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How to Start a Tent Rental Business

Do you want to start a tent rental business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a tent rental business with NO money and no experience plus a sample tent rental business plan template.

When it comes to starting a business as against keeping a 9 to 5 paid employment, loads of people get scared to take the leap that might land them in their fame and fortune. The truth is that there are several business opportunities which an aspiring entrepreneur who is still keeping a paid employment can run without leaving their jobs and one of such opportunities is starting a tent rental business.

One good thing about the tent rental business is that most often than not, your presence may not be needed as long as you have a competent team handling the business for you.

Besides, a good percentage of events such as wedding ceremonies, parties and most social events are done during weekends and if you are lucky not to be working during weekends, you can successfully start a tent rental business. The truth is that most of the basic skills needed to effectively run a tent rental business are some of the soft skills you are likely going to acquire in your workplace.

It is important to state that the tent rental business is one of the businesses that can’t go out of fashion because of the role it plays in the society.

Depending on the scale you want to start, the startup capital for this type of business can be moderate. As a matter of fact, you can start your own tent rental business and grow it big within a short period of time by re-investing your profits back into the business.

Before launching your tent rental, ensure that you read this article and you will be well equipped. You can start your tent rental business from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes nationally recognized.

Steps to Starting a Tent Rental Business

1. Understand the Industry

Starting a tent rental business is not as capital intensive as starting a banquet hall rental business. This is so because all that is required of you is to build or purchase standard tents in various sizes that can easily be dismantled and assembled within a short space of time.

You will also need a warehouse facility or well secured space to keep your tent and also a truck to take the tents to and fro event venues. You can decide to rent out the truck or include it as a premium service for those who rent your tents.

Tents are rented for the purpose of hosting outdoor events such as weddings, parties, family reunions, church benefits, association fund-raisers and any other outdoor events. Aside from the fact that the owners of tent rental businesses rent their tents and make money, most of them as also engage in other complimentary services such as party rental services and event planning services.

The Tent Rental cum Party Supply Rental Industry is indeed a large and vibrant industry not only in the united states of America but also in most countries of the world. Statistics has it that the Tent Rental cum Party Rental industry in the United States of America, is worth about $5 billion, with an estimated growth rate of 2.3 percent.

There are about 9,645 registered and licensed party rentals cum tent rental businesses in the United States and they are responsible for employing about 50,470 people. In the United States, only Classic Party Rental Company can boast of having a lion market share in the industry. Despite that, the industry is still very much open for competition from aspiring investors who would want to launch their own tent rental businesses.

In the United States, the regions that have the greatest concentration of party supply rental cum tent rental companies are the Southeast, the West, the Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic. The distribution of companies is based mainly on the number of households and median income levels by region.

Besides, party rental cum tent rental companies tend to locate their businesses near major metropolitan areas, which generate a steady stream of demand for corporate and social events. The Southeast region has the greatest concentration of industry establishments, estimated at 31.9% in 2015. The Southeast is the most populated region of the United States; therefore, given the high proportion of households, there is a greater demand for tent rental and rental supplies for social and corporate events.

It is obvious that the tent rental business will continue to blossom because people will always organize outdoor parties hence the need to rent tents or canopies, stages, public address system, and other party supply items. Despite the fact that the industry seems over – saturated, there is still room big enough to accommodate aspiring entrepreneurs who intend opening their own tent rental in the United States of America.

Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own tent rental business are that the business is currently thriving and it is easy to set up and manage with minimal startup capital, manpower and working hours.

The tent rental industry is indeed a profitable industry to venture into because the entry barrier for starting the business is not too difficult to scale through. The truth is that if a tent rental business has trendy and well – equipped tents and is also well positioned in an environment with high rate of outdoor parties and public events, they will sure attract regular clients and their tents will be well booked all through the year.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

People who patronize tent rental businesses cut across all individuals, organizations and businesses who organize outdoor parties and events hence the demographic composition for the tent rental business is all incorporating.

It should include event planners/event managers, potential couples, young adults, corporate organizations, religious organizations, political parties/politicians, households/families, the government, schools, sport organizations, entrepreneurs and startups in the neighborhood where your tent rental company will be located.

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

It is important to state that there is no known niche area when it comes to the tent rental business. Every player in this line of business usually rent out different sizes and shapes of tents, stages, canopies and other party supply items that are used for outdoor parties and public events.

On the other hand, some tent rental businesses may decide to add some of these complimentary services to their business offerings;

  • Party supply rental (tables, chairs, flatware, linens, centerpieces, stages, canopies, public address system, red carpet, plates, glasses, cutleries and other items for public and private parties and events)
  • Corporate party and banquet equipment rental
  • Wedding supply rental
  • Birthday rentals
  • Corporate event rentals
  • BBQ party rentals
  • Other event rentals
The Level of Competition in the Industry

The level of competition in the Tent Rental industry goes beyond competitions with tent rental companies in your location. You will be expected to compete with businesses such as party supply rental stores and that are also into renting out tents for outdoor public and private events. So, it will be right to say the competition in the Tent Rental industry is relatively rough.

Come to think of it, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure that you have standard and well – equipped tents that are suitable for outdoor events and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.

There are several tent rental stores scattered all around the United States and even in the same location where you intend starting yours. So, if you choose to start your own tent rental business in the United States, you will definitely meet stiff competitions amongst tent rental stores in your location. Besides, there are larger tent rental brands that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

You will agree that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.

