Starting a baby equipment rental business?

Are you thinking about starting a rental business? Get off to a great start with these tips! Our advice will help you make your rental business successful by joining an established branch. Your options are .. Go Solo OR Join an Established Brand?

Going Solo vs Joining A Brand

Table by Hire for Baby

But before you start, do your research!

1) Study your market.
Starting the exact same business in two locations mere kms apart can lead to radically different results. So before you get started, make sure that you know what your customers are looking for! Professional market research can quickly become expensive, but you can do a lot yourself! We can provide reports on what customers are looking for and the value of these customers. Look for other competitors on the market in your area for both hiring and installations.

Ask the Franchisor questions about the following:

  • Culture of the group
  • Compliance
  • Support from other Franchisees and the Franchisor
  • What makes a good Franchisee?
  • Where do some Franchises fail?
  • What kind of equipment are customers looking for?
    – Basic or high-end?
    – Which brands or specific items are most and least popular?
    – Does every product meet Australian standards?
    – How much are you willing to pay?
    – What other products are available?
  • Do you need more than rentals? Are there other services you can offer to become a one-stop shop for your customers?

2) Don’t just buy more, buy smarter instead.

By knowing your customers and what they are looking for you can make smarter decisions about the equipment that you buy. Avoid idle inventory at all costs – it only takes up space and money that you could use to grow your business!

Don’t overspend on equipment at the start: buy your minimum viable inventory based on your market research. Once you get started, buy more of the equipment that is most popular and lucrative. Check which brands and models are the most popular, but remember that overseas products must meet Australian standards.

It is cheaper and easier to buy more equipment later than to get rid of excess unwanted equipment.

We have excellent pricing from our long standard relationships with manufacturers. This gives you a faster return on investment (ROI) for your business.

“We know the most popular & safest hire products”

3) Get the most bang for your buck with the right buying and financing decisions.

Find the best deal for your equipment.
Unless you’re starting a rental business because you won the lottery and got bored, you’ll want to make the most of every cent or penny you spend.

Your equipment is likely to be one of your biggest investments, so make sure that you invest your money wisely.
Instead of blowing all of your money on the newest and best equipment you can find, consider your alternatives.

  • What are your customers looking for?
  • Will they will be twice as happy if you spend twice as much? Don’t buy high-end if they are looking for budget rentals.
  • Can you buy stock from other franchisees equipment? This can save you a massive amount of money, allowing you to buy more equipment or invest in other areas.
  • Some of our products can be hired from manufacturers, then on-hired to the customer.

4) Invest in the maintenance and repair of your equipment.

Treat your equipment right! Your business depends on your equipment – no equipment, no rentals!

That is why it is so important that you take good care of your equipment inventory:

Regular maintenance – spot & fix potential problems before your customers do!
Prompt and thorough repairs – fix any issues quickly and thoroughly so they don’t cause you more trouble in the future

Cosmetic fixes – your equipment shouldn’t just work like new, it should look like new as well! Make sure you create a good impression for (potential) customers
Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you!

5) Create a website to increase your visibility.

Stake your claim online.
The good news first: you don’t need to invest a massive amount of time, money and effort into creating your website. This is already set up for you with ongoing marketing that you can simply add to your flavours

It is vital however that you have an online presence and that when people visit your site you create a good impression. The first thing your potential customers will do is search for information online. That is why you need a professional-looking website that shows you can be trusted.

Creating a presence on social media is important as well. If you rent to other businesses, they are less likely to check Facebook for options, but they might look on LinkedIn. Here is some advice on using social media for your small business.

Even with social media, your own website is your most important online property – it is your home online. So make sure it reflects well on you! Again the platform is provided you simply need to add your flavour.

“Hire for Baby have optimised platforms and carefully branded social media. We have been re-branded in the last 12 months to improve & attract the right audience for our products.”

6) Form a partnership to create a win-win-win situation.

Create partnerships
Start by asking yourself, “What other products or services are my customers looking for?’

Places to stay – hotels, bed & breakfasts, Airbnbs …
Places to visit – nature parks, museums, …
Things to do – amusement parks, shopping malls, restaurants, …
Health Services for Mums to Be: Hospitals, Maternal health centres, Obstetricians, Doulas..

Contact these companies or organizations and ask them if they would be interested in a referral partnership: if someone asks for baby equipment or car seat rental, they refer them to you. And if someone asks you for a place to stay, eat, visit, … you refer them to your partners.

By referring customers to each other, you create a win-win-win situation.

You and your partners get more customers.
Your customers quickly and easily get the products or services they need

The referrals you make reflect back on you – so only make recommendations that you feel confident about! The last thing you want is customers complaining about the advice you gave them.

7) Use the right tools to manage your business.

Find the right tools for your business.
As a small business owner, you need to take care of more than just renting equipment. Accounting, communication with (potential) customers, managing employees, …Hire for Baby provides a central database that manages, customers contracts and stock – this extracts information that is required for your own accounting systems. We have customer relationship management tools to update customers in each territory and encourage engagement on social media and with our online magazine with the latest parenting advice, along with current offers.

8) Keep your customers happy to keep them coming back.

Treat your customers right.
Rentals bring repeat business – your customers only rent your equipment for a short period of time, so if they need it again in the future, they have to rent again.

Make sure that when they rent again, they come to you!

Be more than just a place to rent – make your customers feel welcome and give them relevant advice and guidance along with prompt & friendly service
Create a hassle-free experience – don’t overwhelm your customers with procedures and paperwork.
Don’t wring out every last cent – would you rather make another $2 once or have your customers return and keep spending their money with you?
At the same time, don’t neglect general customer service. We have some good tips to deliver a great customer experience.

See our 5000+ customer reviews here.

Make sure you and your customers are on the same page. Our proven system ensures that these elements are covered.

  • How should the rental equipment be treated – what is acceptable wear and tear?
  • When and where does the rental end and start?
  • What should the customer do if something goes wrong?
  • What are the penalties for damage, loss, late returns ?
  • Clearly communicate the answers to these questions upfront, in your terms & conditions, to avoid confusion and conflict later on.

The elements that are already in place with Hire for Baby:

Tools to start your business from day one-

  • Contracts & T&Cs
  • Marketing
  • CRM
  • Online integrated website and online orders
  • Social media
  • Branding
  • Legal contracts
  • Insurance
  • Wholesale accounts – automatic approval to access stock
  • Other franchisees who are located in the same region are there to help

Have these terms in writing as well, signed by both you and the customer. Be thorough & complete and don’t ‘hide’ anything in the small print. If you make something hard to read, don’t be surprised if your customers don’t read it! Particularly if they are viewing your page on mobile.

The final step: bring everything together.

If you’ve followed all of this advice you should have a pretty good idea by now about what you should do to make your new rental business a stunning success. But don’t just keep it in your head! Bring it together in a business plan for your rental business – a rental business plan. A business plan is essential for the success of your business. Remember the old proverb – failing to plan is planning to fail. These are our tips for starting your own equipment rental business. We hope that this guide has been useful for you!

Book a time to talk with the franchisor.
Talk to us about becoming a local operator here.