In 2015, the US equipment rental market was worth around $34.5 billion. A major chunk of this is devoted to B2B companies renting heavy-duty construction equipment. Of course, a rental business lending textbooks to college students cannot expect to rake in similar profits. Still, the equipment rental industry is an extremely viable avenue for small- and medium-sized businesses. It is important to note that being successful as an SMB does not require that you undercut the competition on price, or rental duration terms. To this end, we’ll share some of the ways your SMB can best outperform competition in the equipment rental industry.
Your social media strategy should be clearly delineated
for your equipment rental business to be a success.
Understand the difference between B2B and B2C
Are you renting out light tools and tech equipment to other business as a small plant hire operation? Or are you instead thinking of renting out camping gear to first-time adventurers? Whichever you choose will of course affect a huge portion of your marketing strategy, positioning, and avenues for client interaction.
One of the mistakes equipment rental companies lending to consumers make is to get too technical. Remember, unless you’re lending to veteran skiers in remote locations, chances are you won’t need to list too much information beyond what surface your skis are good for. Similarly, if you’re renting out equipment to companies, understand that cultivating relationships is especially important; a business coming to you to rent fumigation gear would most likely do it again, while a bride renting a wedding dress hopefully won’t!
Social media marketing is a great tool for both B2B and B2C. Both of these work ‘better’ on some platforms than others (with LinkedIn leading the polls for the former, and Facebook for the latter, with Twitter being a neutral middle-ground). If you’re thinking of branching out, know that contests and giveaways are a good growth hacking tool for consumer-oriented businesses, while free upgrades and customized kits are a great way to get other business hooked onto your equipment.
Of course, you can also cater to both markets, for example if you wish to rent out audio/visual equipment to new filmmakers or the marketing departments of other SMBs. In this case, you will have to decide between having a generically broad marketing strategy (which is not wholly recommended), or appealing to these diverse customers in segments.
Know how best to exploit seasonality
Of course, as a rental business owner, you need to constantly work with seasonality in mind. If you provide bicycle rentals, your business will see a boost during the summer months. In fact, most rental businesses tend to do better during certain months than others; for example, academic books rentals thrive before the start of a new semester, and musical equipment rentals soar during summer break.
As a general rule, small items rent for around 5% of their total value per day, 10% per week, and 20% for a monthly rental. Going anywhere below this is a business risk and generally should only be practiced when offering seasonal discounts.
As a small business, the better equipped you are to make data based decisions relating to seasonal increase in business, the easier it is to achieve profitability and growth. Examples of getting your timing right include hiring temp workers right before the start of the peak season, or starting a new promotional campaign to exploit the new influx of consumers. Even little concessions to your consumers will pay off in these seasonal hotspots, such as letting them store their equipment with you overnight, or delivering it to their doorstep free of cost. What matters is that as a small business, you can’t let growth take you by surprise. Instead, you must actively plan for it.
EZRentOut can help your equipment rental business eliminate risks,
lower costs, and integrate with your favorite third-party apps.
Invest in risk-free software
Equipment rental management software is a must-have for everyone in the equipment rental industry. This benefits you in a number of different ways – helping you lower costs, avoid reservation clashes, cutting wait times and stopping loss of expensive equipment to poor organization. EZRentOut is the leading rental management system; it is a comprehensive and intuitive platform that can accurately track where all your equipment is, its rental history, and when a particular item is due back.
It also improves customer experience by ensuring the rental process is as simple and streamlined as possible. Features like label and invoice designers, QR Code and Barcode scanning facilities, countless integrations and add-ons and on-the-go mobile apps can greatly enhance the success of your business.
One mistake is often too many. Management software such as EZRentOut is easy to use and a cost-effective way to insure yourself against mistakes, and instead focus on what’s really important – creating the best experience for your customers, and being able to plan better for all eventualities.
Whether you’re renting out boats, or investing in party rentals, the fundamentals listed above can be part of a long-term growth strategy for your equipment rental business. They can help you manage customer relationships, increase sales, and improve organization so that you can make the most of your rental company, at any size!