April 15, 2020
In the “good old days,” you would have been knee-deep in consultations, refreshing your inventory, organizing your warehouse, and getting ready for the wedding season. But, these are not usual times. With the onslaught of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders, we’re all having to adapt to a new way of doing things.
But exactly how do you pivot? I sat down over the weekend and brainstormed on possible ways you can make money NOW. This list of 7 ways to make money in your rental business was born from that power-hour. I hope it helps give you some fresh ideas on how to sustain your business when the wedding and events industry seems to be in limbo.
Home staging can be challenging when your inventory is competing with weddings and events. However, in times like these were gatherings have been halted, your inventory is left sitting in your warehouse collecting dust. Depending on your state’s shelter-in-place orders, you might be able to partner with your local real estate agents and offer home staging services with your rentals.
Of course, you’ll need to hash out the details such as how the inventory will get there, who will style the room, and if you need to do any sort of sanitizing of your rentals. But how cool would it be knowing your furniture helped sell a home or two?
Mother’s Day is around the corner and Memorial Day not too far behind. If you offer tabletop decor such as plates, goblets, and flatware, why not package it? Create boxes for those hosting a holiday gathering with a curated selection of your finest wares. You could even offer different packages, such as a larger hosting box with platters, cake stands, or beverage containers.
Are you able to carve out a small section of your warehouse and rent it to a photographer, florist, or another maker? Sub-leasing a portion of your space can help offset rent and lower your monthly expenses. Even if it’s temporary, it might give you some short-term financial relief.
There’s a new breed of weddings that aren’t quite an elopement, but they’re also not a wedding to the masses. Enter micro-weddings. Typically 50-people or less, you might find offering special package pricing on rentals or design services to be a good fit.
Similar to a holiday hosting box, this could be a “wedding-in-a-box” instead. With a set price for a guest count up to 50 people. You might even have space in your warehouse to host the wedding, giving access to all, some, or none of your rentals (depending on how you package the service).
Do you have a knack for building, calligraphy, or fiber arts? Why not offer a few custom-built pieces for sale? I’ve even seen some rental companies sell to their peers who may not be as handy. Or maybe you can sell kits to DIY it at home, such as custom signage. If you’ve got the inside scoop on how to make a portable backdrop, can you sell it?
I was scrolling my Instagram feed and came across a photographer who did a “FaceTime photo shoot”. I had no clue what it meant, so I had to look it up. Yes, it’s actually a thing! The photographer coached a client virtually and snapped photos by yep, you guessed it, FaceTime. Why can’t you do the same?
This would work especially well for home staging or even helping others set up their home-office (because we all gotta look good via Zoom, right?). Coach your clients on the best places for lighting, what objects they can use from around the house to style a room and other design tips.
Do you only work on and market to engaged couples? Think about other industries in your city that may need rentals. Portland is home to the corporate offices of both Nike and Adidas, both of which host meetings. Your city may be home to a robust film industry.
And not to sound morbid, but what about funeral and memorial service styling? It’s not far-fetched. I worked with one family who’s father had passed. He was a Veteran and loved to hunt and fish but the family didn’t have many mementos. We decorated the facilities with rentals that helped tell the story of this man’s life. Not only was it a wonderful tribute to the father, but it also helped the family with their grieving process as they honored a man they loved so tenderly.
These 7 ways to make money in your rental business may not be huge money-making activities, but something is better than nothing. During times when we have to remain nimble, this too shall pass. These services don’t have to stick around for the long-haul, they’re a short-term solution on how to bring you revenue right now.
You don’t need to update your website to showcase your new services or even advertise to the masses. Hand-select people you think might need your services and contact them directly via phone, email, or even direct message.
Whether it’s creating your marketing strategy, diversifying your services, or getting your website aligned with your ideal client, I can help you with ways to pivot and adjust.
Want to see how I can help you and your wedding rental business? Learn more about 1:1 mentoring or schedule a coaching call with me. Contact me via email or call 619.577.3117 to inquire and get more details.