Busy seasons in the rental business come and go depending on where you live, the items you have to offer and the different events/ holidays that happen throughout the year. Ideally, we can keep up a steady stream of business all year long, but there will always be those periods where we receive an influx of work. It’s essential to be prepared and stay on your toes so you can meet the demand. Here are 5 tips we think are crucial to being successful when business gets a little busy.
1. Look back on previous years
The best thing about the past is that you can always learn from it. Reflect on previous years and gather all the data and insights you need in order to predict your business trends. This is also a great opportunity to see what you could have improved on, what you can do differently in the future, and how you should move forward. Did you have enough employees? Was your ad budget effective? Did you have enough units to meet demand? These are all questions that can guide your strategy that are based around the past.
2. Get Your Game Plan Ready
Once you’ve evaluated the triumphs and pitfalls of previous years, plan your next moves. Conducting a SWOT analysis for your business is a great place to start. For those unfamiliar, a SWOT analysis is where you lay out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your business. It can give you a good idea of where you need to improve and what you’re already doing well. With a good grasp on your business’ current status, you can then enact a strategy that will prepare you for an influx of orders.
3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
So you’ve gone through your SWOT, you’ve pinpointed your next course of action, and now it’s time to actually get it all done. There are a few necessities that we’ve discovered are common throughout the inflatable/ party rental business, so make sure to review:
One of the biggest challenges in running a business is coordinating a well-trained, reliable, and hard-working staff. Start your hiring process early on and establish an effective training process to prepare your staff for an increase in events.
Skim through your website often to ensure that it is providing a comfortable user journey, is providing accurate information, has engaging calls to action, and represents your business properly. Are users reaching a certain point and not following through with a sale? Investigate the cause and adjust your website as needed.
Go through your inventory and perform any necessary repairs, retire units that are no longer working well for your business, and see if you have room to bring in new inventory (maybe from EZ Inflatables!)
Insurance and State Inspections
Review your state requirements and your insurance policies to make sure that you have everything covered and in good standing. It is always best to be prepared before an incident happens.
Stay on top of your advertising efforts and make adjustments as needed. Run tests to see what is working, invest in quality pictures and videos, and allocate a healthy budget for promoting your business. This includes social media, local ads, Google Ads, and SEO!
4. Stay Organized
In order to keep your sanity and your business running smoothly, maintain an organization system that tracks orders, employees, finances, etc. Using software like Quickbooks, Event Rental Systems, Inflatable Office, Excel, or any other program that works for you is a great way to stay on top of everything. Keep your inventory organized as well. Establish a working system that your employees can follow for labeling units and keeping track of accessories to save yourself from future headaches.
5. Keep calm and thrive!
When there’s an increase in business, there’s always an increase in the chance for mistakes and hardships. Employees not showing up, equipment breaking down, mistakes with orders being made and so much more can occur at any time; the best way to get through them is to be prepared. Take the extra moment to inspect your vehicles, follow up with customers and confirm every item of their order, and go the extra mile when you can to ensure your success.
Lastly, don’t forget to relax from time to time. You cannot pour from an empty cup and you won’t be any good to your business if you’re not well physically or mentally. Taking a breather is never a bad thing!
Moral of the story: work smart, be prepared, and get ready for an exciting season. Get out there and conquer whatever challenges come your way!
If you have any tips or tricks for your fellow party rental business owners, feel free to leave a comment and let us know.