Beavercreek Rentals store co-owner Mike Kosins says the area’s largest employer is Wright Patterson Air Force Base and it provides a sound base for overall economic stability.
Dayton might not have the vibrant economy that Columbus or Cincinnati has, but things are pretty steady, according to Beavercreek Rentals store co-owner Mike Kosins. As he points out, the area’s largest employer is Wright Patterson Air Force Base and it provides a sound base for overall economic stability.
Mike’s dad Robert launched a general rental store in 1976. Twelve years ago Mike, with twin brother Bobby and older brother Bill, took over the operation. Three years ago, they purchased a party rental store. Between the two locations, the company employs 40 people.
“We’re a bit of an anomaly when it comes to labor,” says Mike. “We have a good group of people who’ve been with us for many years so fortunately we don’t have the same issues finding workers that other stores do. But no matter who you are, when it comes to employees, the key is to hire good people and train them. Find out what they’re good at and enjoy doing and focus on that. I think it’s also very important to stay engaged with them. Show you appreciate them, communicate openly with them, and lead by example.”
Bill is operations manager for the party store and Mike does the same for the general tool location. Bobby heads up the maintenance shop and spends time training any new technician who comes on board. Mike admits that finding technicians can be a special challenge today because young people aren’t looking to get into a skilled trade. “Some rental stores look to develop a relationship with a vocational school to help with their recruiting. We’ve found good success finding people with mechanical ability and training them ourselves.”
The two stores, which cater to a wide range of customers from homeowners to large and small contractors, have different sets of challenges. One of the biggest in the party store is how labor intensive the business is. On the equipment side, it’s keeping the fleet updated. Explains Mike, “People’s perception is their reality. Not only does equipment have to be in good running order, but it also has to look nice. We usually try to rotate equipment every four to five years, depending on how much it’s costing us to maintain it.”
Going to The Rental Show every year keeps them up to date on anything new and interesting. “We usually purchase a couple smaller items that we think will have a niche. Larger equipment like bull dozers, telehandlers and so forth are purchased prior to the show,” Mike notes.
He adds two caveats he and his brothers have learned about the rental industry: One, it’s not a retail industry, it’s a service industry and providing excellent customer service is an absolute requisite. Along with that, the industry is also constantly evolving and changing. Every day, they can expect to be confronted by different sets of challenges, all of which will require their own solutions.