Starting your own camera rental business is no easy task, and there are some aspects that you generally only learn from experience. You might be on the fence about whether you want to pursue it. So, this guide has been created to help you to understand what it’s like running a camera rental business and some of the specifics that make for essential reading.
Whether it’s learning how to deal with customers, pricing your equipment, or protecting your investment, there is guidance available. These are some of the best practices that camera rental business owners follow, and they’re worth learning before you get started so you don’t make mistakes early on. Before starting a camera rental business, consider some essential things you need to know.
10 things you need to know before starting a camera rental business
1. If you build it, they will come
In most major cities, the demand for camera equipment is much higher than the supply, so there will always be a customer base. The amount of creative people in any given city far outstrips the number of rental businesses. So, if you can put together a compelling offering, maintain your equipment correctly, and provide excellent customer service, you can build a camera rental business.
2. Don’t judge a book by its cover
Many people will have an idea about who is trustworthy or highly creative, but the reality is that people don’t fit this mold. You may meet questionable people, but they are usually the most talented creatives. The key is not letting your first impressions inform how you treat potential customers. You should take the time to ask questions and get to know people before you decide if you’re happy to rent to them.
3. Stick to the rules you set
It’s common to have your own rules for how you do business, what you let people do, and how you manage tasks. It is essential to stick to these rules because if you make a small concession, people will likely take advantage. An example may be that gear must be returned by 6 pm. If you let someone return it at 8 pm, likely, you won’t see them until the next day at best. Stick to your guns and judge situations carefully.
4. Price your rentals competitively
When starting a rental business, one of the biggest challenges is knowing how to price your products. It would be best to find where you fit in and price yourself appropriately. You can’t charge high-end prices if you’re targetting low-end clients, and you can’t price yourself too low that you struggle to make a profit. Finding your place and pricing your products competitively are essential for success.
5. Great photography is essential
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, which is very accurate regarding camera rentals. People want to know what gear looks like and what results they can expect. Remember, many people renting from you won’t be experts and may need guidance, product photos can help. You could even include a video where you review your gear and give tips to potential customers.
6. Write detailed product descriptions
When people are looking to rent a camera, they spend most of their time reading and comparing. Your product descriptions are the perfect place to sell your cameras to potential customers. It would be best if you were detailed in your descriptions, including relevant specs and anecdotes, to paint the picture of how great each of the cameras you offer is. You should be able to answer any questions people may have.
7. Promote your business locally
The best place to promote your camera rental business is within local communities. If you’re running your business alongside studying, let your classmates know. Tell them about your business if you’re part of a creative group. Use local Facebook groups to promote your business. There are many possibilities for promoting your business through word of mouth; the only limit is where you want to stop.
8. Protect your equipment with photos
Camera equipment is expensive, and the last thing you want to deal with is someone being careless, damaging your equipment, and not having any proof that they did it. You must take time-stamped photos of your kit before it is picked up. This gives you peace of mind and evidence for customers who try to claim they didn’t cause damage. It would be best if you did this to protect your equipment and prevent unexpected expenses.
9. Check gear in front of customers
Another way to protect your equipment is to check it quickly in front of your customers and have them confirm the condition before they take it. This not only ensures that you know the state, and the customer does too. Your customers will likely take better care of equipment; if they damage it, they have no choice but to own up. Again, this protects the condition of your equipment and covers you in case someone gets funny.
10. Excellent customer service stands out
Finally, customer service is the biggest thing that can make you stand out from your competitors. When customers feel looked after and understood, the experience is much better. This will make them more likely to recommend you to their friends and other creatives because you took care of them. Anyone can rent out camera equipment, but growing a company requires excellent people skills.
Don’t cut corners when renting out camera gear
Hopefully, this list has taught you something you didn’t know before and given you the confidence to start your camera rental business. The most important thing to remember is not to cut corners when running your business because mistakes can be costly. Each piece of advice you’ve read today comes from experienced people renting out camera gear.
You must stick to your rules, protect your equipment with inspections before or during a pick-up, and know when to cancel someone’s booking if you’re unsure about them. Remember, success doesn’t come overnight, and you may spend a lot of time growing your rental business, but this advice should go a long way to helping you on this journey.