Why I started a Party Rental Business
One of the most common questions I get is why did you start a bouncy castle business? Or how did you come up with that business idea? Well, I can thank my mother-in-law for the idea. She was running a day care at the time and was planning a year end party for the kids. She mention she wanted to rent an inflatable for the kids. I asked her why she didn’t just buy one and rent it out? Later that night the idea festered in my head and I started my Google searching. I approached my wife with the idea and she thought I was crazy. We agreed on buying one bouncy castle with all of our savings.
This was one of the best decisions on my life!
Was it difficult starting a bouncy castle business?
We started www.ashleesevents.com in September 2011. At the time it was originally called “Ashlee’s Bouncy Castles”. I came up with the name because of two reasons:
- My wife’s name starts with the letter “A” which in phone books meant that it would appear at the top of the list (I know old school thinking)
- I was actually embarrassed at the idea being a 21 year old male planning a bouncy castle business. So I thought putting a females name would be better.
At the time of opening the business I was an employee for East Side Mario’s here in Brantford, Ontario. I was making approximately $10.25 per hour. When we finally received our bouncy castle I put up an AD on Kijiji “Bouncy Castle for Rent for $100”. We had people message us and call our house phone. Which I was scared to answer at the time since it was my first time running a business. Eventually we got our first booking for $100 and this created a life long addiction to being an entrepreneur. In my head I would calculate I could work at East Side Mario’s all day making 80 dollars or I could set up one bouncy castle and make 100 dollars for 2 hours of work. I became obsessed and only thought about bouncy castles and inflatables. I would non stop study small business management and how to make a better money making business.
What would you have done differently?
Thankfully my wife and I started this business at an early age. At the time we both had full time jobs and no kids. Time was on our side for building out this business. If I could do it all over again I would have done these things instead:
- Started at an earlier age. I spent a lot of my early 20s trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I was not school smart but wanted to own a business. My friend Alex would own many businesses throughout high school and I was always envious he was able to do that. It can be very overwhelming idea if you have no idea where to start.
- Hire a consultant or mentor to help us throughout the whole process. I’ve made tons of mistakes and learned through those mistakes. I wish I would have approached another business to help mentor me and maybe cut down on the time it took to learn how to run a successful business.
Overall I am very happy with the end result. This business has given a lifestyle that doesn’t consist of working 9am-5pm everyday. I hope to create a legacy for my children to either take over the business or at the very least to teach them the skills to run their own business. Thank you for reading -Dan