Photo by Jess Lauren Photography
Have you thought about starting an event rental or vintage rental company? Before taking that leap, there are considerations to heed. No matter how creative or talented you may be, it is a business that involves risk, liability, lots of overhead, logistics, late nights and weekends, heavy lifting, and can be costly even if run properly. Whether you are starting out or you are an expert, running an event rental business requires constant evaluation, eyes wide open, and patience before you earn your desired profits. Turning from hobbyist to pro means creating more streamlined, customer-focused services and products. But, never fear, here are the best steps to making sure you elevate and grow your business wisely.
Determine Your Costs to Arrive at Your Price
Photo by Jess Lauren Photography
Price is one of the hardest things to determine. Hobbyists may not be too concerned whether they lose money embarking on this enterprise. Pros realize expenses dictate what to charge for products and services: time, labor, transportation and gas, software, marketing, insurance, taxes, supplies, inventory, repairs, outsourcing, licenses, the unknowns, and every other administrative cost to run your business. Don’t just look to your competitors’ pricing; that should only be one component in the equation. Price should not be what differentiates your company from competitors. The more in-demand, specialized, niche, or custom the product, the more it will cost. Price is a continual evaluation in your business. Will this rent again? How much space is this product occupying in your warehouse or storage space? Without profits, a business like this is unsustainable. It is unwise to undercut so much that it becomes a race to the bottom and creates unprofessionalism within the industry as a whole. Your business needs capital to grow more than any review, or exposure. You cannot pay staff or purchase new inventory on reviews, sponsorships, and promises alone. Pros understand opportunity costs and selectivity.
Managing Inventory Efficiently and Effectively
Photo by Joanne Leung Photography
Pros know operations will dictate much of your success. Organization is essential to your warehouse running smoothly, completing orders efficiently, and wasting less company time. This in turn will make a happier, long-term returning client when they understand how easy it is to rent from you. One of the best ways to achieve this is through effective rental software like Goodshuffle Pro. With a robust program you'll be set up to operate like a pro with a dashboard of your orders, inventory management to prevent double booking, subrental management, pullsheets to execute your events, and much more. Goodshuffle Pro also provides hard data of what items rent the most and bring in the most money. Everything in your warehouse must make money. Whatever is not earning their keep needs to be rotated out. Smart software such as this enables you to become an expert on what is relevant, on trend, and rentable. The numbers will not lie. On the other hand, hobbyist might guess and pick, or retain, what they personally like best.
Automation and Streamlined Workflow
In a digital world, party rental companies must modernize. Automation is key to organization and efficiency. It frees up time to focus on what you are passionate about, especially in niche rentals where the focus should be curating a collection to attract ideal clients. Automating processes such as contracts feeding into pullsheets creates less room for errors, and automating your client contracts and payments saves tons of time on paperwork, which you can then spend managing your clients and providing top notch customer service!
Relationship Building and Customer Service
Photo by Loie Photography
Established sales principles state that it takes anywhere from six to eight “touches” to create a lead. A touch may be an email, an ad, even your online contracts and quotes, or an in-person meeting. In any service-based business, relationships are crucial to land and maintain customers. Clients these days are savvier than ever. Personal touches go a long way. Be sure to listen to what your customers actually want and need. Remember you are here to solve their problems whether it is making their life easier (e.g., late night pick-up when no one wants to clean up at the end of the party), or finding something they do not have (that unique velvet sofa that everyone loves); make sure it is tailored to them. Strive for those ideal clients by learning how to fulfill needs and they will return and sing your praises. Pros realize this is a practice that requires revision, insight, and work; hobbyists may just think of each order as just a “sale” or “fun.”
Anna is a wife, momma of two, and the creator of Provenance Rentals, a boutique vintage rentals company based in Los Angeles. She has been collecting unique pieces for many years that her clients love. In addition, Provenance Rentals also creates many hand-made, custom items like display walls, backdrops, and most recently a charming bar. Her work is often described as romantic, timeless, and high quality. She loves knowing that her props created memorable moments for her clients.