There is an inherent risk for any rental company. It is pretty simple: you’re renting stuff out to random people and who knows what they will do with it.
While the vast majority of renters return an asset in good condition, it only takes a few bad apples to screw things up. Customers damage rental equipment, lose it, or even steal it, and that becomes a huge problem when it significantly cuts into the size of your company’s rental fleet.
This issue can be costly, too. Damaged equipment needs to be fixed and searching for a lost rental asset takes money and resources. Not only that, there could be longer lines and waiting times for customers if there are fewer things to rent out, which could lead to bad customer reviews online.
With all these problems present in the business, it is understandable why rental service managers would be interested in ways to make their business more organized and efficient.
These five business hacks can help rental companies:
Install GPS Trackers
Always have eyes on your rental assets, whether your business rents out kayaks or construction equipment. At titangps.com, GPS trackers are available for all sorts of things like vehicles, boats, and even shipping containers, so there should be an option for any rental company.
GPS trackers are a great way to ensure you always know where something is so it does not get lost. It is a form of theft prevention as well, because a tracker would let you know where the asset was taken to.
Many GPS trackers share more than just standard location data. Some products record speed information, location, breadcrumbs, and after-hours usage.
This type of tracking would be very useful to a boat rental company because it would let management know if customers were venturing outside the specified boundary or going too fast. It would also be applicable for heavy equipment rental companies that loan out their machines to companies working in remote areas.
High-Quality Rental Assets
Invest in quality rental assets and keep them in good shape! As a rental company, the assets are your business, and you need to treat them right if you want long-term success for your company.
Customers come to rental companies for an experience, and they need the physical object in order to have that experience. So, if they spend money to use a pair of skis and the ski boots can’t strap in, then what’s the point of renting them in the first place?
And there are other reasons to have quality rental assets beyond customer satisfaction. Better rental equipment is safer and less likely to result in any harm for the customer, which in turn means fewer incidents and injuries you have to deal with as a manager. There will always be some accidents, but better equipment will keep that to a minimum.
High-quality rental assets also do not need to be fixed as often. Guess what, substandard ATVs are going to break down more frequently than newer, higher-caliber ATVs, which means fewer ATVs available to rent out and possibly some customer accidents. Repair costs for many assets like cars, ATVs, boats, and bicycles can add up quickly, and if you have fewer rental assets in rotation, then it will be harder to make up that money. The best rental assets will last longer, break less often, and keep customers safer.
It is also important to have your assets ready before renting them out. That means making sure boats and cars are filled with gas, charging electric bikes before rental, and not renting out other damaged assets.
Some rental companies cater to new users of their product and how-to videos are a simple way to make sure customers know how to use said equipment correctly. This could be especially useful for touristy places like boat and jet ski rentals or ski resorts renting out skis and snowboards.
Simply put, you’ve got to dumb it down for the customers. You may be able to operate a jet ski blindfolded, but many of your customers will be using one for the first time, so a step-by-step video of exactly how to get it started could go a long way. Show where the ignition is, show how to turn on the ignition, show where the accelerator and brake are, show the safest way to turn when on the water, etc., etc.
You want your customers to feel comfortable and digestible instructional videos should help them use rental assets properly.
Other businesses are your friend as a rental company, particularly if you are in a touristy area. If you run a bicycle rental shop near a beach, there are probably plenty of other nearby businesses that are also marketing to tourists. Ice cream shops, hotels, restaurants, guided tours, and gift shops are primarily marketing towards tourists who are willing to burn money for a fun time, just like a bike rental business.
Creating partnerships with these similar types of businesses will increase exposure for a rental company. For instance, a bicycle rental place could partner with an ice cream shop and have them offer half-off ice cream purchases to customers if they have a receipt for an hour-long bike rental. It could go the other way too, where the rental shop is the one offering the discount, but either way, it is a symbiotic relationship for both businesses.
Partnering with a beachside hotel could also work. Your bicycle rental company could have a satellite kiosk in the hotel’s main lobby that would attract some customers who might not have otherwise considered your business. In exchange, your company pays back a percentage of rental sales to the hotel so both sides get something out of the deal.
Get Paperwork Together
Rental companies need to make sure their important documents are always in order. This means making sure non-liability agreements are compliant with local regulations and that you have the right insurance for the asset that is being rented out.
Get your paperwork together so one hospital bill or unreasonable customer does not threaten your rental company.