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Starting up event rental biz

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NaPal

Done > Perfect
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Speedway Pass
Apr 16, 2012
229
256
USA
Has anyone ever been in this business? What were your results? pros and cons?

The wife and I are taking a journey into starting an event rental business. To start off, mainly rectangle 8' table and folding chairs. We had a party for our son a few months back and noticed there is a large gap in our local marketplace that leaves a lot to be desired for this business. We ended up getting the tables/chairs from a guy 30 minutes away just renting them out from his home. As a true man always interested in business; of course I asked, "Do you just operate from your home and how is business" He pretty much told me business is off the charts. I could easily do it better in terms of SEO, marketing, market share, referrals, etc; from everything I've learned on this forum and in business books. A competitor has just been created. :smuggy:


I put together a financials analysis and total startup costs would be around $5k and profit of $20k year with 20tables/160chairs rented 1 time / 52weeks. Not bad for 1 hour a week for delivery/pickup of the items. The idea will be to reinvest and scale accordingly.

Appropriate to the forum and the basis of this all, company name will be 'Fastlane Rental ****".

This is my first business venture.
I'm thinking we will need liability insurance, some type of rental agreement, to file for a business.
When is the appropriate time to file for a business? Should I do this immediately or can it wait until the market is 100% verified?
When does sales tax come into play?

I'm really looking for some guidance, all input is greatly appreciated. This will most definitely be a great learning experience for me.
Thanks for everyones help and keeping this a great forum!:rockon:
 
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smartman

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 7, 2013
181
196
i'm not a lawyer, but I would assume you would have to form an LLC before the first chair was rented out, as tables and chairs are something that could result in injury, especially with children present.
 

Joozed

New Contributor
Oct 29, 2013
17
10
32
I would think of a unique spin to add onto the idea. I would source / buy environmentally friendly table / chair products. Then you could set yourself apart from the competitors while adding something positive to the world. Maybe drop the rentals off in a smart car. Market the company as an environmentally friendly local rental company. There should be all types of recycled and local products to pick from.
 

smartman

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 7, 2013
181
196
you could obviously move directly off from that idea with offering products like bamboo plates and cups for the party. if you have a dishwasher, it's not like it will take you much effort to clean them.
 
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Joozed

New Contributor
Oct 29, 2013
17
10
32
You could also tie in some type of historical angle as well. I know there is a lot of history in Ohio. Maybe re-purpose and re-think some Ohio antiques that you could rent out. Something like Hip (environmental side) and Historical (Ohio side) Rentals. Maybe you or your wife are good at restoring / re-purposing finds to rent for events and parties.

Also as noted by smartman of course you want insurance, rental contracts that release liability, LLC etc. but just get a good lawyer and accountant in Ohio and you should be fine.
 

Sean DeSilva

New Contributor
Dec 18, 2013
17
19
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Hi, I love your enthusiasm, and I also should mention that a lot of start up founders make the mistake of ironing out all the formalities and getting ready to roll out the red carpet before insuring with a dead certainty that the business will work.

Before you spend $5000 on equipment, entity set up and other formalities, it makes sense to spend $500 (plus or minus) on testing. You won't only increase your certainty and confidence. If the business works like you think it will, but you may be pick up a new pain point or subtle nuance that allows you to turn the business in an even more profitable direction.

I wrote a basic startup checklist post on my blog that I think would be relevant to your situation: http://buildstartups.com/business-building/startup-checklist-guide-startup-process

Good luck with the new venture!
 

NaPal

Done > Perfect
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Apr 16, 2012
229
256
USA
Thanks for the replies. This will most definitely spin off into a much larger business including tents, bounce castles, linens, games, etc. Once this business proves succesful we will then scale accordingly to the customers demands. Great thing about business is that you can ask your customers what they want, and they will tell you. This is what I play to do and this will lead me introducting new rental products.

I agree, there needs to be something for us to stand out from the crowd. To start off, our pricing will include the items, delivery, and setup at the your specific time you pick. We're not aiming for cheapskates, but tailoring to the market that can see our value (not waisting THEIR time, one stop shop, one call/form submission and its scheduled, etc.)

I've been tring to think of a way to test this concept and kill it fast if deemed. However to test this would involve loosing potential customers and business, especially with spring just ahead. Should i set up a site and tell any inquiries we're booked.
I don't think it's a question of, will it work? I know I can run this business 10x better than the main local competitor. Call me cocky, but i'm confident the strategies i've learned on this forum and elsewhere will prevail.


The main questions I have right now are regarding filing for a business, insurance, and the rental agreement. The rest is just math right now...
Should i file for an LLC now, or get the business running first?
Do i need liability insurance of I have a rental agreement waiving liability?
 
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