Generating year-round income helps businesses ensure a steady cash flow. Becoming a rental agent for Penske Truck Rental can help businesses maintain a revenue stream during their primary operation’s slow season.
For Scott Miller of Miller’s US 31 Sales, a used powersports dealership in Petoskey, Mich., motorcycle sales dip in the winter months. About two years ago, Miller became a Penske Rental Agent. “When I am slow here with the bikes, it has kept me going,” he said. “It gives me something to do in the off times.” Miller generated about $37,000 in commission in 2016.
Like Miller, Scott Craft, general manager at Bill Dye Auto Sales, a used car dealership in Lynchburg, Va., said commission from Penske Truck Rental provide a reliable revenue stream. “It is extra income you can count on,” Craft said. “There are times when our other business is slow. With Penske, you have some money coming in all the time.”
Bill Dye Auto Sales has worked with Penske for about 20 years. Last year, the company generated about $85,000 in commission. Craft said the company rents about 1,000 trucks each year.
Other types of seasonal businesses, like oil or propane distributors, see their primary business drop off during the summer, which is often peak season for truck rental. Businesses like these also often have the proper parking and zoning to accommodate rental trucks. Some of these companies have reported that their Penske Truck Rental business generates approximately $40,000 - $50,000 annually, which helps cover the cost of existing overhead during the off-season.
Businesses can also benefit from the marketing Penske provides. One Penske Truck Rental agent observed, “I think anything you can do to reach out and make yourself more known to the general public adds to your primary business. It seems like, for the most part, each year has been busier than the previous year,” rental agents said adding the revenue stream via Penske required zero additional overhead. “It has been an addition that didn’t require an investment and fits well with what we’re doing.” said one agent. “What we’re able to generate through Penske falls right to our bottom line. It doesn’t cost anything other than time or commitment.”
Craft typically checks in trucks each morning and cleans them to ensure they’re ready to rent again. Most trucks don’t require heavy cleaning, and even if trucks do come in a somewhat dirty condition, they take less than 10 minutes to clean up. Agents said renting a truck takes 5 to 10 minutes if customers have reserved a vehicle online and bring in the required information and identification.
In addition to generating year-round revenue, rental agents said their interaction with Penske customers has increased demand for their primary services. “Because of the high-end service Penske offers, it makes it very easy to cross over and offer my services,” said Stephanie McGathey of Bugs Bee-Ware, a pest-control business in Sebring, Fla.
McGathey has been a Penske Rental Agent for two years. “It has been a lead into the other services that our company offers, and we weren’t expecting that,” she said. “Because customers have had a good experience with Penske, they’re interested in having a continued business relationship with our company.”