When people are planning a party, they might need a dance floor, popcorn machine, tables, chairs, decorations, costumes or all manner of other bizarre objects. You can make money by providing these people party rentals. Almost anything can be a party rental as long as you make sure it's safe, protect your investment and get the word out that you've got something to rent.
Check the item for safety. Whatever item you are planning to rent, you could be a target for a lawsuit if the item is not safe.
Set up liability insurance. As mentioned earlier, you'll want protection from lawsuits.
Set up property insurance on your rental. If it gets damaged by customers or simply through bad luck, you'll want some way of replacing it. You may also want to consider lost income insurance, which pays replacement income to you while your rental item is out of commission.
Publicize your available rental. Use word of mouth among friends. Drop flyers at local businesses that cater to people who might want to use your rental. Make contact with other businesses that serve party planners like caterers, bakeries, costume shops and party supply houses.
Consider credit card processing. It can be expensive, but taking a customer's credit card means you have an automatic damage deposit limited only by the customer's spending limit.
Develop a rental contract. Have a lawyer do this if at all possible
Before beginning to create your rental, do a dry run of all the expenses listed above. Check them against how much you will make from rent. If you don't think you can recoup your investment within two years, reconsider your business model.
Business law varies from state to state and can carry stiff penalties for error. Check with your lawyer to make sure your rental conforms with all local laws.
- "Small Business for Dummies"; Eric Tyson & Jim Schell; 2000
- "The E-Myth Revisited"; Michael Gerber; 1995