Personal strength, fortitude and decisiveness — all these character traits have been called upon to stay the course throughout the past two to three years. Looking ahead, the lessons learned over the course of those many economically challenging months will continue to serve everyone in the industry well. While a positive attitude does help one navigate and chart an unpredictable business environment, a business needs many more stars to align to maintain cash flow, pay the bills and maintain a viable operation. We are finally into 2011, where the American Rental Association (ARA) looks for a positive year.
The association is currently conducting a survey among rental and supplier members to get their read on the pulse of the 2011 economy, with a look back at how 2010 compared to 2009. Initial participation has been strong and we thank each member who responded. ARA uses these surveys, along with the ARA Rental Market Monitor outlook information from IHS Global Insight, to provide you with meaningful rental-specific information to help you make informed business decisions. Members responding to the survey also receive an aggregate summary of the responses to see how their outlook compares to their peers. For ARA, member responses provide the practical balance to our economic outlook messages.
Your association is bullish on the future of our industry and I do think that our attitude on how we approach 2011 is more important than ever and here’s why:
The industry has been through a period never before experienced, with a lot of unknowns having been thrown at us, some of which remain ahead, such as implementation of the new health care legislation. You’ll have to decide when and how to implement market outlook information for your business that means investing capital, taking risk and building back lost rental revenue or incorporating planned growth. This takes not only quality information from informed sources, but also the personal confidence of making the right decisions for the right business reasons. Attitude makes a difference in the decisions you make.
ARA continues to build for the future, implementing business information you have requested through the ARA board of directors or member committees. Last month, I participated, as did many ARA members, on an ARA webinar linking rental and supplier businesses with Department of Transportation (DOT) officials regarding implementation of a new regulation from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding roadside inspections. Member response was overwhelming with questions posed to the DOT staff. Those not addressed on the webinar will be answered individually and directly as a result of participating in the webinar. Look for ARA to provide you with more of these opportunities that deliver to you quality information in a timely manner.
Noted in the DOT webinar was the new ARA Web-based Professional Driver Education Program. If you want to increase your rental revenue volume, set yourself apart from your competition, instill professionalism within your workforce, lessen driver and DOT violations along with insurance claims, stem workers compensation claims and improve your overall business, this is a program for you. I can’t say enough about the benefits of this program to your business, other than to tell you to purchase it from ARA and put it to immediate use. It’s also available at member-reduced prices that are further reduced with additional Web-license purchases. The best end result of this program is that lives will be saved with its implementation.
At The Rental Show 2011 coming up in Las Vegas, you will be able to contribute to and experience the positive attitude, energy and enthusiasm of the industry. This is an industry that is moving forward. Join your peers and ARA to be a part of building the innovation for each of us to champion the rental concept. It starts with each of us.