Business is brisk. Your phone has been ringing off the hook for orders, and you are thinking of expanding to another location. You have been doing fine so far by using the family car for deliveries. But then, it can only do so much and get you so far.
It may be time to invest in a company vehicle.
During its first six months of operation, Bottlezone, a Makati-based trading company, made its deliveries by motorcycle. But to stay competitive, owners Rajani H. Rance and her husband Ramon decided to invest in a van. "We needed one because the load capacity of a motorcycle is only three cases per trip," she says.
Bottlezone delivers wines, liquor, spirits and cigarettes to restaurants, bars, grilleries, hotels, resorts, and clubhouses. "We also have corporate accounts that order gifts from us," she adds.
The name of the game, she says, is mobility and access to the customer. Today, the couple still keeps their motorbike, but through the years, they have purchased an L300 FB, an Isuzu pickup, and a Toyota Super Grandia. The L300, they note, is spacious enough for deliveries, the Grandia comfortable enough for family use, but the pickup can be a liability during the rainy season.
The vehicle buying decisions of businessman Florentino Lucido are somewhat different.
In 2000, he retired from his job at a waste management company to put up a steel fabrication business. But problems with manpower made him give up this venture, so he opened a grocery and a small restaurant instead. They catered to guests at a nearby lodging inn, which he noticed was attracting a lot of tourists. His business prospered and it eventually led him to put up the 14-room Lucid Towers in Makati City on a lot owned by his parents.
Today, he and his wife are now also running a laundry shop, a sari-sari store, and a manpower agency. He says that his hotel business is doing so well that he now plans to put up an annex to his tourist inn.
At first, Lucido says, he was able to get by with an old Mercedes Benz that he had been driving for four years. "But I sold it because it was becoming hard to maintain, and I went without a vehicle for one year," he recounts. Later, however, he ventured into fabricating industrial-type washing machines, so it became a major consideration in his decision to buy a truck.
"I bought a brand-new Nissan Frontier on installment," he says. "It is sturdy and tough enough para pag-kargahan ko ng bakal [to load with steel] for my machines. And when my wife and I go out, at least we are comfortable and cool, kasi malakas ang aircon [its aircon is strong]." Still, Lucido says, he prefers to use his bicycle when going out on short trips.