Fight Back

Many in the rental industry (rental business operators as well as suppliers) have drifted into the"I can't do anything about it syndrome." Some feel compelled to just hold on tightly while this mean, ugly economy yanks us around and stomps on us. It's tempting and natural to hope that the beast will get tired of its cruelty and let us go. You might be also hoping that time will heal the nasty wounds inflicted by the monster - and not even leave a scar.

It might seem as though the renting climate is so terrible that no new marketing or sales efforts will pay any dividends at all. So you may have decided that getting more business is impossible. You may have stopped investing in strategies that can release you sooner from the clutches of unprofitability. If you stopped investing you may be totally at the mercy of the terrible beast.

Fight back - and don't make the mistake of putting it off until later in the year. Start the process now to develop the strategies that will help set the course for your company's new direction.

Without a doubt, tough decisions are ahead for anyone in this industry. Even suppliers to rental businesses need to re-focus efforts to provide products and services that are truly needed and are of a striking enough value to purchase in the current economic climate.

Just like the reality television shows that feature a major business makeover, some rental businesses (and suppliers) are in desperate need of major business changes. I'm providing a new service to the rental industry specifically designed to focus on the analysis, strategy selection and help implementing the plan to "re-invent" the business.

Some rental businesses, for example, overspent in the areas of facilities, equipment and personnel in the go-go years and need help from a person like me to re-invent their businesses.

It's possible that this is the best time to re-invent. Some rental businesses are "too heavy" in a number of areas but it takes an outsider with plenty of rental business consulting experience to pinpoint what is "too heavy," "too light," or "just right" for your unique situation. It's not just about drastic changes in expenses and other costs of doing business - it's about developing or resurrecting income streams.

On the other hand, it may be a good time to expand. Considering the terrible economy, it might seem unbelievable but there are rental businesses that are expanding and actively seeking and installing new locations. One of the individuals I helped start a rental business many years ago contacted me recently with an update of his huge success; he let me know that he was ready to start another. It will be on the East Coast in an area most would say is not the most dynamic place to put a new rental business now, but some opportunities are just too good now to pass up.

It certainly is important to be willing to make major modifications when and where it makes sense. It is so important to believe that you can make a difference.

So, don't be a passive victim in this "wait and see" economic environment. For example, even though it might seem tempting to drop advertising, I am continuing to advertise (including the use of some print advertising) as part of my company's effort to keep reminding readers of my traditional services as well as introducing new services.

So remember, be proactive now - and restructure your business to be more resilient for any battle that might come our way in the future. Don't let the economy bully you around any more. Stand up to it.

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