Rekindle Your Passion

With the economy stalled, here are some ways to restart your engine -- and your equipment rental business

Are you one of those who have lost their passion for the rental business? Some might still like the business, but the brutal economy has put others into "neutral." Lately you might just be "going through the motions."

Being stuck in neutral isn't very fun for you and your employees and certainly isn't good for your company. It's so much more fun to be in "overdrive" or at least moving forward. Perhaps for some, just revving up the company's engine to start the race would be a welcome development.

So, what can you do now to help you to rekindle the passion? Start the planning necessary to rid yourself of many of the smaller as well as the big unproductive hassles you and your company face. Identify what you want to change and what steps you can and should take to reduce these worrisome hassles. There is too much mental and emotional energy consumed by some challenges that rental business entrepreneurs face.

Develop a plan to rekindle your employees' passion for the rental business. Certainly, training is an important key. Most rental businesses do not have effective employee and management training systems. Also, it would be wise to identify which employees really care and are able to be trained or retrained. Concentrate on putting together a plan to retain and motivate these valuable workers.

If your employees find themselves with more time on their hands than before, work with them to find ways to set your business apart. Idle time spent worrying about layoffs is detrimental to everyone. Show them (and yourself) that you have the motivation to try creative and new methods. Even if it doesn't rev up business immediately, it can help everyone to keep an optimistic spirit.

Also, don't let personnel and other issues fester. Put systems in place to reduce the likelihood of recurring hassles. Get help to identify the priorities and the most effective ways to handle them. This isn't a DIY project. Don't attempt to handle everything yourself. Your company, your employees and you will benefit from gains you make in "getting better organized."

Do not put up with having an out-of-control rental business. If you would characterize your business in these terms, you should start now to start planning the process of regaining control. The rental business is such an important part of your life, you owe it to yourself and your family to invest the time and financial resources to make the needed changes.

It's important to take better care of yourself. Have regularly scheduled preventive maintenance performed on you. Don't neglect yourself physically. You will be able to function more effectively and you'll also want to enjoy the fruit of your labor both now and well into the future. Seriously consider a near-term get-away to clear your head and give you a burst of new mental energy. Don't wait for four or five months from now. It's possible to be passionate about the business without being consumed by it.

Remember the importance of positivism. Try to fight off the temptation to fixate on the negative. For many rental business operators, especially given the trauma of the last couple years, it's easier to spend more time thinking negative thoughts than positive ones. You and your employees are in one of the most interesting and resilient businesses. Through in-house motivational sessions and newsletters, help employees get fired up about the business.

It's hard to be an effective entrepreneur when depressed. Start the process immediately to put the systems in place that will allow you the mental freedom to concentrate on "building business" rather than "having the business run you."

Even if some of your local market conditions have changed permanently, the rental business still has enormous potential. Restart your engine. Regain your passion.