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Need some feedback on my business

Discussion in 'Planning Your Business' started by Zappino, May 12, 2015.

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  1. Zappino

    Zappino Entrepreneur

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    Hi,

    I started a camera rental company almost a year now. Its a home-based business. The idea is to fund my hobby which is photography while getting some income from renting out my various lenses and camera. I know there is a market cause there are a few bigger players in the local market. I just want a small slice of that market(~$1000/mth). I have advertised on facebook and google ad. Although I get constant visits to my website, I dont get that many queries. Is there a problem with my business idea? I have undercut the whole market but I don't get that constant stream of rentals that I was hoping I would get. If not, I may just sell off all my inventory and try to recoup most of the costs. Any insights?
     

  2. Twista Tom

    Twista Tom Entrepreneur

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    Do what you love to do.I think you are in the right path mate. You know there is always huge competition of any business but if you come up with new idea then it will pop up very quickly. Just focus on your main business and develop a new unique idea which people love or which people need. You can also offer a gift to your customer for doing a free survey. By this way you can able to generate new ideas. I suggest you to do SEO beside Facebook campaign. I wish you a good luck and hope you'll prosper very quickly.
     
  3. Zappino

    Zappino Entrepreneur

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    thanx Tom.. will look into SEO part.
     
  4. KerBel

    KerBel Entrepreneur

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    Hi, I really like your camera rental company idea as I myself love making short films in my free time. If this is something you are very passionate about I would say to keep going at it. Business always starts slow at the beginning, but overtime you will gain more recognition as your clientele grows.

    I see that you stated that you promote your company online with ads, but what about offline promotion? Do you have business cards that you can hand out to potential clients locally? What helped me promote my design services was usually spreading the word to people that I meet locally.
     
  5. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Entrepreneur

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    Hello there, @Zappino! I actually like your business idea, and since photography is what you're passionate about, then just go for it and do it. Just like what KerBel has already mentioned, do a little bit of offline advertising as well. Give out business cards and flyers to people. That might be of help to your business. Best of luck! :)
     
  6. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Entrepreneur

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    Since photography is your hobby and you had invested in various cameras and lenses already then it is a nice idea that you had ventured in this kind of camera equipment rental business. It is also a good idea if you will offer or advertise your products and services in the newspaper or through online marketing. You can also make your own website for your business. Try to reach out to your possible customers or clients like those who are planning to celebrate various occasions like birthday parties, weddings, graduation,school programs and company events. But be sure to give them a nice rental agreement and pricing that they can afford. I hope that I had gave some insights and more power to your business!
     
  7. Pop

    Pop Entrepreneur

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    So how do people book and collect the equipment? It may be that it is too difficult to get people to make that booking, it should be automated and easy. It may also be the place they need to go for pickup is too out of the way or not a safe and easy feeling location.

    The only really good market I can think of is photographers who might be thinking of investing in expensive equipment but want to try it first. Casual users will lack the necessary skills and basic equipment is simply already rather cheap or a similar quality of product can be achieved with a smart phone camera.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
  8. Jade

    Jade Entrepreneur

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    What do you have as collateral if they break or steal your equipment?
     
  9. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Entrepreneur

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    Local businesses competing with big box retailers has been around for a while now. I do not recommend cutting prices, rather meet their prices. Local businesses always have an upper hand when they incorporate a higher standard of customer support as well. Step up your personal presence with personal contact by phone and in person. Be a salesman.
     
