ARA offers New to Rental Guide

Right before Brendon Blood joined Blood’s Catering & Party Rentals in White River Junction, Vt., the business had expanded from a catering-only to a catering and rental business — more of a one-stop shop for customers. Making that transition was done more by trial and error, Blood admits, noting that he would have appreciated a resource to steer him in the right direction.

Now rental operators have that help, thanks to the New to Rental Guide from the American Rental Association (ARA).

The 36-page guide addresses:

  • The size of the industry.
  • Rental market segments.
  • The top five things you need to know when getting started.
  • A deeper look at operating a rental store.
  • Resources that can help in all stages of your business’s growth.

“This guide is very informative and so comprehensive. It covers everything. I wish we had access to all of this before we got into the business. We learned everything the hard way,” Blood says.

Marc Mandin, chief operating officer at 4-Way Equipment Rentals in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, agrees about the guide’s benefit. “I am very impressed with how thorough it is. The reality is that the rental business is all about details, from marketing and sales to writing up the contract, giving instructions and performing maintenance on the equipment. It’s all part of the rental cycle,” he says.

“There are so many functions that all have to be done. It’s also very much a cash flow business. This guide covers all of those aspects, from the business plan, financing the fleet and what you should have in your fleet to how to monitor your cash flow. If potential rental operators read this document along with all of the referenced documentation, they should have a well-informed starting point,” he says.

“This guide was specifically designed for those who are just entering the industry, dealerships who are thinking about expanding into the rental market and those who are planning to open a new rental operation,” says Debby Schaller, ARA’s director of general member services. “We receive many inquiries from those who are looking to establish rental businesses, so we knew that there was a tremendous need for a resource of this kind.”

To make sure the guide was on target with what those new to rental would need, ARA asked members who cater to different rental market segments to review the guide before it was published.

“When they gave us the thumbs-up — such as what we heard from Brendon Blood and Marc Mandin — we knew that we were hitting the mark and offering a resource that could really help those who want to be part of this growing industry,” Schaller says.

“It covers everything without being overwhelming,” Mandin says. “It is the only guide that is directly related to the rental industry. You can buy books on business fundamentals, but if you want to do something in rental, you need to know the particular aspects of this industry. This guide covers those aspects. At the end of the report, there’s even a listing of other reference tools. It’s kind of like a mini-library of resources that can help you gain more information.”

The guide is available for free. “We want everyone to get started on the right foot. That is why we decided to offer this at no cost,” Schaller says. For information, call ARA Member Services at 800-334-2177.