Operating a fleet is a great way to make your business grow. For SME owners, it’s one of the best methods to get your business recognised especially if you’re relatively new in the industry. A fleet can be used to build your brand and The Telegraph showed various ways to do it such as heightening your business’s presence through visual impact and making a statement.
More importantly, however, a fleet’s functionality is unparalleled especially in terms of logistics and service efficiency for SMEs that require mobility. Company cars are even enticers or retainers of top talent considering that they may be provided as incentives for your employees.
But although the benefits of utilising a fleet are easily understood, the same can’t be said for fleet management. According to Small Biz Daily, a fleet may also be the biggest expense for any SME so if you’re unprepared, it can significantly damage your business instead of being an asset for growth. Thus, here are some guidelines to help you manage your fleet effectively.
Evaluate the pros and cons of both leasing and ownership for your business
There are many things to consider when managing a fleet, and at the top of the list is the choice of either ownership or leasing. In most cases, the latter is the better option; more so if you’re business is constantly shifting, i.e. project-based field services. Unless your business is directly related or largely linked to automobiles and any other similar industry, leasing outweighs ownership.
If you’re still not convinced, a report from Fleet News mentioned the additional drawbacks of ownership as compared to leasing. Currently, more than 50% of fleet vehicles in the UK are operated by SMEs and it was found through analysis that managing owned vehicles take up a huge chunk of daily business hours. Majority of SME owners seek assistance on relevant tasks, which can otherwise be reduced through vehicle leases thereby allowing them to concentrate on other facets of growing their businesses. To put it simply, leasing requires less time and costs.
Take advantage of technology and other similar tools
A fleet can be considered a technological investment. In our previous post titled ‘6 Important Technological Considerations for a Start-Up’, we discussed the numerous factors that can affect your business including flexibility and integration. Many of these elements apply to fleet management as well.
Additionally, creating a fleet management system will allow you to gather data which can then be compiled and analysed regularly. This information is crucial for you to know how your fleet is affecting your business.
Acquire knowledge on vehicles or get someone who can help
Another major component for effective fleet management is to know which type of vehicles to get, the advantages of each make and model, what features are available, etc. With all the automobiles out there, it can be overwhelming to decide on which vehicles to take for your fleet.
Furthermore, sustainability is important for SMEs like we’ve mentioned in a past UKBA post so elements like emissions should be taken into account. In fact, it plays a role in reducing costs as you can be charged with higher taxes if your fleet has high CO2 emissions, hence, be sure to consider green cars. This may even work in your favour in terms of your reputation, as it shows that your company is adhering to ecological standards.
Getting someone you trust who is knowledgeable on vehicles that can double up as an insurance broker is also a good option. This person may be tasked to handle fuel and maintenance costs, repair bills, injury claims and other related matters.
Invest in the people who will be using your vehicles
Last but not the least, the people who will be using your vehicles should be considered just as important, if not more important that any other variable. Invest in driver training so as to improve their road behaviour and focus on safety. It will equip them with useful knowledge as well such as improving fuel efficiency and proper vehicle handling.
The use of fleet tracking has also been proved to be beneficial. In the Telogis blog post‘Combat Distracted Driving with Fleet Tracking’, it was explained how distracted drivers are costing lives and damaging property including businesses. Through fleet tracking, issues in factors like safety, cost-savings, and efficiency are addressed.
To sum it all up, you can grow your business exponentially through utilising a fleet, but just like your business operations, a fleet also comes with the responsibility of effective management. Thankfully, information that aids its implementation is easily accessible.
For more personalised support in handling your business, you can proceed to our Contact Page to get in touch with an advisor directly.
Written by Alicia Venus
Exclusive for ukba.co.uk