These are some of the leading tent rental companies in the United States of America and in the globe;

  • Aztec Events & Tents
  • US Tent Rental/Linens by the Sea
  • Mutton Party & Tent Rental
  • Rental Center USA of Hunterdon, LLC
  • Chattanooga Tent & Event Solutions
  • Peachtree Tents & Events
  • Abbey Tent & Party Rentals
  • Ace Canvas & Tent Corporation
  • Peerless Events & Tents – San Antonio
  • Classic Event & Tent Rentals
  • Raj Tents
  • Under the Sky Event Rental
  • M&M Event Rentals (Formerly Classic Party Rentals)
  • Skyline Tent Co
  • Mountain Side Gear Rental
  • Sperry Tent Rentals
  • Starrett Brothers Tent Rentals
  • Rumbas Party Rentals & Events
  • NOMAD Stretch Tents
  • Mahaffey Tent & Event Rentals
Economic Analysis

The fact that you are looking towards successfully launching a business and making the most of profits means that you must get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.

The tent rental business is not a Green business as you will come across several tent rental stores when you go sourcing for one or when you search through online and offline directories. So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the amount needed in renting a warehouse facility and the amount needed to construct standard and well – equipped tents, purchase party supply equipment, trucks and also the cost to successfully run the business.

In summary, if you are considering starting a tent rental business, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting a warehouse facility and construction of tents and purchasing trucks, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

If you are looking towards starting a tent rental business, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get the franchise of a tent rental business to buy as the business gives room for a tent rental company to supply and transport tents within and outside the location where their business is domiciled.

Besides starting a party supply rental business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small-scale businesses. With the party supply rental business, you should just try as much as possible to secure a warehouse facility that is close to a major road, purchase the needed tents and other party supply equipment (if you are also into this) and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your business.

Please note that most of the big and successful tent rental companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

If you decide to start your own tent rental business today, one of the key challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well-established tent rental stores and any other businesses that are also into renting tents. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face are economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

When considering starting a tent rental business, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.

From a broad perspective, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability Company, or a sole proprietorship for a tent rental business. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale tent rental business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood.

But if your intention is to grow the business and have chains of tent rental outlets across the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company or even general partnership will cut it for you.

Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be imaginative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.

If you are considering starting your own tent rental business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Open Heavens® Tent Rental Services, Inc.
  • Outdoor Team™ Tent Rental Service, LLC
  • Brighter Day™ Tent Rental Services, Inc.
  • Aries Team® Tent Rental Service, LLC
  • Green Gates® Tent Rental Services, Inc.
  • Jason Rowland & Family® Party Supply Rental Services, Inc.
  • Higher Heights© Tent Rental Services, Inc.
  • Stud ‘n’ Stud™ Tent Rental Service, LLC
  • Perry Whyte™ Party Supply Rental Services, Inc.
  • Glow Skyline® Tent Rental Service, Inc.

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your tent rental business.

Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own tent rental business in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If you are considering starting your own tent rental business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

When it comes to the tent rental business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to start the business. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of the tent rental business.

On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to effectively manage and grow your tent rental business, then by all means try and pursue such certification.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own tent rental business in the United States of America;

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
  • Business Plan
  • Copy of license for the warehouse facility and/or a recent inspection report
  • Employee Handbook
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Building/Warehouse License

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Launching a tent rental business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale with just one small tent. Securing a standard and well – positioned warehouse facility, purchasing trucks and construction of various sizes of standard tents suitable for events are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, so, if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale tent rental business with the ability to rent out several tents to different customers at the same time.

When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.

Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your tent rental business;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Selling shares to interested investors
  • Applying for Loan from your Bank
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

When it comes to choosing a location for your tent rental, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for tents and frequency of outdoor parties. If you are able to secure a central location for your tent rental company, it will give people easy access to your store.

The location you chose to open your tent rental business is key to the success of the business; hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and organizations with the required purchasing power and flair for hosting outdoor parties and events

It essential that before choosing a location for your tent rental business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your tent rental business;

  • The demography of the location as it relates to outdoor event centers
  • The demand for tents in the location
  • The frequency at which outdoor parties and events are done in the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of tent rental businesses and any other rental companies that are also into renting tents for events in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

On the average, there are no special technology or equipment needed to run this type of business but you will definitely need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture  amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.

As regards leasing or outright purchase of a warehouse facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard tent rental business, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Warehouse Manager/Admin Manager, Rental Manager, Sales and Marketing Officer, Accounting Clerk, Truck Drivers and Assistants. On the average, you will need a minimum of 3 to 6 key staff members to run a small scale but standard tent rental business.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

When it comes to the business services process of a tent rental business, the process is simple and straightforward and of course can be run on autopilot.

Normally, a tent rental services company lists out the sizes and types of tents and perhaps other party supply equipment that they have for rent. When a party/event manager or customer approach them, they agree on the price of the tents to be rented, payment is made, and deposit are also made. The deposit is compulsory because it is used to replace any damaged components of the rented tents.

Once the payment and deposit are done, the tent rental company uses their truck to convey the tents to the venue of the party or event, and also install the tents. After the party or event, the tent rental company will dismantle and convey the tents back to their warehouse.

It is important to state that a tent rental may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated tent rental business process is not cast on stone.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

From a general perspective, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a tent rental business, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the tent rental industry.

People and organizations will rent your tents if they know that they are going to get the best and of course value for their money.

As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy will center on safety, quality, pricing, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers rent tents from you, they will get good tents and excellent service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.

Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services or products. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort will be directed to internet users.

These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your tent rental business;

  • Introduce your tent rental store by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to event planners/event managers, organizations and individuals in the neighborhood where your party supply rental store will be located
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market your products
  • Join local tent rental and party supply rental associations for industry trends and tips
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise your business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them.

If your intention of starting a tent rental business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national brand by opening chains of tent rental outlets, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and boosting to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your tent rental company;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers, events and lifestyle magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your party supply rental business
  • Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness for your tent rental company
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List your tent rental in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise your tent rental company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
  • Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your tent rental store is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks are branded with your company logo