Raise your powered access expectations
If you are a small business owner in the property maintenance market, you will probably be using ladders and scaffolding to reach those jobs that need doing at height. Whilst first floor windows and guttering can be reached using ladders or erecting scaffolding, the larger commercial contracts require a more efficient and safer means of working at height.
Growing your business means winning more commercial contracts and that means becoming more flexible and efficient in fulfilling contracts. Powered access platforms are efficient, safe and can cut time and costs for most jobs at height but investing in plant is a big decision for many companies.
The options are to rent, buy or lease the equipment. There are pros and cons to all three and discussing with your accountant will help you to decide which is most advantageous to you. You will need to evaluate your current circumstances, your capabilities and your future plans.
When deciding which finance method to use a simple rule of thumb may help your decision process. If the equipment will be not be used more than 60 to 70 percent of the time, then start with renting. So if you are pursuing a new contract that is short-term, then renting may be the best option. It has its advantages: a specific machine can be rented for particular work, usually for the length of the contract. This will give you experience in operating the access platform and fulfilling the contract on time and within budget. However, the risk is that if the equipment is not being used because of a change in project schedule or an unforeseen hold-up, you still foot the rental cost and your profit on the contract could go out of the window.
After gaining some experience by using rented powered access platforms and with a few larger jobs starting to appear on the horizon, then buying or leasing might become a better financial option. As with all purchasing decisions start with a few simple considerations.
1 – chose the right equipment for your needs.
Consider both now and for the foreseeable future (2 to 3 years). An ideal entry machine would be the Spider 13.65. This is a versatile MEWP which is road towable by trailer behind a 4×4 or van. It has a simple intuitive operating system and an air/water power line to the cage. With a working height of over 40 feet and an outreach of 20 feet, it is ideal for property inspection and maintenance.
2 – weigh up the finance options.
Some suppliers offer finance plans for customers to help them buy the plant they need. Look for accredited lending schemes with payment options including hire purchase, leases and contract hire. Promax Access has a number of options available and their friendly staff can guide you through the entire process.
3 – talk to your accountant.
Discuss your financial plans and seek any tax benefits. Talk to them about Enterprise Finance Schemes and any help that may be offered to local businesses (for example: by Finance For Enterprise)
A final thought…
Don’t forget savings could be made by purchasing a pre-owned access platform, but just like buying a used car, check its service/maintenance history and whether it comes with new LOLER certification. From time to time Promax Access have specially selected equipment available.