Creating multiple revenue streams can help businesses reduce risk and increase their bottom line. To gain additional income and grow their profits, many businesses have become rental agents for Penske Truck Rental.
At P.S.T.P in Long Island, commission from Penske rentals has reached about 500,000 a year. "You have to give it some time and you have to grow the business," said Allen Friedlander of P.S.T.P, which operates three truck rental locations in New York.
Gary Freeman of C&G Auto & Truck, an auto repair business in Myrtle Beach, S.C., became an agent for the additional revenue. "Those deposits into our checking account every week come in handy," he said.
The revenue stream works on commission. "The more you do in a given calendar year, the bigger the percentage," Freeman said. Adding that during an average week, he profits $1,200 to $1,500, which comes in via direct deposit. "We FedEx the paperwork on Wednesday, and usually before the next Wednesday, the money is in the bank."
Stephanie McGathey of Bugs Bee-Ware in Sebring, Fla., operates a pest control business and has been a Penske rental agent for just over two years. "We figured that was a great way to use the property," she said.
Steve Johnson of Johnson Truck Rental in Nashville, Tenn., has been a rental agent for 26 years. "The extra money is a good benefit, but you have to be willing to put in the work," he said. He generated close to $700,000 in gross revenue last year.
About half of Johnson's business is commercial. "The people from Penske told me the business can be seasonal, with mid-May to mid-September being the primary moving season, and they encouraged me to get out and build up local customers," he said. "That has worked for me."
Friedlander said ongoing commercial business has contributed to his success, and P.S.T.P. has a mix of commercial and household business. "In Long Island City, we have a big commercial following — about 75 percent of our business — and that has been because of the Penske name," Friedlander said.
Robert Maknoon of LAX Rent-A-Center in Inglewood, Calif., also focuses on building local business. In addition to Penske rentals, he rents cars and vans. He's been a Penske agent since 2006 and brought in $280,000 in gross revenue the first year.
"I did advertising to pick up commercial accounts and created relationships with several companies. That created referrals for us," Maknoon said. "In 2016, we had $516,000 in gross revenue."
Maknoon said he reached his goals thanks, in part, to the teamwork with Penske. "From the hikers that deliver the trucks to the supervisors, they have helped me and supported me," he said.
Johnson said the risk to become an agent is minimal, which makes it an attractive option for businesses looking to grow.
McGathey said she only had to invest her willingness and time. "I already had a staff here," she said. "It was just a matter of training them and reusing some of the assets that were already in place."
In addition to revenue from rentals, McGathey has earned extra income for extra effort, such as filling diesel exhaust fluid or fuel tanks, referring Class 8 tractor rentals, or entering information from a police report if a customer had an accident. "Penske wants dealerships to be consistent. But as the dealers, they incentivize us for doing so," she said. "They know it takes time out of our day, and they will compensate us."
With the rental income she generated over the past two years, McGathey reinvested in her property and created space to park tractor trailers. Today she has just under 20 semi-truck drivers that rent parking space from her. "Now I have property that makes money," she said.