The answer to this question will generally depend on your plans and company goals. For instance, if you intend to rent out bounce houses for a day, then all the costs would be upfront and one-time expenses. You can expect to invest $1,200-7,000 per bounce house, and a few more hundred for the accessories. You will also have one-time expenses like leasing an inflatable company, hiring staff, or renting equipment.
If you intend to have more control over your business, then you have to acquire bounce houses that last longer than just a day of use. You will also need to put into consideration the costs for upkeep and maintenance of the inflatable. All these and many more tend to influence the cost of starting a bounce house business and would vary from one business to another, but you could be investing up to $100,000.
However, if you believe $100,000 is out of reach to invest in a bounce house business, note there are few other ways to venture into this business with fewer upfront investments. You can choose to buy bounce houses that are cheaper, like those primarily meant for little children. Also, you can choose to rent out inflatable equipment and source less expensive accessories.
But regardless of how you choose to start this business, starting a bounce house business can be a unique and lucrative entrepreneurial endeavor as either a side business or a full-time venture. Bounce house rentals have grown exponentially in popularity in modern times and are almost everywhere you look – at birthday parties, local community events, and corporate outings.
A bounce house rental company is quite a very simple concept. The company acquires bounce houses and then rents them out to consumers, making it economical to have a bounce house at birthday parties and other one-time events. After renting your bounce houses out enough times, you would have earned back your initial investment and will start enjoying your profits.
Factors that Influence the Cost of Starting a Bounce House Business
Just like with many other businesses, a successful bounce house business needs adequate capital. Indeed, it is possible to start a bounce house business with relatively small investment, depending on your plans and the resources already available to you. Your start-up costs will vary depending on the following factors.
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Bounce Houses and Other Inflatable
Have it in mind that you can’t rent out inflatable bounce houses if you don’t have them. A good number of start-up bounce house businesses start with around three to five commercial grade inflatables. Although it is possible to start your bounce house rental business with a single moonwalk-style bounce house, if you want to be competitive, you will have to offer a range of inflatables for all party needs. Choices to pick from include;
- Inflatable Bouncy Castles: These inflatables range in size from 8 feet by 8 feet to 15 feet by 15 feet. You’ll be able to find a quality standard bounce castle for around $1,250.
- Wet/Dry Combos: They are an upgrade to the traditional moonwalk-style bounce house. Note that they feature a bounce house with a water slide connected to the side of it. Wet/Dry combos generally cost about $2,500.
- Inflatable Water Slides. Inflatable water slides are tall inflatable that more or less come with a single, wide water slide or two slides for racing purposes. Nonetheless, expect to find a quality inflatable water slide for around $3,500.
- Inflatable Obstacle Courses. Inflatable obstacle courses are quite new in the party-rentals industry. However, they are becoming increasingly popular at all times of the year and they are also the most expensive inflatable with quality inflatable obstacle courses costing around $4,250, or more.
Location and Business Size
Indeed, it is very possible to start and manage a successful bounce house business from the comfort of your home as long as you have a shed or garage to store them. You can also choose to rent a storage facility, maybe as your business.
However, note that things like available amenities and the size of the space will affect rent costs. When starting this business, it is always advisable to go for a space that’s located centrally within your service area to help cut down on transportation time and costs.
Although there are no specific licenses for bounce houses, the location you choose to start and run your business will affect the legal side of your business and the permits you need. Have it in mind there are generally local, state, and federal business registrations that may be needed such as a sales tax permit, Employer Identification Number, Occupancy Permit, among others.
Truck or SUV
Bounce houses, inflatable water slides, and obstacle courses are known to be quite big and very heavy. Owing to that, your customers might not even have to come to your place of business to pick up and return their rental — pickup and delivery will be on you.
Additionally, an average bounce house wouldn’t fit into your average car’s trunk. Aside from the bounce house, you will also need a blower, dolly, and the other miscellaneous equipment when you deliver the bounce house. So you will more or less need a large SUV or a truck to support the delivery and pickup of your rentals.
In the United States, you can opt to get a used truck that costs around $5,000. Even if you have your own truck or SUV, you might also want to get a separate vehicle for your business, primarily for both insurance purposes as well as wear and tear.
Just like it was stated above, coupled with your bounce house, you will need to purchase a few more items. Although all can be very useful, your choice will all boil down to your budget for your business. These extra accessories may include;
- Extension cord: If the area of the bounce house is not located near a power source you will likely need this
- Generator: When there is no power source a generator becomes necessary
- Hand Truck: This will help move some of the larger bounce houses
- Cleaning Materials: Vacuum and other products to clean and sanitize your bounce houses
- Misc Items: Sandbags, stakes, cones, duct tape
Just like every other factor mentioned above, insurance costs also vary. If you are working with an experienced agent, they will take into consideration several things – the size of your business, the number of times you will operate during the year, and many other factors that are specific to the bounce house industry.
However, to ensure you get a good policy that will protect your business properly, budget around $1,800 – $2,500 a year. But if your business starts to grow with additional employees you will be expected to get a worker compensation policy as well as a commercial auto package. These are additional expenses to consider as your business grows.
Without a doubt, the bounce house rental industry is a very lucrative one. Once initial investments are settled, the profit margins are like none other. However, just like any other business, being successful tends to take a bit of work.
Note that if you make the right moves in the industry, a small bounce house rental company making $1,000 or so per weekend can easily grow to make a comfortable six-figure income, making this business very ideal for a side hustle that could become something more. If you’re eager for a fun business to invest in with a relatively minimal initial investment requirement, the bounce house business might be the perfect choice for you.