It is becoming increasingly common for consumers to prefer renting products instead of purchasing them. As a result, the rental industry is experiencing constant growth, particularly in the area of sports equipment rentals where new companies are emerging daily. Major players in the industry have also begun to introduce rental services as part of their offerings.
Therefore, it is crucial to establish effective rental practices from the outset in order to create an efficient rental operation. This, in turn, will provide a competitive advantage and boost turnover. In this article, we have compiled some advice for those who aim to improve the efficiency of their sports equipment rental operations.
Digitize manual processes
Do you still use Excel sheets to keep track of your inventory? Or do you use a physical calendar to have control over which products are available and rented out? Or did you mecca it with some calendar features and some plugins? Will it work when you get volume on rental orders? By digitizing the overview of equipment and customers, you will be able to free up a lot of unnecessary time, while at the same time creating a better overview.
Gather all the necessary information in a digital system:
- Let the customers create a profile on your website and rent the equipment they want, so you gather all the necessary customer information and order lists in one place.
- Load products or product packages consisting of different equipment and different sizes. Feel free to use pictures of the equipment to have better control.
- Get a better overview of how much equipment is in stock. Use a digital calendar to see when the equipment is rented out and when it is available again. See how much of the total equipment is rented out and get figures on the degree of utilization of each individual equipment.
- Choose an ordering system that speaks to your accounting system. Relate to a platform and send invoices directly from the rental system to your accounting system.
With the help of these simple automations, you can free up a lot of unnecessary time on manual tasks, work more strategically with rentals and create a much more efficient rental operation. In addition, by using a complete system, you will be able to offer your customers online booking and payment. They will then book, pay and approve the rental terms in advance, and for corporate bookings they will be able to choose an invoice as a payment method.
Establish routines for good inventory management
Once you have started digitizing customer orders and inventory, it is crucial to establish good routines for inventory management as early as possible. Many rental companies in the sports industry have large stocks of equipment to keep track of. A lot of equipment also has different functions or sizes, this makes it important to be able to have a system that manages to keep control of all variants. A good rental system should therefore be able to handle product packages with accessories and different sizes of products. This is especially true if you rent skis in different lengths or bikes in different sizes. With the help of tracking, you can keep track of everything that is in your warehouse.
Bar codes and bar code readers
Use barcodes and barcode scanners to simplify and automate the rental process. A system of barcodes works by giving each equipment a unique barcode. When the equipment is to be rented out and when the equipment is returned, the barcode is scanned, so that an overview is always kept of whether the equipment has been lent to a customer, or whether it is in stock and available to other customers. Do you have more inventory? Bar codes can also be assigned to different inventories, so you have full control over which warehouse the equipment is in.
Availability on mobile
Have access to incoming orders on your mobile, so you can receive inquiries from customers even when you are on the go. This allows you to handle orders more efficiently, is more accessible to your customers and does not miss out on valuable sales.
Take advantage of self-service solutions
Look for new methods to automate your rental service and stay up to date on new technology. Today, there are many innovative methods to run rental companies more efficiently and increase quality. Several players in sports rental use various self-service solutions, and have increased sales by starting with this. Here they use everything from access via digital locks to key collection, which, for example, our partner
Sharebox offers. Just think what growth it can give you to have warehouses around the country with equipment available for rent around the clock. All the customer needs is a code to retrieve the equipment and then they can get started with the activity they want.
By using such self-service solutions, rentals can be even more available to customers 24/7 and there will be less waiting times to rent. In addition, the company saves costs by not having available staffing because they can now offer their customers unmanned pick-up points in the local area. This provides a better rental experience for the customer, but it also gives rental companies greater opportunities to expand to more locations in areas where there is a great demand for renting equipment.
Use SMS notifications
SMS communication makes it easy to reach your customers in a personal and reliable way.97% of all SMS messages are, on average, read within 15 minutes.
This is an incredible open-rate compared to emails that often are opened late, or not at all. By sending out notifications by SMS you have a much greater chance that the information you send out will actually be read, at the time of sending.
This can be of great value if you want to send out notifications as reminders to return an item, fill out a form, information about how to use the service before the booking starts, etc.
Use a flexible pricing engine
Working strategically with pricing is very important for many rental companies. It is therefore important to choose a platform that allows you to enter the prices that are strategically correct for your business simply. With a flexible price engine, you can, for example, choose whether you want to charge on an hourly, daily basis, or whether you want to offer weekly or monthly rent, which can be very profitable for your company.
Work strategically with pricing by giving discounts over several days. By using the Sharefox rental system, you can, among other things, specify the discount level for days two, three and so on. By giving a 50% discount on the daily price on days three and four, you can achieve that your customer books a longer weekend than they actually intended. This can give you increased income and show why it is so important to work strategically with pricing.
Streamline customer service
For rental companies in the sports industry, there are often many inquiries from potential customers regarding questions they have about the equipment you are considering renting. There are many good ways to streamline customer dialogue using digital tools. If you choose to invest some time in creating a good customer journey from purchase to completion of activity, you can save the company a lot of costs associated with following up on customers.
Create content that answers your customers’ questions and make it available on your website around the clock. Spend time creating simple questions and answers so that you avoid them contacting you for simple questions they could figure out for themselves. This way you do not have to have 24-hour customer service.
- Create FAQ
- Be available via chat and chat bot outside opening hours
- Write articles
- Make help videos
- Hold webinars
About Sharefox Rental System
With the help of Sharefox rental system, you can establish good routines for your rental business, so that you can create a more efficient operation. In this way, you will be able to achieve greater profitability.
Get started with Sharefox rental system today and get access to:
- Digitize manual processes. Collect all equipment and sales orders in a clear system.
- Online booking where customers have an overview of availability, can book themselves, pay and approve the rental terms.
- Establish routines for good inventory management. Get started with tracking your equipment, use barcodes to have full control and access everything on your mobile.
- Get started with self-service solutions and expand with more locations.
- Use a flexible pricing engine. Work strategically with pricing. Give a discount when renting over several days. Choose whether you want to charge on an hourly, daily basis, or whether you want to offer weekly rentals or monthly rentals.
- Streamline customer service. Answer the questions of your customers digitally by creating useful content.
Sharefox AS is a company that works to make the circular economy more accessible to everyone, and has developed a rental system that makes renting easier and more efficient and profitable. With our long experience in rental, we have contributed to several of our customers in a number of industries having increased their profitability.
What are you going to do now?
When you are ready… Here are 4 ways we can help you expand your rental business!
- 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.
- 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.
- If you want to work with the circular economy and 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.
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