How to start and run a rental service of sports equipment

sports rental
As consumers, we have the same expectations for the customer experience when we rent something as when we buy something. Succeeding at a good rental service can be a demanding task, but the greater the gain with satisfied customers and good earnings when you succeed. Here are some tips on what to wear in sports rentals such as bicycles and water sports.

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We are trying out new activities like never before, and last summer we saw an increase in water sports in particular - everything from kayaking to SUP. City cycling has been a big trend in recent years and the iconic electric scooters can be seen everywhere in the big cities. Parents can probably recognize themselves in the fact that they buy too much sports equipment for the children and then it will be put in the shed until the next time it will hopefully be used again. Right now, there are over 150,000 sales advertisements on in sports and outdoor life, which clearly emphasize this problem. We see that the consumer has begun to open his eyes to renting equipment rather than buying new all the time, and that there has been a greater focus on each individual's consumption.

If you are now sitting and considering whether renting sports equipment is the right investment for you, then this may be the right time to get started. If you already rent something in sports equipment, you have probably discovered how much demand there can be from customers during the seasons, and how important it is to facilitate the creation of efficient operations. In this article, we have therefore gathered some of our best experiences around renting sports equipment, with the desire to contribute to more people succeeding with renting.

Website for renting sports equipment

The customer journey often starts with a Google search such as "bicycle rental Bergen", "kayak rental Oslo", "Electric bicycle rental Stavanger" or "SUP rental Kristiansand". It also starts for many customers in social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest or the like, as many are influenced by family, friends, acquaintances or even influencers.

Therefore, if you are about to start a sports equipment rental service, you need a website that drives traffic and makes it easy to book, so you can be present where the customer journey starts. The main task of your website is to drive sales. Many people make the mistake of focusing too much on providing the customer with information about their service, forgetting that the main task of the website is to drive sales and create a good customer journey. A rental website must therefore have a good booking solution so that the customer can easily book what they want to rent.

Booking system bicycle

Clear and user-friendly booking

Consumers today have high expectations that it should be easy to book, and this is often due to the fact that they are well used to online shopping. If it then becomes too difficult to rent your products or if it takes too much time, you may risk that they drop out of the booking process and instead find another solution. When you are going to run a rental business, you quickly discover how necessary it is with a calendar solution to be able to show your customers in a clear way when the products are available for rent.

Managing bookings manually can be a real time thief. We still see that there are more people who do a lot of manual work, often because they are not aware that there are digital systems that make the job easier for them. Are you one of those people who still receives orders by phone or email? Or are you one of those people who uses Excel sheets and post-it notes? Maybe you have put together a calendar solution for your booking, but have discovered that it still requires a lot of time and knotting? With today's digital rental booking system you can drop all this.

Bicycle rental

Pricing for rentals is complex

With years of experience in the rental industry, we have learned a lot about how complex pricing can be for sports equipment rental services and how difficult it can be to find a system that covers all the needs of a pricing engine. There is a lot of strategy behind setting the right price for a rental product. Should you charge by the day, week, month or year? Do you want to be able to offer discounts and create coupons? Do you work in an industry where you have more customers on weekends than during the week?

For renting city bikes or electric scooters, there is often a higher demand during rush hour because they are often used to get to work or study, while for mountain bikes or kayaks there is a higher demand on weekends or holidays as more people use these in their free time. . Many rental companies therefore want to vary prices according to need and demand, and this can be a good strategy for attracting more customers in periods when there is lower demand. At the same time, you get increased earnings by taking a higher price during the periods when you have the opportunity to earn a little extra due to high demand. 

Full control over payments, terms and availability

Avoid falling into the same traps that many rental companies do when starting out. Do not spend time on obscure tools, such as excel sheets, notepads and the like, that do not talk to other parts of your value chain. 

When all systems talk together, it gives you room to create an efficient rental business. Integration with your accounting system is essential to create a seamless service, from the customer orders until it enters your accounting system and the customer receives the receipt. It is smart to do this in a digital system to reduce the number of manual tasks and free up time. 

Rental conditions are also essential to have in place so that customers approve this before they are allowed to book a product, so that you secure the products you rent out. Deposits and insurance are also important for some rental companies, often those who rent out expensive equipment, because they provide extra security and protect the condition of the product. 

Save time with efficient administration

There is a lot of time that can be saved by having an efficient administration that only flows in everyday life. It is important to keep a full overview of all furniture and products, because it is quick to lose track when you have so many different products that are constantly rented out. A digital and customized system makes the job easier, and preferably where you can enter information about maintenance and when it was last repaired. 

If you do not find a smart way to handle your bookings, we can guarantee you that you will commit the biggest sin of all: namely double booking! This often results in very angry customers who may find themselves posting negative reviews, and these are difficult to get rid of. To avoid double bookings, you must always have control over the availability of products, what is in stock and what is rented to customers. A digital calendar that is integrated with your website, gives you a full overview of this and allows you to create an efficient operation.

Efficient rental administration

Which system should you go for?

There are countless solutions you can go for when setting up your website. Many of these are made for online shopping and are not always a good enough solution for rental companies. We often say that you should take care of the WordPress trap, precisely because it is created for online shopping. Sharefox rental system is tailored for rental. With Sharefox rental system and you have everything you need for a website, booking system, price engine, payment solutions and not least an admin system that makes it easy to handle orders. 

Complete guide on how to get started with the rental service

An all-in-one solution for renting bicycles, water sports and other sports equipment

Several of our customers rent out bicycles, SUPs and kayaks. The benefits they have gained from using Sharefox:

  • Inspirational booking site that gives a higher number of bookings.
  • More satisfied customers. Can see availability, book and order the service / products just when it suits them. 
  • A more user-friendly customer journey. 
  • Efficient ordering process. Free up several hours a week spent following up on customers by phone and email.
  • Better overview of services and products.
  • Full control of each order and availability.
  • Less administration. Less manual work and follow-up.

What are you going to do now?

When you are ready… here are 4 ways we can help you expand your rental business! 
  1. Do you want to grow your business today? Try Sharefox rental system for free - or book a demo and get a personal expert to analyze your company's situation, come up with solutions on how you can streamline your methods and create a more profitable company.
  2. To learn more about the Sharefox rental system , read about trends and news for free, visit our blog or visit our resources section in the main menu. Here you can download guides and e-books that we also share with our customers.
  3. If you want to work with circular economy , Saas and want to be part of the Sharefox team or find out why we are one of the fastest growing rental platforms in the rental industry, see our job postings here .
  4. If you have a good friend or know someone who would have found this article interesting, then feel free to share it with them via email, Linkedin or Facebook .

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