Schedule and track your events and equipment with ease

The Do’s and Don’ts of Equipment Rental

Every industry has at least a few of them - those unwritten rules that can make or break a fledgling business or even impact an established company.  When it comes to the do’s and don’ts of equipment rental, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to go ahead and write them down for you, so you won’t have to suffer through the pain of learning them the hard way.

Do stay focused on your customers and on customer service.

While this cardinal rule of business may seem obvious, too often owners and employees get so tied up in the logistics of running their equipment rental company, they actually forget all about the very people that should be their number one priority.  Keep in mind that if you aren’t working on building your customer base, you simply aren’t going to be making any money.  And at least as importantly, if you have an especially happy or unhappy customer, they’re going to be sure to let all of their friends, neighbors, relatives and business associates know about it, which is also going to have a big effect on your bottom line.  Let the tools that are available to you, like EquipCalendar, take care of the logistics so that you can spend your time making your customers smile. 

Do sell underutilized equipment.

If there’s one thing that you need to know about an equipment rental business, it’s that if a piece of equipment isn’t renting, then it’s not earning you money.  You can easily track which items you currently have that aren’t paying for the expense of keeping them around, whether it’s because of the routine maintenance they require or that they’re just taking up too much space.  It’s much better to bite the bullet and sell your underutilized equipment so that you can invest in something else that’s in higher demand.   

Don’t ever let them see you sweat.

The rental equipment biz can be stressful, there’s no two ways about it.  But it’s very important that you maintain professionalism at all times, in front of both your customers and your employees.  That’s because if you want to be taken seriously and inspire confidence in your abilities, you simply can’t be caught running around like a chicken with your head cut off.  Do whatever it takes for you to keep your cool in the moment and then, if you really, really need to, feel free to lose it the moment you get to your car. 

Latest addition to EquipCalendar, the Dropoff/Pickup report

We're excited to announce our latest addition to EquipCalendar, a new report called the Dropoff/Pickup report. It was suggested by one of our users, a beach and baby gear rental company, and is a great new tool for customers and drivers alike.  The DropOff portion of the report is specifically for the customers, detailing their rental items as well as a company logo, welcome and thank you messages.  Everything on the Dropoff report is completely customizable.  The Pickup portion of the report is specifically for the driver, listing all of the event and customer contact info, that same list of rental items and the pickup date.

We added the DropOff/Pickup report option to the top of every Event screen, as well as a print option on the event calendar views (day, week and month).

Here is a screenshot of the key fields on an example Dropoff/Pickup report.

1)  Event contact info.
2)  Your company logo, preferably in a 175x175px size.
3)  The dropoff date and time.  You have the option of configuring this to use either the Dropoff date or the Event Start date for the actual event.
4)  The pickup date and time.  You have the option of configuring this to use either the Event End date, Teardown date or Pickup date for the actual event.
5)  A welcome message, completely customizable for your company.
6)  A list of inventory or assets rented.
7)  A thank you message, completely customizable for your company.
8)  A dividing line between the Dropoff portion of the report for the customer and the Pickup portion for the driver.
9)  Customer contact info.
10)  The pickup date and time.  You have the option of configuring this to use either the Event End date, Teardown date or Pickup date for the actual event.

Here is a screenshot of an actual, final report.

The Secret Weapon of a Rental Business Owner: A Well Managed Inventory

If you are in the rental business, then you already know that the most important item that will determine the success of your business is the inventory that you have on hand and your ability to manage it properly. Unfortunately, this can be something that is difficult to do if you don’t have the right tools in place.

There are many ways that you can manage your inventory, but one of the best ways is to have a system that will keep track of everything for you. When you are in the rental business, you will need to be able to track orders so that you can eliminate orders becoming lost or misplaced. This can help you to eliminate any issues that are related to discovering that you are missing something that your customers need.

You should also have a system in place that will help you track the trends in the market so that you will know what the demand for your products is. This will help you to determine exactly what you need to keep in stock and when you need to add to your inventory of supply. Along with this, your system should be able to determine the minimum amount of products that you should have in your inventory.

Another benefit that you will have when you manage your inventory is the ability to better handle rush orders. Since rush orders are not typically something that you can plan for, you will be able to determine exactly when the product will be available as well as how quickly you can get them ready to be sent out for the order. This can greatly improve your response to rush orders.

You will also find that you are able to improve the amount of time that it takes to deliver equipment to your customers as well. When you have a system that will help you to know where your inventory is and when it is scheduled to be returned, you will be able to determine exactly when you will be able to deliver new orders to your customers.

Not only will this help you to run your business more effectively and efficiently, you will also be able be able to maximize profits as well. By having an inventory that is managed properly, you will be able to determine which items are not being used frequently so that you can consider removing them from your product line.

Managing your inventory properly can be one of the biggest benefits to any rental business owner. It will help improve turnaround time as well as customer service and you will always know exactly what you need to have in stock in order to fulfill all of your customers’ needs.

Since there are many different ways that you can manage your inventory, you should select a method that makes the most sense for your business structure. However, a computer system is probably the simplest and most reliable system to use and can help keep your inventory in proper shape.

Boosting the Search Engine Rankings of Your Rental Business

Since boosting search engine rankings is one of the best ways to increase sales in any type of rental business, it’s imperative that you understand and implement what’s needed to achieve this goal in every piece of website content that you produce. Getting to the critical first page of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo can be tough in a lot of markets, but it can also mean the difference between a rental business that struggles and one that’s an ultimate success.

High-Quality Website Content

The term ‘high-quality’ is the key here. Don’t bother paying someone to churn out nonsensical sentences that no one in their right mind would read. That sort of content not only won’t bring good leads to your rental business, it could actually drive potential customers away. Either produce or pay someone to produce blogs, articles or videos that are both useful and related to your field. For example, if you have a medical equipment rental business, you might post blogs about the latest and most exciting developments in medical technology or a video detailing how a piece of equipment can save a person’s life.

Create A Network

Use your website to link to other businesses in your industry and ask that they do the same. Be sure that they are actually related to your business though, since unrelated links are generally a waste of time. An inflatables rental company could be linked to a children’s entertainment agency, a restaurant that caters kids’ parties and a bakery that makes amazing birthday cakes.

You can also create a network of your own websites, using relevant keywords and posting useful information there. If you own a company that rents out audiovisual and lighting gear, think about registering the domain ‘AudioVisualLightingRentalsBoise.com’ (or whatever city you are in) and using it to host a special blog about how to throw the perfect event, great local venues, caterers, etc. Then be sure to link it back to your business website.

Don’t Forget The Locals

Getting to the top of your local search listings is a lot easier than climbing up the general ranks. If you have a rental business that provides things like tables, chairs and linens for parties or temporary power solutions like generators, odds are that most of your business will come from people in your area. That’s why creating a dedicated local page on Google Places, Bing Places for Business or Yelp can go a long way toward driving searches to your rental company. 
With a little effort and imagination on your part, there’s no reason that you can’t boost the search engine rankings of your rental business and see a big increase in your sales as a result!