Growth is an inevitable consequence of success. But while many successful businesses grow, not all of them are necessarily equipped to deal with the consequences of their own growth. If your small but devastatingly effective sales force has achieved so much success that you’ve decided it’s time to take them out on the road, this can either facilitate an explosion of growth, or it can become a headache that sees you briskly retract your sales force and take them back to base camp where they will inevitably less effective over the phone or through online communications. A small fleet of sales professionals represents great opportunity but it also represents a degree of risk that will likely be new to you, especially if you’re not well versed in the logistics of fleet management.
If you’re navigating unfamiliar waters, and worrying about your fleet whenever they’re out of the office, here are some tips to ensure that your fleet and your business are at a minimum of risk and that you’re laying a strong foundation for profitable growth…
Invest in the right telematics
Telematics solutions are essential for keeping an eye on your fleet and ensuring that they’re up to date with the latest accident news so that they can pre-empt any disruptions to their schedule that could cost them a closed deal and you a lucrative revenue stream. The trouble is that most telematics systems on the market are geared towards larger fleet management companies with different logistical needs to your own. If you’re concerned about managing overheads (and what entrepreneur isn’t?) you may have more luck with free or cheap mobile telematics apps which your fleet can install on their smartphones or devices.
Training, training, training
There’s no better way to ensure that the values and standards upon which your brand was built remain consistent within your organization than by subjecting all employees to rigorous training. They must also be held to account when their performance and / or behavior do not meet the standard that you expect to uphold. Your fleet need to understand that everything they do on the road is representative of your business and they need to be aware of the consequences of what will happen if they do not meet those standards.
Your fleet should also be given ample opportunities to test and become comfortable with their vehicles before taking them out on the road.
Dash cams are a relatively inexpensive but potentially invaluable measure when it comes to monitoring your fleet’s performance and mitigating the risk of fraudulent claims being made against your drivers and / or your business. They offer both the organization and the employee a level of protection and peace of mind which can be invaluable.
Consider driver excess
In an era where every business must walk the fine line between investing adequately in their business while protecting their profit margins, one thing everyone can do without is spending a fortune on insurance premiums or excess payouts. Initiating a driver excess scheme can insulate the business from that risk while also giving drivers a greater sense of accountability for their own actions on the road.
Some businesses opt for a system of scaled excess where the employee pays more the more times they are involved in a collision.
Adopting the above strategies can be a huge aid to managing risk without requiring a hefty investment.