A Full Guide On How to Start a Party Rental Business

by Eliisa L.

26 November 2021
0 Comments

The party rental business industry has been through quite the whirlwind these last two years. Since lockdowns and social distancing were enforced, the whole party scene disappeared overnight. 

But now that restrictions have eased up, people have begun to embrace partying again as they gather together to socialize or converse. It’s easy to see why: parties have existed since the dawn of man, and people will always seek to gather together when an opportunity for celebration arises.

So since the global economy is recovering and events are popping up left and right, starting a party rental business isn't a bad idea. 

This business deals with providing the necessary resources for a particular party to be successful. This can include building or room space, chairs, tables, tents, cooking, and sound equipment. And these equipment are either rented by organizations or individuals for the success of their event.

In this detailed article, we’ll give you a complete guide on starting a party rental business and running it. Keep reading and start your company in this massive and trending industry.

How to Start a Party Rental Business?

When it comes to starting a party rental business, it would be wise to go with what you know. So if you, for example, worked as a wedding receptionist at one point, maybe you should start a wedding rental business. Let’s go over a few different business types and then explore some of the steps to starting your business, including understanding the market, identifying competitors, forecasting inventory costs.

Different types of party rental businesses

Before we get into how to start a party rental business or an event rental business, we understand that a little inspiration would be helpful. There are as many party rental business niches for every type of event and need out there. A few of these include:

Wedding Rental Business

Many consider a wedding to be the most important day in a romantic couple’s life. so it’s no surprise that they need some help making it all happen. Don’t get all lovey-dovey on us though, this is a seriously lucrative market that new business owners are always trying to break into. 

To be in the wedding rental industry, you don't necessarily have to be able to offer hundreds of seats and tables; it could be as simple as offering decorations for different styles which might include boho decor, lighting, dry flowers, table centerpieces, and all of that stuff that might seem pointless to buy for that one day. By doing a little research on what are the most popular wedding styles and venues, you can easily start building your business up from there.

AV Equipment Rental Business

Yet another profitable rental business you can start. One advantage of this business is that, as long as there are events, your services will always be needed. Since AV equipment is so expensive and only needed once in the blue moon, event planners will prefer to rent than buy. 

Again, this is one of those industries that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to have the biggest sound systems or latest camera equipment; you can also start small and start offering smaller speakers, mic setups, smoke machines, and build your way up.

This is also an ideal business model if you already own a lot of these things, whether it's because of your hobbies or something else. So while you're not using your equipment, you can just rent it out and make sure you're getting your money's worth of your investment.

Kitchen Equipment Rental Business

It isn’t a party without any food, right? One key tip to keep in mind with this particular kind of business is that less is more. Rather than buying every piece of kitchen equipment and utensils you can think of, only buy the essentials that most clients are asking for. Otherwise, you risk collecting useless inventory. 

These are just a few different party rental business ideas. Other ones that have been gaining popularity recently:

  • Gender reveal parties/baby showers
  • Luxury picnics
  • Seasonal event rentals (e.g. Christmas decorum)
  • Kids party rentals like inflatables.

 

Getting started with your party rental business

party-rental-business-1

Do market research

A party rental business is a simple business idea that can make good money, especially when done full-time. As much as you can just dive in headfirst by buying equipment and advertising your rentals, it would be wise to understand how the business works.

This includes: researching the market, getting contacts for wholesalers and other people in the industry, figuring out where to acquire the necessary supplies, and so on. You can't forget, no successful party rental business can operate without a solid business plan.

Although the industry is lucrative, you might not get the best out of it without proper market research. The best way to do this is to find out who requires event rental services. Since this is a diverse industry, your target market might be found in the most unexpected places like sports organizations, prominent business people, religious organizations, and cultural centers, to mention but a few. Doing market research will help you establish clients' different preferences and needs and offer the best services.

Get started with our guide to financial planning and budgeting.

