Tapprs rental as a business

‘Why do you want to get into equipment rentals?’

A financially savvy friend of mine asked me.

Few of you might know that I handle Tapprs as a hobby venture.

Equipment rental, esp dealing with equipment like photography gear is

  • a high risk business and equipment damages can hurt returns
  • is dependent on volumes and return per rental activity is small
  • is capital intensive (to make more money, you need to pump in more and buy more equipment)
  • break even period is about 75-100 days worth of rental which in calendar terms could work out to more than a year for a very successful rental shop and could take 3 years for those that aren’t as successful. In 3 years, the equipment could fall out of favor from the user crowd.

My friend knew well that I hated capital intensive businesses and those that depend on volumes.

My answer is – I don’t think of Tapprs as a good business idea.

It is a hobby! I like travel and photography and hence wanted to do something related to it. The answer is Tapprs.  It is more of an experiment and I am loving the lessons I am learning from it… even though I know it will never be  a full blown business venture.

I own a lot of equipment and I rent out those. I don’t think I will buy any equipment just to rent it out. Whatever I want to use, I will buy. And those.. will also fall into the rental pool. Hopefully, it will bring down my ownership cost.  I am quite willing to face the possibility of losing any equipment due to rental damage.

My original idea was to start a platform where people could rent out their stuff  to others. However, I didn’t find many people who were willing to rent their photography equipment. And then there were other challenges. So, I dropped that idea for the time being and just put my own stuff on rent.

But I would not allocate funds to sustain or run it as a business. I know I am better off investing the same in equities.

However, I think a photography & travel equipment rental is an excellent value added service that a travel shop or a photography related business can run. Of course, the rental business will have to be subsidized by the main business. Well, I am not sure I will get into one… but you never know.

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