How To Start A Tool / Equipment Rental Business.

So you want to start a equipment / tool rental business.  That’s great!  The team at Recipi is here to help you start your own rental business, or help your existing business grow.  Our team has over a decade of both digital marketing experience and rental business ownership, so we are experts in this space and would love to help you realize your dream. 

It is important to know that there has never been a better time to own rental business.  According to the American Rental Association, U.S. equipment rental revenue is projected to reach $56 billion by 2020, and $64 billion by 2022.

This article will cover:

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

Let’s start by thinking about the different segments within the equipment rental business.

  • tool rentals (augers, chainsaws, water pumps, fans, etc) primarily geared towards homeowners and contractors (B2C)
  • light construction equipment rentals (bobcats, lifts, ladders, scaffolding, cement mixers, compactors, etc) for professionals, construction businesses, etc. (B2B)

Next step in due diligence is market research.  What is the competition is your area?  What items are lacking from the rental market? Are there parks, hotels, beaches or other outdoor spaces that are popular for ceremonies and require renting equipment?  What are customers looking to rent? Is there a Home Depot or big box retailer in your area that has a rental center?   What are your competitors particular strengths?  Do they have great marketing? Do they have low prices or rapid delivery and pickup? Be curious and ask questions. Knowing as much about your market as possible will allow you to identify and fill needs not being met.  Listen to this research and don’t make assumptions about the market. Reach out to competitive rental businesses to find out about their services and competitive advantages. 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.

New Business Formation.  Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of equipment / tool rentals, let’s fast forward to starting the business. Here are a few key steps in new rental business formation.   Having all of the following items are key in establishing the roots of a wedding rental business.

  1. Launch a website as soon as you can.  Let me say that again… LAUNCH A WEBSITE AS SOON AS YOU CAN.  You need a website and the sooner you can get your site live, the sooner you can start getting leads and customers. It takes time to for Google to find your new site and begin to serve it to users. Recipi offers website creation for wedding rental businesses. 
  2. Create an LLC or a business entity.
  3. Obtain business license, permits, and coordinate tax forms.
  4. Consider insurance (general liability insurance)
  5. Set up your business infrastructure. How will you communicate efficiently with staff? How will you track your equipment? What will you do to ensure quality control? How will you handle repairs and maintenance?  Start to think about  phone, email, payments, scheduling, rental agreements, accounting, storage, transportation, etc.
  6. Get your storage and transportation needs figured out.  Where will you store your equipment?  How will you transport?
  7. Buy equipment.  We recommend trying to stay lean and mean.  Only buy equipment that you will absolutely need. Align your purchases to your highest demanded services.  Don’t overbuy or assume the usefulness of an item. Storage costs money, equipment costs money, maintenance costs money, and loans cost money. So stick with proven winners.  Recipi can help you with equipment purchasing.

Once you’ve formed your new business, the focus should be squarely on developing a strategy, creating a website and starting your marketing efforts.

How to differentiate / compete. Doing your research on established competitors will help you identify what qualities can set you apart. Oftentimes entrepreneurs believe they can be better in all aspects of operations, but when growing your business it is essential to focus on meeting a need with your distinct competitive advantages.  Whether that is price, services, selection, know-how, etc. 

Marketing.  The rental market has moved online.  We understand that you might not be a tech-savvy person, but your potential customers are using the internet to do their research and find a business to rent from. Businesses that resist the digital movement will be left behind. 

  1. First impressions are everything and your website is your likely first point of contact.  A fast, easy, mobile-friendly website can be built on your own, or Recipi can create an equipment rental business website for you that looks great, includes analytics, and drives business.  Your website is your best business asset, and should be viewed as an investment, not simply a cost. 
  2. Simple marketing tools like email marketing from Constant Contact will help you keep in touch with your customers, drive repeat business and foster deep relationships.
  3. Online Reviews.  Ask customers for reviews.  Positive online reviews on Google, Yelp, etc signal to new prospects that your business is a solid option for them.  More on Utilizing Online Reviews.

Training / industry expertise.   The internet is your friend and social university. There are plenty of resources produced by professionals in the field to educate entrepreneurs like yourself. Here are a few suggestions:  YouTube is a great resource to find relevant and detailed tutorials and suggestions.  YouTube is perfect to learn how to use power tools, repair equipment, etc.

Partner with Recipi.  Recipi helps entrepreneurs start their own wedding rental businesses.  We can help you break into the wedding 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. You are an expert with power tools and equipment, but we are your rental marketing experts and we are ready to help you launch your business and grow! 


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 to get your rental business recipi today.