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CRA President's Message: April 2014

4/15/2014

Hope springs eternal – Look for new opportunities as the weather warms up.
Written by Marc Mandin

For most of us the melting snow signals an increase in business around the corner as homeowners start looking about their yards for projects in the great outdoors once again.  Spring is in the air and we can hardly wait to start writing those lawn and garden rental contracts.  At the offices of your rental association it means it is time to start planning for the approaching Rental Awareness Month. In 2013, the CRA tried some new ideas to promote Rental Week during May and these proved so successful that this year we will be dedicating the entire month of May as Rental Awareness Month across the country.If you are planning a promotion at your store, have an anniversary coming up or are just thinking of trying something new, now is the time to forward your information to Chris at High Impact, our PR firm, so they can work with you and try to get some press time for your project.  Easiest way to get things rolling is to contact CRA managing director, Nathalie McGregor, at 1-204-223-0992.  Each promo will add to the momentum and get our buying public thinking rental and that is a win for us all.  For those of you in the party and event business this should be easier than for the tool guys who would rather turbo charge their ride-on mowers than plan an event.  So to them I say: organize a turbocharged mower race or similar event at your local ball diamond to spark interest in your rental business.  Let your imagination guide you toward a novel event you can put together to get customers interested in your store during the month of May. 

Events are something we all like to take part in but we are often wary about organizing events on our own. Your local association may fall into this category now and then as well, so if you have an idea you think would draw a crowd please share it with someone from your CRA local to help bring it to life.   Would you not be more likely to attend the next meeting or event if it was focused on one of your ideas? I will really push my luck and assume that while I have you in a participating mood you may consider bringing a friend or employee to your next local’s function. Not all employees will be interested but for those who are it is a great way to get them engaged in your business, help them feel they are making a contribution, and sharing something that interests you, their mentor.  Not all businesses have the extra manpower to man the fort while you and an employee are attending a function, but if you have that luxury you will benefit by getting your staff involved. 

By now you should have had the opportunity to attend one of the regional trade shows in order to check out your suppliers’ latest innovations. If not, you will have to do some research online, in your trade magazines, or ask more questions next time your favorite sales rep stops by if you want to stay on top of the changes happening in the industry.  While Tier 4 remains around the corner for many of us, some manufacturers have changed their production lines to Tier 4 Final engines only.  You will need to know what this means for your business.  Some issues with these new engines such as the urea supply can offer a business opportunity if you look at it that way.  Why wait for the warning lights? Sell your customer a supply so he does not have to worry about running out at the wrong time. Imagine the opportunity with a six-month rental for that generator! 

Before closing off I would like to take the opportunity to introduce your 2014 board of directors. Your executive consists of chairman of the board, Jeff Campbell; president, Marc Mandin, vice-president, Dave Mintenko; Region 10 director, Paul Kenyon; then, moving west to east, B. C. director Angie Venekamp; Alberta director Tim Ranson ; Saskatchewan director Jill Holtsman, Manitoba director Louise Serpa; Ontario director James Morden; Quebec director Paul Ravary; Atlantic director Hank McGinnis; supplier director Dean Nasato and insurance director Justin Friesen