How To Start An Event Rental Business.

Do you enjoy coordinating and executing the perfect dinner party?  Are you the party planner within your circle of friends?  Starting an event rental business may be an ideal line of work for you.  At Recipi we have helped entrepreneurs like yourself start and grow their own rental business.  We want to share our overview of key steps to build a successful event rental business.

This article will cover:

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

Consider the segment you are in or would like to focus on.  For event rental businesses, segments are going to be based on the size of clientele and the focus of your events. Make sure you have a defined segment to pursue, it will help you consider what is and isn’t important to your business’ growth.  For example, do you want to focus on large corporate events like trade shows, or conferences?  Or, is there a gap in your local market for quality event rentals for smaller events like parties, meetings, and social gatherings? 

Typical event rental items include:

  • tables (round, long, cocktail, farmers tables, etc)
  • chairs (basic, ballroom, garden chairs, etc)
  • professional lighting (uplighting, house lighting)
  • audio/visual equipment (projectors, mics) 
  • dance floors
  • linens
  • tabletop / flatware.

These items are great for a small businesses as they can be transported in one vehicle and setup by a small team or a single person. 

Market Research.

Next step in due diligence is market research. This is your time to ask as many questions about this industry and your competition. This will help you refine your four P’s, product, place, promotion, and price. Be thoughtful and creative, no questions are unimportant and add to your identification of market niches, or where no competitors service but have demand.  

  • What event spaces exist in your area?
  • What are your competitors particular strengths?  
  • What spaces are customers looking to rent?
  • What are typical reviews of local companies?
  • Do competitors have great marketing?
  • Are the events highly customizable or one size fits all?

New Business Formation. 

 Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of event 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 clients and staff? How will you track your equipment? What will you do to ensure quality control? 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.  In the event industry there are highly seasonal fads which will tempt you to impulse buy equipment. 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.

Competitive Advantage.

Now you have a better understanding of event rentals, it’s time to define your competitive advantage. What is the problem with your local event rental marketplace?  What demand is not being met? Listen to the marketplace and coordinate a strategic advantage over the competition. Perhaps the event rentals in the area have poor reviews and unhappy clients. There is your niche to satisfy, careful and considerate customer service. Are local businesses marketing effectively to connect and acquire customers? Set yourself apart and increase contact with customers using digital marketing.  Here are some other tools to help differentiate your marketing:

If you don’t have a website, it’s essential to launch one as soon as possible. You may be wanting to learn more about how you could improve sales and user experience. Here is our guide to launching your website. Having a great site will help you get more leads and acquire more customers.

  1. How often do you search past the first page on Google? It’s crucial to get your website to appear prominently in a search result. Search Engine Optimization  (SEO) will enable your business to target specific keywords and areas potential customers are likely to search. If your event rental space is for dances and special occasions, you want your business to show up first when a customer searches for “Rent prom space” or “dance hall rental”. This will increase traffic to your site and bring the highest revenue driving customers to your service.
  1. Utilize Social Media to increases awareness of your business. You will be able to build relationships with customers that will endure for repeat business. Social media has plenty of tools to segment and share your message with ideal customers. Event rentals are extremely visual, and social media platforms like Instagram let you show off your business and gain awareness in the market

Additionally, you may need to consider partnering with adjacent businesses, such as caterers or tent rental companies, etc. This gives you the opportunity to create unique event packages without harboring the overhead of additional equipment upkeep and staff. Below is our checklist of steps to launching and growing your event rental business.

Training / industry expertise.

Out of the gate, you may not know how to setup event lighting or table decor. 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:

  1. Youtube is a great resource to find relevant and detailed tutorials and suggestions. As well, the information you learn is often up to date and delivered by industry pros. Look for suggestions on designing your business logistics and event decorating.
  2. Do it yourself and understand the process thoroughly. Practice with your team and make sure they are efficient and careful. Repetition is key to successes and will ensure excellent performance when it’s go time.
  3. Make friends with fellow event service owners and learn from them. Businesses can succeed or fail on the entrepreneurs ability to network the people around them. Learn from those who have been in the industry and ask questions about the business flow. Friends help businesses succeed and grow.

Partner with Recipi.

Recipi helps entrepreneurs start their own rental businesses.  We can help you break into the event 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 business.  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.