Interview with the founder of Sure Drive Car Hire - Ioannis Misailidis. Ioannis told us how his car rental business had been created, how our Car Rental Software RentSyst is helps him in automating his business process, and what interesting features of RentSyst he likes.
Tell us about yourself, your business.
We were opening at times of the crisis itself. The choice of niches in 2013 wasn’t wide, we fell into a crisis and could only deal with tourism, since the economy in Cyprus froze. Everyone tried to dissuade us, but for me it was like a challenge, of course for the first 3 years we had difficulties with everything , until it became clear which cars are needed and what programs to use.
What were the first steps to create a Sure Drive?
The very first step was to analyze the market, to study what is needed and important for the client who wants to rent a car, what issues arise when booking, when receiving a car, when returning. Then it was necessary to find out which companies on the market exist, how many cars they have, what are their prices and expenses. After analyzing and deciding to open, it was necessary to register a company, rent an office and buy cars and licenses. At the same time, we tried to find opportunities and markets.
What was the most difficult thing in business for you?
The keyword was, but I'll tell you more about on that later. For me, the customer is always a priority, and in order for him to be satisfied, 100 detail must be foreseen in this business. For example, I wanted to create a company that provides exactly the car that was booked. So that one can rent a car at one address and return it at another, order a car with a child seat and a navigator or with a booster. And there are 10 such bookings per day. The most important thing here is not to make mistakes, because every detail is important and if you made a mistake, it is impossible to change and fix it at the last moment. All my problems and stress were over last year after I'd found RentSyst software!
What can one save money on in the first years of business and what shouldn't one save on?
You can save on profits, but not on service and cars. As elsewhere, sales increase slowly, but you can lose your customers at one moment.
At the start of a business, is it worth using software to automate a business and fleet? At your personal opinion.
This question didn’t exist at all, the problem was to find normal car rental booking software, because large companies simply don’t show it, they say buy it first, then use it, and it’s dangerous and personally I don’t understand how you can pay without knowing what for.
Did your company use such software?
At the very beginning, I used Indian rental car software, which offered only a standard package of functions. After six months of use, I realized that this software is not enough for me and I started looking for software with normal functionality. As a result, I settled on EasyRent, which at first glance was providing a good set of functions. I started using it, I liked it, but then I began to understand that a half of what was stated did not work, and when I was trying to reach out to the developers, they were answering, “we'll fix everything”. I tried to pay for the improvements, they wrote: “no, we’ll do everything ourselves ...”, and that lasted for 5 years. In this system, I liked the fact that there was almost everything (timeline, agents, invoices, combined with the site (which I bought separately, by the way), information on clients and past reservations). I didn't like that the majority half did not function or functioned with errors. I could find a client only by his last name, there was no way to do it by phone number or email or for example by birthday. The huge problem of this software was the inability to use it on a mobile device.
Is there a difference in business performance with or without software?
This business cannot exist without software, and its effectiveness depends on the quality of the software, which is used.
Are you using any software now? And which one?
Of course, I won’t only if I close)) I have been using RentSyst for a year now.
Why exactly this rental car software?
Well, firstly, because I became selective and just a software did not suit me anymore, i was looking for a car rental solution. I knew exactly what I needed from the future system. Having connected RentSyst I was shocked by the fact that all this can work!! When I saw how easy it is to enter and change prices. It used to take me 3 full days. Now, I can change them for half an hour. I was just afraid to do this before because of the time. RentSyst allows you to add a car with the ability to enter the entire package, any number of photos. There's the ability to calculate the distance from any location and the conclusion of the price for the client depending on the distance, age or partnership agreements. I can fully control the fleet with automatic fixation of a huge number of parameters according to the state of the car, or just am able to be warned if my car leaves the scope of the location specified in the contract. In addition, I am doing all this from my smartphone, due to the fact that the mobile version of the system is very convenient.
Are there any interesting benefits at RentSyst that you liked?
Full control of the working day. The choice of employees for each specific delivery, return or service. Monitoring of their work (bills). Full control of the fleet, automatic bills, now the car will not go to the client with expired service or inspection or unpaid road tax or unpaid insurance. Full control of the customer base with automatic warning about the customers who like to exceed the speed limit set by you or to go to the places you do not allow.
What do you recommend to the future RentSyst users?
Take care of your customers and get to making money.
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