When Is The Right Time To Expand Your Fleet Of Vehicles? November 21, 2018
In your business, there will come a point when you consider expanding your fleet of vehicles, whether that be cars, trucks, trailers, even motorcycles. What the vehicle is will depend on what your business is and how you use them, but no matter what you feel you need, the cost can be a worry. This could be why some business owners choose to put off buying a new vehicle, preferring to carry on with what they have, even if the fleet is looking old, or you have too much business and need more employees (and therefore more vehicles for them).
Struggling on with the fleet you have could be a big mistake. If the vehicles aren’t in good condition it will reflect badly on your company when people see them (especially if they seem them broken down at the side of the road!), making people think that if you can’t take the time to care for your fleet, you won’t take the time to care for their needs either. Plus, unreliable vehicles mean you might let customers down.
If you’re wondering whether now is the right time to expand your fleet, read on.
- When Your Budget Allows
The concern that most people will have about buying a new (or used) vehicle for their expanding fleet is their budget. It is an important consideration because if your business has a tight budget and buying a new vehicle makes it difficult to pay for essentials such as rent and wages, you may need to wait. However, bear in mind that this new vehicle could mean that you are able to do more work, thus bringing in more money. This is why you need to work out what the costs are compared to what the potential gains are.
Don’t forget that there are a number of different ways to pay for a vehicle, and buying it outright isn’t necessarily the best thing you can do for your business if money is hard to come by. Instead, you could pay for it on a monthly basis, which would make cashflow a lot easier and still enable you to have the vehicle you need. You might even be able to defer the first payment, enabling you to have time to use the vehicle to bring in more money. Alternatively, you can lease a new vehicle. Although you won’t end the truck or trailer at the end of the lease term, you will have a lot more flexibility, and if the payments become too much, you can terminate the lease early (remember though, that doing this could incur some penalties).
- Can You Cut A Deal?
The time might be right to expand your fleet if you can cut a good deal when you are looking around. Start to look around at adverts that offer the right vehicles and determine that kind that you want. Then take a good look at the price. It might be that the price being asked for is a good one, and one that you’re happy to pay. If, however, you think that the price is too high yet you are still interested in the vehicle, you can try to negotiate a good deal. Talk to the seller about what price you would like to pay versus the price they are asking for, and try to come to an agreement that you are both happy with. Negotiation is an important part of business, and something that you should practice as much as possible, so when it comes to buying a vehicle this is the perfect time to see how much money you can get the asking price reduced by.
In order to strike a good deal, you need to have some good leverage. It might be that the vehicle is second hand and requires some work before it can be utilized in your business. In this case, you can work out how much that will cost you to put the problems right, and explain this to the seller. In many cases, the issues will only be small, and might just mean that you can make easy fixes. With a trailer, for example, you can add a quality spray liner to the base to cover up any marks (and protect the trailer in the future). Click here if that sounds like what you need. Otherwise, you might only need to touch up the paint, or readjust bulbs, and so on.
Larger jobs that require a mechanic or a longer time to fix will need a larger discount, so this needs to be taken into account. Remember, though, that if the job is very big, perhaps requiring an entirely new engine, or other important elements to the vehicle to make it drivable and safe, that bargain you are hoping for might not be worth it at all, as you will end up spending far too much money and you might still have a vehicle that just doesn’t run well.
- Do You Need To?
Running a business often means that the business owner needs to weigh up what they need and what they want. It might be tempting to purchase or lease a brand new fleet of trucks or cars because they will look great and you’ll feel good about it, but do you really need to do this? If you old fleet is starting to break down a lot, or there is damage and rust, and they just don’t look the part, then yes, perhaps it is time.
However, if you only want to obtain new vehicles because you like the idea and it is exciting, but there is really nothing wrong with the vehicles you have, then take a step back and really think about what you are doing. It is likely that this simply is not the right time to make such a large and important purchase, and it is going to be a better idea to postpone the idea until a better time. This may be the last thing you really want to do, but removing yourself from the immediate thought of a new fleet and giving the ideal time to settle will help you realize just how important it really is.