Guide to Starting a Bounce House Rental Business
The Small Business Startup Guide
One of the greatest benefits of starting a bounce house rental business is that it’s one of the easiest new businesses to start. Bounce house rental companies also serve a consumer need that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Kids love bounce houses and most of the people and/or organizations that need one for a special event, can’t afford to buy one or don’t want to fork over a thousand dollars or more for something they won’t be using much outside of the event that they are planning. It makes much more sense to rent a bounce house for a couple hundred dollars and not have to worry about other details such as insurance set up, etc.
One of the downsides to starting a bounce house business is that depending on your location, you may face some stiff competition. This is the case however with just about any small business that’s relatively easy to launch. Keep in mind, that just because there are a lot of bounce house rental companies, it doesn’t necessarily mean that every one of them is doing a good job marketing their services. In fact, the majority are probably doing a poor job.
We recommend that you thoroughly research your market area and identify who your competition is. Make note of what they are doing right (from a consumer’s perspective) and what could use some improvement. Are they easy to find online? Does their website and marketing materials look good? What does their ordering process look like? How much are they renting bounce houses for? How much inventory do they have? What is their social media presence? Do they have a lot of followers that are actively engaged in what they post?
How Much Money Can You Make With a Bounce House Rental Business?
How much money you make will depend on how much inventory you have, and how well you market your business. Just because you started your business and bought a couple of bounce houses, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people are going to be lining up at your door waiting to reserve a bounce house.
Assuming you have effectively marketed your business, your only limitation will be how much inventory you have on hand to rent. Keep in mind that most people are going to want to rent for weekend parties and events. So if you only have 1 bounce house and rent it out for $200 a day for both Friday and Saturday, you will bring in $400 a week. If that’s all you did for the year, your net annual revenue would be somewhere around $20,800. Not bad for a part-time income working a couple of hours a week. But from here, the sky’s the limit. Let’s say you booked 6 bounce house rentals a week. You annual revenue climbs to $62,400. Book 10 per week and you’re looking at $104,000!
Bounce House Rental Business Inventory and Costs
Your biggest startup expense with a bounce house rental business is going to be the purchase of one or more commercial grade bounce houses. Buying commercial grade is a must as your bounce houses will need to survive the wear and tear of weather and crazy kids. You should be able to purchase a basic quality commercial grade bounce house for around $1,500. Prices go up from there depending on size, theme, etc. If you rent a bounce house out for $200 a day, each bounce house that you purchase will be paid off after about 8 rentals. After that, it’s all profit (except for your labor and upkeep expenses).
In addition to owning a few bounce houses, your start up needs may also include the following:
Transportation: (You will need a means of transporting your bounce houses to events – if you already own a truck or van, then you already have this covered)
- Blower / Inflator: Most bounce houses that you purchase will come with a compatible blower. If your purchase doesn’t include a blower, you will need to purchase one that is compatible. You should be able to find on in the $200 – $300 price range.
- Extension cords
- Generator: Many event locations such as parks, may not have access to a power supply
- Bounce House Storage: If you only have 1 or 2 bounce houses, you can probably get away with storing them in your garage. But as your business grows, you will need to consider an alternate location.
- Hand Truck or Dolly: To help you transport your bounce house from your vehicle to the set up place. Keep in mind, bounce houses can weight 100 or more pounds.
- Ratchet Straps: These may come in handy when you need to secure your bounce house to a dolly or hand truck.
- Cleaning Materials: You will need thoroughly clean and sanitize your bounce houses with each rental. If you fail to do this, you will get bad reviews and you will lose customers. You will need a good leaf blower as well.
- Miscellaneous Items: Sand bags, stakes, cones, duct tape and repair materials
- Insurance: Insurance is imperative as you need to make sure your business is protected against any liability in the event of an injury. Your costs will vary based on the protection package that you purchase. Consult with a professional insurance advisor to determine your needs and state requirements.
- Lawyer Reviewed Liability Waiver: In order to protect yourself and your business from any type of litigation (lawsuits, etc.), you will need to have a standard contract and liability waiver for your customers to sign before booking any business with you. It’s also a great idea to include a safety brochure and instruct your customers to read it prior to allowing any kids to engage in bounce house activities.
Keep in mind that bounce house rental businesses usually deliver, set up, and pick up the bounce houses with each rental. If you plan on relying on the customer to pick up the bounce house and set it up on their own, then you won’t be in business for long. Plus, you may run into more liability issues if you operate this way.
We also recommend searching online for used bounce house equipment. Check sites like Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone is selling in your area.
Choosing a business structure for your bounce house rental business
Naming and registering your bounce house rental business
Before starting your bounce house rental business you will need to come up with a great name and get it registered with your local state government. We have more details on how to do that on our “registering your small business” information page.
State requirements for getting a business license for your bounce house rental business
Buying a domain name for your bounce house rental business
Do you need a domain name for your bounce house rental business? Even if you don’t have a website? See why we think it’s a good idea by checking out our “buying and securing a domain name for your small business” page.
Setting up a business bank account for your startup bounce house rental rental business
If you are wondering if you’ll need to set up a business account for your startup bounce house rental business, the answer is yes. See why it’s important by visiting our information page on setting up a business bank account and credit card. You’ll be glad you did!
Getting business insurance for your bounce house rental company
Getting liability business insurance for your bounce house rental business is always a good idea. You are placing signs on random properties and you want to be covered if anyone gets injured. More information regarding business insurance is available here.
Setting up a website for your bounce house rental business
It’s not critical that you immediately have a website built for your bounce house rental business. But if you do decide you need one, we have a great small business website resource page that will give you a few great pointers on getting one set up.
Getting a logo for your bounce house rental business
Collecting sales tax
If you live in a state that collects sales tax, then yes, you will need to charge sales tax and file with your local or state government. More details can be found on our “small business sales tax” information page.
Marketing your bounce house rental business
There are 3 keys to running a successful business. These include great customer service, a quality product or service, and effective marketing. Without effective marketing, especially in the startup phase, you’re going to have trouble finding customers, and without customers, your new bounce house rental company is doomed to fail. But don’t sweat it, we have a comprehensive startup marketing guide for small business startups that will get you pointed in the right direction.