So much has changed in the past few years, not to mention the past 25 years. Just consider the advancements in technology since the 1980s. Not only has rental software progressed greatly but personal and small business technology as we know it today (like email, websites and social media) didn’t exist.
We’ve also seen significant changes in how we advertise, communicate with customers and prospects, choose what equipment should be in fleet and determine which items rent best. There’s also a big difference in how employees think and what motivates them. Almost every other part of the rental business has changed dramatically over the years as well – and requires radically different strategies. So, much of what worked for your rental business in the past might be the worst path going forward.
There isn’t just one way to deal with changing realities. It’s always a combination of remedies that are required. It certainly isn’t easy to be progressive, especially for some rental professionals who haven’t shifted out of the “lock down mode” that helped them to survive the “great recession.”
To survive and thrive in today’s world, rental professionals need to consider changing how they do business. How willing are you to make changes to the way you operate your business?
Here are just a few “big picture” ideas for what it takes for rental businesses to survive going forward:
- Manage debt more professionally, but be sure to invest where it makes sense.
- Be extra diligent to stock the equipment your customers really want going forward.
- Advertise in the ways that are the most likely to achieve reasonable results.
- Make employee hiring, training, motivation and retention higher priorities. As the economy improves, these become more critical.
- Be certain your insurance coverage protects you from the unexpected. Also, it’s time for a greater emphasis on customer and employee safety.
- Be in compliance with federal, state and local rules and regulations. For many businesses, this area could become a significant threat to survivability.
- Establish or maintain contact with your state and federal government representatives. I recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to establish contact with my congressional representative. Remember, they represent you, so voice your business needs and opinions.
- Make time to plan your company’s future. Screen ideas carefully.
- Keep current. Resist the temptation to continue conducting “business as usual.”
Don’t be at the total mercy of internal and external forces that affect your company’s survival. Be willing to make a number of well-thought out adjustments. In addition to the obvious importance of having a good defense when seeking to survive, be sure to have a solid offensive game as well.
Instead of simply reacting to tough challenges, try to develop strategies to actively position your company for survival and growth.