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Start A Bounce House Rental Company: Bounce House, Moonwalk Rentals
How many inflatables should I start off with?
This question needs to be answered by each person. You need to take into consideration your budget and how much you can afford. Generally you should at least start off with 3-5 inflatables, this way you will have a variety for customers to choose from. If you are to purchase only one bounce house then you lose the client base that is looking to rent combos, slides, obstacle courses or interactive inflatables and eventually you lose business. Once a customer sees you don't have a variety to choose from, more likely than not they will go to some other company. This is where most startup companies fail. They either start off with the wrong number of inflatables or with the wrong styles.
The most proven successful strategy is to go with one or two regular bouncers, both of which should be a generic theme that will be good for any party or event, this way you do not limit your client base. Besides these two bouncers, you also want to get one combo with a bounce and slide, and one interactive or obstacle course inflatable. If you start off by buying specific themed inflatables like a Disney themed character, then you really limit yourself to ONLY those customers that are looking for that theme specifically. Another inflatable you MUST have is a water slide. Water slides are one of the most popular and profitable inflatables to have in your rental inventory. Having this variety of inflatable products will put you in the right road for becoming successful and profitable.
However, if you do have the finances to purchase more inflatables than it is advised to do so. The best way to grow your business and keep customers is to offer them a variety. It is essential to have a variety because people have parties for different events and themes, and if you cannot offer them an inflatable with a relevant theme to complement their party or event then you lose their business and they turn to another company with more variety and themes to choose from. So keep these in mind and start your business off in the right direction by choosing a variety and going with generic inflatables, rather than more specific ones. It is usually more profitable to start off with a moonwalk package that will accommodate all these inflatables mentioned and at the same time give you a nice discount.
Where can I store them?
Moonwalks generally do not take up too much space and therefore do not require a large storage or warehouse. When these inflatable jumpers are rolled up, they are about two feet wide, two feet long, and four feet tall. A lot of startup moonwalk rental businesses begin operation from their own home or garage. Storage in a garage is a very suitable place for those startup companies that have only a few inflatables. It is recommended to store the inflatables in a shaded, cool environment, so there is no damage caused by heat, sunrays, water, or weather storms. Keep in mind you should never store the inflatables when they are wet so you want to keep them somewhere where they won't get wet and at the same time won't be damaged by excessive heat or sunrays.
As your business grows and your inventory of inflatables increases, you might want to consider expanding out into a warehouse or business building. Keep in mind these inflatables are expensive equipments, and you do not want to leave them somewhere that might be susceptible to robbery. You should also consider the size of the area you have for storage and operation because it will be important when you start cleaning them. If you do not have a large enough area to inflate the moonwalks and clean them at your storage area, then you will have to clean them at the reservation location, but that will be talked about in more detail in the "How do I clean them?" passage.
How do I make reservations?
Every company has their own method for making reservations, recording information, and following up with customers. In placing reservations with customers you want to make sure you get all their information down, from their name, phone numbers, email, delivery address, delivery and pickup hours, and so forth. When a customer is placing a reservation, it is the responsibility of the event planner to get all the information necessary, and also, to give all the information necessary to educate the customer of the process. A customer that is not informed of the reservation process, company policies regarding delivery, setup and customer responsibilities is likely to become unsatisfied with the service.
There are a couple of ways to record the information and to follow up with customers for confirmation. A lot of startup companies will start by recording rentals on paper or reservation forms. It is a cost effective way of recording reservations, however as your inventory increases and your rentals grow, you should consider getting an online management system. Online management systems are a great way to streamline your business and record reservations more efficiently without losing them as you might with a reservation form. A great online management system is Rental Pad, which is designed specifically for the moonwalk rental industry. Following up with customers for confirmation is also a must, it shows you are dependable and accountable. You should always call and confirm your reservation with your customers about 1-3 days before the rental day.
How do I clean them?
Cleaning the inflatable moonwalks is pivotal for your success and quality of customer service. No customer wants their kids to be playing in something that is dirty or has things inside from a previous party. Customers pay to receive a clean product and that is exactly what they expect. It is every company's responsibility to clean their inflatable products and dry them if they have been used with water before using them for another party.
The best way to clean your inflatables is to do them at the location of a reservation during pickup time, which shows customers you do clean them, or re-inflate them at your business or storage location and clean them there. You do not want to leave cleaning for the delivery time because if a customer sees your products dirty before you start cleaning, then they are going to be left with the impression that it is a dirty product. For cleaning you should start off by vacuuming the inside to get all the small particles out, then using a cleaning formula such as Simple Green to clean the inside and outside of the inflatable. You should check with your inflatables manufacturer for their recommended cleaning formula to use on printed surfaces. For water units you want to leave them to fully dry before rolling them back up and storing them. Leaving an inflatable product rolled and stored while it is wet can cause it to smell and reek of mold and mildew.
