If you asked a group of people to list the thing they’ve missed the most during this pandemic, a large portion of them would answer with one word. Parties. And what industry stands at the very heart of the party? What industry makes the in-person party happen? The entertainment rental industry.
Birthday parties, weddings, conferences, sporting events, concerts, we could create a list of gatherings as long as a red carpet that people absolutely love to attend, all been canceled due to COVID-19. Without those parties and events, we lose a massive labor pool from the American workforce at large.
The party services industry has been decimated by government bans on gatherings and stay-at-home orders. As of this writing in June 2020, new COVID-19 cases are spiking across the United States and it looks as if we may be heading into the second wave of stay-at-home orders and banned party gatherings.
And all of this during the most fiscally critical time of year for the event entertainment industry! Usually, this is the event rental industry’s busiest time of the year. Graduation parties, spring fundraisers, weddings, concerts, conventions, spring events are one of the most lucrative seasons financially for the industry.
From tent rentals to bounce house operators, limousine services to florists and DJs, caterers to laundry services, and the assortment of other rental companies servicing party events, each owner and operator is feeling the vice grip tighten on their cash flow.
Many are seeing the doors of their shops close. And with no clear picture in sight, many would argue that this pandemic will likely change the events industry forever. There is a growing concern for the welfare of all the vendors and independent contractors responsible for helping party events succeed. The industry requires in-person experiences to fuel business. Without those experiences, there is no business.
Owners felt some temporary reprieve with the Paycheck Protection Program and various SBA loans, but many are reporting that those funds are running out and it’s uncertain if another stimulus package will be substantial enough to outlast this pandemic. If new stimulus packages are released, we’ve built a resource for business owners that will keep you up-to-date on the latest information available. You can access this resource by clicking the link below.
With cash flows disappearing and uncertainty about stay-at-home orders at an all-time high, party rental, and event business owners are in the toughest position imaginable. Do they try to make the business work and survive this pandemic, or do they consider selling? In this article, we’ll give you some great tips to consider for business owners planning to keep their operations open. We’ll also explore ways to navigate an equipment sales strategy, if an exit proves to be the best option.
Tips If You Plan To Stay In Business
Cleaning, Communicating, and Connecting
Cleaning and Disinfecting
The most fundamental and reassuring action a business owner can take is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting their equipment. If you are operating at an event in high-traffic, high-touch areas, it helps people’s confidence to see the equipment being cleaned often. Think about taking small steps to show people you have their health and wellbeing at the forefront. Here are a few tips to consider for keeping your equipment clean and promoting a safe event.
- Make sure to wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect your surfaces.
- When cleaning surfaces, try to use soap and water, then switch to disinfectant.
- Consistently and routinely clean frequently touched surfaces.
- Surfaces and objects that would be considered high-touch areas could be cleaned and disinfected before each time they are used. High touch surfaces include: doorknobs and handles, light switches, tables, countertops, toilets, faucets, and sinks to name a few.
- Here is a comprehensive list of recommended disinfectants from the EPA. EPA-registered household disinfectant
A majority of event rental businesses have been forced to cut hours, conduct layoffs, and furlough employees. If you have a great team of people that you plan to rehire after restrictions are lifted, consider talking to them about your plans. If it’s possible, try to keep an open dialogue with your team during this period of restrictions.
Not only is it a good idea to stay in close communication with your employees, you’ll also want to consider keeping the lines of communication open with your past customers. If you plan to open the doors and get back to business once restrictions have been lifted, staying at the top of people’s minds doesn’t hurt. Businesses can achieve this through a number of means. Email campaigns, texting applications, social media, and directly contacting customers by phone are all effective ways to reach out to folks.
Now could be a great time to connect with other business owners in your industry to discuss ways you are both dealing with the current challenges. This is a perfect chance to strategize and work on plans for your business moving forward. Think about joining a Facebook group with other professionals from your industry. Reddit is often a great place to find niche industry conversations. Taking a little time to research where folks from your industry are visiting with each other online could prove to be a very helpful action.
Last but not least, think about connecting with potential clients, current clients, and past clients. It may be tough work, but making phone calls to potential clients to let them know you are still in business and looking forward to working with them when restrictions are lifted is a great way to fill your sales funnel for the future. Contact your current clients who may have cancelled or postponed events. Let them know that you are there to support them and ready to help them with their event as soon as they are able.
Selling Your Equipment As A Valuable Option
Get A Trusted and Experienced Business Equipment Appraiser
If you are thinking about selling some of your inventory to help with cash flow, or you plan to merge with another company and foresee excess equipment posing a challenge, you might consider finding a certified Business Equipment Appraiser. It helps to work with an appraiser who operates with integrity, has a respected reputation, and has experience in niche industries like yours. It’s a good idea to look for a business equipment appraiser who provides a high-value service with a budget-friendly price.
Here at Auction Masters, we have more than 40 years of experience with business liquidation in Minnesota and the surrounding states. As a professionally certified, nationwide appraisal company, we are able to provide you with expert insights on the value of your equipment. We have successfully worked with an array of niche industries.
To help business owners with cash flow challenges, we’ve created a streamlined appraisal and sales process that ensures fast turnarounds and provides you with competitive prices.
The Auction Masters Sales Process
Keeping people’s safety at the top of our list, we’ve created a virtual, two-step process for getting you the most valuable results possible when selling your equipment.
Step 1 – Streaming Video Consultation
We will schedule a video call, take a walk around your shop, virtually viewing your equipment, and gather all of the information needed to conduct a successful auction for your business.
Step 2 – Inspection and Auction Checkout Scheduling
With safety as our priority, we work with all of the stakeholders to schedule inspections and pick-up times, minimizing any possible exposure to COVID-19. With appointments for checkouts, customers can load their products more easily and receive assistance. We have a digital document signing system that allows you easy access to files, quick signage, and replacement copies if you ever need them.
We’re here to serve you in any way possible. We operate with the utmost integrity. We provide competitive rates, and we’ll deliver the quick turnaround you need.
Give Auction Masters a call at the number listed below if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appraisal for your business. We look forward to helping you!