Why You Should Be Sub-Renting

June 12, 2017 by Stephen J Clayton

In my last blog, I discussed how to identify which equipment is smart for you invest in and how sub-renting that equipment can help supplement your income.

But what exactly is sub-renting and why do we talk about it so much? Today I will be breaking down what sub-renting is and how it can be beneficial to everyone, from beginning DJ’s to fully staffed production companies.

Sub-renting is when one company rents equipment from a colleague or competitor company to facilitate a client’s request.

Why is it smart to sub-rent our equipment?

Sub-renting makes a smart decision when you don’t have the upfront capital to invest in the necessary equipment needed to facilitate a client’s request.  Or, maybe you don’t have enough confirmed events or rentals on the books to justify spending the upfront capital?


If you are the company sub-renting, there are some important facts to remember.

  1. It is important to develop strong working relationships and terms with your vendors and supplies.  This means everything from extended hours of pickup to payment terms.
  2. Keep up to date inventory of what your competitors have.  This will help you when you have a client who needs a piece of gear that you don’t have.
  3. Check all gear from your vendor prior to use and prior to return.

As the company renting gear, it is a good idea to market these new items to your competitors.  You get a great ROI on renting a DJ booth for $500 when some DJs only charge $600 for their full services including their equipment.  The difference is, there is very low overhead and labor cost on renting the DJ booth.  Too many times, DJs devalue their equipment.  They only put a value on their time or skill.

Another example is, let’s say you have purchased 24 LED up lights for when you have wedding clients who request them.  But you have 10 open weekends a year right now.  Maybe you charge $500 for renting these LEDs?  To fill these 10 weekends maybe you charge $15 per LED for any of your colleagues who need additional LEDs.  Now, filling in half of these 10 weeks brings you an additional $1800.00 and costs you nothing in labor, fuel, delivery, set-up or anything.


Making your equipment work for you is the smart decision.  Every piece of equipment you buy should be able to do this for you. Pretty soon you should have an inventory of all of your equipment on hand, what’s being used currently and what you can sub-rent to someone else!


The old motto of “work smarter, not harder” is reflective in the business operations of sub-renting gear.

Stephen J Clayton Stephen J Clayton (22 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.

Filed Under: Digital DJing, Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Misc, Mobile DJ Sales & Marketing, Photo Booth Tips, Sound Engineering for Mobile DJs