It seems that misery loves company and there are plenty of stories about rental companies suffering; rental rates are down, revenues are down, employees being laid off, etc. How about we spread some good news? Here is a note we received from one of our clients this week:
“We have been extremely busy since mid February. Our rental rates are up and we are walking away from unprofitable deals. We are ordering new equipment and pulling older inventory for sale. Our customers have jobs on the books and tell us that upcoming work looks good.”
What makes this company special? The right market? The lack of competition?
Here are some characteristics, some “difference makers” with this company:
- The owners are hands-on and knowledgeable. They are well-informed and know where they stand in every aspect of their business.
- Their employees are “partners” in their business. The employees are treated well, compensated competitively (including incentives) and motivated. Employee input is respected, valued and sought out.
- The company, its owners and its employees are well known and active in their community (a mid-sized metro area) and involved with industry associations (both customer and peer groups). The Company has plenty of competition, with most every national company operating in its marketplace.
- The owners, though industry veterans, are open-minded and constantly looking for ways to improve their business. At the first sign of a downturn in 2009, they brought in our consultants to evaluate their business. The input we gave was appreciated, our suggestions were implemented and followed up on. They are constantly giving us updates on the progress of recommendations we had for improvement in various aspects of the business. Recently, they invested in a new software system to improve their counter operations and management reporting.
- Their facilities are impeccable. They present a good appearance from the street and that follows through into attractive, customer friendly showrooms and rental counter areas. Equipment storage and maintenance areas are clean and organized. Delivery vehicles and rental equipment are well maintained and create a positive customer perception including paint and decals.
- Even in the downturn, the Company was able to expand both through acquisition and cold start.
This Company didn’t “luck out” in an improving market. All during the downturn, they took care of the fundamentals and took pro-active steps to be on the forefront of any upturn in business. What steps have you taken to be on the forefront? Feel free to call us for a confidential discussion about what we at Rental Acquisitions LLC can do for you.