15 Different Rental Business Ideas That Let You Do What You Love - Peek Pro (2023)

When you specialize in online booking software for rental companies, you come across a smorgasbord of interesting and innovative business models. From people who turned their passion into a career, from folks looking to supplement a full-time gig, the possibilities are far-reaching and fun to explore.

If you’re entertaining the idea of starting rental venture, but overwhelmed by the options and need a little inspiration to get the entrepreneurial juices flowing, we put together a variety of ideas based on what we’ve come across in this industry—from outdoorsy, to ultra niche, to hobby-based. Happy brainstorming!

1. Party Boat

Sure, we’ve heard the saying: The two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it, and the day you sell it. But whoever said that didn’t dip their toe into the boat rental market! With a houseboat or party boat, think about all the types of customers you can cater to: Family reunions, bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate outings, etc.

2. Luxury/Party Bus

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ”— Mark Twain

This has same appeal as party boats, but for landlubbers. Luxury buses make the mode of transportation a destination all on its own. Not only is there a year-round market for this type of service, it’s a fun opportunity to add your own sense of style and whimsy to a proven business model. For example, we’ve seen entrepreneurs purchase old school buses and convert them into the ultimate party mobiles—especially perfect for transporting wedding guests in between venues.

If you’re going for sleek and sophisticated, consider a personalized chauffeured luxury car service. You can always start small with one vehicle, and build your fleet from there.

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Tip: There are a number of factors that need to be considered for this market, such as staffing your drivers, insurance, legal compliances and drawing up a detailed business plan that identifies your target customer base (for example—wine tasters, sightseers, wedding parties, etc). But this proven business model can be sustainable, profitable (and fun!) if you invest the time and effort in doing it right.

3. Mobile Beverage Systems

Some people like to party at the bar—but you could bring the bar to your party. The tap party trailers cater to larger groups like weddings, golf tournaments and festivals, while the two- and one-tap systems are perfect for small-group tailgating, picnics, barbecues, etc. When you base your business around a commodity that’s always going to be in demand (beer!) you’re thinking like an entrepreneur.

4. Party Supplies

The possibilities in this category are as colorful as a fistful of confetti. Think about it: Most folks don’t have chocolate fountains and bouncy castles and bubble machines stowed away in their hallway closet (wait, you do? Can we come over?).

When it’s time to throw a shindig, people turn to vendors. Whether you want to specialize in one specific thing that generates income on its own (audio equipment, for example) or accumulate an inventory of supplies, this particular rental market has lots of flexibility—and opportunity. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Concessions machines (popcorn, cotton candy, snow cone, chocolate fountain, slushies/margaritas
  • Bouncy houses
  • Audio equipment
  • Smoke machines
  • Tents, tables, chairs
  • CO2 Tanks
  • Bubble machine
  • Karaoke machine
  • Interactive games

5. Party Character Rentals

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”— Zig Ziglar

Speaking of parties: Chuckle all you want at the idea of employing Spiderman or Snow White or SpongeBob Squarepants, but managing a party character rental company can mean serious business. After all, who can put a price on fulfilling the birthday dreams of little kids? (You can). If you’re already researching the idea of establishing a party supply rental business, character rentals can be a lucrative add-on to expand into down the road.

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6. Outdoor Activity/Sporting/Fitness Equipment

Wide open spaces…wide open possibilities! In this particular category, the best place to start is by considering the natural conditions of where you’re based. Wherever you are, there’s probably an activity that suits your surroundings. If you’re an outdoorsy type, this is a rewarding way to stay immersed in what you love, share your passion with other people, and bring in some extra income. Consider…

  • Near a river/lake: Fishing equipment
  • Near a snow resort: Ski/snowboard/snowshoeing/tubing gear
  • Near mountain range/rocky area: Climbing gear
  • Near an ocean: Surfboards/boogie boards/hand planes/wetsuits/snorkel gear
  • Near a national park: Hiking gear
  • Near sand dunes: Sandboards/sandsleds

7. Watercrafts

Speaking of you outdoorsy types, where there’s a body of water, there’s a (rental) way. If being out on the big blue puts a big ‘ol smile on your face, it’s time to float some ideas—think canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, standup paddle boards, and (our personal favorite) mega SUPs! Start small—a part-time business could get by with a livery of just five boats to begin with.

Take the time really refine your customer experience, nail down basic business operations, and separate yourself from the competition before expanding your inventory. Entrepreneur.com estimates the startup costs for this business are $10,000 – $50,000.

Tip: A few things to think about as you explore this possibility—read up on the rules and regulations of watercraft rentals in your state, on-water liability insurance, and look for an organization that can provide community and insight along your journey, such as the Stand Up Paddle Industry Association or the American Kayaking Association. This type of rental business can also be set up in several different operating formats.

