Technical-ish rental ideas?
July 30, 2007 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Unusual/technical-ish corporate rental business ideas/inspiration?

Where can I look to find inspiration for innovative corporate rental business ideas. For example, I know there are businesses that rent party equipment, like chairs and tables, for corporate events. And services that rent office furniture, cubicles, etc. And of course there are things like moonbounces and carnival rides that might be considered rentals for parties.

But aside from these things, and things like copiers, coffee machines, and water dispensers, where in the world can I find inspiration for other types of products that businesses night need, on an occasional basis, but may be more interested in renting periodically, that buying outright?

For example, I used to know someone that rented AVID non-linear editing systems to movie studios, then got into the movie lighting business (cheaper to rent lighting equipment in San Francisco than ship your own there if your warehouse is in NYC).

I have IT skills, so ideas could be technical-ish.
posted by pallen123 to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm in the audio-visual industry and I know there is a whole, very profitable segment of the business that focuses solely on rentals (projectors, plasmas, speakers, microphones etc.).
posted by The Gooch at 10:09 AM on July 30, 2007

Think about services too - not just products. I saw a profile on TV a while back about a company that does holiday decorations for businesses, office buildings and wealthy individuals.
posted by COD at 11:03 AM on July 30, 2007

I could have been clearer above...the company is renting holiday decorations, and getting paid for design, set up and take down of the decorations.
posted by COD at 11:10 AM on July 30, 2007

Disclaimer: I'm not in the industry.

I think the way to "find inspiration" would be to spend a lot of time in/at/with local businesses and see what they have but don't use all the time. The things stuffed in a corner.

Spending time in/at/with businesses would also help you to understand exactly how it's used, so you could market/promote it better. ("This is a big computer monitor" could become, "These 30-inch monitors always attract a crowd at events. There's no better way to let people try your software app than to have it on one of these.")

I wouldn't be surprised if computers/peripherals were common rentals items. A company might want to verify that their pages look right on Macs, or might want some additional horsepower for a short period, or so forth. But that's just speculation. I suppose a good deal of it's leased anyway.
posted by fogster at 11:16 AM on July 30, 2007

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