Florida brings in millions of tourists every year. They come for amusement parks, nature, beaches, and nightlife. Tourists also mean business opportunities for locals. So if you want to start an entrepreneurial journey, catering to tourists in Florida is a great option.
A rental business is perfect. It can provide tourists with what they need to enjoy themselves without lugging it all from home. There are many types of possible rental businesses, from vehicles to boats, to equipment, to bicycles, and everything in between. However, you can’t just start renting something you already own and expect to find long-lasting success. Like with any other business, you have to take appropriate steps to set your business up to succeed well into the future. Here’s how you can start a rental shop in Florida in 2023.
Find a Gap
When starting any business, you don’t want to do something that is already widely available for the consumer. Otherwise, you will have built-in competition and have a tough go right off the bat. Instead, you have a great chance to start something new and grab customers who aren’t being serviced elsewhere. In the rental industry, there can be any number of possibilities depending on where your service area will be. For example, if there are a lot of beach equipment rental places, there may be a need for boat rentals. If you want to rent construction equipment, then see if certain types aren’t widely available. Find the gap, and try to fill it as best you can.
Have a Business Plan
Never start a business without a plan. A plan forces you to look closely at your potential business and examine how you can make it viable. All of your costs and revenue projections should be laid out. You will also need to set out your marketing strategy and how you will run your day-to-day operations. One of the most important functions of your plan is that you can map out your goals and how you plan to meet them. If you have unexpected growth or difficulties, a plan will keep you on track and help you grow responsibly.
Source Your Products
You need to figure out where you will get the products you rent and how much you will pay for them. There are a few tricky aspects to this. First, if you rent something, you want it to be of good quality. It needs to withstand whatever renters put it through, and you need it to look great when you initially rent it to someone. The other tricky aspect is knowing how much to have of each thing to rent. You may not know upfront how often certain items are likely to be rented. Most rental companies start with one of two of each product and then expand as they get more data and experience. This helps to ensure that you don’t overextend your investment at the start and you can grow slowly and steadily.
Every business needs insurance, and a rental business is no different. There are several ways that you could find yourself facing a lawsuit. A client could trip and fall on your property, or one of your rental products could malfunction and cause an injury or property damage. You will probably be tracking client data, and a breach could also cause losses for your clients. They will sue to get compensated. If you have a rental business in Florida, then you need to have enough coverage to protect you from any potential hazard. Even a small lawsuit can drag on for years and financially ruin a business if you are not protected.
Location, Location, Location
No matter what you are renting, it’s always a good idea to be located somewhere convenient for your potential costumes. It would not make sense to run a beach equipment rental shop several miles inland. Car rental companies always have airport locations, and you should bring that mentality. If your renters are primarily tourists, then they won’t be familiar with the area or be willing to go too far to get what they need. Make your products easy to access, and you will be able to bring in more business.
Whether you are marketing towards tourists or people who live in your area, local search engine optimization (SEO) can be a powerful marketing tool. For example, when someone is traveling to another location and they are planning on renting something, their first step will probably be to search for the products they will rent and the city they are visiting. If you have done your SEO work properly, your website will appear on the first page of the search rankings, where customers can click and get your contact and booking information. Of course, locals as well will search for products near them, and you want to be able to capture those customers, too.
Having a rental shop means that you will be in a customer service industry. You are trying to meet their needs and help them enjoy their stay in Florida. Customer service doesn’t just mean providing the service they want, it also means being helpful and courteous in your dealings with them. Everything should be clear and easy to do, and your clients should feel good about your brand when they have finished their business with you. If you have staff, everyone should have customer service training, and it should be focus on their day-to-day jobs. This includes anyone who isn’t necessarily customer-facing. You never know when they will come into contact with customers. A negative experience will certainly end up on your review pages and social media.
A rental shop is a great idea for a business in Florida, whether you are going to cater to locals or to the millions of tourists that visit every year. However, you can’t just buy a couple of products and start renting them. You need to have a plan and a solid foundation for your company to launch successfully and build for the future.