As a sports enthusiast, you would have spent thousands of dollars on sports equipment. What if you could monetize equipment that is lying idle in your garage or basement? Welcome to the world of online sports rental business where you can rent out your equipment to other enthusiasts. The equipment rental business in the United States neared the $50 billion mark in 2017 and the industry is growing at a healthy rate every year. In 2021, the equipment rental market in the United States was forecast to be sized at approximately $ 59.4 billion Sports equipment rental accounts for a substantial share in this market. With the growth in the horizon, it is the right time for you to enter this business –
Trends in the Rental Market
if you wish to enter the sports equipment rental business you need to be aware of the trends in this business. Like all other businesses where technology is an important enabler this business also undergoing constant evolution. Here are some of the trends in the renting market that you should be aware of –
- Demand for High-Value Equipment — Sports equipment with higher price tags tends to attract more clients than those that can be bought easily. The logic behind this is simple as people who are interested in trying a sport for the very first time or need equipment for s short span of the time prefers to rent them instead of investing large sums of money in buying them.
- Local’s vs Out-of-towners — While locals were the primary renters for sports equipment in the past the demand for these equipment’s among out-of-towners has grown at a faster rate in recent years. The gap between two sections of the customers has narrowed down and hence you should target out-of-towners as much as you target the locals.
- Customer Service — Sports equipment rental business that is backed by dedicated customer service tends to perform better than those where only equipment is given out on rent. If you wish to beat the competition you should offer your clients installation services and on-site instructions. Most clients are willing to pay higher rents when the equipment comes along with these add-on services.
Scope of Sports Equipment Rental Business in the USA
it is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States and growing at a healthy rate every year like the sharewood world. It has given a lot of scope to small entrepreneurs to rent out their idle lying equipment and mint money by doing so. Rental marketplace solutions have eased the entire process and allowed people to start their business without having to quit their regular jobs. However given the demand for sporting equipment on rent, there is intense competition in this industry. You need to have a detailed business plan and execute it flawlessly. Here are some tips that would help you leverage the scope in this market –
- Know your target audience — You need to research on your target audience before you get into this business. Location is one of the main factors behind the success of this business. You won’t find too many customers for skiing equipment in states like Texas and Louisiana that don’t have natural ski slopes. Likewise, you need to determine the demographic profile of your target audience, know the kind of equipment that is in demand to succeed.
- Build your inventory carefully — Don’t spend thousands of dollars on equipment to get into this business. The chances of non-utilization of your inventory in the initial months and years are pretty high. Gauge the market and how your business is doing before you invest on new equipment.
- Hunt for a bargain — The core idea in the rental business is to buy equipment cheap. The latest and the most expensive equipment won’t necessarily help you earn higher revenues. Also, the market for ultra-expensive sports equipment is very small. You should rather invest in equipment that is cheaper while buying and also when it comes to maintenance. This will allow you to break even faster and earn profits from thereon.
- Insure Your Equipment — Don’t try saving a few bucks on your equipment by skipping insurance on them. Make sure you buy insurance that protects you against all liabilities and risks involved in the business.
Types of Sports Equipment Can Rent Out
What kind of sporting equipment can be rented out? Almost everything that people need to enjoy traditional sports and adventure sports can be rented out. Here are some of the most popular equipment in the rental business –
Water Sports Equipment
Cardio & Fitness Equipment
Snow Sport Equipment
How to Start Online Sports Rental Business?
Now that you have realized the opportunities with sports equipment rental business you’d be interested in know how to go about starting your business. While the idea is promising to execute it is surely not the easiest of tasks. There are hundreds of people who have entered this business only to quit after biting the dust. Merely having sporting equipment to rent out doesn’t guarantee success. You need a strong business plan that takes into account your short-term and long-term goals. To start your rental business you need to choose one of these two paths –
Build Your Website
Before eCommerce marketplaces became popular starting renting business would mean creating your own website. It is still the preferred choice for many and if you have a large inventory of equipment to rent out you might prefer this path. Here you start with an online store of your own and rent out sports equipment. You would be able to implement your exact business idea and choose your target audience. Here are some of the pros and cons of building your own sports equipment rental website.
Pros of Own Website
- Complete control over your business and flexibility to change with time
- You establish your own brand in the process
- Ability to react to competition in quick time
- Own website allows great re-marketing opportunities
Cons of Own Website
- You need a large inventory of items to start your store
- You need to invest upfront capital in store development
- Maintaining a store, its technology and security is an expensive
- The store needs to keep up with the latest trends which is time-consuming
- You need to market your store and earn the trust of customers
- You need a dedicated customer support team
- You will need to handle logistics yourself
Rental Marketplace Solutions
As the name suggests rental marketplace solutions are platforms where you can start renting out your sports equipment without any hassle. You don’t need to build a website nor set up payment gateways. Like plug-and-play solutions these marketplaces let you get started with your renting business immediately. Even if you have single equipment to rent out you can have your store. There is hardly any upfront investment and even if you are taking this business casually there is hardly any risk in treading this path.
- You can get started with renting immediately on a ready-made platform
- Marketplaces have thousands of visitors and you can find clients easily
- Platforms already have established their reputation and you can leverage it
- Security and technology is taken care of by experts
- It allows you to rent even if you have limited equipment
- Marketplaces take care of the logistical part of the business
Cons of Rental Marketplace Solutions
- You have to compete against similar business and price becomes the only differentiation
- Limited control over features and functionality of the store
- Lesser scope for brand promotion and attracting direct customers
- You will have to pay a substantial part of your revenue as commission to the platform
To sum up, sports equipment rental business is growing at a phenomenal rate in the United States. Every day dozens of people are entering this business and monetizing the assets they own. If you wish to join this bandwagon rental marketplace solutions should be your preferred path. It won’t require you to quit your job or spend large sums of money to create the necessary IT and logistic infrastructure. If your business flourishes you can, of course, think about developing your own multi-vendor online sports rental sports website and creating niche space for your business and building your brand.
Stay connected for more ideas.