Photo by Photos From The Harty
You didn’t get into the event rentals business just for fun. Like any business owner, your goal is to turn a profit. While the industry may revolve around parties, we all understand the serious nature of the bills that must be paid, and the growth goals you’ve set for yourself .
The biggest question is where to begin, as there are endless different things you can do to maximize revenue. The best way to avoid feeling completely overwhelmed is to start with the “low-hanging fruit.” Here are five basic actions that you can take to immediately see your party rental business boom:
1) Increase Your Online Presence
There are so many ways to improve your online presence, from building an easy-to-use website, to joining an online marketplace, to teaching yourself about SEO. A simple first step is to make sure you are properly listed on Yelp, Google, and all social media. If one person calls the wrong number listed on a site, you’re bound to lose them forever. Along those same lines, be sure your contact info is extremely easy to find, and any other commonly asked questions are clearly answered, such as hours, rules, and pricing. Remember, the less time you spend answering basic questions on the phone, the more time you have to work on business development.
2) Double Down on Your Money Makers
Do you regularly evaluate what items make the most money and what seasons are your busiest? Whether you’re using Goodshuffle Pro or some other tool, you should always be aware of the health of specific items and seasons so you can double down on your wins. Do you make 90% of your money on moon bounces? It might be a good idea to change your company name to include the word “bounce.” Did you turn down 4 events last year because you didn’t have enough 20x20 tents? Time to invest in a new one. Also, if you’re spending a lot of time pushing Google ads around the Winter holidays, but 70% of your business comes from Spring and Summer weddings, it’s time to stop throwing money down the toilet.
By this we mean two things: network offline and network online. Offline, it’s helpful to get to know local wedding planners and community venues who will regularly send you business. They’re much more likely to do so if you make the extra effort to grab lunch, instead of just e-mailing back and forth all day. As for socializing online, you should utilize the amazing world of social media to get to know other people in your industry. You may find that a tent company on the other side of the country has a brilliant trick to staking tents on a rainy day, and right there you’ve saved yourself time and a potential client disaster.
4) Learn Your Limits
When you start a business, it’s wise to take whatever gigs you can get. Oftentimes you’ll find yourself working overtime and giving out discounts, just to get your word-of-mouth marketing going. While this is totally normal, you’ll reach a point where making these exceptions to your rules can actually hurt instead of help your business. For example, if you say yes to too many events in one day, you're bound to be late to something, which will permanently tarnish your reputation. Also, if you offer items for a very profit margin, you may have trouble raising them to normal prices later. Sit down and really think through where you can bend the rules, and where the line in the sand must remain.
5) Automate Your Processes
You would never sit and add up a quote using a pen and paper. You’d also never mail a quote for review. As technology has progressed, we’ve all accepted new, simpler ways of doing things. Yet, even those of us who are quite tech-savvy can be resistant to change when it comes to how we run our businesses. We get stuck because we’re scared that change will bring errors. But, surely, that’s how the first people who used calculators felt. And now? We scoff at the time wasted by those who take pen to paper.
Quit spending time comparing your calendar to your financial books to your invoices to your notepads. Let technology do more of your heavy lifting so you can focus on big picture business strategy and quality customer service.
Every entrepreneur is guilty of getting stuck in the weeds running their business and forgetting to take a step back from the day-to-day to think about the long-term. However, anyone who has grown a truly successful business will tell you how important it is to think big. By starting with these small steps, you’re sure to see an immediate difference in the success of your party rental business.