If you run a party rental business, the ideal is to become the first stop for anybody in your area who is planning an event. With the economy in trouble and people making cutbacks when it comes to luxury services, many party rental business owners are seeking out ways to become more competitive, and keep operating and marketing costs down.

Use your website to close more business

One of the first things that you should take a look at, if you want to make your party rental business more competitive, is the offerings on your website. Does your site make it easy for potential customers to see if you offer the rental service they need? Does it give them an opportunity to place an order online? Many small businesses have very limited websites that only provide a few photographs and some contact information. To give your party rental business an advantage over your local competitors, offer a website that gives customers all of the information they need to choose you on your site.

An online catalog can be set up cheaply and easily, and you don’t need any special IT skills to do this. This will make a marked difference – people looking for services online will be far more likely to choose an option where they can pick out everything they need and book it right there. It is easier for them, and it is easier for you too – you can take bookings automatically rather than dealing with inquiries and giving quotes over the phone all the time, only for some of them not to lead to an actual order.

The best way to implement an online catalog is to use third party software – you can even get specifically designed party rental software which will manage this for you, as well as integrating other important areas of your business, such as customer management.

Don’t let past customers look elsewhere

Apart from people who organize events professionally, a lot of party rental customers may only use these kind of services once a year, or even less. This can mean that no matter how great a service you provide, they may not remember who they used the next time they need a party rental company. To make your business more competitive, you need to keep in touch with the people you do business with. Make sure you keep records of your customers’ email addresses, and send occasional mailers out to them with news or offers. This will help keep your brand fresh in their minds, giving them no reason to ever look elsewhere.

Another way to keep in touch with your customer base is to provide a Twitter account they can follow and a Facebook page they can join. People will be happy to do this if your social media accounts provide interesting and fun updates, as well as promotional messages.

Using party rental software that includes a customer relationship management system will make it easy to keep track of communications with past and potential customers.

Maximize ROI on your marketing budget

Make sure that any money you spend on advertising or promotions is getting the right result. Whether you run advertising campaigns in local press or online using things like Google AdSense or Facebook Ads, make sure you have an effective way to monitor the return on your investment. Online advertising forms are easy to track, but with others, you may need to implement something like a quick customer satisfaction survey that also asks how people found out about you. Free marketing forms, such as through your Twitter feed, will of course always have a positive ROI because they don’t have a monetary cost.