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Getting into this business, you spend a lot of time thinking about your first inflatable purchases. You don’t have a past history of knowing what rents, which makes it tough. You probably ask your own kids and their friends for opinions on what they like And that might give you some ideas, but probably the wrong ones.
In my experience, I would go with generic (no theme) inflatables first. The standard red, blue, yellow castle or bounce & slide combo is always in style. Since they are generic, they can fit in with any party theme. Once you choose a theme, you are really limiting the amount of potential customers you have for that inflatable. For example, I have a SpongeBob bounce & slide combo from Ninja Jump. My kids used to love SpongeBob (actually still do). I loved SpongeBob. Who doesn’t love SpongeBob? Turns out a lot of people. At the same time I purchased a generic castle combo, also from Ninja Jump. That one rents out like crazy, so I added a second. The SpongeBob combo rents, but way too often I hear from the parents in the booking process that they think it is to “babyish” for their kid. And their kid is 8! I thought that’s exactly who SpongeBob was for? I also have a SpongeBob slip-n-slide. Same problem. By the time the kids are old enough to have the coordination to actually run, build up speed, dive onto the slip-n-slide with enough velocity to travel 30 feet, they have outgrown the theme.
So, my advice to you is keep it simple when starting out. You don’t want to eliminate half (or more) of your potential customer base by picking a theme you think is great, but they think otherwise.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Rob Wright, co-owner of Boing! Bounce Rentals (www.boingbounce.com) and Bounce Rental Solutions (www.bouncerentalsolutions.com). Boing! is obviously a party equipment rental company specializing in inflatables. Bounce Rental Solutions (BRS) is a web-based reservation and management software for the party rental industry. At the time of this writing (February 2015), BRS is still in the development stage with an expected launch date of sometime in the Spring 2015. I have previous experience working for and owning web-based software businesses, starting as an employee with a B2B dotcom just days before the tech bubble burst in March of 2000. Boing! was started by me in 2002, so I certainly have some experience in the party rental area as well.
Enough about me, now about this blog. My intention is to share my past experiences, what I have learned, and maybe most interesting, what I intend to do. To be clear, the blog will be about my rental business, not about the software business. I’m sure I will mention the software from time to time, as systems are an important component to running a successful business, but the focus will be about how to grow a rental business.
From talking to many other bounce rental company owners over the years, I’ve found most of us have the same issues. My hope is to provide solutions that will help you take your business to the next level.
About the Author