville. [More]

Small Businesses Making More Use of Self Storage

by John Stevens July 9, 2010 9:01 AM
Over the last few months, entrepreneurs all over the world have reported that they see no reason to pass up a business opportunity, or business opportunities, simply because they have no space in which to house a small business. More and more small business owners, especially those who just started a new business or who are running a home business, have chosen to turn to self storage to provide the space they need at an affordable price. Many self storage companies, catering to small businesses and home-based business owners, are now offering more than just space -- they also provide conference rooms, Internet access, and other business-friendly features. [More]

Small Businesses Appear Larger by Combining Self Storage with Google Voice

by Tony Gonzalez June 23, 2010 5:39 PM
Yesterday, Google announced that it will now allow anyone to sign up for a free phone number and free voicemail using its previously invitation-only Google Voice service. All over the Internet, bloggers have been hailing this development as a wonderful cost-saving tool for a small business, even though many of the capabilities of Google Voice have been available to small businesses for quite some time through other VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) providers, such as Skype and Sipgate. In fact, Skype and Sipgate offer one service that Google Voice does not: the ability to send and receive a fax.

However, Google Voice has upped the ante, so to speak, by offering some new services. These services will make it even easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses that do not yet have a home, simply by combining a self storage unit (to hold inventory and records) with a laptop computer and cell phone. Small business owners are using VoIP services to make their businesses appear larger and more established than they actually are, to convey a professional appearance (even when the business owner may be working at home in casual attire), and to appear more local than they actually are, sometimes targeting local residents by setting up a special phone number that is located within that area code. In some cases, business owners add to the appearance of being local by opening a self storage unit at a facility that also includes a small post office where businesses can receive mail. [More]

Will an iPad Make Your Small Business More Productive?

by John Stevens May 28, 2010 1:18 AM
The iPad is Apple’s latest gadget, intended to revolutionize the future of mobile computing. Released in the United States on April 3, the iPad allows users to browse the Internet, answer email, display an extensive photo collection, watch videos, listen to music, read e-books, use global positioning software to get directions, take notes, keep track of a calendar and contacts, and use iWork productivity applications such as Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. It retails for $599. And now other manufacturers are coming up with iPad knock-offs that do many of the same things that an iPad will do. But -- is the iPad (or some other iPad-inspired computer tablet) really a revolutionary development in computing, and does your small business need one?

The answer is yes only if the iPad allows you to accomplish more in less time: the essence of productivity. The iPad offers certain advantages and disadvantages to small business owners, depending on your particular business and your particular needs. Self storage owners who own just one facility are not likely to need an iPad. But operators who travel back and forth between several facilities, and small businesspeople who travel frequently and who use self storage units to hold inventory and archives, may find an iPad to be a useful tool that enables them to be more productive while traveling. [More]
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