Renting equipment can be a great cost-saving initiative for a business, giving it access to the necessary equipment without its having to invest in long-term maintenance needs or upfront cost. The company renting this equipment needs to be reliable, trustworthy and knowledgeable if it wants to retain customers. There are some equipment rental mistakes that a rental company must avoid, or they risk negative consequences for their business.
Common Equipment Rental Mistakes
Making strategic decisions when it comes to renting out equipment can do wonders for your business. Avoiding rental mistakes can save your company money and improve its reputation while increasing your revenue by allowing you to expand your customer base. Here are eight common equipment rental mistakes to avoid, regardless of whether you’re already renting out equipment or are planning to start an equipment rental business:
1. Forgetting Safety Considerations
Regardless of the industry you’re in, safety should be at the forefront of your considerations, to protect employees’ well-being and to protect your business as a whole. With heavy equipment, operators need to be trained on the specific machines, since skills are often not transferable from one machine to the next.
As a company providing the rental equipment, safety includes ensuring the equipment is in working condition and tip-top shape before renting it out. In addition to that, your employees should be able to help clients learn how to use the equipment they’re renting. You can accomplish this by providing your employees with the appropriate tools for professional development and ongoing learning. This ensures the safety of both your clients and your equipment while improving your reputation as a reliable and trustworthy business.
2. Seeking Equipment Quantity Over Quality
Just because you’re renting out equipment for others to use doesn’t mean you can settle for low-quality machinery. In fact, an equipment rental company should confirm its equipment is in good working order and is aesthetically professional. The equipment you’re renting should be free of leaks or oil drips and should be well maintained so it’s not dirty or rusty.
If the equipment is missing any of its safety guards, this gives the impression that you’re not a reputable renter, and clients may look elsewhere for their rental needs. A good equipment rental business model is to make sure the equipment you’re renting out is as good as the equipment you’d want to rent yourself. That means investing in high-quality equipment and ensuring it is maintained properly.
3. Managing Paperwork Inefficiently
One of the keys to a successful business is being organized, and if you’re still managing all your paperwork by hand, you may be letting more fall between the cracks than you think. Different software is available based on the type of equipment you’re renting and your general business practices. You can and should thoroughly research the software options available and pick the ones that are best suited to your business.
The right software will allow you to organize your rentals and clients, reducing the likelihood of human error and further improving your reputation as an equipment rental business.
4. Maintaining a Financially Unbalanced Fleet
You want to make sure you’re not splurging on excessively overpriced equipment that will cost more to maintain than it will to rent out, leaving you with a deficiency rather than revenue. On the other hand, some people tend to buy too much equipment when starting out, which can cause the same problem. Instead, do some market research and carefully select the equipment you’ll stock based on what your potential customers will want or need.
5. Taking an Isolated Approach Without Partnerships
When it comes to starting a company, partnerships are one aspect that can really make your business soar. Part of your market research should include what your customers may be expecting from you as well as what other products or services they’re likely to need. With this in mind, contact the businesses offering those products or services and propose partnerships that will mutually benefit both companies. This creates a win-win situation for the companies as well as the customers. They’ll get reputable recommendations, and you and your partner business will get increased traffic.
6. Undervaluing Customers and Customer Service
Customers are the reason your business will succeed or fail, so it’s crucial to ensure you’re providing the services, products and experiences that will keep clients coming back to your business over others. Treating your customers well should be a given, but putting this principle into practice isn’t always simple.
Market research once again comes in handy in this area, since it gives you a good idea of what your customers need, which will then help you provide service that’s tailored to them. For example, providing reliable recommendations and advice and treating your customers as more than just clients can go a long way toward customer satisfaction and creating repeat customers.
7. Using Unclear Contracts
While one of your business’s main goals is to keep the customers happy, you still need to ensure that you offer client contracts that are airtight to protect yourself and them. Avoid disputes and misunderstandings by being clear and concise in your contract regarding things like how the equipment should be treated, what additional fees may be charged and what the client should do if something goes wrong with the equipment.
Having a clear and quick answer to common client concerns will add to your reputation as a reliable and trustworthy renter. It can also save both you and your clients from having to haggle over the nitty-gritty.
8. Having Little or No Web Presence
For a business to succeed in the age of the internet, it needs an online presence. You don’t have to go all out and create and maintain multiple social media accounts for your business, but having a website is essential. You can invest the time and money into creating a fuller online presence, but if you’re just starting out, a simple website can be just as effective.
Create a website that’s professional and accessible, and make sure it provides all the necessary information about your business and the products and services you offer. Your business website is a reflection of your business as a whole — and it’s often the first impression potential clients will get — so it’s important to give it the attention it deserves.