Canadian Rental Service


By Jeff Campbell   

Canadian Rental Association

Active participation in your association gives you a chance to make strong connections.

Active participation in your association gives you a chance to make strong connections.

By now, you probably think you have heard every reason there is for getting involved in your local rental association, but I’m going to try to give you one more you may not have considered: friendship. Finding friends in business can be hard to do when everyone is competing or trying to sell something. But if you get involved in your association, you will find at least one or two good friends, and possibly many more.

Friendships created by participating members create all kinds of business opportunities. Re-renting or sharing equipment is one example. Sharing ideas on the type or style of equipment to carry is another. Often, friends in the rental industry will refer business to each other when they get an inquiry in some area they don’t serve. Supplier members find that their friends in the association really appreciate their going the extra mile to get involved. Since these friends are also customers, a little appreciation can go a long way.

In my area, I work with three other rental centres so we can all offer a more comprehensive range of products to our customers. This partnership was formed through our involvement and participation in the Canadian Rental Association.


Then there are all the other benefits of involvement that you may have heard of before. Sharing ideas and knowledge at association meetings is a huge one. When members get together, we often end up talking about problems we have encountered in business and potential or actual solutions. This is advice and wisdom from experienced rental operators that you just cannot find anywhere else. Another kind of information you can gather is updates on the latest equipment and possible uses you hadn’t thought of. How valuable to your business is it if you can tell customers about a better way to get something done with an item you carry?

Like any business, rental is subject to trends in customer interest and taste. It is often true that what is popular in one area today is what is going to be popular in another area tomorrow. When you get involved in your association, you get a chance to meet and chat with rental operators from all over the country. Maybe you can find out about some craze that is sweeping the rental market a few hours away and get the inside track on meeting that demand when it comes to your town. Of course, you could rely on your suppliers for this kind of information, but wouldn’t you rather hear about it from a peer?

Here is one for all the folks who diligently send in their dues but never come to a meeting: active participation keeps you up to date on all the latest programs and services your association offers. It makes little sense to pay for something then never take delivery. Come on out and find out about things like the new CRA public relations campaign (did you know it could benefit your business directly?), the new CPM manuals or changes to the insurance program.

Of course, suppliers should need even less persuading to join the CRA as associate members. There are few better opportunities to meet your customers in a social setting and to be introduced to new potential customers.

When I say participation, what am I talking about? Well, going to your local meeting is an obvious first step. Attending your nearest trade show is another. You might even consider heading down to the big, international American Rental Association Rental Show to really broaden your horizons. CRA members love to gossip and chat on the CRA’s members-only Facebook page, as well. CRA members also gain access to members-only sections of the ARA and CRA websites that offer extra resources and information.

One thing I always encourage all our members to do is to take a few minutes to drop into a fellow member’s shop if you happen to be passing by. You can learn more in a five-minute visit to a friendly rental operator than you can just about any other way. CRA members are out there just waiting to help you – go ahead and take advantage of this great resource.

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