With more businesses going global, there is now an increased need for video conferencing. Video conferencing is an ideal way to improve communication among individuals and groups in far-flung locations, enhance collaboration and decision-making, while saving time and reducing travel costs.

For a business with multiple locations to survive, it has to be a able to communicate with all staff and supervisors, and one way to do that is to have regular video conferencing. If a company cannot afford the full video conferencing kit, or they do not need it on a regular basis, they have an option of renting the equipment.

Rental video conferencing equipment can be installed in an office within 10 business days and it can run trouble-free for months. In that time, staff members can use the equipment, learn about its features and the technical team from the rental company can support them each day. When you are ready to make a purchase, you can even apply some of the rental costs to the purchase price of the systems you select.

Renting equipment, especially video conferencing equipment, is a smart way to find out what the market has to offer without the expense of committing to one brand or product line before you know what you want.

Speed of installation and use is a key advantage of renting video conference equipment. Contacting a qualified video conference reseller and renting rather than purchasing can save as much as 60 days in the timeframe it takes to order, configure, test and begin running a video conferencing network with new equipment.

Renting video conferencing equipment to replace systems that require repair is a good way to keep maintenance costs down while keeping your video network running.

An additional key advantage of renting video conferencing equipment is that it can enable you to test features and determine system requirements before you commit to making a purchase. An example of this benefit is that you can determine whether the quality of video and audio is acceptable to your users prior to making a capital purchase. With video conferencing, all manufacturers and products are not equal.

Equipment rental businesses can succeed in any industry in which equipment is expensive and people would rather rent than buy their own equipment. Key considerations for your start-up will be location, equipment, and a detailed rental agreement. Research your market to determine the kind of equipment rentals will be in high demand and acquire the best equipment that you can.

If you want to start a video conferencing equipment rental business, we are going to provide you a step by step formula of how you can go about it.

12 Steps to Starting a Video Conferencing Equipment Rental Business

  1. Plan your business

Before you can start your video conferencing equipment rental business, you need to first sit down and plan the business. You have to take into consideration the cost, location, licences, target market, etc.

The cost of opening a video conferencing equipment rental business will be focused on the equipment themselves. Invest in quality equipment, as inexpensive video conferencing equipment don’t often stand the test of time. It will be more costly to replace lower quality items numerous times, as opposed to a one time purchase of a more durable option. You may also want to focus on smaller equipment which are the most likely to be rented, to start. Then, add additional items, as your budget allows for them. You will also need to rent or buy a brick and mortar location as your shop and storage facility. Choose a location which makes sense for potential renters.

Next, you must budget for a business license and business insurance. Then, invest in a lawyer to help you create the customer contracts for your equipment rental. You need documents in place which protect your business from equipment not being returned, returned damaged, customer injuries and other issues which may occur. It can be helpful to have legal assistance for the entire business venture, as you are giving the public access to numerous tools which can cause bodily harm or will be damaged through misuse. Make sure the customer understands the responsibilities they incur during rentals and you have the paperwork to back it up.

Most ongoing expenses for a video conferencing equipment rental business will revolve around the maintenance and servicing of equipment. Some of this can occur in-house, if you are mechanically inclined. Other expenses will be tool replacements and upgrades and expanding your video conferencing equipment rental options. You will also have the rental and utilities expenses for your shop.

A video conferencing equipment rental business makes its money from the rental of equipment by customers. These materials can add more to your bottom line and overall revenue stream.

2. Figure out your target market

Next, you have to figure out who your will be renting your video conferencing equipment to. Your target market will primarily be contractors and business organisations. These working people rely on quality video conferencing equipment to get the job done and bring home a paycheck. This makes your business an integral part of that process for them. They often need you as much as you need them. Having what they need will keep them coming back.

3.  Select Your Business Structure

Next, you will need to take care of your business structure. You should start by visiting a certified public accountant so as to get information about different business structures in the video conferencing equipment rental industry. You are free to choose from structures such as limited liability companies, sole proprietorship, and Subchapter S corporations. You should also visit a commercial insurance agent who is an expert in liability issues.

Then, you need to look into getting a business license to enable you open a video conferencing equipment rental business from the authority in your city. You will also be informing your state department of your business so they can give you a sales tax license.

4. Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business. In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It’s really easy and free. You an even get your EIN in one day.

5. Set Your Budget

Purchasing your inventory will probably be your biggest upfront business expense, but consider the smaller stuff, as well, such as space for equipment storage and salaries for staff. You’ll also want to budget for insurance. People who aren’t your employees will be using your equipment, which could stick you with some ugly liabilities if the equipment is damaged or causes injury to someone while it’s out for rent.

Once you have a general idea of the expenses you’re facing, it’s time to set a plan in motion to eventually turn a profit. Set prices for your equipment rentals that will help you go through with that plan.

6. Open a business bank account and credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business’s name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.

Again, you need to get a business bank account. This separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection. It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.

7. Stock Up on the Best Inventory Available

In the beginning, it’s all about quality, not quantity. Have the equipment that potential customers in your area definitely want to rent – not the stuff you think they just maybe might find themselves needing. Based on your conversations with those businesses, purchase your minimum viable inventory. You don’t want to go spending money on equipment that no one will ever end up renting, and it’s much easier to figure out what else you should purchase over time than it is to try and compensate for sunken costs from useless equipment.

Make sure when purchasing your inventory that you’re getting the best deals you can. If the local companies you talked to didn’t seem to care much about high-end brand names, don’t waste your money on that. Also consider purchasing used equipment, which can save you a ton of money.

8. Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

9. Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down. Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a video conferencing equipment rental Business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

10. Get Business Insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business. Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage.

You also need property insurance to cover any business-related space you own, the contents of that space and your rental items. Commercial property insurance policies average around $750 per year.

You equally need commercial vehicle insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage expenses for you or any of your employees who drive on the job. Rates for this policy depend on your and your employees’ driving records, but commercial vehicle insurance usually costs between $1,200 and $2,400 for cars and between $800 and $2,000 for trucks.

You need workers’ compensation to cover your employees if they’re injured on the job – not all states require this one, though. Rates for these policies vary by state, from $0.75 per $100 in employee wages in Texas to $2.74 per $100 in employee wages in Alaska.

Speak to an insurance agent to determine what other types of coverage your business might need.

11. Prepare Waivers for Customers to Sign

Video conferencing equipment rental companies usually have their customers sign a few agreements to take out items for rent, including the following:

Indemnification agreement, which ensures the customer takes financial responsibility if your company is sued for liability while the equipment is in the customer’s possession.

Hold-harmless agreement, in which the customer agrees to hold your company harmless if the customer is responsible for injuries or property damage sustained by your equipment.

Conversion warning, which clarifies that if a customer doesn’t return the rental equipment as specified, your company can consider it theft and press charges.

Draw up these waivers before doing any business to protect your company against unwanted liabilities.

12. Get Your Name Out There

Advertising and marketing is quite important to your business’ success. Business cards, flyers, and banners are all worthwhile expenses for your company’s marketing strategy. Simply making your name and logo visible will help direct more customers to your door. Then, it’s up to you to retain them with top quality equipment and customer service.

Use of social media is also worth the work, as it is often a free option to generate more customer knowledge of your services. Look for groups and organizations who have forums or online communities, in which you can become a known commenter or add your own blog content.

Create a web presence, including social media pages and a professional-looking website that includes all the information a potential customer needs to get in touch with you to get a quote or reserve a rental. Take out ads in the local paper as well, and stay connected with those companies who answered your questions in the very beginning. They might end up being your first and even longest-term customers.