Small-business owners are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and cut costs, particularly when it comes to their fleets. Managing several company cars, trucks or vans can be an expensive endeavor, but it's often necessary for operations to run smoothly. Even when these vehicles are running only short routes or responsible for last mile delivery, they may still end up costing a company significantly.
As such, it's critical for entrepreneurs to know how they can limit fleet expenses and still maintain a level of high efficiency and productivity. While it may seem impossible, there are strategies business owners can employ to reduce overall fleet costs and still be able to complete pickups and deliveries on schedule.
Replace outdated models with more fuel-efficient models
High gas prices make it difficult for many companies to justify extra fill-ups if drivers have to go out of their way to make a last-minute delivery or unscheduled stop. Thanks to recent federal regulations, there are more gas-friendly cars available than ever before, something that can help small-business owners get more out of each tank of gas and make more deliveries without stopping at a fueling station.
In years past, the most fuel-efficient vehicles were often small and not well suited for businesses making deliveries. Recently, larger cars - as well as trucks and vans - with better fuel economies have reached the market and are a hit with smaller firms, as well as individuals. At the beginning of the year, General Motors announced it became the first American automaker to sell more than 1 million fuel-efficient cars in a single year, indicating these cars are increasingly popular.
Take advantage of tax deductions
Most business owners already write off many expenses when tax season rolls around. But it's important for them to go over all vehicle-related costs with an account and ensure they aren't missing any important tax breaks.
Keeping track of all expenses throughout the year in an organized manner is absolutely essential and will allow a business owner and accountant to more easily identify areas in which a tax deduction may be possible. This ensures cash-strapped entrepreneurs can keep more of their annual profits and reinvest in their companies.
Invest in route planning software
Route optimization software isn't just for major transportation firms running long-haul routes. This technology can also be of assistance to small-business owners whose vehicles are responsible for shorter runs or local deliveries.
New programs allow busy business owners to better manage available resources and please consumers. Planning the most direct route can be time consuming when done manually, but routing software allows a business owner to determine the most time- and fuel-efficient roads to travel. Entrepreneurs may be able to determine which vehicles will complete certain runs. Freeing up more time and money by using this technology can allow small-business owners to allocate time and money more appropriately and experience continued company success.