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Adding linens to your rental business
Adding Linens to a Rental Business
As a rental facility owner, you may have been renting everything from backhoes to tables to helium tanks for years. Now, you have decided to take the plunge and offer your customers table linens. Where do you go from here?
The best strategy is to look at it like building a house--from the bottom up. You need to start with a solid foundation of black, white and ivory linens for “standard” banquet tables. It will be necessary to stock a variety of round and rectangular cloths with both lap length and floor length options. There are plenty of reference charts available to guide you in the calculation of cloth size for each table size. Click here for our table linen size chart. You will see that some cloth sizes have multiple uses. For example, a 90” round can be used as a floor length cloth on a 30” standard height cake table or as a lap length cloth on a 60” round table. Any time you can use a cloth for more than one table size, that’s a bonus!
When the foundation is built with your white, black or ivory undercloths, you may move onto accent colors in table runners, overlays and napkins. This is where you can get yourself into trouble. Just because you have one mother of the bride demanding canary yellow polka dots to match her daughter’s “vision” that she saw on Pinterest, does not mean you have to order in a batch of cloths you may only rent one time. On the other hand, you will encounter your customers following color trends often originating in fashion or home decor. You also must think of your clientele. If the local high school’s colors are navy and gold, then it may make sense to stock some napkins and runners in these colors.
Your linen supplier can also offer you some advice. They are connected to other rental companies across the country and are sitting on a wealth of knowledge that you can benefit from. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Storage and laundry are also a large consideration. Will you be washing the linens in house, or using an outside service? Will you need to rent storage space? As with any new business, there are many questions that need to be answered. The great thing about adding linens to an already existing rental business, is that you can start small and work your way up. No need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars right off the bat. Test the waters with your initial purchase and make sure that linen rental is right for you. However, it has been my experience that as long as you are smart with your acquisitions, there is an excellent chance that adding linens to your line will increase your revenue.