At some point it may just click.
You may be thinking about what kind of business you can start up on the side for extra income, and suddenly it is staring you in the face.
The idea for our party rental business started when we hosted a party and rented the tables from somebody else. The rental company owner mentioned that he was about to close down the business to move on to other things, and we realized it was a business that we could handle on our own, working evenings and weekends after our day jobs.
The same “light-bulb” moment might happen for you, or you may have to do a little bit of thinking and research first.
Getting Ideas for Products
Finding the right product to rent out can be tough. Do you need to buy a product to rent out, or can you use something already lying around the house?
If you need to make a purchase, how much should you spend? And then how long will it take to start turning a profit?
A great product, or a “theme” of rental products, is probably easier to find than you expect. Here are five questions you can ask yourself to start coming up with ideas:
1. Have you ever needed to rent something that you could not find in your area?
When I graduated high school we needed a bunch of tables and chairs for my graduation party. We ended up renting them from a small party rental company, which was the only one in the area at the time. The owner told us that he was about to close the business to pursue other ventures due to some life circumstances.
This left an obvious hole in the market, and we jumped on it. We started up our own party rental business on the side and were able to turn it into a successful venture.
2. Do you live near a recreation area?
You may take for granted that you live near a beach, or near a chain or lakes, or a wilderness area that is popular for camping or canoeing or mountain biking or cross country skiing. Many people that visit these areas, however, come from far away and do not own the recreational equipment that they need for the visit. This provides for a clear rental market.
Even if there are established recreational rental companies in the area you may be able to enter the market by offering unique equipment that the others do not, or by adding value that other companies do not (such as free lessons with rentals of equipment).
3. Do you live in a tourist area?
If visitors are coming to your area, even if it is not for recreational purposes, they still have needs. They might need transportation to get around the city, such as bicycles. They may need a stroller for their kids.
What are some items that you use every day at home which might be difficult to travel with? These are great rental products.
4. Do you have equipment lying around that is only used occasionally?
Many of us own equipment that is only used occasionally. It might be yard equipment like wood splitters and lawn aerators, or even a trailer. This also applies to many of the tools that we own. It might even apply to kitchen appliances, like an ice cream maker, and to hobby items like home beer brewing equipment.
If you are not using a piece of equipment most of the time, somebody else might be willing to pay you to use it instead of purchasing it themselves.
5. Do you live near a lot of businesses?
This almost feels like an “underground” market because it is more of a business-to-business setting instead of business-to-customer and is not as obvious.
Many businesses rent their building, so they also rent many of the accessories inside to furnish it.
There is a legitimate model in renting out plants to businesses to add some life to their building. The rental fee for this service might include regular visits by you to care for the plants. Likewise, artwork and office furniture can also be rented to businesses.
Asking these questions should give you a good start on determining whether you already own a product that can be used as the basis for a side rental business.
Looking for more rental product ideas? We recently released a free book with 50 rental product ideas to really help you jump-start your imagination so you can get your business started and off the ground.
For free instant access to this product idea guide simply click below.