How to Start a Soft Play Rental Business [Mobile Service] 2024

Do you love kids playing with soft toys? Do you have a passion for entrepreneurship? Starting a soft play rental business can be a profitable opportunity.

Providing a soft play rental service for profit and an enjoyable and interactive experience with children, which is safe, healthy, and satisfying.

Many parents seek soft play rental services for their 1-5-year-old children, especially for birthday parties, celebrations, and festivals. Not only in festivals, but also soft play equipment provides a safe playing environment for children.

Soft play rental services also benefit parents by making it easier for them to care for their children. So, if you’re a beginner and unsure where and how to start, read our guide.

We’ll discuss in this post the following:

  • The best idea to start the business
  • The process to set up from scratch
  • Guide for equipment, supplies, and other needs
  • Marketing and promotion plan to grow

How to start a soft play rental business

start a soft play rental business

You can run a mobile soft play equipment rental business, delivering soft play equipment and items to the customer location for a set period, according to your customer needs.

Mobile delivery service does not require a physical storefront; however, some space is required to manage inventory and store the soft play items.

You can deliver the soft play supplies to the customer’s location with a vehicle.

Making the process easier, having a small team can be helpful.

Here, we discuss the fundamental process (mobile soft play rental business):

  • Buy different soft play equipment for different age groups, focusing on style, colors, shape, material, and size. For example, climbers, slides, ball pits, mats, tunnels, and sensory toys.
  • Inventory setup: Choose a suitable space for storing those supplies; depending on the scale of your business, you need a warehouse or dedicated storage facility. Focus on cleaning the equipment or items regularly for safety and hygiene. Important is – to develop a transportation facility (buying a vehicle and a small team).
  • Develop a package: Prepare a rental package focusing on different party sizes, age groups, and event duration. Then, set the pricing, fees, rental agreement, and service terms accordingly.
  • Booking setup: Develop a user-friendly online booking system for customers to reserve equipment and choose preferred packages easily.
  • Pick-up and cleaning: Prepare to collect and disassemble the equipment after the rental period. For the next use, cleaning is important.

Pros and cons of mobile soft play rental business:


  • Lower overhead cost
  • Unique selling point
  • Higher profit margin
  • Can attract more customer
  • Greater flexibility
  • No physical space needed
  • Can sell additional play items


  • Higher costs- invest in a vehicle
  • Transportation challenges
  • Storage and maintenance
  • Weather dependence

Hopefully, you have understood the fundamentals of the soft play rental service.

So, let’s discuss the other essential steps.

1. Market research and analysis

Market research and consumer demand analysis are the most important steps.

Study your potential customers, competitors, and local market where you want to provide service, and primarily research the service facility (setup process).

Gather essential information on market trends and local market behavior to understand whether launching a rental service in this area is right.

To identify target customers, consider demographics and look for an area where people often celebrate parties, events celebrations, birthday parties, and weddings frequently.

You should conduct a SWOT and demographic analysis to understand potential customers better.

SWOT analysis: A SWOT helps to determine the (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) of the business.

Demographic research: Demographic research is the primary step for studying according to (age, gender, income, education, occupation, ethnicity, location, lifestyle, interest, attitude), etc.

Identifying target customers: Analyze the popularity and demand of potential customers; your target customers can be children (2-5 years), teenagers (10-15 years), young adults, etc.

Knowing market competition: Understanding the market competition, analyzing competitors, pricing models, and service facilities.

Research on service: Unique facility in your Soft Play accessories, marketing process.

You can check out online and offline sources to gather market-related information. 

Online sources include: 

Google Trends: Google trends is a popular tool to find the trend of a specific search term, service, topic, and industry. Here is an example.

google trend

You can select a specific location, category, and time (years); as you can see, we have selected the United States for the last 5 years’ data, the growth trend in front of you.

It is constantly growing.

Social media: Social media is another great platform to analyze and track real-time data and trends; you can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Government data: Many government agencies often publish information related to markets, businesses, economic trends, industry performance, etc; you can also collect useful information from them.

Offline sources:

Only online reports, government data, and market trends are not enough to launch a business.

Consider offline sources (local businesses, trade shows, conferences, consumer surveys), which are more effective and can provide accurate information about the market situation.

So, talk with event planners, childcare centers, and preschools, and know their needs and preferences.