Identify your main competitors 

As mentioned earlier, this is a fast-growing industry with a lot of demand for it, it will have an influx of rental businesses that operate in your area. Find out who your main competitors are, what they're doing, and what is it that is making them successful - this will also give a pretty good idea of what kind of demand there is for different services.

If you're just starting out, and there's a large competitor in your area, don't be discouraged! Having already successful rental companies within reach can actually prove to be beneficial for you. Since they're already attracting potential customers to your area or if people are already searching for similar services online, you can almost piggyback off of their visibility, so identify what's missing in their offering or services, and do it better.

Set up your online rental shop

Unlike retailing and the linear business model, the rental industry requires tools and processes that will support the business with bookings, inventory management, and payment-related aspects, like deposits. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of running a rental business, you'll need to build an online presence so customers can find you, your products, and all the information they need.

Start selling online

You'll need a Content Management System (CMS) is the tool that you use to keep your business live on the internet. In other words, a website. One of the most used platforms for creating WordPress. After you’ve created a website for your business, all you need is to load it with content. 

One example of the type of content you could create is monthly updates. Your online clients would like to know what new party rental equipment you have available, along with their features and benefits. This will go a long way in boosting your party rental business by making you easily accessible to customers.

Check out our guide for more detailed guides:

How to start your online rental business from the ground up.

What makes a good eCommerce website.

Get the right rental management tools

Like we mentioned before, a rental business has different needs compared to a retail business. Because the inventory moves in a circular manner, rather than linear like in retail, it's a more complex process that requires rental-specific tools, which usually cannot be found in traditional e-commerce platforms.

You can start by integrating an online booking system into your website to make managing your bookings easier. In the long run, investing in software that is made specifically for renting, will ensure that you can have a real-time inventory management tool that will help avoid double-bookings, have inventory-related analytics, offer your customers the option to pay in advance, set up deposits in order to avoid monetary loss, and so on.

Learn more about which one is a better fit for you: an online booking system or rental software.

Make social media your friend

We live in the day and age of social media, and whether you're advertising on different platforms or generally just sharing your customers' experiences, and what your business has been up to, it's the easiest way to stay in touch with your current and potential customers.

Social media ads are also the best friend for small businesses: with a little bit of effort you get a massive reach, and the best part of all: you don't need to spend a ton of money to get great results.

Here's why and how you can get started with Facebook ads.

Having a community in business means that your brand is already established, and you have loyal customers who will buy your services anytime they need to. However, the main challenge is building that community.

One major way of achieving this is by making the best out of your social media platforms. Using social media to connect with your customers or share personal experiences from your work is bound to attract followers and potential customers.

At the end of the day, people want to know the people behind the brand and are interested in seeing how everything works behind the scenes, so don't be afraid to get up close and personal with your content.

Check out the 12 digital marketing strategies that every business owner should know.

How to choose the right rental equipment for your party rental business

No one gets into this business with expectations of closing it down in the near future. We all have hopes that our businesses will keep climbing up to greater heights. 

And it is for this reason; you should be keen when selecting the equipment you will be renting, whether it's chairs, tables, sound, or cooking equipment. Remember: It’s an investment. You don’t want to have to go back and buy the same thing just a few months after you initially bought it. While there are a lot of things you should consider before investing in a piece of equipment, here are some main factors you should keep in mind.

Product demand and fit

This is the first thing you have to mind. Since this is a business venture, you should only buy equipment that will increase your party rental business’s profitability.

Depending on what kind of party or event rental business you're running, your products' demand might highly depend on trends and seasonality. Location also has a lot to do with your offering; if your customer base is located in the heart of the city, and need to rent out a space in order to have an event, they'll most likely need some basics like matching chair and table sets, glassware, canopies, and delivery service to be able to get all of the equipment to the venue.

If you operate in the suburbs, your customer base most likely already owns everything they might need, but still might be on the lookout for something special, like themed decorations, inflatables, sound systems that are fit for a festival, and so on.

