The times have changed and you’re left frightened and unsure of what the future holds. With business screeching to a halt and now slowly coming back, it makes it almost impossible to think about work when you’re uncertain about what the future holds. Are you wondering, “How do I make my event rental business stronger?”
Instead, we should be looking at this as an opportunity to grow and pivot our business into something bigger and better than what it was. You’re exploring new opportunities within your rental business as you consider micro-weddings and elopements, subleasing your warehouse, or even listing your delivery vehicle on a truck share app.
You’re getting crafty and thinking outside the box as you shine and stand out from the rest. But what else can you do to make the best use of this new time you have on your hands?
Here are six things you can do to make your event rental business stronger during these times of flux.
1. Update Online Inventory
When was the last time you edited your inventory listings online? Or maybe you have inventory stuck in a storage unit that’s not even listed on your website? Now is the perfect time to add your unlisted inventory and write thorough descriptions for each item. Remember, if they can’t see it, they won’t rent it. (Using Goodshuffle Pro’s Website Integration makes all these updates lightning fast!)
Do you have a bar cart that’s also perfect for a drink table? Describe alternate ways it can be used. You’ve been around your pieces for so long that you can think of multiple ways to use one item, but your clients and prospects don’t, so share ideas with them.
Your inventory photos are equally as important and should not only showcase the item, but that item styled and in use. A crisp, white background is recommended as your main inventory photo (this makes it much easier to do mockups), but showing the end result of how amazing that item looked during a wedding is even more powerful (and a great sales strategy).
Are there accompanying pieces you have that would round out the look for an item such as a sofa? Add “related items” photos to your listings as well. Since in-person consultations have gone virtual, having a robust online listing with inspirational photos is vital now more than ever.
Lastly, use keywords or tags to help your clients drill down deeper into your inventory, giving them ideas and showcasing inventory around themes, moods, or colors. Let your collection, the beautiful images, and descriptions help do the selling for you!
2. Tackle Maintenance Projects
Do you have a pile of repair projects that have been haunting you? Or maybe a list of custom builds that you’ve been wanting to tackle? Now is your opportunity to freshen tables and chairs with a new coat of paint, spot clean upholstered seating, and textiles, and make repairs to other inventory that’s been sitting there un-rentable.
It’s also a great time to spruce up your warehouse. Clean floors, replace missing light bulbs and touch up paint on walls. Re-organize your space for efficiency and functionality, moving bulky furniture closer to the loading dock so you don’t have to haul it as far. Your event rental business will be stronger in no time.
3. Refresh Your Website
An important aspect to complete any event rental business plan is creating a website! Your website is the one resource you own for getting in front of people (unlike Instagram or Facebook). If you haven’t touched your website in over a year, make this a priority. Google is constantly crawling your website and when it sees fresh content, it re-arranges your site’s ranking. So if you want to get found in a higher search ranking, update the content on your website regularly.
Since your website can be intimidating, start with your photos first. One simple change is to optimize your images for SEO. This is one of the best ways to have your images show up on Google. Use a short filename that describes what’s shown in the image as this helps Google understand what your image is about. An example is yale-union-vintage-wedding.jpg. Noting the venue name (which is highly searchable online) as well as the dashes in between words.
You might think showcasing photos with no one in them is best as you want your inventory to take center stage. In reality, you should have aspirational photos showing the results of your work which includes people interacting with your inventory. People want to be like the people in your photos, so help them visualize themselves in your images.
While there are a million other things you can do with your website, now is also a great time to update your copy so it’s conversational and speaks directly to your ideal client. Include a short testimonial on every page as well as a call to action (what is it you want your audience to do on that specific page).
4. Reach Out to Prospects and Clients
Did you have a wedding scheduled for today or tomorrow that had to be postponed? Reach out to them to let them know that you are thinking of them. You know that they are even more broken-hearted than you are that their day is not what they expected it to be. So, let them know you can’t wait to help them to celebrate before long! Simply reassuring your clients, and connecting with potential clients, can help calm nerves. Remember, we’re all in this together.
5. Host a Virtual Warehouse Sale
As you organize your warehouse, you’ve likely found rental items collecting dust. If you haven’t run an inventory utilization report, now is the time. Do all of your pieces make rent each month (or year)? Are they used solely for styling or styled shoots and therefore don’t produce revenue? It might be time to do an inventory purge and host a virtual sale. It’s a great way to bring in a little extra revenue while sprucing up your warehouse as you clear the clutter.
6. Batch Blog Posts
And last, batch baby, batch! I mentioned above the importance of updating your website regularly. If you tend to “set it and forget it”, blogging is a great way to keep your website current, without all the work of a redesign. It helps you continue to show value, which is crucial at times like these. But it’s also a great way to drive traffic to your website (remember to optimize those images!).
Aside from weddings, showcase your blog or magazine features, highlight new inventory, offer rental or styling tips; design tips, or announce your virtual warehouse sale. Be sure to include outbound links when crediting other vendors as this helps Google understand your niche as well as increases the trust and quality of your website. And don’t forget to pin those images to Pinterest to drive even more traffic to your website!
The bottom line is to make good use of your time so you can be ready. Although the events industry is changing, weddings will still take place and you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row once this storm has passed.
If you enjoyed these tips, you can listen to the full webinar recording with even more tips and ideas on how you can take this as an opportunity to build your business.
Feature Image by Katie Dessin