Take time to refine your customer experience to separate yourself from your competition

8. Electric Scooters/Segways/e-Bikes

If you’ve got some mechanical aptitude and live near a highly-trafficked area that attracts a lot of tourists, renting out mopeds, Segways or electric bikes is a practical venture to consider. These types of vehicles are comfortable, user-friendly and just plain fun, making them appealing to a variety of people and thus broadening your customer base. Scooter tours are very popular in vacation spots and adult playgrounds like Las Vegas and Hawaii, and Segways remain a popular tourism staple in tech hubs like Austin and San Francisco. If you’re looking to get started quickly, do a little research into franchise opportunities that could give your business a fast track to earnings, profits and growth.

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Tip: Reach out to someone who owns a scooter, Segway or e-bike rental business in an area that won’t be competitive with your business. The business owner might be more inclined to give you some tips and advice on getting started.

9. ATVs

ATV’s, or all-terrain vehicles, are popular all over the country, from the woods of New York to the lush expanses of Hawaii. And while they present some startup challenges, they offer exhilarating appeal for tourists who really want to get immersed in their surroundings. eHow points out that the best spot for renting ATVs is “close to designated off-road areas or back country recreational locations where the machines are allowed. Check with the state or federal agency that manages the area to determine what permits or licenses are required if you operate within the boundaries of the park or national forest.”

10. Photo Booths

If you’ve been to a wedding in the past sevenish-ish years, you know that photo booths are as much a staple as the DJ, the cake, the bouquet toss, and that one weird uncle from Minnesota who makes an awkward speech. The photo booth fad doesn’t appear to be fading out of the picture anytime soon, which makes it a promising side gig to explore—especially if you value flexibility and fun.

Some photo booth operators say they rake in about $100 an hour gross profit before taxes are accounted for. This entrepreneur says he makes about $1,000 for working two events in one weekend. Downside? It can dig into your social life, since most weddings and corporate events take place on weekends.

Tip: To see what kind of return on investment you could get, check out this nifty calculator designed specifically for photo booth operators.

11. GoPros & Accessories Tripods/Rigs/Harnesses To Go With Them

Offering GoPros, and all the cool doo-dads to go with them (drones, harnesses, mounts, floating hand grips, etc.) is a great way to cater to thrill-seeking adventurers who want to document and share their excursions on social media. And while the hardcore Shaun White types probably have an arsenal of their own photography goodies, this GoPro rental business rightly points out that “renting a GoPro is the cheapest option for recording HD action video without buying expensive equipment.”

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12. Glamping or Camping Gear

There are two types of people in this world: People who camp, and people who don’t camp, but tag along every once in awhile because they were invited, and don’t own so much as a headlamp or sleeping bag. The latter is your meal ticket. This rental model is especially viable if you (1) live near a popular camping destination, or (2) live in a big city where people are inclined to get out of town and spend a week in the wilderness. Granted, you’ll be competing with big names like REI and Sports Basement, but there’s plenty of room for competition! Keep in mind: Quality/cleanliness of gear, and allowing your customers to conveniently check out items online will be hugely important to the success of your business.

13. Bikes

A bike rental business is a smart option if you live in an area with extensive bike trails (Cape Cod, for example, is an area with loads of bike tourism).Think about what kinds of add-ons you can offer to boost sales: tag-alongs or trailers for the kiddos, strollers, dog trailers, and fat bikes for the winter (if you live in an area with snow) are all things to consider. You can even put together packages that includes refreshments and a round-trip shuttle pickup/drop-off.

14. Cake Stand Rentals

Look at all the blingy bling on these cake stands! Elevate the Cake saw a market for this and went for it, pointing out that “since hundreds of dollars are often spent on the cake, why have it displayed on cardboard, plastic, or nothing at all?” Not only that, who wants to buy a cake stand if they’re only going to use once?

No question about it: The best work is the kind you enjoy. Nothing delights us more than when we partner with a client who turned their passion into a business, like our friends at Elevate The Cake. Cake stands are actually a hot commodity in the wedding planning business, and your crafty designs can be the cornerstone of someone’s perfectly planned nuptials. Seriously—the fact that there is an Internet article called “a guide to wedding cake stands” proves there’s a market for this kind of thing. Bottom line: If there’s something you love to make, don’t rule out the possibility that someone might want to rent it!

15. Pipe Rentals

The legalization of recreational marijuana in several U.S. states has created a new market for cannabis enthusiasts.

And remember…

A number of the aforementioned business models can also be set up in several different operating formats, so consider the following, as it could influence what type of rental idea you ultimately decide to pursue. Consider if you’d rather…

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  • Supply rentals to hotels, and split the revenue
  • Operate the rental business from a rented location (e.g. even if you don’t own waterfront property, that doesn’t mean you can’t operate a watercraft rental business)
  • Run the rental business directly out of your home and advertise that people can pick up directly from you, or that you’ll deliver the gear to a pre-arranged location

*****

Starting your own rental business can be one of the most challenging—and rewarding—things you ever decide to take on. For every step of the way, there’s a wealth of resources out there to help you succeed.

