How TheRentalGuys.ca is Changing the Equipment Rental Landscape
Longtime entrepreneur Chris Clark started a lawn care company of his own back in 2000. That company, Peaks and Valleys Landscaping, is still under his management today, but now he's also the president of TheRentalGuys.ca, one of the earliest online-only equipment rental companies. Founded in 2013, this innovative Calgary-based business benefited from Clark's knowledge of the rental market when it comes to tools and equipment.
Just one bad experience involving a petty dispute over a $75 tool rental led Clark to realize there had to be a better way. During that incident, he became frustrated by the time and inconvenience involved in the traditional rental process. As a contractor, he also knew the drive to and from a rental place was costing him both time and money and decided there had to be a way to simplify and streamline the rental process while bringing it into the digital age.
His vision was an ordering solution completely online that had customized websites on the front end and software designed to boost the customer's experience on the back end. Clark knew there was no out-of-the-box solution for a fast and efficient rental transaction that happened entirely online, so his first challenge was getting a new system developed to accommodate his vision. His next obstacle was getting top suppliers to understand his entirely new concept, which is something Clark said was not easy. However, he was able to get some top suppliers on board, including Skyjack, Kubota and Bobcat, and since then, TheRentalGuys.ca has expanded its offerings to include everything from small tools to shipping containers.
With those two hurdles cleared, things began to fall into place for the new company. Its first breakthrough was the introduction of 24/7 booking online for customers. Homeowners and customers immediately responded to the convenience of this option as it allowed them to book outside of typical business hours. The next move was getting customers to pay for rentals when they are booked because it improved cash flow and reduced administrative tasks for Clark's company.
Clark soon realized that his next goal was addressing inventory control, as both he and the customers would need to know which equipment was available and when, so online availability calculators were added to the website. Deciding there was more to be done, TheRentalGuys.ca website was completely re-designed to add more back-end tools to help with delivery planning and pickup and to better monitor the sales and utilization of equipment.
Despite all the effort put into the online platform, TheRentalGuy.ca's first sale took place over the phone in the summer of July 2014 before the website was finished. Now years later, Clark and his team of five at the head office in Calgary are still working to improve the website and software based on customer feedback and needs.
Clark says that many people thought he would never be able to change the rental industry for equipment, but luckily, his customers didn't agree. Much of the client satisfaction stems from the fact that this rental company offers free delivery and pickup seven days a week. A rental transaction averages just 90 seconds to complete, including selection, availability times, costs, delivery and billing.
When independent rental operators started taking note of TheRentalGuys.ca and began inquiring about joining the team, Clark decided to launch a franchise business. The first franchise location was in Mississauga, Ontario, with a second following in Guelph and a third opening just this past summer in Edmonton, Alberta.
The initial investment for this franchise opportunity ranges from $125,000 to $175,000, which gives franchisees access to the sophisticated software used by the online rental firm, its marketing strategies, and the buying of its collective buying group. The cost to invest varies by location depending on local population, size and other factors. Applicants don't need previous rental industry experience, and all franchisees attend Discovery Day in Calgary and undergo two weeks of training there. Continuing support and training are also available to all franchisees and employees.
Clark is predicting TheRentalGuys.ca will have six new locations by the third quarter of 2018 and that the hottest growth areas will be British Columbia and Ontario. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, visit them at BetheBoss.ca today.