It is virtually inevitable that some day your inflatable business will receive a donation request from a local non-profit organization holding a fundraiser or special event that will be looking to use your inflatable equipment free of charge.
Donating your equipment to a worthy charity is a great way to create goodwill for your company. Because your services are free of charge most charities will not have an issue with you actively promoting your company and your services during the event. While you will not want to be too aggressive marketing your company you should have your name out there so that attendees know exactly who you are. Bring any extra signage with your company name that you have. If your vehicle has your company information, park this near the inflatable prominently displaying your company info. Consider this a great opportunity to win potential business down the road by also having fliers and business cards on hand for attendees to take.
To further maximize this marketing potential you should develop a press release and distribute it to your local newspapers. Many times the hosting organization will already by promoting the event in a local newspaper. Consider asking them to include the information about which inflatable products will be there, along with your company name. This type of positive press can do wonders for your company.
As your business becomes more and more well-known in the party and entertainment industry you will likely begin to see more of these donation requests. At some point you will have to begin using your own discretion as to how much is too much, and which organizations to participate with. After all, you are in the business of making money with your equipment.
During a slow time, or if no other events are booked for a particular day, there really isn’t much to lose other than your time and transportation costs in volunteering your equipment and services. However, when other events are booked and you are stretched particularly thin it is certainly fine to decline an organization’s request.
Over the course of time you will probably establish yourself and your organization with a few select charities that hold regular events annually. This type of affiliation continues to establish goodwill, while promoting your company year after year. There may come a point when your business is booming and you are only able to provide donated services to these select charities of your choosing.
If your business is just starting out you may want to consider seeking out some local charitable events and contacting them directly to offer your services. For the new business this is a great way to get your name out there to the local market in a very positive light, while exhibiting your equipment at the same time. Consider this a free marketing tool for your business, with the cost incurred only being that of your equipment services for the duration of the event.
Remember, a healthy balance of paid and donated services is the key to your inflatable business’ success.