Every business, irrespective of the industry they’re in, can go through a slow business season. The question is, how do you use this time in a way that benefits the business.
Think of it this way: a slow business season gives you the opportunity to step away from the day to day business operations o and focus on pending tasks you always wanted to do but couldn’t fit into your schedule.
This is an efficient way to tackle the sales slump, and will also prove benefits in the long run. You’ll have everything in order, ready to go once things start looking up again. Do you have a few projects you’ve been putting off for a while now? Now is your chance to catch up on some of them.
Here’s a list of four useful tasks for you to take up during a slump so your business can be even better when things pick up again. Just remember that you don’t have to finish all these projects. Depending on how much time and resources you have available, pick one or two that are most important to you.
1. Update your inventory
One of the main tasks that regularly gets pushed out is conducting an inventory audit to figure out what you have, what is missing, and what you need. This can be a daunting task if you do it manually, but a rental inventory tracking software can automate and streamline this task saving you significant time.
For starters, go into the rental inventory tracking software and look at all the available inventory items you have. Then you head to your storage and confirm if all the items are there, and there isn’t any discrepancy between the two.
If an item is missing, you can easily find out what happened to it. Simply go to the item’s history in the software and you’ll find a list of actions taken on the item, from when it was last in maintenance to who rented it out most recently.
Once you know who had custody of the item last, you can contact them to figure out where the missing item is.
If you have any new inventory lying around that you’ve been meaning to add to the system, it’s time to do that as well. You can either add items to the rental inventory tracking software by scanning them or creating an Excel file and uploading that into the system.
2. Run reports for key business insights
With the help of your rental inventory tracking software, you can easily run relevant reports to keep tabs on all the happenings of your business. For example, run reports on item utilization and frequently rented out items to figure out demand. Then put in a purchase order so your inventory is replenished once the slow season ends.
Similarly, you can gain other valuable business insights as well. Let’s say you want to take this time to study whether you should keep certain items in stock or simply retire them. You can easily run a report about the item’s maintenance history to see whether it’s costing you more to keep it in stock. You can then make future decisions accordingly.
Apart from gleaning business insights, these reports will also help you increase transparency across your business. You will have complete information about employee interaction with business assets and other tasks.
This makes it easy for you to hold your employees accountable and keep track of where your assets are, what they were used for, whether they were returned on time, and much more.
3. Check maintenance history
Utilize this time to ensure that all your items are properly serviced, and start service on the ones that require maintenance. Under normal circumstances, sending out an item for maintenance would mean making it unavailable and thereby possibly losing sales.
However, during a slump, you can send out items for maintenance without having to worry about lost sales as much.
Even if your inventory is not malfunctioning or damaged, it’s good practice to continue regular maintenance because this will decrease the chances of items breaking down in the future. This form of maintenance is known as preventive maintenance.
With your rental inventory tracking software, you can easily set up a preventive maintenance schedule. All you have to do is set up recurring services for your inventory items which creates an automated, regular maintenance cycle.
Before the service is about to start and once it finishes, an email is sent out to all relevant team members. Moreover, the item is automatically made unavailable in the system as well as on your rental website.
Powerful rental inventory tracking software will help you gain useful business insights from these service sessions. You can run reports on all the services that have taken place on a piece of equipment so far. This helps you understand whether an inventory item is costing you more to maintain as compared to the revenue it’s bringing in.
4. Update your website
Given the current conditions, people have taken to online shopping more than ever. Even under normal circumstances, you already know how beneficial it is to have an eCommerce presence with nearly 1.8 billion people worldwide shopping online.
Considering these numbers, updating your website is an excellent use of your time. Make sure it’s visually appealing, easy to navigate, and is also up-to-date with all the latest inventory items you’ve added.
Not only will an updated website increase sales, but it will also benefit your marketing efforts. The marketing team can notice rental trends and adjust their campaigns and advertising efforts accordingly. They can create personalized campaigns for seasonal offerings and promotions, and quickly adjust them according to customer responsiveness.
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile use, then here’s your chance to work on that as well. Customers increasingly rely on smartphones and they’re less likely to stay on your website if it isn’t mobile-friendly. Without an optimized site, you’ll be missing from search results and miss out on potential sales coming from mobile devices.
When it comes to creating a mobile-friendly site, you may need an entirely new design in some cases. Think of this as a great opportunity to rebrand your site and make it more aesthetic.
Find the right rental inventory tracking software
Now you have your hands full with a few projects to keep you busy during the slow business season. All of these projects are easier with the right rental inventory tracking software yet.
If you’re looking to implement one that meets all your rental business needs, try out EZRentOut. We are a cloud based rental solution that offers businesses seamless rental management. It also comes with a host of other features like asset tracking, maintenance management, a customized webstore, and much more. Try us out today!