We first opened our roller doors in 1986 in Alice Springs, the heart of Australia.
1n the 1980s there were not many self storage centres in Australia and many people did not know what it was. Having faced the roller coaster cash flow of our construction business, we decided to look for a stable source of additional income that Liz could run. The newly emerging self storage industry was a niche market that solved both Liz’s personal needs (her husband Colin was a minimalist) and as a business was exactly what she was looking for.
During the 1989 Australian pilots dispute Liz, through a variety of small planes, attended the Self Storage Association of Australia inaugural meeting in Sydney to gain information and ended up being appointed to the Founding committee of the new Association. She developed a passion for the industry that continues.
During her term as President of the Self Storage Association of Australasia (name change to also include New Zealand and other Asian countries in the future), and with the help of dedicated people, Liz helped to form the Qld, SA and WA committees. The code of ethics and industry policy and procedure standards were also developed during Liz’s time on the board.
Times have certainly changed in the self storage industry.
“In the early days, it was one-size garage units and keyed locks. Nowadays, it’s a lot more sophisticated. We have over 30 different sizes of storage units, climate control, digital access, packaging stores, trailer rentals, social media, state-of-the-art cloud-based technology and cutting-edge security.” Said Liz
Meanwhile, the business Self Storage Australia has grown from Alice Springs to Adelaide and we first opened a new storage centre and Australia’s largest packaging store in Holden Hill. We incorporated many innovative ideas which have since won our company several international awards.
Self Storage Australia has also developed a centre in Elizabeth South which will have more storage units as well as a great showroom added this year. In Edinburgh North the focus is on providing a massive undercover storage area for boats, cars, caravans, jet skis and recreational vehicles as well as outdoor storage for larger trucks and machines.
While the competition has certainly ramped up over the years, we’ve enjoyed great success as we are a South Australian company employing locals to help locals.
Liz, who over the years has given plenty back to the community through businesswomen’s support organisations and by mentoring young people, says Self Storage Australia is constantly adapting to its customers and the broader economy.
“Ultimately though, the secret to our success has been communicating with our customers, quickly adapting to their changing needs and incorporating new technologies and products. Customers are our lifeblood and we understand the value of treating everyone with respect.”