Whether you are a small show or multi-locations event or party rental company, you manage to get through the chaotic day-to-day of the rental business without a problem. However, did you think about what could be automated from the day-to-day mundane tasks and small things that you are doing and how much time it will save? Did you give it though, how much extra growth can you generate given the extra time?
Given that you have proper Event Rental Software, there is a lot that can be automated. It will not only allow you to use the spare time for more sales or to nurture your leads and client quotes, but will allow for concentrated work since you will not have to worry about a lot of the small or large details, check if you followed up with client’s quote submission, added the new product to your event rental storefront website, or is it two weeks prior to the large event date that you need to collect additional information and get the final balance paid.
Let’s start with some basic automation that can get you to start thinking about bigger pieces!
Simple Event Rental Software Automation
For the sake of simplicity let’s assume your typical first contact with the client to the successful conclusion of the event rentals consists of the following steps:
- Create Quote – get initial inquiries, communicate with the potential client, and create the proposal to present to the client.
- Rental Agreement – Once the client approves the presented quote, move to the next phase and have the client sign a rental agreement
- Collect Initial Payment – Depending on your business process collect the deposit whether it is 25%, 50%, or another percentage of the total quote
- Convert Order – Finalize the quote and convert it to order so that the rental inventory is reserved for the client
- Delivery or Pickup – prepare and implement delivery including the setup and decoration or pack the items to get ready for will call
- Return – return your items back to the warehouse or process the return if the client is returning the items.
Given the above high-level process, here are some parts of it that can be automated to save time and make sure nothing is forgotten to be implemented.
Storefront Automation – Website Sync
It is always exciting to hear from a potential client and start preparing a quote. However, oftentimes it gets a bit tedious to present all the great inventory you carry, and what colors you have. This is where connecting your event rental software to your website for real-time automatic sync of all your inventory will save a lot of back and forth. Connecting our rental booking software to your website will ensure all your inventory is visible to your clients, as you add or remove rental inventory from your warehouse. It will also allow your client to submit a wishlist of items or if desired order directly on your website – which will ensure that the rental items ordered are available for a given date range.
It does not only save time but allows your client to look through every product, package, and service you offer and not have to go through a lot of back and forth via email, text messages, or phone calls which often becomes a reason for a lost sale.
No repetitive data entry is needed in the case you add more inventory as it appears on your website automatically once you add it to your event rental software. No frustration of not being able to show a product to your client while on the phone with the client because you did not have the time to add the products to the website as well…
Rental Agreement Automation
Once your client is ready to move forward with the quote you sent, you need to cover yourself and have a signed rental agreement. This is where, conventionally, you would have to prepare an agreement – which at the very least involves taking an existing agreement and personalizing it to the current client. This might not be a long process, but definitely is one of those that is almost always the same and could be automated with no issue.
The second you create a quote an event rental software will automatically attach the appropriate rental agreement to the quote, including client information, quote information, and anything else. All you have to do is click a button and send the agreement to the client to be signed electronically. Moreover, you can even take it a step further and configure your event rental software to automatically send the agreement to the client requesting a signature online.
Automatic Quote Expiration
Let’s imagine it did not go as planned and your client is not moving forward. After some time of radio silence, one deems the quote as no longer valid or need and there is a need to mark the quote as none actual – expired. This required consistently looking through the bucket of quotes and deciding if there is a chance to follow up and convert it to income or mark it as expired so it does not get in the way of all the other work that needs to be completed.
Having automation that marks the quotes expired and streamlines your pipeline so that you can concentrate on what will work is very important. Ideally, at the very minimum, an event rental software should automatically set the quote expiration date, send a reminder to the client automatically prior to the expiry date, and mark the quote as expired removing it from the potential conversations bucket list of your team.
There is a lot of time spent on measuring the company sales cycle, conversion rates, and KPI. What’s missing from the analytical works very often is what else is done to clear the way so that the KPIs can improve more. In other words, it is equally important to measure the work done for none conversions and optimize the process of lost sales as well so that more time can be spent on new quotes or current active ones.
Rental Tax Calculation
It is not easy to put together an accurate proposal for a client, that does not have any expertise in event rentals. The client always expects a response right there on the phone. The speed of getting back to a potential client from the initial seconds of the first contract has been a subject of research for many years now. The conclusion of which is quicker response generates drastically more sales than a slower one. There is even an industry of software solutions that helps you get back to your with a solution or simply an answer quicker than usual – of course, measuring how to speed affecs sales and it does!
Hence the reason you want to make sure you are able to quickly put together that proposal and send it to your client. One of the components of a quote is to calculate the tax and it is not always as simple as using the same tax rate across the board. Oftentimes, an event rental company might be located in an area that has different tax rates depending on the address the delivery is made to. This could happen because of operating on a border of two counties, states, or even in one small area with some unincorporated cities or even zip codes. As a result, two immediate neighbors could have different tax rates and be within the same zip code or to be more accurate within the same 50ft radius.
Finding tax rates for specific addresses might be time-consuming and lead to a mistake. Therefore, having a function within the same event rental software to automatically calculate tax rates based on the address is very helpful in this case and will allow getting back to your client in a timely manner.
Quote to Order Auto Convert – Reserve the Inventory the Second it is Booked
Usually, clients will show around, and ask for quotes from several event rental companies around their area. Thus, a rental company will get quote few quotes floating in their daily workflow. One of the key steps to ensuring proper quoting and inventory tracking is to reserve the products once the quote is approved and the deposit is paid. What happens most of the time is the person who provided the quote will convert it to an order once they hear from their client and collect payment. This is yet another step that is very simple and can absolutely be automated depending on conditions such as a signed agreement, paid a deposit or full payment.
What will help is if your event rental software will automatically convert a quote to an order once a set of proper conditions is met. This is crucial nowadays especially because a client pays online or signs the agreement electronically – possibly after rental companies’ business hours. Imagine you sent a few quotes out at the end of the day, come tomorrow you just arrived at the office and got a call from a potential client looking to rent for a large event. In order for you to be able to answer simple inventory availability questions, you will first need to check if anyone from yesterday’s quotes replied with approval. This will take time and spot the initial conversation you are having with a client. Having your booking software solution help with some things like this will benefit the bottom line of your business.
Automation could be scary, however, there are many simple tasks yet time-saving that could be automated without second thoughts. It will help any operation concentrate on what’s important and creative, and not allow anything to fall through the cracks during busy days.
Rentopian is all about adding automation like a team behind the scene helping you get more done. Schedule a demo to learn more about the automation Rentopian can provide!