Inflatable and Party Rental Industry’s Biggest Challenges (pt 2)

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small-ideas-big-idea

You spoke, we listened.

Our recent survey revealed four main areas of challenge and concern among business owners in the inflatable and party rental industry. The first post revealed two of the top categories and below you’ll find the remaining two, along with examples of people’s comments.

Do you agree with these themes? They show us at Inflatable Academy where we should be focusing our priorities for training. Let us know which is most important to you and why in the comments below!

Marketing

Another clear area of concern among small business owners in the inflatable and party rental industry is marketing. This wasn’t necessarily a surprise in general. But what was surprising is how few people talked about the individual tactics. People weren’t talking about SEO or email marketing – their concern was more fundamental. This is a good sign, because it says that people aren’t overly focused on any particular tactic, which can sometimes blind people to the best solution to meet their need.

The #1 Challenge

Drum roll please…

The #1 area of concern was…

PRICING

Surprised? Let us know in the comments below!

A huge area of concern with Pricing was competing against lowballers. How do we compete against the guy down the street who only seems to compete on price?

Another area was discounting. How do we deal with a customer with a fixed budget? Or… is it recommended to discount based on type of customer, seasonality, and/or day of the week?

Other Challenges in Marketing

An obvious challenge in the category of marketing included just getting your name out. We all face competition. So, what are the best ways to get your message and your brand in front of the right people?

Another related challenge included how to adjust your marketing for large events. What’s the difference in approach and how do you transition from backyard parties to bigger customers with bigger budgets?

Example comments from the survey in the area of Marketing are below:

The business challenge to me is that it seems that many in the business do not realize it is a business and practically give the equipment away. They basically buy themselves a $10-$15 per hour job which makes no sense to me. Why would anyone want to work this hard, give up weekends, assume huge liability and take on this kind of stress to not make a reasonable return on investment and time?

It’s difficult to compete with the guy down the street with no insurance.

What are acceptable margins and how are they calculated?Insight into pricing strategies for large events.How do you offer attractive discounts while creating adequate revenue.How do you handle competitors that give away their business with such low prices.

There are other businesses working from home that rent their units really cheap.. They don’t have to pay taxes, insurance, inspection & more… Those small business really hurt businesses like mine that try to do things the right way!!

What are the best proven methods of advertising besides word of mouth?

Getting tips to make an online presence work for my business. Seems there’s plenty of people out there that say they can deliver, but know nothing about our unique business.

Our top challenge in our industry is the fly by night rental companies or those that have a full-time job offering such cut throat prices and under servicing customers by not showing up, dirty equipment and not delivering as promised.

Back Office, Insurance and Finances

Another key area of concern and challenge included back office, insurance and financial questions. The most common question in this category related to liability insurance. No surprise there, right?

Another key question was financially planning for slower months of the year – dealing with the cyclical nature of the business in many parts of the country is a real challenge people face in this industry.

Other questions related to software, equipment and streamlining operations.

Here are examples of what you told us you would ask an industry expert:

How to get affordable liability insurance? Every time I buy something new or make more money insurance goes up. I pay more liability insurance than a Medical DR. Why is it so expensive?

How to budget for slower months of the year.

Is there a payroll/book keeping method you found to work well? Do you use any monthly or annual services that you would recommend?

Best online reservation software. Best vehicles and delivery equipment.

Best write-offs, to minimize taxes.

Another serious problem is all the different regulations of the different states we operate in. Lifeguards and filtration systems for a water slide, are they kidding!!!

Best CRM software that people have found useful in the inflatable business and competitive on pricing?

What insurance do you use and coverages? How long do you use your inflatables and how do you dispose of them when no longer able to safely rent?

I would talk to them about how to automate and streamline the whole rental process.

Note: The quotes above are intended to be a representative sample. Some quotes may have been edited for readability and to condense for this post. The author’s intent was always maintained.

What do you think?

Which challenges resonated most strongly for you? Was anything a surprise or interesting for you?

We’re still prioritizing our focus, so let us know what’s most important to you and why in the comments below to influence our priorities and so we can tailor our training for you.

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