Keeping your rental equipment under good care can contribute to your party rental business in two ways:
Firstly, good care can extend the lifespan of your equipment. Thereby you would avoid extra costs from acquiring new equipment or trying to get them repaired.
Secondly, well-taken care of equipment is attractive to renters. For example, companies and individuals usually organize parties for a high number of people. Even if you have a few customers, you can attract more customers using these quick ideas.
That means they would not risk their reputation renting dirty, faulty, or unsafe party equipment and supplies.
That being said, we must maintain our party rental items in good condition. You may already be doing a great job, but these tips greatly improve the condition of your equipment:
1. Quality Equipment Pays-Off
If the quality is poor, even top-of-a-notch care will not keep the equipment in good condition. Because poor quality items are predestined to last only for a few usages.
That means pumping endless efforts and money to save the poor-quality equipment will bring more costs than benefits.
2. Keep Items Enclosed
Maintaining your equipment does not mean just cleaning and doing repair work on them, it also means keeping them away from possible theft.
Plus, keeping your equipment and supplies in an enclosed area will protect them from weather damage. No need to explain the damaging effect of rain on metal equipment.
According to a report, equipment damage claims increased over 150% in the last couple of years. The saddest part is that most of those damages were preventable.
3. Always Inspect Before Shipping
Damages to equipment can happen at any place. They can get damaged in the storage area, during the load and unloading process, or under the actual usage.
If the damage took place at your premises, you should cover the costs. However, if the renters cause the damages, you can charge them for repair costs based on fair value valuation.
Thus, it is crucial to inspect the items before and after the rent. For some of you who are new to the industry, the inspection process may seem complicated. But it is not. You may use the rental equipment inspection checklist.
Inspection checklists can be different depending on the items. For instance, if you are renting out party tents, you can create a standard checklist for them, including things like rips of fabric, stains, stands, lighting, and other components that belong to the tent.
The primary purpose here is to inspect the item more attentively and use the inspections as preventative maintenance.
4. Keep Track of Equipment
Getting updates on item location, inspection status, and rental history is also part of maintaining your rental equipment. Because by tracking, you get a general idea of when to do maintenance work.
For instance, if you notice that some rental equipment was out during the heavy storm by looking at the records from your computer, you may need to do some thorough inspections and maintenance on those items.
There is another great example. Think of a situation where you rented out your equipment several days in a row and now need some maintenance care. If you do not have a tracking tool, you may miss those crucial facts and possibly miss the much-needed maintenance.
Having a party rental management system like Reservety is always advantageous. It gives your freedom to do more by reducing time in inventory management:
More specifically, using Reservety, you can:
– Track equipment and stocks in real-time
– Mark sent return items
– Getting current updates on the check-in and check-out statuses
– Use damage waiver forms
Additionally, you will keep a close eye on your equipment with Reservety so your costly rental equipment does not wander off in the wrong hands. Plus, you will schedule the maintenances times right from your computer.
5. Analyse Profits and Usage Cost
Sometimes equipment is not worth the effort nor the maintenance costs. To determine that you need to do some simple cost analysis.
Let’s say you are renting out a portable generator as part of the party rental package. The vital first step would be determining the rental cost of your equipment. You used it for a long time and generated a good profit from it. Although you got it fixed several times, in the last couple of months, that rugged machine started giving you a series of problems and on top of that, it garnered several complaints from customers.
This situation requires serious attention. Because faulty equipment-induced complaints are the last thing we want in the party rental business. What if the generator shuts off in the middle of a wedding. Not a nice scene!
So, you should do a cost analysis to determine whether the equipment worth the maintenance cost. If not, it will be more profitable for you to get a new one.
Here is a simple formula to do cost analysis:
Step 1: Determine the age of the equipment. Companies manufacture equipment to last for a specific time. After the estimated expiry, they become a burden to owners. It is like trying to drive a vehicle with 500k miles on it. Refer to the manufacturer’s booklet to see whether your equipment had any time left.
Step 2: Calculate the estimated repair costs and compare the results against the actual worth of the equipment. If the repair costs are more than their actual value, it is better to get a new one.
