Owning a sales business generally requires you to employ a salesperson, a product and a vehicle to get them to their potential clients. Prospecting is a daily job for salespeople and the wider you expand your search for buyers, the more likely you are to succeed and earn a profit from your lead generation.
In order to do that, your sales business is going to need vehicle assets to build a fleet and get your sales personnel on the road. There are perks to using a company car to conduct sales trips, one of which is to claim some car expenses under your business’ expenses. But before you can benefit from using a company car, you need to make sure you choose the right kind of car for the job.
And that will require a vehicle asset finance calculator, a needs assessment and a few other key decisions. Let’s take a look at exactly what needs to be considered when choosing a vehicle asset for your sales business.
The first factor that requires your attention is what your business’ budget is to spend on a company car. Find a vehicle asset finance calculator online and work out what will be a realistic monthly vehicle instalment the company can afford.
There are a variety of car repayment calculators available in South Africa for you to use, and it would be in your best interest to have your vehicle financing pre-approved before you visit dealerships.
The budget will always be the greatest deciding factor in any vehicle sale and rightly so. While it may be true in business that in order to make money, one needs to spend money. But it defeats the point when business owners sign a vehicle loan contract that they cannot afford. You need to know what the business can pay and consider details such as added interest over a longer loan repayment period, car insurance and the like.
Once you’ve finalised the budget and secured the vehicle asset loan, you can decide on the other factors.
Distance and consumption
Depending on the size of your fleet, you might need to restrict sales cars to certain areas in order to cover your target locations. But if you have a smaller fleet, you might be relying on fewer cars to cover the distances few and far between.
This means you will need to consider the distances your salespeople will be driving in your company vehicles and the fuel consumption that goes with it. In any case, you would always want to go with the more fuel-efficient vehicle. The cost of fuel seems to be continuously rising and that will affect the business’ ability to afford its fleet of sales vehicles.
Fuel-efficient vehicles aren’t only cost-effective but are more eco-friendly and will aid in your company’s efforts to “go green” as an added bonus. However, the top fuel-efficient cars do tend to be smaller in size which could prove a problem for the next deciding factor.
Product and storage
In the sales business, there are products that need to be used in a live demonstration and products that are packaged and ready to be sold. It might be easily transportable or it requires a vehicle with plenty of storage space.
You need to analyse the size and weight of the product you will be selling and transporting in your vehicle (weight will affect your vehicle’s fuel consumption). You also need to consider the quantities of product that will be transported at one time and ensure there is enough trunk space for it in the car. Be aware that using the front and back seats of the vehicle to store products could make the company car a target for carjacking.
Also, you need to keep in mind that the interior space still needs to be comfortable for the driver and able to provide space for their personal belongings as well.
A few modern vehicle technologies to include in your sales vehicles would include but are not limited to:
- Bluetooth: For safely making business calls while on the road.
- Blind spot detectors: To reduce the risk of accidents and insurance claims.
- GPS: To help salespeople navigate through areas they aren’t used to.
A company car is an asset to the business and should, therefore, be treated like any other asset in the business. By choosing a popular and reliable make and model, you’re ensuring the future of your vehicle will be long-lasting. Popular cars mean many spare parts which could save you from having to refinance an entirely new vehicle.
And to keep your sales vehicle fleet reliable, you’re going to need a regular service and maintenance plan. This way you can encourage the vehicle to make money for the business and not only cost the business money to run, and keep running.