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Mrs. TheFed is starting another business.....
Old 01-22-2009, 08:02 AM   #1
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Mrs. TheFed is starting another business.....

You heard it here first! I've always been bugging my stay at home wife to think of something clever we can turn into a business...and together we have a plan.

Bounce-house inflatable rentals

Has anyone ever rented one of these things? If so, can you share the details?

We were scheduling one for an upcoming bash celebrating our marraige and both sons' b-days....it was first tough to simply get in touch with anyone. The few companies we spoke with actually were booked or close to it for the weekend we want. A few were astronomically priced. Online searches yielded no good results. So I saw an opportunity.

other than the initial outlay and insurance, costs and labor are minimal. My online advertising campaign is my sole advertising for my duct and mold businesses...and is VERY successful. I imagine i can implement the same strategy for this business

DW wants to run it herself, so i'm giving her a crash course on business plans and all the grief that goes into a business. Hopefully she has fun doing this and can make a few bucks. It helps that we have 2 kids under 3 and shes an active parent at school, as well as a nursery coordinator at her church 3 days/week..so word of mouth should be easy

any input of ideas would be great!
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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make sure you have bucketloads of insurance. These Jumphouses are fun but the kids go wild, and there are often injuries. Make sure you have a lawyer draft a rock solid form of release for the little'uns parents to sign such that they release you fro responsibility and liability before kiddie gets to jump...keep your insurance though, just in case. good luck, I've heard these can be money makers, or money pits, depending on how well you market and how well you protect yourself from liability and lawsuits.

My two cents...FWIW

R
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:19 AM   #3
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TheFed
make sure you have bucketloads of insurance.
That would the reason for not getting into that business.
One child gets hurt in any way and a leagal action ruins your life.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:45 AM   #4
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Martha will be long shortly to scare you. However, I would do it as an LLC, and make sure you have a HUGE liability policy, maybe $5 million or so. Plus, you need a GOOD waiver of responsibility form for parents to sign........
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:40 AM   #5
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a crash course on business plans and all the grief that goes into a business. Hopefully she has fun doing this
Hey! Is this one of those Oxymoron thingys?
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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I thought about this idea, too. The liability scared me into inaction though. Pretty decent inflatable jump houses can be had for the price of a couple weekend's rentals. Also, I saw a bunch of inflatable waterpark jumphouses on amazon for 70% off this winter. Something crazy like $300-500 for HUGE HUGE inflatable waterslides, pools, water gun turrets, sprinklers etc all integrated into one big inflatable assembly. I imagine those would be a hit during warm months.

Could be a good part time business. Set up and takedown might be a little straining for a smallish person, as those suckers can weigh 100+200 lbs for the industrial strength inflatables.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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To me, whatever she could make with that business wouldn't be worth the worry that I could lose everything in a lawsuit--even if you had all the insurance in the world, all the waivers in the world, the possibility of a minor injury turning into a lawsuit and eating up money in legal fees would be worrisome to me. But I'm a scaredy cat and you're thefed and you've done great in your decisions, so sure, look into it. But I bet there are a lot of things your wife might enjoy doing once the kids are a little older (give her til they're both in school imho).
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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I have a young child, so maybe my perspective might be a little help. We have seen these things at any number of events, etc. I have NEVER been offered any form to sign absolving the owner of liability. I don't know how practical that would be considering that at many events kids are not with their parents, maybe an uncle or family friend, etc. Maybe these places that host the event sign something with the owner of the jump house?

Might be something to look into, but again, just wanted to point out that of the dozen places I've seen these things there was never a form to sign. And again, I think the reason might be is that it is impractical and maybe unnecessary if you have the appropriate insurance. Don't know. Just wanted to pass along my experience and thoughts.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:10 PM   #9
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To me, whatever she could make with that business wouldn't be worth the worry that I could lose everything in a lawsuit--even if you had all the insurance in the world, all the waivers in the world, the possibility of a minor injury turning into a lawsuit and eating up money in legal fees would be worrisome to me.
All the personal and commercial liability insurance policies I have seen cover litigation expenses as well as the expense of the injury itself.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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Going around and getting releases has become more uncommon. How do you know if you get one from everyone? Don't most of these things have risks, warnings, and rules posted on the entrance?