The cleanliness and appearance of your inflatable moonwalks will reflect on your type of business. Onlookers look at how well kept your inflatables are and compare that to your quality of business. Therefore cleaning your inflatables thoroughly will not only improve the status of your services but will translate into more business and referrals.
Where should I advertise?
A good advertising campaign is what separates a successful startup company from a company doomed to failure. A new company MUST market themselves and make themselves visible to customers searching for their services or products. This marketing can be done in many different ways and formats that can make an effective campaign. The first thing companies must do is a demographic research about the people in the area they service. Find out if they are young and into computers and media, or older and more used to paper sources and newspapers. The main market for the party rental and inflatable rental industry are small children and teenagers who are into the media and computers, to adults ranging in there 40's or 50's who rely more on feedback and referrals.
There are a lot of ways to start marketing a company. One of the fastest ways to gain customers and start making sales is through a moonwalk rental directory, or online advertising through a website, and advertising that website in search engines and directories, which are THE MOST USED sources for finding a company or service. More and more technology is being produced that gives people access to these sources, and looking forward to the future of marketing and advertising we begin to see print sources being depleted while internet advertising and online directories keep growing and growing. However, some find it difficult because they might not have the experience to do it themselves, or it might be too expensive for them. For these startup companies, advertising online through a source like Party Jump USA and it's party rental directory, which gives visibility in all of these major search sources, is one of the fastest ways to market a company and gain business. Registration is Free to get started.
Now once you gain customers through online search sources and any other print sources you may advertise in, like newspapers or magazine sources, it is up to the company to keep that individual interested in the services. The cheapest advertising any company can do is to their own customers and their guests. This may be done by handing out business cards, post cards, promotional flyers, through emails, or even by hanging banners on top of their inflatables to make their company name visible to guests and onlookers. For a small business this is all the advertising they will need to grow their business and become successful, the rest is up to them to keep their customers through quality products and great customer service.
U.S. made or overseas?
This debate has been going on for decades and is prevalent in every manufacturing industry. The question is really left to each person to judge for himself or herself and make their own decisions. The basic question comes down to; do you want to buy inflatables for cheap? Or do you want to pay a little more and have valuable moonwalks that will last a longer time? Some people prefer paying less and making money so they can purchase again (because inevitably it will break down sooner), while other prefer paying more and doing business with the same product for a longer time and not having to worry about it breaking down on them.
Let's consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying from a U.S. inflatable manufacturer and a overseas manufacturer. When you purchase from a U.S. moonwalk manufacturer you do not have to worry about any potentially hazardous materials in products, like lead which have been found in Chinese products. When you purchase from a U.S. manufacturer you also get the luxury of having someone in the states that will be able to help you during the same time of day, and also someone nearby to ship for repairs as compared to overseas countries. Considering the quality of the manufacturing, U.S. made inflatables have stood the test of time while overseas inflatables have been known for getting damaged early and breaking down. Now the advantage of purchasing overseas products are that they are cheaper, and if you have a small budget you are working with, than you can buy more products with that budget if you go with overseas manufacturers instead of U.S. manufacturers.
Should I get insurance?
If you have the funds available to acquire liability insurance for your rental company, than you should do so. There are numerous reasons to get insurance, which include the security of your company from potential lawsuits and allows you to get more business from customers. It will automatically make your company accessible for customers having events at parks, recreation facilities and major facilities as well as sporting centers. Without having insurance coverage you will not be able to provide your service and products to these major event centers, which are usually the more hefty orders. Some see acquiring insurance as a heavy burden while others might see it is a potential to grow, it just depends on the business owner.
Another reason to get insurance is for the safety of your customers as well as the safety of your company. By having insurance for your products, your customers become less worried about potential dangers from using inflatables because they will feel more secured that they are covered by insurance. In the unlikely situation that anything should happen during usage, customers can feel a little relieved that they do not have to pay for medical or hospitalization costs because they went with a company that had insurance. This can be both good for the reputation of the company as well as having return customers. Acquiring insurance also protects your company from frivolous lawsuits that might jeopardize the stability of your company. Having an insurance company protecting you from such events may be all the reason you need to get insurance.
Usually for small startup companies, acquiring insurance might not be within the realm of possibility because of the large cost. However as your moonwalk rental company grows, you should definitely acquire insurance. As a company gets larger the possibility of an injury or damage becomes larger, and as time goes on it becomes a necessity to acquire insurance.
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