Looking ahead to 2021 with plenty of optimism, this is the year where we go outside again, where we visit new places again, where we push ourselves with new challenges and goals. 2020 has been a very tough year, but there are so many reasons to believe that 2021 will be better. As Rentrax is a dedicated rental software specialist with rental management software specifically designed for activity and tour operators, we thought we’d create a list of 10 rental business ideas that enterprising readers could try out in the new year. This isn’t an in-depth business plan; just brief overviews of business ideas that show you how diverse and rewarding the rental industry can be.
1) Tents and Camping Equipment Rentals
2020 was the year of staying indoors, which means that people are more eager than ever before to get out into nature. Camping can be as survivalist or as luxurious as people want it to be, and most people don’t have the equipment they need to carry out a successful camping trip. This is why a tent and camping rental company can be incredibly successful. There is a lot of equipment to keep track of, but the upkeep is relatively straightforward.
2) Party Equipment Rental Business
2020 was the year of canceled parties, so you can be sure that people will want to get together and party again in 2021. Party equipment could mean an almost endless range of things, so the only challenge with this particular niche is to find a specific angle (or two) to build towards. If you’re not sure which niche to go for, consider age demographics in your area. If children’s parties turn out to be the most lucrative, then you should stock up on bouncy houses and inflatables. If adult parties are where your audience is, then stock up on karaoke machines and margarita fountains… You get the idea!
3) Photo Booth Rental Business
One party trend that isn’t showing any signs of going away is the wedding photo booth. Anyone who’s been to a few weddings over the last five years will have found themselves in a photo booth with the other party-goers, perhaps wearing a novelty hat for the picture. Weddings are as much about creating memories as they are about having a good time; this is why wedding photographers can make such a good income. Of course, there are costs associated with transporting the photo booth and having someone there to supervise it. However, if you do it right, a photo booth rental service can be a fantastic business, especially as the customer-referral culture in wedding planning allows you to save a lot of money on marketing.
4) Building a Bike Rental Business
Just as people will want to get out camping in 2021, they will also want to cycle. Cycling as a tourist activity is getting increasingly popular around the world, and this industry will continue to grow. Bike rental businesses can be incredibly profitable if you know what you’re doing. As Rentrax started out as a bike rental business, we know a thing or two about the industry. If you’d like to learn more about it, check out our guide to starting a bike rental business.
5) Ebikes, Scooters, and Segway Rentals
Depending on your location, it may make more sense to delve into the world of electric vehicles instead of standard bikes that run on pedal power alone. Some cities are especially famous for ebike or Segway tours, but just because there aren’t many ebike or Segway rental options in your city, it doesn’t mean your ebike/Segway business wouldn’t be successful. Consider routes through your city and whether there are safe (and fun) areas for renters to tour on their vehicle. There are several additional factors to consider when starting an ebike rental business, which is why we wrote this helpful guide to starting an ebike rental business.
6) Party Vehicle Rental Business
In a similar vein to the photo booth rental idea, you can be fairly certain that there is going to be an influx of weddings in 2021. With weddings come bachelor and bachelorette parties! Party buses and party boats can be a great fun option for groups of roving adults looking for one last hurrah before the shackles of matrimony. There is obviously a very big initial cost of investment with this, but the potential profits make it more than worth it.
7) Climbing and Hiking Gear Rentals
Similar to the likely increase in camping, it’s highly likely that there will be a big influx in hiking and climbing in 2021, once travel is up and running again. This opens things up to rental companies that provide hiking gear and climbing gear. When starting a hiking or climbing rental business, it is of course best to ensure you are based near a national park or a popular mountain range. However, given how much harder it is to rely on footfall with this kind of business, you will need to invest in a good website and some online marketing.
8) Ski and Snowboard Rentals
Skiing and snowboarding are incredibly popular, and while lots of people might have suffered financially over the last year, many others haven’t been able to travel and have thus saved up a healthy little vacation fund for that big ski trip they’ve always dreamed of. A ski equipment rental company can be very profitable as long as you do your research. This is a fairly saturated market in most popular winter sports locations, so you need to make sure you are better, cheaper, or more memorable than your competitors.
9) A Kayak and Canoe Rental Business
There’s nothing like getting out on the water and paddling your way around a river, lake, or bay. A kayak rental business can work in several different ways, but the two main forms are either on-site rentals or a delivery service. If you have the right vehicles to deliver kayaks, then bringing them to your customers could give you a great unique selling point over the competition. Find out more about our boat & water equipment rental software.
10) Holiday Apartment Rentals
While it’s not our forte here at Rentrax, there’s no denying how lucrative vacation property rentals can be. And this will be even bigger as travel is opened up and tourists rush out to explore the world after a year spent stuck at home. It is also entirely possible that the travel low-season this year — and for the next few years — may be a little busier as people do their best to travel and to enjoy their newfound freedom.
The hospitality, leisure, travel, and tourism industries all took a big hit this year, and it’s up to us to get back in the driver’s seat and take advantage of the inevitable high numbers of people who can’t wait to travel again and to be outside again. There are countless other rental business options out there that could work, but this our list of businesses we feel could do especially well in 2021 and for the foreseeable future. If you’re thinking about starting a rental business and you’re looking for the best, purpose-built software for you, then please get in touch to request a free tech demo.