Durability

As mentioned earlier, you are in business to stay, so the quality of whatever equipment you need in the company should be unmatchable. You don't want to buy chairs and tables that will break during the first party and disappoint your customer’s guests.

Since parties tend to get rough, you’ll need equipment that can withstand day-to-day wear and tear. Ask yourself: will this equipment stand the test of time and grow with you? Is it futureproof? These questions will help you pick items that will serve you for a long time and give a lot of value for your money.

Maintenance cost

Inventory is the most important part of running a rental business, especially if we're talking about small businesses that are just getting started in the party rental industry. Purchasing equipment is one part of inventory management and getting started, and the other part is maintenance.

To put it short: the longer your products last and can be utilized, the more profit you will get.

So, in addition to making sure that you're purchasing equipment that is a good fit with your target market, making sure that they're high-quality and serve you a long time, consider also the spare parts that you might need for them.

Let's say you have a luxurious, high-tech sound system up for rent, and something happens to it. Repairing costs and replacing some parts can become extremely costly and end up being a loss-making product for your business. For example, having products from the same brand often makes finding spare parts much easier and cheaper.

Check out our guide on how to choose the perfect products for your rental business.

How to grow your party rental business

If you’ve already got some wins under your belt, then you might be wondering where to go from there. 

Services

You need to pay great attention to delivery because it will determine your business reputation and customer retention. Nothing puts a customer off more than a late delivery of services. This is even more critical in the party rental industry, where time is the most important factor. 

So, you should come up with a few different options for how to deliver your equipment to customers on time and in good shape.  

Aside from this, you can also expand your services into other customer needs.  

Upselling

The biggest tragedy in any business is not telling a client about all your services. And this is a mistake that most people in the party rentals business make. Upselling is a powerful business technique for generating more revenue by customers aware of other complementary services that you offer.

Upselling confirms how well your company understands your customer needs. Do they know that décor services are also a package that you can provide to them?

In some cases, up-selling might even be where the real money is made in your business. Aside from increasing revenue, upselling also increases your customer loyalty since they are buying more from you. Here are some important tips on how you can upsell your party rentals business.

Give your customers real-life examples

This is another upselling trick. Most customers will only believe in you after they have already seen what you can do. So use photos and reviews from other clients to give your clients a picture of what they can expect from you.

For example, if you have a décor package, show them photos of previous décor themes that you used and left your clients pleased. Pro tip: social media is also a great channel for this.

Build a strong customer care team

The biggest resource you can ever have in your business is that of your workers. This is why you should continuously invest in them since they are the face of your business to the world. They are the ones who deal directly with your clients both in-person and online. It is for these reasons that you should train them in upselling. 

Teach them how to spot upselling opportunities and tie them back to solving the customer’s problems. You can even arm them with tools that help them convince customers of your upsell offer. For example, a tablet to show off your portfolio. Lastly, offer some incentives (for example, a sales commission) to your employees to keep them excited about upselling.

New Locations

Opening second locations is one of the best ways to scale the business. them. Finding new locations will in turn help you reach more people. However, don’t forget to do some geographical research to see whether your services are needed in a given region.

Conclusion

The demand for party supplies is greatly increasing in all cities across the globe. However, the competition is also stiff. But don’t let that scare you, the market could always use a new perspective. If you treat your customers with care and conveniently offer what they need for their parties at reasonable prices, then you’ll have a hard time keeping up with the demand!

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you start a rental business?

Is running a rental business really profitable?

Online store

Create a free online store

Start accepting online bookings for your rental business in minutes.

Get started
Online store

Talk to our team

Book a demo with our team to learn more about what Rentle can do for your rental business.

Book a demo

Eliisa L.

The storyteller that spends her time in the studio, outdoors, or creating the best, most relevant content for rental shops.

Subscribe to our Blog

Join the 1500+ professionals who are already receiving our tips and the latest news on ecommerce, marketing, rental management, and sustainable business.