Try to survey some potential customers to understand what they want and how a soft play service can help them; ask everything.

2. Develop a soft play rental business plan.

develop a business plan

Consider the market demand, customer intent, your thoughts, strategy, and business goals; by following them, create a comprehensive business plan to establish your Business.

Importance of a plan: it helps you reach goals and objectives and provides a roadmap for making strategies, plans, and other activities.

A thoroughly researched plan for your soft play business can help you achieve your intended goals and succeed.

A business plan should include:

  • Business Summary: A one-page overview of your entire plan you can include (target, goals, about your service, and establishment plan).
  • Research: Describe your researched information about Industry research, identifying target customers, competition, and competitive analysis.
  • Define your Business: Include what type of services, facilities, infrastructure, and playing environment you want to provide.
  • Business model: Mobile rental service – deliver soft play items to customer locations.
  • Marketing plan: social media, word-of-mouth, paid promotion, local advertising, etc.
  • Financial plan: Initial startup cost (Leasing space, purchasing equipment, marketing cost), fund rising, pricing chart, balance sheets, cash flow, and ongoing expenses. 

This is just the overview of writing a business plan.

Search online for more useful information (Small business administration, Bplans, LivePlan, BizPlanBuilder) are the best sources to find pre-made templates. 

3. Name, registration, structure, and licensing

A business name is important for marketing, branding, and promotion for a company.

Choose a name by following a systematic approach to ensure that the name reflects the brand and resonates with your target audience.

Also, buy a domain name. A good domain name can help build credibility and increase your online visibility, making it easier for potential customers to discover your Business.

You can register domains at (Namecheap, GoDaddy, or Hover).

Select a user-friendly business name by considering the points:

  • You can use a business name generator tool.
  • Create a logo for your brand under the same name.
  • Avoid using (numbers, underscores, hyphens, and symbols) in a name.
  • The name should be (web-friendly, memorable, unique, and easy to spell or pronounce).
  • A domain should be available (for creating a website).
  • Research and follow the legal rules (don’t use copyrighted names).

Register your business

Establishing a clear business entity is very important for company registration.

Carefully choose a structure that aligns with your budget and goals.

You need to register as per the requirement of the state, local, and federal levels,

Choose a business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation), and decide what fits your business goals and needs.

Consult a legal advisor or attorney for guidance on completing the necessary legal formalities. Also, they guide you in selecting the best legal structure.

Get a license and permits.

Obtain the proper licenses and permits according to state and local regulations.

Research to identify and acquire the various legal requirements, including licenses, permits, and certifications.

However, some general permits and licenses, including business licenses, sales tax, fire department permits, child care licenses, safety regulations, etc.

Advise: Readers should research specific regulations in their area.

Resources to comply with those formalities: SBA, State and local website, IRS EIN assistant tool, and state secretary of state website.

Business Insurance

Business insurance is important for any liability losses or accidental injuries of your customers; it provides a facility to recover from every loss.

Business insurance is not necessarily expensive, but you need to invest a few hundred dollars per year, depending on the location, business size, and level of coverage you need.

Coverage included (General Liability, Equipment, and Workers’ compensation insurance).

Consult a local insurance agent for more detailed information; you can find more information here – Rental business insurance guide.

4. Procuring soft play equipment and supplies

The most important part of the soft play business is choosing the right equipment and suppliers and buying from a trusted supplier at an affordable price.

It would be best if you had safe, durable, and fun equipment for kids of all ages.

Estimate your budget – how much you want to invest- and research and compare different suppliers (their pricing, quality, terms).

Create a list of different types of soft play kits that are needed to provide a better service.

List of commercial soft play equipment:

  • Indoor Play StructuresJungle Gyms, Adventure Playgrounds, Climbing Walls, Obstacle Courses, Play Tunnels, Ball Pits, Rope Bridges.
  • Soft Play Shapes and Blocks: Foam Building Blocks, Cubes, Mats, Foam Climbing Shapes, Balance Beams, Wedge Mats.
  • Slides and Chutes: Spiral Slides, Straight Slides, Wavy Slides, Tube Slides, Toddler Slides.
  • Ball Pool Equipment: Ball Pit Balls, Ball Pit Enclosures, Ball Pool Air Blowers, and Ball Pool Cleaning Equipment.
  • Climbing EquipmentClimbing Holds, Bouldering Walls, Climbing Mats, Climbing Nets.
  • Toddler Play Equipment: Soft Play Rockers, Toddler Swings, Cars, Toddler Play Houses, Sensory Equipment.
  • Sensory Play Equipment: Soft Play Mirrors, Tactile Panels, Sensory Play Mats, Fiber Optic Lights, Bubble Tubes.
  • Themed Play Equipment: Pirate Ship Playgrounds, Castle Play Structures, Underwater-themed Play Areas, Space Adventure Soft Play.
  • Inflatable Play Equipment: Inflatable Bounce Houses, Inflatable Slides, Obstacle Courses, Inflatable Ball Pits.
  • Soft Play Accessories: Padding, Safety Mats, Foam Pit Cubes, and Replacement Balls for Ball Pits.

This is only the basic list; depending on your target market, you can consider additional supplies; before buying anything, conduct proper research.

Climb Multipurpose

Soft play slide

 Foam Ball Pit

How much does soft play equipment cost?

The equipment cost depends on (material quality, size, manufacturer, quantity, company brand, and complexity). To learn about pricing, check out online stores.

The cost can vary anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per square foot or piece of items.

soft play equipment

The best sources where you can buy soft play equipment:

  • Online retailers: Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target, Best Buy
  • Brick-and-mortar stores,
  • Find wholesalers and manufacturers.

Search on Google “soft play equipment supplier.” You can use words like “near me, wholesaler, manufacturer, retailer, etc.

For example, the results arrived when we searched for suppliers (the location, company name, website link, directories, rating, and offering).

search for supplier

5. Organize your finances and secure Funding

Soft play rental business requires a significant amount of investment, in which the cost of inventory, equipment, supplies, vehicle cost, ongoing expenses, legal, marketing, and other types of budget are Included.

Calculate the startup costs:

  • A suitable space
  • Inventory
  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Registration and licensing fees
  • Insurance costs
  • Staffing expenses
  • Equipment, supplies, and inventory
  • Website creation cost
  • Marketing and advertising

Some tips:

  • For buying new equipment (find the best supplier for discounts).
  • Start from small and add more facilities as you grow.

The budget depends on various factors, so the thing is to calculate all properly.

Securing funding

Funds to launch your soft play business can be arranged through different channels.

But, having a detailed business plan to provide insights about your goals and strategy is important.

Explore different funding options:

  • Self-funding
  • Friends and Family
  • Government Grants
  • Loans
  • Crowdfunding
  • Investors

6. Marketing and promotion

Soft play is a great way to keep kids entertained and active, and for your Business to succeed, you need to make sure people know about your service.

This means you must invest your time, money, efforts, and dedication in marketing and promotion.

With a well-crafted marketing strategy, you can reach more potential customers and increase your profits.

Your strategy should include identifying and targeting new customers and attracting them with a strategic marketing plan: social media marketing, SEO, word-of-mouth, digital ads, influence marketing, etc.

This is the simple way to reach potential customers of your service.

Promote your service through effective online and offline marketing strategies, focusing on high-quality service, pricing, and safety.

Online: Social media, SEO, Email marketing, PPC advertising, Online directories.

Offline: Networking, Partnerships, Direct mail, Print advertising

Create a safe and fun environment with high-quality soft play kits.

Final thought

The demand for soft play rental services continues to grow, and it is a popular rental service in most cities. However, with the increasing demand comes increased competition.

Entering this field requires a substantial investment, hard work, consistency, research, and planning to build trust with customers and establish a strong brand.

Hopefully, this post is helpful and provides in-depth information about the Business. If you have other doubts about the soft play business, let me know in the comments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some people’s questions, so the short answer is here.

Is Soft Play Rental A Good Business?

Yes, the Business is a profitable idea to start. Soft play rental is booming as parents increasingly look for safe and fun ways for their children to play.

Do I need insurance for soft play?

Yes, It is recommended to obtain insurance for your soft play business. Insurance protects against various risks, such as public liability claims, employer’s liability claims, product liability claims, and business interruption claims.

What is Soft Play?

Soft play equipment and gadgets are designed to be safe for children.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Soft Play Rental Business?

Starting a soft play rental business requires a rough investment of $5,000-$20,000, depending on various factors. Potential costs (vehicle, inventory, insurance, marketing, etc.)

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