Though a bouncy castle for-hire business is one that focuses on delivering entertainment, it should also be treated like any other serious enterprise. That means developing a business plan is critical to success. This is a business that can grow as fast or slow as desired, giving people the option of running the rental business as a primary or secondary source of income. One of the first decisions that must be made is whether to run a full-time or part-time operation. The business owner can purchase one inflatable, and slowly add other items as the business grows, or purchase a variety of inflatables and give potential customers options.
It does not take a lot of capital to start an inflatable rental business, but the same rules of entrepreneurship apply. The business owner needs to identify the target market, develop a marketing plan, design an operational plan, and develop financial statements that project revenue and expenses for three to five years.
Some of the other aspects of the bouncy castle business that need careful consideration include:
- The type of inflatables the business will make available for rent, i.e. sizes, themes, features like slides and ladders, etc.
- The age group targeted, which influences the types and sizes of inflatables made available
- Quality of inflatables, addressing type of materials, stitching, industry materials standards met, safety standards, etc.
- Size of inflatables, being careful to not start too small
- Type of events targeted, including birthday parties, holiday events, family reunions, special occasions, school events, football parties, group picnics, community park events, and so on
- Marketing plan to reach potential customers, i.e. flyers, website, television and print advertising, radio advertising, direct mailing, word-of-mouth, etc.
- Consideration of the equipment needed beyond the inflatables, like rain covers, electric blower, extension cords, trailer or van for transporting inflatables and equipment, circuit breaker, and so on
- Customer lead follow-up and booking system
- Business and liability insurance required by law to fully cover business in the event of accidents or injuries
It is important to do market research to determine the type and amount of competition. Since bouncing castles and inflatables are mostly rented by parents and event organizers to keep children entertained, the business is competing with other forms of entertainment like clowns, music groups, game organizers, and so on. This is the careful thought process important to success, and the business plan can serve as an important guiding document.
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