FAQs

What are the most rented things? ›

The Top 10 Most Rented Items in 2022
  • Bikes. ...
  • Party equipment and inflatables. ...
  • Camping and hiking equipment. ...
  • Tools and Construction Equipment. ...
  • Suits and Wedding Dresses. ...
  • Water sports equipment. ...
  • Winter sports equipment. ...
  • Toys and baby equipment.
27 Jul 2021

What is your business idea? ›

What is a business idea? Broken down, a business idea is the reason for setting up a firm. It drives everything about the company, from what products and services are offered to how these products are marketed. This idea doesn't need to be unique, but it must have the potential to capture part of its target market.

What business has the most return? ›

Service businesses such as those offered by lawyers, dentists, accountants, physicians and employment services firms, were among industries that topped the list. Auto repair, advertising and public relations firms, home health care and food trucks/carts also ranked among the 15 industries with the highest ROE.

How do you make yourself stand out for a rental? ›

Six ways to make your rental application stand out
  1. Be thorough. It is important to fill out your application as honestly and thoroughly as possible. ...
  2. Treat your application like a resume. ...
  3. Source written references. ...
  4. Prioritise presentation. ...
  5. Include a cover letter. ...
  6. Prepare a pet resume.
18 Oct 2021

What items are worth renting? ›

Throughout the article, I'll mention several apps and websites that allow you to rent out various items. While those are ideal options, some sites allow you to rent out just about anything.
...
  • Storage Space. ...
  • Truck. ...
  • RV or Camper. ...
  • A Spare Room or Your House. ...
  • Kitchen. ...
  • House or Space (for Events) ...
  • Office Space. ...
  • Parking Space.
18 Apr 2022

What is the most common type of rental? ›

Fixed-term lease

This is probably the most common type of residential lease, and guarantees your tenancy (and your monthly rental cost) for a set period of time—for example, six months, a year, or two years.

What are the 10 business ideas? ›

Best Small Business Ideas
  • Handyman. Image Source. ...
  • Woodworker. ...
  • Online Dating Consultant. ...
  • Sewing and Alteration Specialist. ...
  • Freelance Developer. ...
  • Personal Trainer. ...
  • Freelance Graphic Designer. ...
  • Life/ Career Coach.
20 Apr 2022

What are 10 small businesses? ›

10 most popular small businesses. What you need to get started.
...
10 Most Popular Small Businesses (2022)
  • Health Care and Virtual Medicine. ...
  • Accommodation and Food Services. ...
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Crafts. ...
  • Personal Trainers (online) ...
  • Site building and web design. ...
  • Local Auto Repairs. ...
  • Secondhand (Online) Stores. ...
  • Pet services.
24 Jan 2021

What are 5 possible ideas to create a business? ›

10 Great Ways to Generate Business Ideas
  • Start with family. ...
  • Get a little help from your friends. ...
  • Look at all the things that bug you. ...
  • Tap your interests. ...
  • Travel. ...
  • Keep your eyes open. ...
  • Examine old mousetraps -- then build a better one. ...
  • Take it to the streets.
19 Nov 2004

What is the best business to start as a woman? ›

10 Best Side Business Ideas for Women in 2022
  1. Tiffin Services/Food Business. Tiffin/food services is a good option for women who love to cook and would love to turn their passion for cooking into a business. ...
  2. Pet Grooming/Training. ...
  3. Yoga Instructor. ...
  4. Clothes Business.

What businesses make lots of money? ›

  • Financial Services.
  • Eldercare.
  • Business Consultancy.
  • Investment Firm.
  • Education and Training Service.
  • Insurtech.
  • Cleaning Business.
  • Healthcare Consultancy.
11 May 2022

Which business is best to start for beginners? ›

The Ultimate Small Business Ideas List
  • Virtual Assistant. ...
  • Childcare. ...
  • Social Media Consultant. ...
  • Instagram Influencer. ...
  • Etsy Seller. ...
  • Dog Walking Business. ...
  • Event Planning Business. ...
  • Hairdresser.
23 Dec 2021

What is the most profitable business to start in 2022? ›

What's the Most Profitable Business to Start in 2022?
  1. 22 Profitable Businesses to Start in 2022. ...
  2. Ecommerce Business. ...
  3. Dropshipping Business. ...
  4. Vacation or Home Rental. ...
  5. Online Courses. ...
  6. Bookkeeping or Accounting Services. ...
  7. Graphic Design Business. ...
  8. Digital Agency.
15 Aug 2022

