- Personal Finance
Making Money With Inflatable Waterslides
A Second Income
These days in this economy almost everyone I know is in some sort of financial bind, whether it be with student loans, a mortgage they can't afford, or in my case a job that underpays. So with that, I have been desperately looking for other ways to make money as a second income. I have tried making money by writing online (which earns a little), taking surveys online, selling my unwanted items on Craigslist, and other odd jobs. I have been avoiding getting a part-time job because I know it would affect the time I have with my family as well as hinder my job performance at my full-time job. So I started asking around my family and friends different ways I might be able to make some money on the side and one of my good friends approached me one day with a solution. I had known the guy for a while and I knew he had a business with inflatable waterslides, but never really thought much about it. He asked me if I would like to help him on the weekends picking up and dropping off slides where he would pay a set amount for each slide that we picked up or dropped off. So of course I said yes and the whole time thinking to myself this will be some easy money. This has been a great way for me to earn extra cash on the side since it's on the weekends and usually early in the morning. I have been doing this for a few years now and have learned the ins and outs of what it takes to run a successful inflatable waterslide company, and let me tell you it is no easy task. There are a few items that need to be taken into consideration before starting your own rental business.
If you are thinking about getting into the business of renting waterslides the first item you need to address is costs. Costs is going to play a major factor when starting this type of business, which will include unit costs, gas, insurance, and wages to employees if you have them. Most people approach the idea thinking they could do this with no problem its just a waterslide right, how much could they possibly cost? Most slides vary in price and size and can be as little as $500 to upwards of close to $10,000 it just depends on the size and style of the product. With the bigger slides you will of course be able to charge more, but with that you have the added cost of upkeep and storage. Most of the slides I work with are in the mid price range and people are usually charge between $100-$400 depending on which slide is rented.
The key to making money with this business whether it be with 2 units or 30 units is marketing. I cannot stress this enough you have got to get your name out there. No one is going to know you started a waterslide rental business until you tell your friends and family, post on Facebook, put signs in your yard, and pass out flyers. This is a must when first starting out, but when word gets out people will start referring you to others and soon enough you will have a booked weekend on your hands. Word of mouth is by far the best way to keep customers coming back and adding new ones to your list, but to do so you have to market yourself properly. The easiest way to do this is to create a website that provides detail information on what inventory you have in stock and how much each will cost to rent. Along with this you should provide some type of contact information where someone will be able to easily get a hold of you.
Insurance is a must when owning this type of business. You will need to protect yourself from any type of lawsuit that might come from a customer, and believe me sooner or later someone will get hurt on one of these slides and be looking for someone to blame. The best way to do this is to research different insurance groups that provide liability coverage and pick the best one that suits you. Time and time again I see rental companies out there that do not have any insurance and end up with some major lawsuit. The least that could happen is that another company might find out that you are operating with out insurance and turn you in. If this were to happen, you will have to pay a fine and acquire insurance before being able to rent out your slides once more. On top of the insurance you will have for your company, I also suggest making the customer sign a waiver. This waiver will state that you are not responsible for any injuries that may occur and that if any damages are done to the slide they will be held responsible. This is a good way of protecting yourself and your product that is being rented out. I suggest having a lawyer look over your waiver to make sure that it covers all the basis.
Time, Physical Labor & Upkeep
Most people who we rent out to think that its as easy as plugging the cord into a socket and watch the slide blow up. I wish this was the case, but with most slides picking up and dropping off slides takes time and effort. For starters you will be killing a lot of time in the early mornings on the weekend setting everything up, so if your trying to get into the business don't expect any sleeping in on Saturdays or Sundays. Also, besides the time you will be killing on the weekends, the physical labor that is required to roll up these slides and take down is immense. From personal experience after a few hours of work I am completely worn out.
The upkeep on these slides is where most of the work will be put into your business. These slides need to be clean thoroughly after every use and should be dried completely before rolling up and stored away. If they are not taken care of properly then you could be looking at major costs in repairs and other damages that could come to your units.
How Often Do You Rent Inflatable WaterSlides
Is It Worth It?
The years that I have spent working with my friend has taught me a lot of what to do and what not to do in this type of business, but is it really worth it to start renting to other people? In my opinion if you have the time and the money to spend then yes, you could be looking at a rewarding side income that could help. However, I would not quit my day job to run this business full time. Most of your income is going to be in the Summer months where business in the Fall and Winter is almost non-existent. So, if you don't have any vacation plans and your looking for a way to earn extra income then renting inflatable waterslides could be a rewarding venture.