The Ultimate Guide to Rental Inventory Management in 2020
Great rental management is possible only with successful inventory management. Here's our guide to managing and tracking rental inventory in...
Fun fact: The rental industry continues to expand faster than the overall economy. According to the ARA’s latest five-year forecast, equipment and event rental revenue in the United States is expected to surpass $55.8 billion in 2019. That’s a 5% increase compared to the year before—a steady growth as reported by the American Rental Association.
By looking at these numbers, starting a rental business is appealing. The truth is that starting a rental company, like starting any business, requires hard work. As any business owner will tell you, there are no tricks and shortcuts. But don’t get discouraged. With the right ideas and enough commitment, you’ll soon realize why many entrepreneurs took the step to start a rental business.
Whether you’re looking to stand on your own two feet or want to earn money on the side, there are countless ways to generate income from rentals. Here are seven rental business ideas to help you get the inspiration you need to build your own business.
If you throw just one or two parties per year, you might regret buying party supplies for these few occasions. And the more people you invite, the more tables, chairs, and tents you’ll need—an undertaking that gets costly fast. That’s why renting out party equipment is one of the most popular rental business ideas.
These days, event rental companies are everywhere, and since it’s such a popular business type, competition is fierce. However, there are many ways to differentiate yourself and stand out in the crowded party rental industry. You can speak to different audiences by carrying products like furniture, flatware, tents, flooring, and maybe even inflatables and photo booths. Already running a growing event rental business? Here are our thoughts on scaling your party rental business.
Related to party rentals, many companies in the event industry focus on weddings. Again, why purchase everything for one occasion when you have access to beautiful wedding decor at a fraction of the price? That’s why wedding hire companies are widespread across the United States, Australia, and South Africa.
By focusing exclusively on weddings, your rental business can offer a wider variety of options for your customers to make their important day a success. For example, instead of providing two or three variations in linens, offer them a more extensive range with different materials and patterns. Most wedding planners carry anything from tableware and candle holders to arches and furniture in several themes and styles.
A large number of camera and audiovisual rental companies we see at Booqable start as production studios and develop into full-fledged camera rental businesses. We also see many producers and cinematographers generate income renting out high-end equipment on the side.
Many studios start renting out unused gear, often equipment they purchased for a single project. Why not turn these excess supplies into profit by renting them out to your peers? Instead of buying a specific camera or lens for a shoot, other filmmakers can save themselves the trouble and rent from you. Besides serving other professional filmmakers, you could target students, recreational photographers, and amateur filmmakers to cover a broader market.
Bicycles make for a relatively low-cost rental business idea, which means your initial investment is generally lower than starting an event or camera rental business. That’s assuming you’re renting out city bikes, as high-end road and mountain bikes require a higher investment.
Depending on your location, starting a bike rental business can be a profitable venture. When you know a thing or two about bikes, and can service them yourself, this rental business idea is especially interesting. The type of rental bikes you’re going to provide relates to your location and which customers you’re looking to attract. If there are popular trails nearby, you’d want to offer mountain bikes. Are there lots of visitors and tourists in your area? Then something sturdy and easy to maintain is your best bet.
Climbing gear, hiking equipment, and camping gear also make for a low-investment rental business idea. High-quality outdoor gear is expensive, so planning a trip requires people to make a substantial investment, especially for first-time hikers and campers who don’t own any equipment. Outdoor gear is the perfect rental business idea when you’re close to a National Park, campsite, or hiking trail.
Family vacations quickly become stressful as you’re carrying bulky baby equipment around crowded airports. To make traveling more convenient for parents and kids, the number of companies that rent out baby equipment keeps growing at a high pace. Often, you can rent products like cribs, strollers, and car seats to make traveling more pleasant.
Who doesn’t want to show off a $1,500 designer dress with a wedding and two birthdays coming up? And what about most men, cringing at the idea of buying expensive formal wear for occasional events? That’s where fashion rental businesses fill the gap. At Booqable, we see companies renting out all sorts of garments, from stunning designer and wedding dresses to tuxedos and three-piece suits.
There you have it. We looked at our customers to come up with seven popular rental business ideas that have proven to be successful. If you’ve been thinking about starting a rental company, now is the time to get out there and get to work. It’s best to spot opportunities wherever you are in the world and to stick with something you’re familiar with. Starting a rental business demands commitment and persistence—and picking a rental business idea you’re passionate about is crucial in the long run.