What is the cheapest most profitable business to start? ›

The Best Low-Cost Business Ideas with High Profit Margins
  • Blogging. Starting your own blog is one of the best online business ideas around. ...
  • Affiliate Marketing. ...
  • Dropshipping. ...
  • Selling Online Courses. ...
  • Amazon FBA. ...
  • Become a Social Media Influencer. ...
  • Podcasting. ...
  • Airbnb.
3 days ago

What businesses will thrive in 2022? ›

Industries to consider for business ideas in 2022
  • Sustainability. ...
  • Pet services. ...
  • Fitness. ...
  • Digital events and conferences. ...
  • Home improvement. ...
  • Freelancer support.
11 Oct 2021

Will rentals make you rich? ›

Yes, you can get rich as a landlord. You can go broke, too. And in between those two extremes, you can find yourself dealing with a bunch of problems like leaking roofs, non-paying tenants, and economic downturns. The risks of building wealth with real estate are substantial.

How much profit do most landlords make? ›

In general, landlords can expect to earn a healthy return on their investment. Most landlords earn a gross income of between $15,000 and $50,000 per year for a single-family home. This means that after expenses, the average landlord earns a net income of between $5,000 and $20,000 per year.

Whats a good profit on a rental? ›

In terms of profitability, one guideline to use is the 2% rule of thumb. It reasons that if your rent is 2% of the purchase price, you are more likely to generate positive cash flow. But the market drives rental prices, so you'll have to do your research to determine what you're able to rent for in the neighborhood.

How profitable are rental companies? ›

The profit margins of a rental business will greatly differ depending on the type of business you're establishing. For example, profit margins on cycle hire can be anywhere between 60-70%. On the other hand, party rental businesses have lower profit margins, with averages being estimated at 40-50%.

How do renters get rich? ›

Get rich as a renter: 5 ways to build wealth without buying a...
  1. Take advantage of reduced pandemic rents. Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock. ...
  2. Find better investments than homeownership. ...
  3. Use the money you save to pay down debt. ...
  4. Invest in yourself. ...
  5. Shop around for deals.
23 Oct 2021

How can I make enough money to rent? ›

Here are 18 quick ways I've made money to pay rent when money is tight:
  1. Teach a skill that you've mastered to others. ...
  2. Drive for Uber and/or Lyft. ...
  3. Put a room in your house on Airbnb. ...
  4. Build a social media brand. ...
  5. Go through your old things and sell them. ...
  6. Pickup jobs on Fiverr. ...
  7. Dog walker/sitter.
9 Jan 2018

How do landlords get rich? ›

Real Estate Value Growth

By taking advantage of the property's value growth, the landlords can amass wealth. You are the legal owner of a physical rental property with equity. The population expansion, market trends, and price inflation all contribute to an increase in your property's value.

How much monthly profit should you make on a rental property? ›

This is a quick and easy tool to help investors evaluate the potential of a property. The 1% rule says that the amount grossed through monthly rent should be at least 1% of the final property purchase price.

How much income do most landlords require? ›

In general, landlords want your monthly income (or the combined monthly income of everyone living in the rental) to equal at least three times the rent. So that same $2,500 apartment would require you to earn $7,500 monthly, or $90,000 annually.

How many properties does a full time landlord need? ›

In order to live comfortably without maintaining a second job, you'll likely need to have a number of properties – perhaps five or more, depending on your equity in the properties and where you've set the rent.

Is owning a rental property worth it? ›

Rental properties generate recurring income meaning you won't have to put out too much effort to maintain it. It can be an excellent way to ensure financial security before you retire, or just have extra money in the bank. This is especially true if you plan to buy an apartment building as a rental investment.

What is the average cash flow on a rental property? ›

The Bottom Line

Keep in mind, when it comes to real estate cash flow, calculating your expenses and rental property income will be your number one key to success. Anything around 7% or 8% is the average ROI. However, if you'd really like to succeed, you should always aim higher at around 15%.

What is the 2% rule in real estate? ›

The 2% rule states that the monthly rent for an investment property should be equal to or no less than 2% of the purchase price. Here's an example of the 2% rule for a home with the purchase price of $150,000: $150,000 x 0.02 = $3,000.

How can I grow my rental business? ›

6 Ways to Grow Your Rental Business Without Breaking the Bank
  1. Identify your Target Markets. ...
  2. Don't Underestimate Operating Costs. ...
  3. Tackle Capital Expenditure Needs Up Front. ...
  4. Find a Reliable Financing Partner. ...
  5. Find a good Property Manager. ...
  6. Keep Meticulous Records.
6 Oct 2016

Is rent a good business? ›

The advantages of owning a rental property are few but it will be very much powerful. If everything is done well then one can make a lot of money from this business. And nowadays it is a wise business for an entrepreneur because most peoples search for apartment rentals.

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