Megan owns and operates a bounce house and inflatable slide rental business in Florida.
Thinking about starting your own business? The bounce house and inflatable slide rental industry is definitely a route to consider. I got into this business in the state of Florida, and in this article, I share what I've learned about getting started.
1. Pick a Name and Brand
To me, this is a huge part of starting a business. You have to think of a name and brand that represents the business well. It needs to be short, catchy, and easy to remember. It also needs to be legally available, but we will get to that later.
Along with a business name, you will also need a unique logo if you want to be professional. You can actually go on Fiverr and get a logo created for about $100. It's well worth it to have a professional-looking logo.
2. Decide How You Will Operate Your Business
Are you going to function as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC, or a corporation? I am not an attorney or an accountant, so I can't tell you what is best for you. I suggest you consult with a professional to decide. Each category has its own legal and tax implications.
3. Register for Taxes
Go to the Department of Revenue website and register your business to pay sales taxes and make sure you are collecting and tracking taxes. If you use one of the online booking software programs, it makes it extremely simple to track and then pay your taxes yearly, quarterly, or monthly.
4. Buy Some Inventory
I highly recommend you do not buy used inventory. If you're going to start a bounce house rental business, you need to do it right. You may save a few dollars in the beginning by buying used inflatables, but it's not worth it in the long run. Most of the time, you will have made your money back after about 10 rentals. That could happen in as little as five weeks.
There are also options to finance inflatables through the manufacturers, and I would not recommend this route either. The interest rate is outrageous. It's relatively easy to get a business credit card in the beginning if you have decent personal credit. Most of the time there is a 0% interest rate for the first year. Take advantage of that!
Below are some of the companies I recommend buying bounce houses and water slides from.
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Companies That Sell Inflatables
- Leisure Activities USA
- Jump Orange
- EZ Inflatables
- Bouncing Angels
- Unique Jumpers
5. Set Your Prices
One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how much to charge for your services. My rule of thumb is to charge 10–12% of the new purchase price of the unit. This allows for profit to grow steadily with a decent paycheck for your work.
Make sure you check your competition and don't price lower than they are. Look for other licensed and insured companies that you would like to be like and see what they charge. Don't compare your prices to those that are just operating on Facebook marketplace or anything like that. These are the low-ballers that you don't want to be like.
6. Get Insured
7. Get a Website
There is a ton of controversy on which software provider to use in the party rental industry. However, my suggestion is to build your website with a booking software integrated into it. This make life so much easier in that you do not have to spend your entire day fielding calls.
Top 3 Party-Rental Software Companies
- Event Rental Systems
- Bouncy Castle Network
- Inflatable Office
Please check out all three and make a decision based on what is right for you.
8. Start Marketing
The absolute best way to market for party rentals is through Google ads. This gets you in front of the people that are searching for your product. You can use Facebook ads as well, but I wouldn't start there.
9. Grow Your Business
The absolute best way to build your business moving forward is to provide amazing customer service. Make sure you have a Google My Business account and ask for reviews. Nothing will help you grow faster than recommendations from previous customers and word of mouth. Treat every customer like they are the most important person in your life and always do things with integrity. This will make you successful in the long run.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2021 Megan Garcia