Rely on the Cost of Doing Business Report for benchmarks

Matt Musgrove, president of Tejas Equipment Rental & Sales, based in McAllen, Texas, has relied on the Cost of Doing Business Report from the American Rental Association (ARA) for years to “establish benchmarks for different expenses. The report enables me to establish budgets and know how I compare with other companies. It gives me something to strive for as far as revenue targets and gives me a good template to base my business on.”

Because of the report’s online availability, Musgrove says he now is able to access it when he wants and export sections to an Excel spreadsheet to compare and contrast in his own way. “This allows me to quickly and easily manipulate the data and customize it,” he says.

He is not alone. Kyle Keeley, vice president of Chet’s Rent All in Rochester Hills, Mich., also has been turning to the report to “not only compare my stores with each other, but also to set standards to benchmark beyond what is going on in my company,” he says.

“For instance, you might think you are fast growing up, running the 40-yard dash, until you meet that kid down the block who is a lot faster. If you haven’t set the standard for a 40-yard dash time, you don’t know how fast you are. You might think you are doing well, but then you find out you’re just mediocre. This report shows the industry gold standards of the top 25 percent and how they are doing it,” Keeley says.

The value of this report was evident to Mike Branch, president of The Rental Branch in St. Joseph, Mich., even before he opened his business in the mid-1990s. “I didn’t have any experience in the rental business at all. I bought this report and wrote notes all over it. As a newcomer to the industry, it offered a wealth of information and showed me what I was in for,” he says.

He continues to rely on the report “to see how we stack up against other rental stores,” Branch says. He uses it as a guide, particularly for areas that consume a lot of his budget: payroll, occupancy and repairs. “This winter, when we start our planning for the coming year, I will rely on this report to see what our trends have been and how we compare. This helps as we start to put our budget together,” he says.

As a new rental operator, Jay Berend, owner of Berend Turf & Tractor in Wichita Falls, Texas, is relying on the 2013 report “for benchmarks to set our business standards by and what goals we can reach for,” he says. “I am interested in looking at one spectrum to the other, from employee pay to percentage of gross margin. I feel it will open my eyes to what is going on around the country. I realize that we may be a little different in our area, but you always have to think outside of the box and realize that others may know how to do things better than you do.”

For these rental operators, the Cost of Doing Business Report allows them to see whether they are “on the right path,” Musgrove says.


Cost of Doing Business Report now available

You can’t grow your business if you don’t know how you compare with industry benchmarks and what actions you need to take to  remain competitive. Now is the time to discover all of that and more with the brand-new online and interactive 2013 Cost of Doing Business Report.

The new report is the only one available that offers rental-specific financial benchmarking data and provides online, interactive access
in real-time.

When you order the Cost of Doing Business Report in October, you also will receive the Financing Your Rental Business guide for free — another financial resource — as part of the American Rental Association’s (ARA) Product of the Month promotion.

Together, these ARA resources are designed to offer essential financial insights that allow you to:

  • Compare your company’s performance with other rental stores.
  • Improve your profitability.
  • Communicate more effectively with your banker.

The cost is $350 for ARA members and $650 for nonmembers. To order, go to “Shop ARA” at or call Member Services at 800-334-2177.