How To Start A Bounce House (Inflatable) Rental Business.

Thinking about starting a bounce house rental company? Well do I have good news for you. The industry to booming! According to data found on IBISWorld (found by Magic Jump), “the party supply rental industry is a $5 billion business with a compounded annual growth rate of 4.3% from 2001 – 2016.” It is also said that within this industry “it’s the inflatables industry that’s really driving this growth, this industry experts expexting strong double digit growth to continue over a 10 year horizon.” This makes this industry a source of massive potential that’s perfect for a successful side job or a full time career.

This article will cover:

  • Intro
  • Market Research
  • New Business Formation
  • Website / Marketing
  • Training
  • Partner with Recipi

Market Research. Of course, the first questions when starting any new business is “where do I begin?” The answer is almost always the same – market research. Researching competition is key to not only understanding the industry better but to gain inspiration for your own business. Specifically, it is highly recommended to look on your competition’s website. While on your competition’s site, you should pay attention to their layout out, their content, and what sort of products they offer. All of these factors will help you when it comes time to build your own inventory and craft a business website.

New Business Formation.  Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of choosing a strategy, doing some market research and how to differentiate your business, let’s fast forward to starting the business. Here are a few key steps in new rental business formation.  Before you jump right into launching a site though, go through this checklist found on Chron. Having all of the following items are key in establishing the roots of an inflatable bounce house business. 

  • Bounce Houses
  • Truck or Trailer
  • Storage Facility
  • Permits and Licenses
  • Insurance
  • Rental Agreement

Be cautious: These items can vary in cost so it is important to establish a budget for your business and stick to it. Luckily, if you rent your your bounce houses wisely, the ROI can be amazing. Just look at this chart created by Magic Jump that shows how soon you could potentially earn back what you spent on your inflatables.

Website / Marketing.   It’s 2019, you need a rental business website.  You can try to create a website on your own, or you can work with us to create a website that not only looks good, but will help attract new prospects, drive leads and ultimately land more customers.  It’s not enough to just have a website.  Here are a few ways to get visitors, leads and ultimately customers online:

  1. SEO (search engine optimization) or organic search.  If you can get your business to show up “organically” or naturally in a search result page, that will provide free visits, leads and customers.  SEO is the art / science of creating a website that will appear prominently in a search result. There are way too many factors to get into with SEO, so here are a few helpful blog posts on the topic:

SEO basics   and 5 Steps for Improving Your SEO. 

      2) A “Google My Business” Listing.  You have seen this in action. A Google My Business Listing literally puts your business on the map. This is a free service from Google and is incredibly important for local businesses.

       3) Pay your way to the top with Google Ads.  Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is a pay-per-click advertising option.  Pay-per-click is exactly how it sounds – you pay only when a prospect clicks on your ad and lands on your website.  This is an extremely effective form of marketing when done properly. Google Ads is such a powerful tool that it’s usually too complex for a novice advertiser.  We strongly suggest that you do not try Google Ads on your own (and no, not because we offer that service). Google has so many different features and functionalities that its very easy to set up an advertising campaign that wastes money and does attract customers at a tolerable cost of acquisition.  For more on cost of acquisition (COA), check out this post.

Naturally, it will take some time for your website to gain traffic. One way that you can help boost traffic to your site (asides from SEO) is to create a social media presence.  Bounce houses are fun and colorful so I personally think having an Instagram account for this type of business would be a great way to show off images of your products, however, Instagram tends to be more popular with a teen to young adult audience. While this age group can also enjoy bounce houses it is more likely to find success in the beginning by targeting events involving children, such as festivals or children’s birthday parties. Now despite these events being children related your true target is more so the parents of children since they are the ones making the purchases. As a result, Facebook is the best platform to start with since it is growing in popularity amongst older generations and overall “a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.” Facebook also gives you the option to create ads with their subsection Facebook Business. Regarding how well these ads do, considering that 1.6 billion people are now connected to a small business online I’d say they tend to do pretty well. Many people now find themselves being influenced by social media so creating both ads and posts on such platforms can be extremely beneficial for the growth of any small business.

Lastly, getting involved in your local community can leave quite the impression. Since inflatable bounce house businesses rely on events, I suggest getting involved with activities within your area.  Attend more festivals, fundraising events, youth sports games, etc. and market your business in person.  Have business cards to pass out to people, and get ready to connect with potential clients face-to-face.

Training / industry expertise. Before you show up to set up your first job,  you will need to get some experience and training.  This seems obvious, but you should think about how you are going to learn and get comfortable handling and caring for your inflatables.  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. YouTube is your friend!  Consume as much YouTube content as you can.  There are countless videos on inflatables / bounce house rentals. 
  2. Practice, practice, practice.  Once your bounce houses have arrived, you should go over the process enough times so that there are no surprises once you get to your first real event.

Partner with Recipi.  Recipi helps entrepreneurs start their own bounce house rental businesses.  We can help you break into the inflatable / bounce house rental industry with a beautiful, professional web presence, marketing advice, equipment purchasing, and choosing the right business tools to get you started quickly and profitably.  

You can try to tackle this challenge alone, or you can partner with a company who has over a decade of experience launching rental businesses.  We can help you avoid all the common mistakes made by those who have come before you. We will be your trusted partner and guide you along the process.

Recipi

Recipi helps rental businesses grow.  Our team has a unique mix of rental experience and digital marketing expertise.  We offer a free "rental business recipi," which is a report with recommendations, insights, and resources to help rental businesses improve their web marketing and grow.   Go to Recipi.com to get your rental business recipi today.