Step 3: Factor in the cosmetic condition of the equipment. Even if the equipment is functional, the ugly chairs and tables will not blend in well with the party environment. That means you need to pay attention to the outer appearance as people would like to rent nice-looking items.
6. Hire Knowledgeable Staff
The behaviors and personalities of your employees can influence the condition and the lifespan of your rental equipment.
Especially if you are offering transportation and installation services along with your party rental equipment, you need to have a responsible and professional workforce.
The goal is to have your employees treat the rental equipment delicately and with greater consideration.
In recent years, people witnessed reckless acts of delivery people who threw the boxes carelessly just to do their jobs quicker. We know it’s true because those events were caught on camera. Just check some YouTube videos.
We do not want that types of events to happen in our rental business.
7. Clean Equipment Frequently
Dirty equipment and parties do not rhyme well, does it?
It’s because we all want to organize our parties, weddings, and other occasions in a beautiful environment. So, try to keep your equipment as presentable as possible to improve and promote your business.
Timely cleaning can also extend the life of the equipment. For instance, mud, dust, and oily substances can lead to corrosions, stains, and rust.
It is always ideal to do the cleaning when you accept the items back from the renters. That way, your equipment will stay ready for the next round of renting.
8. Hire specialist
Some of the maintenance work requires expert hands. Do not try to fix the equipment if you do not have experience. Let the professionals do the magic.
Did you know that the wrong maintenance or repairs can cost you more money?
We heard the stories like people wiring some of the décor equipment wrong and causing a fire in the middle of the wedding.
Something like that does not just ruin your rental equipment but it crumbles the reputation that you carefully gained over the years.
9. Prepare a Standard Set of Instructions
This is a very important step to preserve your rental equipment in a good condition. The requirements and standards should dictate how to use the items correctly.
Requirements should not be designed only to protect your items but also to protect human safety.
For example, let your customers know that installing and leaving the electrical equipment under the rain will ruin the equipment and possibly cause risks to their life.
Did you know that electrocution ranks sixths among the causes of workplace deaths in America?
More specifically, every year electrical mistakes and accidents claim 300 lives and cause 4000 injuries among the US workforce.
That number is more prevalent in underdeveloped countries or even in poorly managed businesses where the work standards are not set properly. Thus, we have to make sure to set standards and requirements so people would not face dangers.
Also, have your customers sign the requirements form to avoid damages to equipment and lawsuits that may develop because of human negligence.
10. Load and Unload Carefully
Believe it or not, some of the rental businesses complain that most of the equipment damages are acquired in the process of loading and unloading.
Earlier, we mentioned that is important to hire responsible and hard-working individuals so they would not recklessly handle the items just to do their job quickly.
However, you can make the loading, unloading, and overall transporting process safer, if you train your staff how to do those things correctly.
Additionally, having proper transportation for deliveries is also important. We have seen people trying to crump everything in the back of a small truck to fit everything in one go. As result, equipment and supplies receive dents and scratches.
11. Follow Instruction Manual
How often do you read the complete instruction manual booklet? The probability is very low.
In those papers, you will find valuable information on how to maintain your equipment correctly. Each product comes with an instruction manual. Unfortunately, some business owners throw them away without understanding the true value of that information.
Everything starting from instructions on how often to maintain the equipment to a list of cleaning products is shown in the user’s manuals.
Trying to do the maintenance in your way does not always work as you prefer. It is something like putting a regular oil to a machine when a manual instructs you to put the synthetic oil. You figure the damages!
12. Get Your Equipment Insured
We know that unexpected natural events such as tornadoes, storms, flooding, and even artificial events like fire, accidents, or theft can happen. Therefore, we have to protect our rental equipment as they are the primary assets of our business.
Additionally, you need to protect the well-being of the installers and users as you may be liable for injuries.
You can have several options depending on your budget. You may get liability-only insurances to cover the cost of injuries. But we highly recommend full-coverage insurance which pays for the losses or repair costs of your equipment also.
This is probably the hardest tip but also the most important one. As you may already have figured, deviation from any of these tips may reduce the lifespan of your equipment and supplies or at least make them look ugly.
Thus, be consistent in your efforts and make all of the provided tips one of your top priorities in your party rental business.