Know When to Use Your Own Equipment or Subrent

August 11, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton

Your business is growing and you suddenly have more events than equipment! This is the best problem to have, because it might be a telling sign that it’s time to kick it up a notch in your business.

Maybe it’s time to go full time if you already haven’t (check out earlier blogs to find out if it’s the right time for you), maybe you should invest in more inventory, or maybe you’re in the starting phases of your business and investing in more equipment wouldn’t be the smartest financial choice.

That’s ok! Luckily, there are tons of companies that you can sub-rent equipment from. There are certain events that will do better with the equipment you already have, and there are some that require special accommodations. Deciding when to sub-rent and when to use your own equipment doesn’t have to be a difficult choice.

Will you use this equipment again and again? Or is it a one off?

  1. What is the ROI if I purchase this equipment?
    Meaning, how many events will I have to do to make my money back from purchasing this equipment?
  2. Another thing to think about is, is this type of equipment going to “stand up” to the longevity until you make your money back?  Or, is technology going to change so fast that by the time you have rented out the equipment enough to make your money back, that the equipment becomes obsolete?
  3. Will this be a repeat client you’re renting it for?
  4. And lastly, how does it fit into your budget?

Let’s say your client requests a unique piece of equipment that you’ll probably only use for their event and can’t foresee yourself needing it for future events- the best choice seems to be to sub-rent that equipment.  But, keep in mind, it might be more cost effective to buy the equipment if the rental price is similar. That way, you now own it.  Add it to your asset list as a valuable piece of equipment to add value to your business’s worth.  Just make sure it’s a piece of equipment that is in demand, is able to be applied in different applications and can last the test of time until you make your money back on the equipment.

If this client is going to be a repeat client for you, then you should definitely consider investing and purchasing the equipment so you have it on hand for them for next time!

Finally, no client is guaranteed and no job is guaranteed.  Make sure the equipment is something that you can always off-load and sell should your business needs change.

Remember to slow down and review your processes.  Take some “me time” and be proud of who you are and where you came from.  Keep grinding!

Stephen J Clayton Stephen J Clayton (19 Posts)

Steve Clayton has been working with event professionals for over 16 years teaching, mentoring and consulting with them to help them get more out of their event business. Originally beginning his event career as a mobile entertainer, DJ, and manager, Steve has transformed his business into a full service event management and production company. His companies specialize in full service production, technology, consulting, and talent buying. Over the past 13 years, Steve’s companies have worked with clients such as the Rose Bowl, USC Football, The Holiday Bowl, Time Warner Cable, Hyatt Hotels, Chalice Festival, High Times, and The Neighborhood Awards. Steve and his team have been blessed to work and handle major talent artists. Steve has worked or purchased talent from Lo Cash and Frakie Ballard to Comedians Steve Harvey, and Wayans Brothers. And rappers from Dougie Fresh, B.O.B and Robin Thicke to Lil Wayne, Wu Tang Clan and Machine Gun Kelly. Steve has owned companies manufacturing and selling lighting products to companies to writing and teaching classes for University of San Diego. Steve’s current companies include Soundskilz and The Event Inventor. Steve currently teaches event management, marketing and technology classes at UC Riverside.


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