By Bimbola Oyesola
Time may be hard indeed, but most Nigerians still find ways to unwind. Despite the recession, parties are being organised almost every weekend. It could be it birthday parties, graduation, awards, engagements and wedding ceremonies, meetings, conferences, family reunions, school reunions, among others. So going into a party rental business may not be off track as all these events require seating for guests. A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socialising, conversation, or recreation. A party will typically feature food and beverages, as well as music and dancing.
Chairs and tables rentals are an essential aspect of the party-planning and entertainment industry. Event organisers and planners have to secure enough tables and chairs to suit the number of guests at their functions. Since purchasing tables and chairs is costly, event planners and organisers turn to rental facilities. You can start a tables and chairs rental business and offer your services to local event planners. Starting a party rental business may be for you if you want low overhead costs.
Also, the best thing about the party rental business is that you can get your entire family involved in it and work from home. It is equally ideal for those who want to do it as part time, while still in full employment. Perhaps those planning for retirement may consider it a good business opportunity to fall back on. In this business, besides the chairs and tables, you can offer different types of party supplies for rent as well.
The items will generally include tablecloths, dinner ware and entertainment items such as moon bounces, karaoke machines, air jumpers and other smaller inflatables or bounce-devices for birthdays and school parties.
Reasons for party rental business
•There isn’t much stress involved.
•The business presents you with the opportunity of being your own boss.
•Party rental business is a source of income.
•It is a business that can get one connected.
•You can run the business part time.
Running a party rental business is highly profitable. With some good years of experience in the market, you can easily make thousands a month. In fact, big rental companies could make millions every month. It all depends on how much hard work and serious effort you put into it.
Most businesses have actually doubled their monthly income within the first five years of their establishment.
The scope for growth is virtually unlimited – you can get it as big as you want it to be.
Opportunity for expansion
Once you are an established name in the party rental business, you can further expand your business by offering other party-related services such as special photography, organising a wedding event, or planning a church social. Since you are already a reputable party rental company, you will not have much difficulty finding clients to ask you to manage their event for them.
This will give you the option to become an event planner later during your business career.
The great thing about the party rental business is that you can run it as a home-based business. In fact, most people start this business from home. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For example, you are recommended to have a second phone line, as this will make things much easier for you to work with. Do not let your kids attend these calls.
You can definitely get help from other family members who are mature enough to deal with clients, however. If you plan everything well, doing things like this will keep your overheads low and your profits high.
If you already have a decent job, you are recommended to start your party rental business as a part-time business. It is only after you are established and have started making a good profit that you should consider taking it up as a full time job. Once you know how to start a party rental business, though, it won’t be long before the dream of quitting your current job can become a reality.
However to succeed in the business there are major steps you will need to follow and these include the following:
Investigate whether a party rental business is suitable for the area in which you live and intend to operate your business. Things to consider when doing your research include demographics, other party rental businesses in the area, the specific location in which you intend to open your business and any licensing requirements.
A viable business plan
Just as its often expressed that when you fail to plan, then automatically one has indirectly plans to fail. Hence planning is quitte essential. In your plan, include a summary of how you will execute your business, a company description, market analysis, a marketing and sales plan, a description of your organization, a product or service description, a description of your funding sources and financial projections based on your market analysis.
The start-up budget to establish a party rental business will depend upon the type of rental services you are offering. Raise the necessary capital and purchase or lease your equipment. Base your purchase decisions on your market analysis and how much demand you think there will be for your services. Many people start party businesses out of the home and may simply rent equipment. However, having an established location out of the house can also be beneficial because it provides a location for families to have a birthday celebration, hence you can partner with an established event centre.
Register your business
It is important for you to register your business with the authority and obtain the necessary licenses and permits to start a business. You can generally learn what licenses are needed and apply for such licenses.
Select the target market you want to offer chair and table rental services to. You can focus on bridal events, business functions or birthday parties and reunions. If your budget permits, you can offer a variety of furniture suitable for several types of events.
Select a wholesale table and chair supplier and purchase a supply of chairs and tables to fit the target market you want to reach. Decide whether you want to purchase round, square or rectangular tables and whether you want the chairs with padding or not. Start with enough tables and chairs to seat 300 guests. It may also be beneficial to buy at least one big van, if you can afford it. This is if you will be providing tables and chairs or inflatables. Meet commercial laundries if you anticipate having to wash high volumes of tablecloths and napkins.
Decide how much you plan to charge for table and chair rentals and whether or not you’ll set minimum and maximum quantities for rentals.
Take into account every of your cost when figuring out the rates you will charge. Overhead includes utilities, labor costs, rents, supplies, vehicles, fuel and insurance.
Assess rental fees by the number of chairs and tables rented and the number of hours an individual or group reserves them. It is also important for you to compare notes with other competitors around you.
You can purchase or lease garage space or a store-front to hold the tables and chairs you purchase. Set up your location so that potential customers can visit your space and take a look at the types of chairs and tables they can rent from you.
8. Legal backing for indemnity:
Engage a lawyer to create a contract you can use with your chair, table and other facilities for your rental clients. The contract should indicate that you are renting chairs, tables and others to a group or individuals for an event they are hosting, provide the date of the event, the time they will be picked up and returned and the cost. Include a liability clause to protect yourself and your business.
Network with other business professionals in the community and also take out advertisements in the newspaper or other publications that may be read by clients Distribute your business cards to other business owners, friends and other acquaintances. Also market your business in areas where children are likely to be found. Create signs to put up in parks and fliers to distribute.
•Create a website. Run an ad in local newspapers every week. Get the business generated by offering discounts in order to encourage patronage.
•Hire a graphic designer and a copy writer to help you create marketing materials for your chair and table rental business. You need a logo, a business card template, letterhead, a website and brochures.
10. Search locally for organizations related to the event planning industry, as well as local chamber of commerce groups to join. Networking groups give you an opportunity to meet fellow business owners, who may be your target market, as well as individuals who may be able to refer your rental services in their networks.
11. Introduce yourself and your business to area businesses who offer complementary service,s such as event spaces, event planners, party supply stores, invitation designers, bakeries and caterers. You can work with them to cross-promote services and share referrals.
12. Hire wait staff, laborers to establish and take note of tables and tents, office staff such as a bookkeeper and someone that will be keeping record of orders and inventory.