    Nancy likes this.
  10. Al Z

    Al Z Business Owner Entrepreneur

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    Zappino
    Your's is an interesting and clever idea. If you are like me and thousands of other small business owners out there, you wonder why you are getting alot of "hits", but a limited amount of "sales". I have found that potential customers who are interested in your business really decide to buy if you offer a discount or actually have a "sale" on your goods or services. The past few years I have held a Superbowl Sale during the week of the big game. Usually 10% off certain items, or maybe 15% savings if you buy 2 items. A good website is a goldmine if you have people coming and going and visiting your site often. I put my new Weebly website up a year ago in January and I have 21,000 hits. A "buy it now" button and easy PAYPAL checkout for your products makes it easy for customers when purchasing your product. With your camera/lense rental business, maybe you should try a local newspaper add with a first time user discount. Tell people why your new macro lenses are the best available. Rent first and try it out before you decide to buy, etc. I wish you the best in your business venture. Al Z
     
  11. CousinSteve

    CousinSteve Entrepreneur

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    I agree that your lenses need to be easy for the customer to collect and return. Are there local colleges, universities or high schools in your area? They often have photography clubs with poor students who can afford to rent but not buy. Get some business cards made up and hand them out. You can also find online info about local photography groups or clubs where people will meet up and go to a location(s) to shoot. Have your camera gear with you and just happen to bump into them, strike up a conversation and hand some cards out. I'd also make up a website and describe your lenses, maybe show what they can do, and hopefully include some good customer testimonials about the quality of your equipment, service, etc.
     
  12. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Business Owner Entrepreneur

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    I do not know anything about the camera industry so I could not tell you how it is doing. However, like mentioned, there are really big companies that are working with the mass of clients. I am not sure how well rent does but that is because I have never heard of doing so.

    Also, as far as getting quality traffic and more inquiries, posting on Facebook and having Google ads or even SEO work done is not enough to just start making money. You need to do some research on how your competition is advertising. You need to make sure that your advertising to the write people/market or your just throwing money down the toilet. You may even want to contact businesses in high traffic areas that get a nice amount of customers and see if they will allow you to hang or pass out fliers. You can skip contacting other camera companies as they will not allow you to do so but maybe restaurants will, for example! Good Luck:)
     
  13. Flintrock

    Flintrock Business Owner Entrepreneur

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    One thought would be to directly contact photographers in your area. The smaller the better. You may have a wedding photographer out there that is just starting out and cannot afford the equipment they would really like and would prefer to rent it.

     
  14. Goldstandard89

    Goldstandard89 Entrepreneur

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    You should try focusing on film and photography students who can't afford to buy the real thing, especially if your prices are really low. Try sending out an email to colleges to see if the teachers will offer it to their students. I know art teachers know how expensive it is to be a student and will pass it on to their students and other teachers. I think shrinking your niche might help focus your business might help you. I would also be prepared to go bigger because it's a great idea and could be very profitable.
     
  15. j1984

    j1984 Entrepreneur

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    What about creating a course on something like udemy or teachable whereby you teach people how to use the correct technology and then market to these individuals who obviously have an interest in this area.

    Also I would probably create a 'premium' service, rather than a cut price as your profit margin does keep small in relation to the amount of sales you are doing.

    What about also offering your camera services to entrepreneurs who want to create advertisements to promote themselves and see if a discounted rate to them and their friends/family could yield you some profits.

    Hopefully that helps.
     
  16. ThoroughlyKey

    ThoroughlyKey Entrepreneur

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    To begin with, never be quick to do advertisements rather engage more in taking amazing photos with the different lens types. Secondly, now move to social media. You might even create a page on Facebook. All those amazing photos you took from different angles using different lenses, you may need to upload them on your page. Thirdly, you may now go into marketing whereby you may pay for your page to be sponsored by Facebook. Personally, I helped a friend do this and now he's really growing fast. You see many people care less about what equipment you have. They pay attention to the pictures/videos you will take. If you have good photos taken that's what matters to most of them.

    I hope this information has been helpful. :)
     
  17. Corazon

    Corazon Entrepreneur

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    Just a thought on this based on what I see. The camera is now a necessity in events particularly in formal occasions like weddings. But what I see is a team in covering the event - a camera and a photographer, some have 2 or 3 sets plus a director. My suggestion is to include a photographer in the rental. I'm sorry if it's not part of the culture but here it is a very lucrative business to rent out equipment that includes the operator, i.e. camera and photographer.
     

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