Tents are used for a variety of purposes today, ranging from weddings to children’s birthday parties. The success of mom and pop tent rental businesses is legendary, and anyone interested in starting this kind of business will find the industry has plenty of room for new entrants. The convenience and practicality of renting a tent is driving the industry which serves businesses, nonprofits, and consumers. Typical business rentals are for parking lot sales, receptions, company picnics, awards ceremonies, banquets, charity events, and so on. Nonprofits rent tents for festivals, classic auto shows, fund raising events, special events, and much more. Consumers rent tents for backyard barbeques, birthday parties, celebrations, weddings, reunions, sports event parties, and many others. The tent rental business can start small and expand as the clientele grows. Tent sizes range from 10’ X 10’ to the giant air-conditioned 57,600 square foot version. The inventory of tents maintained is tied to the type of events the business is targeting. The goal might be to primarily rent tents that can be set up in the backyard or local park or it may be to accommodate large business events.

Principles of the tent rental business plan

It is important to develop a business plan for the tent rental enterprise to ensure there is a well-thought out strategy for success. Some of the typical issues that need to be addressed during business planning include the following:

  • Desired tent inventory and sizes
  • Targeted market which can include charities, B2B, consumers, sports teams, clubs, and so on
  • Additional items available for rent which usually include tables, chairs, decorations, lighting, air conditioners, and so on
  • Staffing requirements for tent deliveries and setups and disassemblies
  • Rental rates for tents and other items and what rates include, i.e. delivery, setup, removal
  • Marketing plan to build client base, including strategies for networking and developing a referral system
  • Management entrepreneurship experience
  • Startup capital required to purchase tent and other rental items, delivery vehicles, and initial expenses for business liability insurance, staffing, and marketing
  • Market need for tent rental service, i.e. define the unmet local demand

The success of the tent rental business largely depends on the effectiveness of the marketing and the size of tents maintained in inventory. This is an easy-to-start business, but the services that will be offered need to be carefully defined up front. Many tent rental businesses partner with other businesses that provide services the renters may need in addition to tent setup. They include caterers and entertainers.

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