Landscape contractors are tasked with managing many business and equipment aspects. A holistic fleet management program can help your business stay efficient and profitable. Here are five considerations:
- Find a fleet program as nimble as your business. Staying nimble will help you through challenging times. Several equipment manufacturers offer fleet discounts for a single unit and have starter fleet programs for small landscapers that can benefit them as they grow their business. For larger landscapers, companies may offer tiered programs. Landscapers who purchase more units can realize greater unit discounts as they grow their business.
- Look for loaner units. Loaner units are another key item that a landscape professional must look for in a fleet management program. These units are intended to keep landscapers up and running, so they can keep on-schedule and fluid in their own business schedule.
- Investigate flexible payment options. Many fleet programs have several payment options available, whether it be cash purchase, financing, or leasing. Look for a fleet program that offer discounts for cash purchases or the flexibility of varied term financing options. When financing, don’t feel stuck with one option—there are dealers that can offer a variety of finance solutions whether it’s a straight monthly payment or even skipping winter months. There are alternatives out there that can help plan for seasonal business growth and variances. Some manufactures also offer very competitive leasing options that allow you to expense your new mower purchases.
- Build a partnership with your local dealer. A landscaper’s relationship with his or her local equipment dealer is critical. The dealer wants to be a great supplier and is a direct link to the changing equipment market, which is crucial as landscapers look to grow their business. It’s always good have someone on your side. From small parts requests to larger mower repairs, an ongoing and open relationship with an equipment dealership will benefit all parties, fueling growth and business efficiencies.
- Select your landscape equipment brand. The decision of which brand to use can be very beneficial in growing a fleet landscape business. There are efficiencies in buying all primary mowing equipment from the same manufacturer. When consolidating to one brand both support from the dealer, and training employees will be easier. Plus, a maintenance team will find it easier to maintain the equipment as one manufacturer uses similar components on the different equipment.
A good fleet management program will allow you to better compete, remain profitable year-round, and most importantly, help you grow your business.
Vachal is Senior Turf Product Manager with Kubota. He presented a fleet management seminar during Kubota’s Turf Talk virtual event held in early January.