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15 important questions to ask before starting your unmanned rental business

Starting a rental business can be an exciting and profitable business opportunity. Whether you plan to rent out kayaks, canoes, boats, trailers, bikes, SUPs, cabins, or skis, it's important to carefully consider some key issues. Here are 15 questions that will help you lay a solid foundation for your future business.


  1. Which market are you targeting?

  2. What kind of equipment do you need?

  3. How much equipment do you need to buy?

  4. What is your customers' willingness to pay?

  5. Can you offer more than just rental?

  6. Is used equipment an option?

  7. Are all legal aspects clear?

  8. What does your online presence look like?

  9. Do you have a professional website?

  10. Are you active on social media?

  11. Have you thought about partnership?

  12. What does your maintenance plan look like?

  13. What does your customer service look like?

  14. Do you have a watertight contract?

  15. Do you have a business plan?


Identify your market and equipment


1. Which market are you targeting?

Understand your target audience and their needs to adapt your business effectively.


Rentalbuddys works for both unmanned and manned rental operations, as well as event-based. In principle, you can rent out any products.



The possibilities with rentalbuddy


2. What kind of equipment do you need?

Choose between basic or advanced equipment based on customer preference and popularity.


Rentalbuddy recommends you to start simple, the best way to get to know your market is to start, test, then evaluate and improve.


3. How much equipment do you need to buy?

Invest wisely to avoid unnecessary storage and save space and money. Most types of equipment have good resale value, so why not start with that?



Pricing and Services


4. What is your customers' willingness to pay?

Research the market and competitors' pricing to determine reasonable prices.


With unmanned rental, you can offer customers longer opening hours, and the value for the customer is increased flexibility in pick-up and return. And for you who rent out, it is the freedom to be able to do other things and let the customer, with the help of the system, take care of himself.


5. Can you offer more than just rental?

Consider offering additional services to become a complete solution for your customers.


The Rentalbuddy system allows you to sell additional products, accessories and insurance, etc. It also gives you the opportunity to offer events, by yourself or through collaboration, such as having guided tours or courses. Keep in mind that you are sitting on an asset that others can create an offer on with the help of Rentalbuddy's system.



Equipment purchase and legal aspects


6. Is used equipment an option?

Consider buying used to save money and invest in other areas of your business.


Rentalbuddy's experience says that, as a newcomer, you most often underestimate how difficult it is to reach out, to make customers know that you exist. See below about online presence, social media and business plan.


7. Are all legal aspects clear?

Make sure you have the necessary permits and insurance to protect both your equipment and your customers.


Through the system, you can sell different insurances, you can even have what we call a "Force fee", i.e. that the customer must buy insurance or a conservation fee.



Woman outdoors thinking about her rental property


Online presence and partnerships


8. What does your online presence look like?

A strong online presence is essential. A simple but professional website can make a big difference.


Rentalbuddy believes in simplicity. Spend 20% of your time creating your website, and spend 80% of your time getting the word out about your business and your offer.

For rental business, like many other businesses, LOCATION, LOCATION, and again LOCATION is important. If you have a place that many people see, it is a "free view", put it in relation to what "a view" can cost to buy. Don't forget map services such as Google Maps, many search there for the product they want to rent.


9. Do you have a professional website?

Your website is often the first impression. Make sure it is informative and user-friendly.


Rentalbuddy recommends that you measure the traffic on your website in order to make data-driven decisions.


10. Are you active on social media?

Social media is important for marketing and customer engagement, especially if your target audience is consumers.


This is challenging, start early and be prepared for it to take time.



Maintenance, customer service and contracts


11. Have you thought about partnership?

Partnerships with related companies can expand your offer and attract more customers.


Rentalbuddy's system also gives you the opportunity to offer events, yourself or through collaboration, such as having a guided tour or courses. Keep in mind that you are sitting on an asset that others can create an offer on with the help of Rentalbuddy's system.


12. What does your maintenance plan look like?

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your equipment in top condition.


Always encourage your customers to take good care of products, to clean and tidy when returning them. In a way, you increase both the next customer's experience of your service but also the likelihood that your products will last longer.


13. What does your customer service look like?

Excellent customer service is the key to repeat business. Make sure your customers feel well taken care of.


Rentalbuddy has built many smart features to help you with remote customer support. Our goal is to make unmanned rental as personal and secure as if you were assisting your customers in person. We strive to be the virtual reception desk so you can be elsewhere.


14. Do you have a watertight agreement?

Clear contracts help avoid misunderstandings and conflicts with customers.


Rentalbuddy has basic agreements that you can use for your rental.


15. Do you have a business plan?

A well-thought-out business plan is essential for success. Write down your goals, strategies, and budget.


Last but not least, starting a business is hard. As a rule of thumb, year 1 is tough, year 2 is OK and year 3 is when it is going well.



Summary

Starting a rental business requires careful planning and understanding of your market. By answering these questions, you can lay a solid foundation for your business and increase your chances of success.


We at Rentalbuddy are here and will be happy to help you answer any questions.






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