Office equipment rental and leasing isn’t a new concept in the making. This practice has been going on for over a decade now and it has made many people rich in the process. But with changing times, the business of rentals has also changed.
Earlier, computer accessories and other equipment were costlier. It was not very feasible for people or an organisation to buy all the required computers and accessories. Therefore, they went for lease and rentals in order to strike a fine balance between their needs and feasibility.
But now, the pricing of computers and its accessories has fallen and it isn’t very hard for decent companies, organizations or institutions to directly purchase a new computer instead of renting an old one. Thus, the business of rental has become more challenging.
This article will illustrate how you can start your office equipment rental and leasing business ensuring a decent profit and stable growth prospect.
Some of the office equipment which you can consider for rental are:-
- Computers and Laptops
- Xerox Machine
- Office Furnitures
1. Studying the Rental Market:
When you study the market, you get a deep insight about the finer details of the business. There are always some opportunities in rental business that can be explored and exploited if one is vigilant and attentive.
Computers these days have become a household appliance and have become way too cheap for people to purchase. Since the time of pandemic, computers have become a must for students as they have to attend their online classes using the same.
A decent desktop with all required features for general usage costs $350-$700 in the United States. This is the amount that one can pay at ease for a brand new laptop rather than renting it.
Similarly, for an organisation, managing computers between this range isn’t hard. But the situation changes when organizations start to look for specialised facilities in the computer with certain configurations.
For example, organisations that require heavy usage of computers for trading and running huge software programs or multiple programs require higher configuration in terms of RAM, processor type, motherboard and storage capacity.
There are also external RAM features being installed to boost the speed of the computer to match the requirements. This is something challenging for an organisation looking to own more than 5 computers.
Such specialisation increases the price of the computer and thus makes it hard for organizations to buy in bulk. This is where your business will come into picture.
Thus, studying the market gives you ample ideas on how to proceed and structure your business in order to target your customers.
2. Select Your Target Market:
If you are going to start this rental business then what will be your target market?
Generally, computers and accessories are rented in bulk by institutions and organisations like an office, schools, colleges, cybercafe, computer institution, etc.
Your target market will also depend upon the background and financial capacity of these institutions. A well to do company won’t be renting computers but would be buying in bulk. Similarly, big educational institutions will also be doing the same.
Thus, your market will be more or less limited to those organisations that have limited budgets in hand and cannot afford to have computers in bulk. These institutions will also not be very certain about the future needs and therefore would not take risk in investing in computers spending thousands of dollars.
Generally, such institutions rent computers for a while and as they start to make enough returns, they buy computers in sets based on feasibility. Start-ups that have much to do with usage also find it feasible to rent computers.
You will also need to look into specifics of requirements. For example, those who need computers for schools and colleges don’t necessarily require high configuration computers. But those who deal exclusively with computer centric work that requires big software programming do need high configuration setup.
You should also be targeting specific computer accessories markets like servers, networking, WIFI, wireless and software. For an organisational setup, ethernet connection, wireless internet services, connection with central system networking is also required. You can also rent similar accessories that are required for such usage.
3. Setting up the Prices:
Much needs to be deliberated before taking a call on pricing. Your pricing should not only be consumer friendly but should also ensure that you get a decent return based on your investment.
In such businesses of computer rentals, people do not earn much from direct rentals but they earn from other related services. Like servicing the computer, repairing, maintenance, software update, selling related accessories, network connection, etc.
You will have to consult a lot of people involved in this business to ascertain how they make money. Structure your prices accordingly keeping in mind the competition around.
Generally, people do not want to pay a huge amount in a go but would not care much if you charge them indirectly for different services rendered as mentioned above.
You need to be smart and careful in charging prices. For certain computers and accessories like iPad, Apple computers and laptop, you can charge a higher price based on requirement.
4. Maintaining Standards in Product Delivery and Services:
Though your products won’t be new anymore if you have rented it to many customers, it still needs to be fresh and presentable and certainly not shabby and old. Maintain your computers and related accessories well, get it services with proper cleaning, changing certain parts, updating with new software and accessories.
Your customer shouldn’t feel that your computer is any way less than the new one while using it. It should be fast, clean, and user friendly. For this, regular maintenance is necessary.
Similarly, in this field, service matters the most. There would be times when your customer may require urgent assistance for repair work, maintenance, and fixing urgent problems. You need a dedicated team of individuals who are well skilled to deal with the situation.
Customer satisfaction matters a lot in this and customers won’t generally mind if you charge them a proportional amount separately for the services you render.
Keep in mind that your services should be prompt, efficient and to the need for your customer. Be quick in receiving calls, answering their queries politely, and rendering your services in record time.
Those who are able to constantly provide exemplary services often go a long road in this field maintaining a reputation with a wide consumer base.
You should remember that such businesses are mostly marketed through word of mouth rather than advertisement. A satisfied customer will be your biggest salesman, who is unpaid.
5. Build your Network:
People who will require your services will mostly contact you through someone in their known who knows you. Knowing your target market, you must also know people who your potential customers will need while starting their business.
You should network with such people, give your visiting card, pamphlets, and advertise vigorously to target your potential clients. You will have to deliberate on the strategy on how you can target your clients in advance.
You should be the first person to reach your potential clients before anyone else gets them on board. Here, you need to be swift and prompt in approaching your customers with a wide range of services and packages that may easily attract them.
Someone who is recommending you will also like to have their share, for this you need to structure everything in detail to ensure your profit.
6. Be Smart and Strategic in Expenditure:
Stocking up on dozens of computers and accessories won’t help you much. Instead, whenever you need them, get it from your trusted dealer who can give you cheap prices when ordering for bulk.
Network with people involved in selling computers and accessories. Negotiate and fix an amount for all your supplies to ensure you get a profitable deal. Instead of hoarding these products, buy it only when you get orders for computers. This will ensure that you don’t spend unnecessarily on computers just to stock them.
Secondly, you won’t need an inventory to keep all this equipment. Obviously, you will need to have your own office and a warehouse to keep your items that are currently lying idle.
In order to cut short your expenditure, it would be advisable to use your house space, if it’s there to store all your computers and accessories. If not, then you can rent or lease a warehouse somewhere distant that is cheap.
Regarding your office, you certainly need an office from where you will run your business. You also need a team that will manage all the affairs. Skilled technicians who will fix, install, repair and maintain computers.
Also, a team who will address your customer services. They should be well trained and skilled while dealing with your customers.
7. Things to Remember:
Give a personal touch to your relationship with your customers but at the same time maintain a professional relationship. Be helpful while rendering service. Remain in personal touch with all your customers and do not leave everything on your team dealing with customers.
Call them in a month or two, inquire with them about the services and products you render, solve their problems if they have. Such personal touch always gives a reassuring touch to your customers.