How to Run a Kayak Rental Business – Part 1

This blog will help act as a guide to anybody considering starting their own kayak and canoe rental business. It will throw up questions if the business is a right match for your skill sets and whether you are suited to it.

The day-to-day running of any rental business is quite similar but a kayak and canoe rental business has its own nuances, the type of market it serves, its growth potential, the costs associated with starting the business, legal considerations and so on.

The Business Overview

Let’s step back a second and look at the business as a whole, there are many reasons why people should want to hire a craft. Perhaps they do not own a kayak of their own or want to go paddling when their own boat is not available. A kayak and canoe rental business allow such people to rent crafts and go boating on local waterways, customers can rent by the hour or day, perhaps even longer.

Who Is Suited to a Rental Business

Firstly owners have to be fairly fit and be able to move boats around on and off the water, they must also have in depth knowledge of kayaking to give instructions to novices.

A Typical Day

Similar to any rental business, the kayak and canoe rental business has its busiest times at the start of the day renting boats out and at the end when customers are bringing them back in again. At the start of the day customers need to be given a boat, life jacket, paddle and instructed how to operate the craft and where it is safe to paddle. When the boats are returned the kayak and all the equipment need to be checked for damage and stored carefully for the next customer. This is an important part of the rental as customer service is crucial, make sure the renters had a good time, invite them to come back and also to tell all their friends about you and your business.

When not dealing directly with customers the rest of the day is usually spent looking after the boats and equipment so they are in good condition and last as long as they can.

What Is Your Target Market?

Basically, any kayak and canoe renting company have two kinds of customers. Rental businesses in large towns or cities normally rent out to people who do not have their own kayak, these types of rentals are normally short time. The second market are rental business based in the countryside, these businesses typically hire craft out for longer periods of time to holiday makers who want to take trips down stream or across a lake to camp. Both markets can be lucrative if you set your business up correctly and address all the issues needed to run a profitable business.

In part two of this blog we look at some of the business issues that need to be addressed so you as the owner can make money and earn a living out of renting kayaks and canoes, and more importantly enjoy doing so.