GROWING YOUR BUSINESS
Once your inflatable rental business is up and running, chances are you will start to see a return on your investment quickly. When you have a steady stream of rental bookings, and some revenue coming in, it’s time to think about taking your business to the next level.
There are several areas of your business that you can put energy into in order to grow faster.
ADDITIONAL RENTAL VENUES
As your business grows, you can expand out of backyard parties and start renting to the corporate world. You’ll want to make sure that all the systems in your business are running smoothly before you try to sell your services to large businesses, festivals, churches and community organizations. This will significantly increase demand, and you want to make sure you are prepared to meet it.
Renting your units to bigger venues is more profitable, but will likely mean that you’ll need to increase your inventory. Businesses will want to have more than one unit at their events, and they’ll want the larger and more cutting-edge units that will set their events apart from the rest. That means having water slides, inflatable games and other innovative pieces in stock and ready-to-go.
Companies will want to call the inflatable rental businesses that can rent them all the units they want and need. They likely will not call around to choose one unit from one inflatable rental company, and the others from another. They want to have a ‘one-stop shop’ for all their rental needs. If you’d like to rent your services to the corporate world, you’ll typically need a minimum of three to four units, in a variety of styles.
Unlike renting to backyard birthday parties, you or your staff will need to be at corporate events for the entire duration. You’ll want to be there to supervise, and make sure your units are being properly used.
No matter who you rent to, the busiest month of the year for inflatable rental companies is October. October tends to be the month for back-to-school programs, pumpkin patches, Halloween parties, festivals and major fall events. As a result, you’ll want to make sure your inventory is stocked well beforehand and that any repairs that need to be taken care of are completed in advance of this busy time.
When it’s time to increase your inventory, you’ll need to make decisions about the type of inflatables to purchase, size and budget. However, one thing that should always stay top of mind is safety.
Children of all ages will use your units, so you’ll want to do everything you can to provide your customers with the safest inflatables possible. When purchasing new units, look for features like reinforced seams, non-slip materials, slide covers and blower flaps. Also look closely at all safety ramps, steps and ladders to make sure they will be easy for your customers to use.
We know that business owners in this industry are always looking for the best deal, especially when increasing their inventory. That is why we have put together a range of business packages. We offer our clients discounts on multiple units to help you grow your business. Check out our business packages to see if there is one that’s right for you.
If you do not see inflatable business packages that suit your needs, please contact us for a personal consultation. We can put together a custom inflatable package that will save you money and help you reach your goals.
PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENT
Your inflatable units will be used frequently, and after time, rips and tears are bound to happen. Luckily, small holes can easily be fixed with a simple vinyl repair kit. But even more important than knowing how to repair small holes, is knowing how to prevent them in the first place.
When setting up an inflatable unit on a cement surface, always use a vinyl tarp (or ground covering) to protect it. This helps to shield your inflatable unit from rubbing against cement for several hours, which can wreak havoc on your investment. When setting up a wet inflatable unit on cement, don’t use a vinyl tarp. Instead, use a canvas tarp. Vinyl can become very slippery when wet, and this can cause a serious safety issue.
A little common sense goes a long way when it comes to further protecting your units. Sharp objects and toys shouldn’t be allowed inside, as this can potentially cause unwarranted holes. It also pays to purchase inflatable units with a constant air source, as this ensures that the unit is always at a safe and constant pressure while the unit is running.
You’ll always want to check for holes after your inflatable has been used. If you notice a rip or a tear that is larger than a vinyl repair kit can fix, make sure your unit isn’t used again until it is properly repaired. Don’t ever sacrifice safety for profits, as this puts you in a dangerous situation as a business owner.
INCREASING YOUR PROFIT
One of the great things about the inflatable rental industry is that you can start making money right away, and with a little time you can make an astonishing return on your investment – in most cases, 30 percent! That is unheard of in most industries.
If your business is running at peak efficiency, here’s how the budget should break down:
- Office: 8 percent
- Insurance: 5 percent
- Storage: 8 percent
- Labor: 25 percent
- Fuel: 5 percent
- Advertising: 8 percent
- Miscellaneous: 11 percent
Total: 70 percent
Meaning a 30 percent profit for the business owner!
When you were just starting out, your office and storage costs were probably much lower. But as you continue to grow, your overhead in those areas will increase. Just keep them within the values listed and you will be running a very profitable business!
TIME TO HIRE
As your business grows, you will need more help to be able to service all your bookings. When choosing employees, demand excellence and fire quickly for poor performance. Prioritize good customer service because your employees are representing your business on site – they will affect how customers view your company.
When you have the revenue to support it, you will also want to hire professionals to assist you with the operational duties of the business. You will want to have an accountant on hand who can teach you how to keep your books in order. Even if you use them just to help you get set up, and check your books monthly, it will save you a lot of stress and money because you will be assured that taxes and other necessities are taken care of properly.
It’s also a good idea to have a business attorney that you can consult when needed. It is important that the legal aspect of your business (contracts, waivers) is handled carefully. We recommend that you have an attorney look over your rental agreement to make sure you are protected.
TRACKING YOUR CUSTOMERS
Once you begin getting regular bookings, you will want to create a customer database. If you service your clients well and they have a good experience, you will have the opportunity to turn them into repeat renters. Set up a system for keeping track of vital customer information so that you can reach out to them from time to time.
A simple database should contain a customer’s:
- Name and spouse name
- Phone number
- Birth date
- Children’s names and ages
If you also keep track of the month that they rented from you and which inflatable was rented, it will be easy to contact them the following year to see if they would like to rent an inflatable for the same event again.
Reaching out to your customers with a reminder card or special promotion will make them feel important, and maintain their connection to your company. Even if they don’t have a recurring need, you can stay top of mind so that they will be able to refer you easily.
INCREASE YOUR MARKETING
One way to increase your business is to let more people know about your company. If you are ready to grow, it could be a good time for a marketing push. You could send a postcard or direct mail flyer, or reach out to homeowners in your area via the phone.
And don’t underestimate the power of online marketing. Take this opportunity to study the traffic to your website and see where it can be increased. If you have been in business for 5 years or more, it make be time to refresh your website to keep it looking up to date. Adding promotions or monthly specials could help you increase the number of visitors.
You could also try increasing your social media activity, or adding a blog or video marketing campaign. Or, consult with a professional about optimizing your website so that it can be easily read by search engines. All of these things will work to drive traffic to your site, and help people find you online.
A press release is also a good idea. Is your business celebrating a special anniversary or milestone? Spread the word! Anything you can do to draw attention to your business and your offerings is good for generating leads.
Get more great marketing ideas in our Marketing Your Inflatable Rental Business eBook!