How to Be Prepared for Equipment Rental Season
Preparing for Equipment Rental Season
Before rental season rolls around, make sure you’re ready for the rush. Your equipment should be prepared and so should your staff. Follow these steps to gear up for your customers’ needs.
Check industry trends. If you supply wedding accessories, keep an eye on sites like The Knot and A Practical Wedding to stay on top of the hottest trends in décor. If metallics are in, you might want to invest in some copper and gold flatware. Burlap table runners on their way out of vogue? Time to upgrade your linen selection.
Keep a local focus. As far as equipment rental goes, what are common issues in your city or region? If residents are often plagued by flooded basements, wet/dry vacuums and large fans might be good things to keep in stock. Heavily wooded areas might have a higher need for rental chainsaws for downed trees after spring storms.
Inspect and clean equipment. Food and concession equipment especially require thorough cleaning to appeal to customers and to keep end users healthy. Examine all equipment for properly functioning electrical cords and heating elements, and follow the instructions for cleaning. Shine glass on popcorn machines and food warmers so they look like new.
Replace as needed. Don’t try to hold on to equipment and event rentals longer than is reasonable. When equipment depreciates, you’re better off purchasing a new unit than renting out an exhausted machine. Decide if the old equipment is in good enough shape that you can offer to sell it used at a discount price.
Train your staff. Your employees should be comfortable discussing and demonstrating all of your rental equipment. From trenchers and spreaders to hot dog grills and cotton candy machines, your staff must be able to provide operating instructions to your customers. Find tips for using concession equipment.
Stock up on supplies. Rental fees aren’t the only way to generate revenue. Don’t forget about supply sales that go along with many equipment rental transactions. Offer pre-portioned popcorn and oil, Flossugar for cotton candy, as well as paper products, cleaning supplies, sandpaper, safety glasses, and other supplies.
Advertise. Ads in the local paper or on local radio stations are a great place to start. Remember to mention all aspects of your rental business, as not everyone will intuit that you offer both construction and party rental equipment. Set up a booth at nearby bridal shows and reach out to local gardening clubs or contractors’ associations to spread the word.
You should be in good shape for the upcoming season after following this advice. Be sure to staff appropriately for busy times and have someone available to answer the phone and respond to online questions from potential customers in a timely fashion. Good customer service is the best way to make a sale and get referrals.