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Inflatable Rental Business Mistakes to Avoid

When launching any sort of business, it is easy to fall into certain traps and make a few mistakes here and there. It can pay off to become organized in terms of your finances and knowing your target market before you begin.

These are nine of the biggest mistakes that new inflatable rental businesses make and how to avoid them.

Thinking too small

Ordering just a few inflatable units to begin with makes practical sense, but only having a few units in your inventory may make it harder for you to earn money on your investments, and beat your competition. Research the units that your competitors offer, and order units that allow you to stand out. If you’re unsure about what type of inflatable unit to start with, remember that an inflatable combo (which has bounce, climb, slide, and sport activity areas all in one unit) is always a good choice for a new business. Read more about why inflatable combos are great units to start with.

Going cheap

It’s true what they say: “First impressions matter.” Put your best foot forward by investing in quality inflatable products that are safe for your customers. You also need to think about that first impression when considering other aspects of your business. You will need a well-designed logo, a functional and inviting website, and a solid insurance plan that will provide you the coverage you need. Choosing cheap materials and marketing tactics now may seem like a good idea, but in the long run you will pay the price. People tend to refer quality businesses and products, and having a reputation for quality in your market will help you get noticed.

Not knowing your market

To be successful, you’ll need to know your local area inside and out. This means having thorough knowledge of the local neighborhoods, cities, schools, districts, churches, city centers, parks, and much more. All of these places provide great areas to advertise and network in. Because referrals are vital in this business (60-70% of your bookings will come from referrals), you’ll need to know your target area and how to reach your target audience.

Not understanding your competitors

Just like you need to know your market, you need to know your competitors just as well. This means having knowledge of what units they have, how much they charge for each unit, where they advertise, and where they primarily do business. Once you know who your competitors are, you’ll be able to stay two steps in front of them by channeling your efforts into what you can do to make your business different.

Not having a business plan

It’s hard to make smart investments if you don’t have a solid business plan. A business plan that will serve you well includes a budget for rental revenue and expenses, a description of your target market, a pricing strategy, a launch and growth timeline, as well as a review of your competitive market. A proper business plan will also help you set your monthly and yearly goals.

Trying to do it alone

If you’re starting your own inflatables rental business, this means you have an entrepreneurial spirit, which also means you’re likely an independent spirit. While this spirit has served you well and will continue to do so, it is important to remember that running a successful business is not a one-man or one-woman show. It takes the help of a team to make the dream come to fruition. Make a list of roles other people could play in your business. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a ton of capital to begin with, invite close friends or family members to help. An inflatables rental business takes a lot of physical stamina, and savvy business skills. You can’t be everywhere at once, no matter how hard you try, so you’ll want to have your support team in place.

Being under or incorrectly financed

A healthy business means it’s growing in all aspects, especially financially. Make sure you have enough money left over after all your initial startup costs, which include the purchase of your first units, your company’s website, logo, and other marketing materials, and insurance coverage. If you’re unsure on how to finance your inflatable units, we can help you explore the options. Feel free to contact us.

Undercharging for your rental units

While your rental rates should reflect the quality of your units, it’s also important to keep in mind what your market is willing to pay, as this will influence how much you should charge. When setting your rates, keep in mind your market’s needs, your customer service skills, and your financial bottom line. These three factors should have equal influence in your pricing decisions, and will guide you to the rate that’s right for your business. Read more information on how to price your units.

And there you have it! Inflatable rental business mistakes to learn from now and avoid if you can. If you have any more questions about setting up or growing your business, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-569-0719 and speak with our experienced sales executives. Or, send us a message!