Rental organizations looking to increase their revenue will be eventually faced with the decision to acquire their competition, add additional product lines, or expand their territory geographically by opening additional locations.
There are many challenges in going from one location to multiple including the obvious one of managing and keeping track of your fleet of equipment, which is what this blog will focus on. Regardless of your method of expansion, there are unique challenges in running separate locations while keeping a unified vision and direction. To keep your organization running smoothly, here are some tips on managing multiple rental locations.
You’re only as good as your team.
Choosing the right staff to operate your new equipment rental locations, especially if you have inherited them, is a critical step. While the new staff may have some quirks and be stuck in their ways, they probably own the relationships with the customers, which is the heart of any rental business. You need to be able to leverage those relationships while executing a well-orchestrated plan to ensure they are able to follow new procedures and learn updated technology, if needed.
Changing computer systems is one of the highest stress changes you can make if it isn’t done well. Your new staff, and they are yours now, for better or worse, have to be able to self-manage or be self-starters to take on issues as they rise without head office having to micromanage them.
Trust the people you put in charge.
Opening up a new location or acquiring a competitor means you will need people you trust taking over the day-to-day operations. After all, your success relies on people you may not often see. Choose staff loyal to your organization who understand and excel at carrying out your vision and are passionate about inspiring others to work hard.
Remember this point, if nothing else, when you find yourself having to micromanage a senior person, you have probably made a hiring mistake and need to rectify that situation as soon as possible. If you believe “things will work themselves out”, they probably won’t.
Train those people.
Not only will you have new people that need to learn your processes, but you may be growing to the point where you need to learn new management processes and train your staff to carry them out. The standards differ by industry, but it is true that as your business grows through more levels it will need to adapt on increasing levels of complexity, which is only made worse when dealing with multiple locations. You may need to find some management coaches to train those new managers and senior people.
Schedule regular on site visits.
A regular visit will allow offsite employees to feel the full support of the head office. These meetings can be used to review upcoming projects, train on new equipment being added to the fleet, review new safety measures, connect with key clients, and allow time for socialization and team building.
This will also allow for remote locations to provide feedback on operations, which will help promote best practices across your organization. The more you make the new people feel like they are involved the more they will buy in and success will follow.
We will continue this topic in another post coming soon.