Canadian Rental Service

At your service: Forecast: positivity

By Russ Dantu   

Features Business Intelligence

Attitude can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Do you remember the story? Well, now it’s 2023 and the government is telling us, “We’re headed for a recession! We’re headed for a recession!” I don’t know about you but I’m fed up with recessions and COVID. I’ve had enough and I won’t take it anymore. I’m here to tell you that 2023 is going to be a great year.

I remember several years ago, when we were going through a recession, I was also part of a business networking group and we all had badges made saying, “I say NO to a recession!” We all worked hard to support each other in business by buying from each other and working hard to find each other potential business. We weren’t going to follow the government gloom and doom. A funny thing happened along the way: we tightened up our relationships with each other, we helped each other out to not only survive but thrive during the so-called recession. Many of us prospered quite nicely and found new business for each other.

Sometimes, we are afraid to reach out to others when we are going through a tough time. We don’t like to admit that our businesses are going through a tough period. We might think that others would view us as failures if they found out about our troubles. The truth is that I don’t know any business that hasn’t had its fair share of troubles over the years. Whether it was opening a business and struggling for the first five years while you built it up or losing key staff which meant some business left when those staff left or having to go through a recession or COVID. It happens. It’s business. It’s life. But (and that’s a big but) we are still here. We are resilient and keep on making it work, no matter what is thrown at us. It’s not fun at the time but it’s through these experiences that we grow stronger.

I am not going to listen to our government (and yes, I know that the analysts are a lot smarter than I am) about another recession. I am going to fight tooth and nail to have another strong year. I’m going to support as many other small business owners that I can. I am determined to continue to succeed and I hope you are, too.


Here’s a few suggestions when you go through tough times.

Ask your suppliers to help you out with more favourable pricing (if they can) or shop around for more economical options.

Cut back on the amount you spend for specific items. If your usual team golf shirt is a $70 shirt, find a $35 shirt.

Help your customer base out by offering incentives or discounts. We all have to make money but sometimes we can still make money even if it’s  smaller margins during difficult times.

Ask your customers to pay upfront when ordering product from you instead of giving them terms. This helps with any cash flow issues.

Ask them to pay by cash or e-transfer instead of credit cards to avoid the two- to three-percent charge that is added.

Reach out to your customer base (by phone) and ask them for referrals. As long as they are raving fans, they won’t mind doing this if they aren’t already.

Check in with previous customers who haven’t ordered in a few years. You just might find that there is someone new there that is looking to make a change because they aren’t happy with their current provider.

Stay positive. This is likely the hardest thing to do when you are going through a tough time but negativity breeds negativity and will quickly spread through your office. Maintaining a positive culture in your office is essential.

I sincerely hope that 2023 is your best year yet. I know from experience that the government isn’t always right.  

Russ Dantu is a 30-year veteran of the rental industry and has been delivering workshops, seminars and keynotes on customer service for over 15 years. Visit 

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