Planning business growth for your tent rental company presents the inevitable issue of buying a marquee to suit
Essentially, meeting the needs of your marquee hire marketplace is exactly where you are going to be of real value. Therefore assumptions made in ignorance at this stage could prove very costly, both in the short-term and the long-term to your business.
The purpose of running a service based business is to be a ready and able assistant to the customers in your niche, for the delivery of what they need - firstly, being a source of expertise and planning in advance of making cost and sometimes risky investments.
Giving advice which is not based on your personal gain is honest.
Whilst you hope to be able to solve the immediate problem for every prospective caller or emailer, you must accept the restrictions of service provision which you work within (inc. geography, product availability/suitability) whilst still enthusiastically seeking the best outcome for the person at the other end.
Whereas you may have begun your marquee hire business with a narrow perspective as to what service/product you intended to offer in the first instance, now you have come to the point of planning a direction for growth, think broadly and allow discretion to guide where the greatest value can be given.
The choice of marquee structure to invest in will largely be determined by your depth and breadth of research in these early stages of consideration. You will want an optimal strategic alignment between genuine customer needs and a feasible solution to their problem, which you can afford to invest in and deliver confidently.
The following are our recommended 10 most important considerations when buying a marquee to grow your business:
(1) Involvement: as with any major strategic shift within your business, expansion will demand much time and effort being spent on the management and steering of the whole process. As a component of that much bigger feature of expansion, buying a marquee will take much focus to get right.
Copious amounts of desk research, direct communications with manufacturers and distributors, reading of collateral and assessing quotations for best value for money are all 'part and parcel'.
Be sure you factor in the commitment you are willing to make daily for progressing with your procurement exercise.
(2) Previous season's data: taking a look at your year-on-year business metrics enables you to be reminded of exactly where your business profits originated from and where the opportunities to supply a customer need were lost, because of being ill-equipped.
This analysis should also coincide with examining the enquiries, which you received over the last year, and any trends in the marketplace re: demand for one or other marquee solution, should be bookmarked as a new business potential for this coming season.
(3) Primary and secondary research: asking questions is one sure way to get answers for filling in the gaps within your marquee hire business planning. In many cases, there are ready-made, timely and therefore relevant answers to your current questions and the best about it is...it's all available free of-charge and plentifully so, all within the public domain, courtesy of Google Search Engine.
For more tailored research quality, you can perform your very own first hand interviews or surveys with target respondents, for the purpose of digging deeper into more valuable subject matter otherwise unavailable.
(4) Success Stories: many of your peers, whether in your direct marketplace or otherwise, have already shared their experiences of going through similar growth planning circumstances in the form of interviews, forum threads or podcasts for example, via 3rd party websites or published on their own blogs or websites.
Such collateral is very revealing of the real challenges faced and can be quite insightful uncovering topics or considerations which you otherwise may never have thought about.
Don't be afraid to glean such advisory gems from business owners in completely unrelated fields, as many of the principles of management will be totally transferable and therefore of great value in the long run.
(5) Marquee Structures: don't reject taking a look at any type of relevant marquee structure as a potential solution for the issue of expansion. They each have their own benefits and suppliers have the pleasure of converting the fully featured technical specifications into digestible presentations for the likes of us.
From time to time there are new products too which have been designed with a particular need in mind which may be outside of the realm of your knowledge or experience. Be prepared to listen to your suppliers, asking informed questions along the way.
It is their job to show you their wares after all - they should always be delighted to talk.
(6) No. of units: targeted total service coverage & capacity will be something to establish when calculating your expansion scope. The combination of more rigging labour, available marquees and travel can multiply your ability to satisfy more customer bookings simultaneously and therefore think carefully about the units you require in advance of supplier talks.
Remember, there are often volume discounts offered to hire contractors looking to make a bulk order.
(7) Labour and associated costs: extending your marquee hire operations, will not only mean having more structures available for being booked on the road, but also the additional labour put them up. Every additional crew will need a van also.
These associated costs of sale will also have to be factored in when considering expansion modelling on paper.
(8) Capital Investment: the capital cost of investing in new marquee stock should be accounted before taking such possibilities serious. Leveraging on credit (debt) for growth is backward and offers no stability nor foundation for sustainable progress because it's based on a promise, which is entirely dependant on things going your way.
Anyone who knows business and depends on their business to maintain a household, will not be taking such risks on empty words.
(8) Used/New marquees: where investments take much-needed resources out of your business operations or personal reserves, any small savings made without there being compromise on quality delivered to customers, will soften the blow.
Used marquee stock which is in good condition offers the advantage of getting your hands on the same product, but at a discounted price. Greater diligence must be exercised to make sure that once you have made the sale you are really happy with what you've been given, because no warranties with used stock, of course.
(9) Branding: customising your new marquee structure(s) in your company colours, or rather with a more discrete graphical reference to your business might be in your plans to make your new investment pay for itself. As organisers and guests enjoy their marquee hire experience under your new canopy, it's a well-known notion that many will actively take note of whose hard work was behind the provision of the tent.
If they don't use your services directly in the future, maybe because there just isn't the genuine need, they won't be lacking in confidence to recommend your contact details to a friend having seen what you do.
(10) Promotion/Communication: once you've gotten your expansion campaign fully prepared, the only thing lacking will be to strike up those conversations with existing customers/contacts, as well as with new ones to make known these new products which you've got available to share with them should they have need.
Your usual marquee marketing channels will be your go to, along with any other innovative routes to market which you might pick up along the way.