A Guest Post by Megan Ray Nichols
For small business owners, purchasing your own equipment can help you become more successful, but at a great cost. Depending on the needs of your company, you may find yourself in debt trying to obtain all of the equipment you need to succeed. Renting, however, can help alleviate some of those expenses. Let’s take a closer look at the commercial benefits of equipment rental.
1. Lower Initial Costs
Purchasing equipment for commercial applications represents a significant investment. Small businesses may find themselves taking out loans or going into debt to manage these costs while ensuring they have everything they need to get the job done.
Renting equipment provides lower initial costs because business owners can obtain the items they need to keep their business moving forward without going over budget. In some cases, financing can be less expensive than rental costs, especially if interest rates are low. However, opting to rent a piece of equipment can help keep costs lower over the long-term while still allowing you to complete any necessary tasks.
2. Saves Money on Infrequently Used Items
Rentals are ideal for items or pieces of equipment that you need for a specific task or job but might not use frequently. Take a closer look at how often you use a particular piece of equipment. If you use it more than 60-70% of the time, buying the piece is going to be more cost-effective than renting. If it’s something you only pull out of storage three or four times a year, renting is the best way to save money while still ensuring you have everything you need on hand to meet the needs of your clients.
3. Often Gives Access to the Newest Equipment
While buying used equipment is an option, it never gives you access to the newest and best equipment on the market. You’ll always be working with something that’s a year or more out of date. While it might get the job done, it’s not going to be the most efficient tool in your arsenal.
Rental companies often pride themselves on offering top-of-the-line options for you to rent and have the means to replace those items when they start to become obsolete. You may not even rent the same piece twice if it’s one that tends to get upgraded multiple times per year. If you want to ensure you always have the newest and most advanced equipment on hand, renting is likely the way to go.
4. Protected Against Loss or Disaster
Most rental companies maintain insurance policies on each piece of equipment that goes out. While you might have your own on-site policies, these policies protect you against loss or natural disaster — essentially protecting you from having to pay the full cost of the equipment if something happens that isn’t your fault. This doesn’t cover misuse or things you could have prevented, such as having an untrained operator behind the wheel, but it means you aren’t at risk if something goes wrong that you have no control over.
There’s no way you can control things like wildfires or hurricanes or earthquakes. As a business owner, you shouldn’t put yourself in the position where one of these unpredictable and unavoidable natural disasters will leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars in damages.
5. Not Responsible for Maintenance
One of the best money-saving perks of renting equipment rather than buying it is that you’re not responsible for maintenance and upkeep. If it breaks down, you can have the rental company pick it up and bring you a new one. If it needs regular maintenance to keep it moving, it’s usually not your responsibility unless it’s specifically outlined in your rental agreement.
For equipment that uses fuel, you will likely be responsible for keeping it fueled, and that should factor into the cost of the rental when you’re doing your calculations. Beyond that, most rental companies will maintain their equipment while you’re utilizing it.
When to Rent
When should you consider renting equipment instead of buying it?
Take a look at your budget and your needs. If you’re only using a piece of equipment once or twice a year, but it’s necessary to complete certain jobs, renting is the most cost-effective option because you won’t have to repair or maintain an item you barely use.
If you are just starting out in your industry or don’t have the capital to buy new equipment, rentals give you access to top-of-the-line items without the massive initial investment. In that way, it ends up being better than even buying used equipment because rental companies prefer to keep their inventory as up-to-date as possible.
Renting something you use every day isn’t the most cost-effective option, but in many situations, rentals end up saving you money in the long run. Consider that before you take out a loan or finance a new piece of equipment.