Here at Rentrax, we work with a wide variety of rental businesses across a range of rental niches. In recent years, the party rental industry has gone from strength to strength and we have learned a lot more about how this exciting and dynamic industry works. Party rental businesses have the potential to be incredibly successful, and we’d like to help anyone considering starting a business in this vibrant and lucrative sector. This guide will cover some of the basic considerations, such as costs, location, marketing, and software, and if you’d like to talk to one of our rental software experts about what Rentrax can do for your new party rental business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Why Start a Party Rental Business?
You may not need the answer to this question if you’re further down the development process, but some readers are perhaps weighing up a few different types of business and need to know the benefits of opting for a party rental business over some of the other rental options. If you’re at this stage, you may like to check out our 15 Rental Business Ideas.
First off, the main benefit to starting a party rental business is the sheer number of options within the sector. You can lean into ‘party’ in the most literal sense, but you can also rent out equipment for business events and conferences. You can specialize in children’s parties, special events, or you can pivot your business completely towards wedding rentals, with furniture, decorations, and even photo booths. The sheer variety of directions you can take a party/event rental business offers flexibility and options few other industries enjoy.
The Costs of Running a Party Rental Business
The costs of starting up and running a party rental business will, of course, vary depending on the size of your business, but the main expense at the beginning is primarily inventory. After all, you need to have a good selection of rental inventory for your prospective customers to choose between. There are ways of mitigating this initial expense by buying into new stock as and when it’s required, but you must ensure you will receive this new stock quickly enough to deliver it to your customers.
Another way to manage the cost of your initial investment is by focussing your party rental business into an even more specific niche without choosing a brand name that restricts you from expanding later. For instance, you can specialize in weddings first of all, then more into other events later on, once revenue flow is consistent enough to allow you to invest in even more inventory.
We will discuss software in more detail later, but it’s worth discussing one aspect of Rentrax here. We have created a feature that can help reduce inventory costs as our software effortlessly tracks how much money each of your assets has generated. When your inventory earns a certain amount of revenue over its initial cost, you can flag it on our system and then sell that item while it is still in decent condition. Selling stock at the right time is a fantastic way to radically reduce the overall cost of buying inventory.
Location & Logistics When Starting a Party Rental Business
Your business’s location and delivery logistics are, of course, another big factor in the cost of starting a party rental business — so much so that it deserves its own section in this guide. Depending on the size, shape, and function of your inventory, picking it up or dropping it off could prove to be one of your larger expenses. It’s important to carefully factor delivery into your overheads when you set your prices, and this is also where your business’s location comes in…
Choosing the right location means something different to different kinds of rental businesses. If you operate completely online, with no need to attract foot traffic into any kind of store, then you should find a cheap, warehouse-style property with great transport links. If you rely on people coming into your store, then you will unfortunately have to pay the higher rent premiums while also not benefitting from the better transport links associated with industrial estates and most premises outside of big cities. And if you’re not sure which kind of property to go for at this stage, consider how you plan to market your party rental business…
Marketing Your Party Rental Business
We are using the term marketing very generally here. Consider how exactly your business can or will appeal to potential customers. If you imagine people popping into a store before making a purchase, then you will need to have the right location. However, if you suspect that your audience will be found online, via Google, Facebook, and other digital platforms, then your market — and your marketing channel — has helped you figure out the best location for your business.
Whether you’re planning to attract new customers on social media or by competing on search engines, your website functions as your shop window and your shop. You need to use clear language to tell online users very quickly that they have found the perfect website for their needs (the shop window) and then you need to ensure that your website is easy to navigate so that users find what they need quickly and effortlessly (the shop). This whole experience needs to work well before you should even worry about digital marketing, as there’s no sense in spending time and money bringing people to a website that will never convert visitors into customers.
If search engines seem to be the best possible source of customers for your business, make sure you optimize your website for search. This is something we’ve touched on in previous blogs. While this topic can get a little complex, the principles are simple: Google only wants to direct users to high-quality sites (load quickly, with good images and well-written content), so going the extra mile to ensure every page looks good and reads well will make a huge difference. Also remember that Google needs a little text on a page for it to understand what that page is about. Read this guide to basic SEO if you’d like to learn more.
With social media, it’s difficult to generalize as most brands need to experiment if they want to discover the best way to promote themselves. One thing that seems to hold across all niches and businesses, however, is that images and videos are much more successful than plain text. So, even if you aren’t sure how to write about your brand, start taking quality photos and videos as these assets will make a huge difference to your marketing efforts.
Party Rental Software
Lastly, we’d like to look at our party rental software. As we have developed specialist rental software, we feel we are uniquely positioned to offer advice on this topic. However, we are most certainly biased, so please feel free to ask us questions and compare us to other rental software before you make any decisions.
Using the right software can make a huge difference to your party rental business. Not only can dedicated rental software save you time, it can also lower costs and even help you generate more revenue. In this sense, beware of ‘free software’ as it’s usually free for a reason. Rather than talk generally about rental software features you might find interesting, we decided to simply describe some of the best features here at Rentrax:
- Inventory management with ROI tracking – As we mentioned earlier, our inventory management system tracks when your rental assets have earned over the initial cost of investment. This allows you to sell your inventory after it has earned above the price you paid for it. This refreshes stock and can greatly increase revenue.
- Native waivers as opposed to third-party integration – Rentrax has a native waiver function that protects the customer and the business. Of course, there are many third-party waivers that can be integrated into rental software, but it is much easier to use a native waiver.
- Built-in sales features – Rentrax has also included sales and booking functionality into our equipment rental software. This is because we know that many rental businesses also make a decent portion of their revenue from sales that are relevant to their rental inventory. We believe it saves you money and time when you have both of these features in one place.
- SKU-based inventory management system – Rentrax has created a detailed SKU-based inventory management system enabling you to give your customers a wide range of features to choose between. Of course, the complexity of this depends on the kind of party/event equipment you are renting. In our experience, offering customers an easy way to customize their order will always be appreciated.
- In-built marketing features – Rentrax also allows you to offer special deals to previous customers, both by email and SMS. This could be achieved on separate software, but it would cost more money and more time.
There are many other Rentrax features and functions, but we don’t want it to take up too much space in this guide. We hope we’ve offered some inspiration and information for anyone considering starting a party rental business. Please feel free to schedule a free software demo if you’d like a one-on-one demonstration from one of our experts. Otherwise, we’d like to wish you the best of luck with your new rental business!