You don’t really need a specific educational background to get into party planning and start a party rental business, although courses in hospitality, tourism and marketing wouldn’t hurt. All you really need is an ability to look at the big picture and possess a knack for organizing people. With a creative bent, effective contacts and the right products, you can use your rentals to help people put on a party for everyone from kids to seniors..
Define Your Niche and Services
Before you even begin buying products to rent, you’ve got to decide if you will be an event generalist or specialize in certain kinds of parties. For example, if you intend to service just children's parties, you will be looking at purchasing games, bouncy houses and clown costumes. If you plan on serving corporate party rentals, you may want to invest in tents, sound equipment and a stage. A wedding party rental business requires an entirely different set of rental options that might include flowers, white tablecloths and tents with drapes.
Make the Purchases
Party rental businesses serving party planners’ outdoor events need to invest in a tent inventory. According to "Entrepreneur," a new large tent could run as high as $5,000. If you rent out the tent for $200 to $400, then you could expect to get a return on your investment after 25 to 50 rentals. Other larger investments are the tables and chairs you rent. Dinnerware, serving dishes, silverware, dance floors, lighting, linens and other party essentials will increase your initial investment that could run as high as $10,000 or more. Inflatable slides or bouncy houses could run $3,000 and up. Start with a minimum and build your inventory as your business grows.
Staff and Other Essentials
After purchasing the product line you plan to rent, you’ll need to hire staff to help set up the tents and deliver the equipment. While you may be able to drive the truck to deliver smaller items on your own, you will need at very least one other person to help you erect and take down tents and tables. You’ll need a truck to deliver the goods and fuel to run the vehicles. Add insurance and marketing to your initial investment as well. One area that could help you recoup costs is adding event planning consulting services to your offerings. Planning and creating the fun require just your time that could help pay for your product investments.
Make Effective Connections
Potential clients will seek you out online, so you need to build a quality website with exceptional pictures of your products. Your business will begin to flourish once you have referrals from previous clients. Referrals from related industry professionals also will help your growth. Wedding planners need your services and corporate event planners have needs for your products. Call on local associations that throw fundraisers and retailers that often have tent sales. Catering companies also can be an effective source of referrals, since you both serve the same constituency.