(Not legal advice, just observation).
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:48 PM   #11
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The standard in the industry, from what i gather, is the person/group renting the thing sign the release, which explicitly states that anyone they let onto it is their responsibility, we are renting to them and them only, and anyone they let on is their business....be sure your insurance covers you etc etc. when they take possession, they also assume the position of ride operator along with those responsibilities....

An iron clad waiver with 1 mil liability seems to be more than sufficient. it IS the big cloud over this whole idea though....
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:56 PM   #12
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All the personal and commercial liability insurance policies I have seen cover litigation expenses as well as the expense of the injury itself.
I know, but as a true scaredycat I would still worry about some imaginary negligence clause making me liable for litigation costs.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:06 PM   #13
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This appears to be a very easy business to get started.
Therefore, you run the risk of waking up to 5 new competitors some morning.
Yes, that's life, that's show biz, but if you can swing it, a business that is difficult to duplicate is true bliss.
The form putting the responsibility on the renter may be fine most of the time, but when the stuff hits the fan bet on someone looking high and low to find some negligence on your part.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:49 PM   #14
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I know, but as a true scaredycat I would still worry about some imaginary negligence clause making me liable for litigation costs.
I'd read the policy. None will insure you for intentional damage or "willful and wanton" negligence that basically rises to the level of intentional. Otherwise, your ordinary negligence should be covered (except the exclusions!). That is what you are insuring against - your negligence.

Maybe a better question is how thefed has his marital assets structured. Is Mrs thefed an owner of their house? An owner of all the rental LLC's and business LLC's? If she has minimal assets, I wouldn't be too concerned about liability beyond the $1 million or so (assuming the profits were there to make it worthwhile).
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:02 PM   #15
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hey ... we stopped renting the things after 2 or 3 bloody incidents. Maybe trampolines are a better investment.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:16 PM   #16
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Just think about this...and remember i do not have children.
<camera pans wide and then zooms in on...>
Little Johnny and Susie are at a party, and decide to use the rented inflata-thingy. Susie gets mad at Johnny cuz he cut her off to go first down the slide, so she whacks him right square in the face on purpose when nobody is looking.
They come down the slide. Johnny is crying and has bled all over the slide.
Susie's mommy screams, "OMG - my little girl could be infected with AIDS". Johnny does not tell on Susie cuz she'll bash him again if he does.
The crowd scatters...kinda like the scene in Jaws when the shark was spotted off the coast.

Ok, now WHOSE slide is that again?

May I respectfuly suggest renting pole tents ? Several guys I know locally have a thriving business doing this. And I'm in the middle of East Nowhere NY.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:11 PM   #17
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May I respectfuly suggest renting pole tents ? .
So what if an Irish guy wants to rent one?
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #18
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Tents are an idea too. If things go remotely well, the possibilities are endless. Tents, other types of games, dunk tanks, snow cone machines, popcorn machines, tables, chairs etc etc


She has little assets and is not on the house or any of the businesses...so that helps. Sure, there is a risk involved. But then again, where isnt there a risk? i do mold remediation ;-)
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:59 AM   #19
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Well, this is going pretty well so far. Just using some passive advertising online we've lined up a few rentals and have had quite a few inquiries. I think she has it booked for 3 weekends so far, has 2 or 3 good prospects, and talked to another 5-6 people. Not too bad for just a few weeks...considering the weather is the way it is!

I'm curious to see how this pans out....
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:30 PM   #20
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UPDATE: Business is booming! She has 25 bookings so far. She is buying another bouncer and a slide this week. It's amazing how quickly the inquiries are coming just from a website.

Once we get a few yard signs, banners on the units, word of mouth begins, etc, it should really take off!
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