New year, new opportunities. This is the perfect time to reflect on your business achievements so far, with a view to the future and whether it’s time to stimulate your business growth with some new tools.
You’ve probably spent time cultivating your existing customers, developing new products and services and targeting new markets. But perhaps something is still holding you back from the progress you know you can achieve.
Is your vehicle fleet too small or too outdated for your current operations, let alone your plans for the future?
Six signs it’s time to expand or upgrade your fleet
Don’t be held back by the state of your vehicle fleet. It needs to be a true reflection of your enterprise – dynamic, productive, contemporary and more than fit for purpose. Do any of these apply to you?
1. You can’t keep up with current deliveries or service calls
A backlog of order deliveries or customers waiting too long for service is a sure indicator of a fleet that’s either too small or not suitable for the job. Don’t risk losing clients just because your fleet is letting you down.
2. You’re missing out on new business opportunities
Even in the era of business conducted online, there’s nothing like the personal touch and sealing sales deals face-to face. If your salespeople are hampered because vehicles aren’t available, your growth may take a hit.
3. Vehicles are more than five years old.
While your new vehicles were still under warranty you had some assurance that if something went wrong it was someone else’s job to fix it. But now that they’re more than five years old it’s your problem, resulting in higher costs and risks. Replacing them makes good business sense.
4. Vehicles have travelled more than 100,000 kilometres
Even if a vehicle is less than five years old, if it has more than 100,000 km on the clock it’s inevitably going to start costing more to maintain.
5. Bumps and dents spell brand damage
Do your vehicles look unloved, in spite of the fact that they carry your branding as a form of mobile advertisement? Too many dents and scratches will see your image taking a beating too, not to mention the safety risks of some impact damage that is more than cosmetic.
6. Outdated safety features
Protect your team with the latest safety technology – like active braking assist, auto emergency braking, and lane departure alerts – fitted as standard in many new vehicles.
Vehicle financing options to suit your business
Fleet financing options mean that you don’t need to tie up your working capital by purchasing new vehicles outright. You can choose one or more of these financing plans to suit your business needs.
Similar to a hire purchase agreement, but without the obligation to purchase. At the end of the lease you can choose to either pay the residual value and purchase the vehicle, or return it to the finance provider.
Also known as a Specific Security Agreement, this option sees the lender advancing loan funds for purchasing the vehicle, and taking a charge over the vehicle as security for the loan until it is repaid.
Lower your emissions and your costs at the same time
Small businesses can access a discount of up to 0.7% on their finance rate by choosing electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles for their fleet. Ask about the details of this partnership with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
Get some advice and discuss your options
We can provide advice about the benefits and any possible drawbacks of the various vehicle financing options. You may want to discuss the tax advantages with your accountant.
Make 2020 the year you grow your business by expanding or updating your fleet, while freeing up your working capital to drive further progress.
Original post by Bank of Queensland