πŸ‘‹ Wave Hello to Profits: Starting a Jet Ski Rental Empire!

A conversation with my next door neighbor that has spiraled into a complete deep dive into how to start a jet ski rental business

πŸ—» Overview

This past weekend, I was have a conversation with my next door neighbor he was expressing some interest in starting a jet ski rental business on one of the lakes in the area, and of course I was nice but inside the business dork inside me wanted to do a deep dive to see if what he was talking about was all hype or real. Here is how I went down the rabbit hole of building a light business plan for a jet ski rental empire!

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Start with search volume πŸ”Ž

My first stop when vetting an idea is always Google Keyword Planner, this always gives me an idea of the kind of volume you can expect in search. This tells me a few things,

  1. This is a very seasonal business seeing most of the traffic between May - August

  2. You have about 19 weekends a year to sell to the roughly 3K people a month looking to rent a jet ski on Lake Norman.

  3. Competition for paid search traffic is low, and with a top of page bid of $1.25 this seems like it could be an interesting thing.

Search Google πŸ‘€

As you can see the first three things on the page are paid ads, so of course I had to click them to get an idea of how these pages might be converting.

  • Get My Boat: Seems like a Airbnb for boat & jet ski rentals with low pricing but a difficult to navigate landing page where they showed jet ski’s that were for rent at different lakes in the area and not the lake I was looking for.

  • Whats Up Lake Norman: Has a great story with tons of information on the page and gives pricing upfront, that will come in handy later, however I bet they have low conversations given the fact that have a very tiny β€œReserve” button right above the footer. This is your definition of a mom and pop website.

  • Visit Lake Norman: Looks to be some sort of official website for the city that aggregates local boat rentals, and best of all it seems that the companies listed are in alphabetical order so we should keep that in mind when we go to name our company, maybe something like β€œ704 Jet Ski Rentals” where 704 is the area code for the city of Charlotte but also will come first on the aggregator site so we could potentially be on the paid listings twice

Organic search shows all of the same sponsored companies along with some new ones but what this tells me is SEO could be a very easy play here as well so lets dive into that.

Semrush & Organic KD 🟒

Looks like green keyword difficulty to me if I’ve ever seen it. This looks like you could rank number one with a strong website very quickly and get up and running this lake season.

Pricing πŸ€‘

Based on some of the websites I researched above we could charge on average $400 for a full day ski rental and still be competitive this rental wouldn’t cover the gas either as it seems most rental companies require the customer to fill up the jet ski during pick up.

Total Full Booking Revenue Expectations πŸ’΅

Knowing this is a seasonal business and that you only have 19 weekends to make your money, a full season top line revenue for a single jet ski would be an estimated $400 Γ— 2 = $800 per weekend, then $800 Γ— 19 = $15,200. Now this number could fluctuate but when building this business plan lets assume we get to 100% bookings for a single jet ski.

One time Startup Cost 🚀

  • Seadoo Spark: $6000 (cheapest jet ski you can buy new)

  • Used 1500 truck for towing: $12000 (rough guess)

Ongoing Startup Costs πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’Ό

  • Website, I recommend UMSO for $25 a month.

  • Paid Ads / Marketing

  • Dry Storage for hardware when not in use

  • Transportation fuel from dry storage to boat dock

  • Miscellaneous business expenses

Startup steps πŸͺœ

  • Form LLC

  • Purchase hard items such as jet ski and truck

  • Determine how to do rental insurance if possible as an upsell

  • Build website

  • Setup paid ads

    • Experiment to get the best CAC

  • Get Listed on β€œVisit Lake Norman”

  • Execute the rentals on the weekends

Wrap up 🎁

One jet ski & a truck could be paid for in a single year if you didn’t pay yourself for the first season. This could lead to exciting growth in the second year where you could purchase an additional 3 jet skis allowing you to potentially do $60,800 in your second year, and by year 3 you could be on pace to exceed the average small business owner wage in the state of North Carolina. In my mind there is definitely something here for what seems like relatively low all in cost and low operating costs. The thing that doesn’t seem great to me is that in order to start this type of business you would need to be willing to give up your weekend for 19 weeks a year in order to run and operate the rentals however the trade off is your probably not doing much during the week aside from followup on inbound leads.

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