Because of the challenging and changing economy, now is a great time to question almost everything. And it's time to stress the need for a complete review (and possible overhaul) of your company's policies and procedures. It's more important than ever to make the most of your business's opportunities to make additional income as well as to keep from wasting money.
It amazes me that a subject as important as a company's policies and procedures does not receive more attention by the owners and operators of rental businesses.
Are you certain that your company's practices are the best for your company? Is it possible that some of your company's practices are outdated and are having the opposite effect from what they were intended to achieve? Are there policies that can significantly boost "other income" at your company and help to offset significant losses in traditionally strong parts of your business?
How are you handling delivery charges, rental rate periods, late fees, damage waivers, personnel issues, incoming telephone calls, purchasing and every other practice in your company?
It's important to have a periodic, thorough review done by an objective expert to analyze your rental company's policies and procedures. Then, it will be time to make well-conceived and thought-out changes that make sense for your company.
You are in the business of finding and suggesting ways to make your customers' jobs easier. Customers are creatures of habit and can resist your suggestions - even though you are confident that the customer will be exceedingly happy with the results from using your idea.
Like customers that you have advised the use of a powered posthole auger instead of a manual posthole digger when putting in a large number of holes, rental business operators need to break out of the mind set of continuing practices that always seemed to work in the past. Times have changed, conditions have changed, and some of the policies and procedures that made all of the sense in the world in the past are no longer the best to use.
Once policies are revised, it would be wise to update your company's employee handbook. Your company's policies and procedures should be updated and crystal clear.
Whether starting an employee handbook from scratch or revising an outdated or incomplete one, contact an expert to assist in making it become a reality. It's well worth the time and expense to do it right. This is not the time to cut corners.
Proper policy and procedure training is also needed. For best results have your entire staff trained at the same time so everyone is working from the same playbook.
So remember, with the tough economic times and changes in your market area, it's wise to have your business analyzed to identify what changes can and should be made - and to help make sure you're on target.