If the biggest of the world’s multi-nationals are feeling the effects of the pandemic, then what about SMEs? Interestingly enough this is when one of the advantages of being a smaller organisation comes to the fore, that being the inherent stealth contained in a small-to-medium enterprise. With all the stealth SMEs enjoy though, they cannot survive the fallout of the pandemic alone. They need co-players who are further up their supply-chain to come to the party and try and create a win-win environment for themselves and the SMEs.
Taking into account vehicle rental service providers as the subject of this particular case study, there are a few ways through which these fleet rental solutions providers can do their bit to create a much more conducive environment for themselves and the SMEs emerging to form a leading segment of their clientele.
Forming more official partnerships with complementary enterprises
The likelihood is that vehicle rental service providers already collaborate with other B2C and even B2B enterprises, but now is probably the best time to do so, because of the greater pandemic-driven need. Discretion will naturally have to be exercised, but formalising partnerships with other enterprises can both indirectly and directly benefit SMEs as well, as this round-table type connecting-of-the-dots cuts out unnecessary costs and logistical red-tape.
A very simple example of this is how a rental service provider can work more closely with a magnetic-sticker branding service provider, allowing them to call in directly and confirm which kind of branding they’d allow a client to use on their rented fleet. This way everybody is up-to-speed with what is allowed and what isn’t and so the relationship is mutually beneficial for all parties involved – a win-win-win, if you like.
Joint marketing campaigns
Rental service providers can take things a step further and facilitate joint-marketing campaigns with the SMEs they’d be servicing and with other B2C players. For example, allowing a prospective client to include images of your fleet in their marketing material, prior to actually committing to rentals.
Being part of a positive message for environmental care
Rental service providers can take things even further by being part of environmental preservation movements like highlighting how their fleet can perhaps be used in cleaning operations. And also, something like how many vans it would take to transport the 28-Ben-Nevis’-sized mountains of mere cigarette butts. We can bring joint-marketing campaigns back into the mix here as well, because the vehicles provided as part of the clean-up operations provide a great opportunity for multiple brands to associate themselves with this positive message for environmental care.
Re-evaluating service qualifiers
Perhaps the best way through which fleet rental service providers can also help SMEs is by re-evaluating their qualification criteria and perhaps working on more of a case-by-case, discretionary basis. A specific SME which has landed a lucrative contract might not have the pre-existing financial records to prove their worthiness, for example, in which case the discretion of a forward-thinking rental service provider would do well to approve this client’s business, based on something like proof of the lucrative contract…