Archive for April, 2009

Marquee hire insurance and terms & conditions

Monday, April 27th, 2009

A couple of people have mentioned about insurance recently so I thought I’d repost this:
If you receive money for marquee hire you need to be covered for public liability insurance and have some good terms and conditions to back yourself up.

Insurance

There are several insurance firms who specialise in marquee hire cover -we include their details with all of our marquee sales. They can cover you for one-off events (though they need at least 14 days notice) or provide annual cover.

One-off cover should be considered for part-time marquee hire companies but if you’re setting it up as a full time business annual cover will almost certainly be more economic.

Public liability insurance shouldn’t be confused with fire/theft/damage insurance. Public liability insurance is always included in the cost of hiring, fire/theft/damage insurance is usually an optional extra -it’s up to the customer to decide which they’d prefer:

  • Risk it, have no insurance cover.
  • Household policy cover -some household insurance policies cover marquees. When I started out most household policies would cover marquees, now hardly any do.
  • Insure it through yourselves -most marquee hire insurance companies will allow you to offer insurance at around 5% of the total hire charge which you can offer your customers.

Terms and Conditions

You may think t’s & c’s aren’t necessary, especially if you’re only hiring to friends or friends of friends -in my opinion you should ALWAYS have them, even though you’ll rarely have to use them.

Things like cancellation policy, what happens in the event of loss or damage of equipment and especially have a force majeure part – you may think nothing will stop you putting your customers marquee up but think of the fuel crisis, foot & mouth or even someone wrecking your marquee a week before your customers event.

A copy of the terms and conditions we used as a hire company are included with every marquee sale.
Thanks for reading.

Spencer

Marquee flooring – how to lay marquee carpet or matting

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Marquee flooring: As we’re now supplying carpet it makes sense to run through how to lay it in a marquee.

First off you need to lay out a groundsheet or tarpaulin. Why? Well this stops any moisture coming up and prevents condensation building up. As I’ve mentioned/ranted previously I just don’t understand why anyone would use breathable flooring, we actually got called out by a customer once who said the marquee was leaking but it was just condensation (it hadn’t rained for 2 weeks!). Grass is tough stuff, even if it’s covered for a week it soon gets back to normal.
Carpet laying

Next you need to cut the carpet to the right length – we’ve used a 6m x 12m marquee as an example but obviously just cut it to whatever length your marquee is. At this stage you only nail the ends of the carpet.
Marquee looring

The carpet needs a little stretching but coconut matting needs a lot of stretching out, as I’ve mentioned previously it’s a natural fibre so can expand and contract so use more nails in matting than carpet.

marquee carpet laying

All make sense? Remember the carpet is in rolls 50m long so it leaves plenty left over to run paths to the marquee (nail these down too).

I hope this helps those who haven’t tackled marquee flooring yet.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

DIY show marquee now up!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

For those who want to see before you buy and can’t wait for the Showmans Show in October we’ve currently got a show marquee up in a garden 10-15 mins away from our factory.

Show Marquee 1

It’s a 6m x 12m DIY Marquee though as we use the same design for all it’s useful to see even if you’re buying one 6m, 8m or 14m long.

We’ve got our new chandeliers in there and the new carpet that we’re stocking (details and prices should go on the website later this week). We’re very excited about offering these new products, they seem to have gone down very well and as people will see from the show marquee give the marquee an excellent finish.

We’ve also been experimenting with lining effects, the extra coloured trim in the with curtains seems to work well:

Show Marquee 2

When you think that this marquee costs around £1800 + VAT (excluding coloured swags) and hires out for £800-£1200 a time you really see how profitable marquee hire can be!

If you want to come and see the show marquee please phone ahead for an appointment, it’s in someone’s garden so we could do with knowing the day before to be polite.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Look after your back

Monday, April 6th, 2009

In the world of road sweeping the motto is “look after your broom”. In the world of marquees it’s “look after your back” (anyone who hasn’t heard Trigger’s quote before do yourself a favour and put off starting up a marquee hire business until you’ve gone and watched every episode of only fools and horses!).

This is something I know a fair bit about as the only reason I’m now in Marquee sales is because I ‘retired hurt’ from Marquee hire with a back injury.

Does this happen with everyone? Certainly not! I’ve got friends who’ve been putting up marquees for 20-30 years with little or no problem. But it’s certainly something you have to keep in mind as keeping fit keeps the income.

In my experience the number of things you get told to help your posture and avoid a bad back is just one endless list that everyone’s keen to follow but then if you break one you just think sod it, I’ll ignore all of them. I’m no doctor, I’ve just suffered more than most with back problems so here’s my list of pointers that hopefully are realistic for your everyday marquee erector:

  • Ever wondered why golfers stick their back leg out when they’re getting their ball of of the hole? It’s because it reduces the strain on their back. When you go round picking up pegs/nails/whatever stick your leg out when bending over. If what you’re picking up is heavy then crouch down keeping your back straight and bending only your knees – this is the rule broken by just about anyone who hasn’t suffered from a bad back!
  • If you’re reasonably tall don’t drive a pick-up truck. Look at the seating position – your backside is about 4″ off the floor, just think how curved your back is to cope with that! Compare that with a transit van or a Land Rover where the high seat makes you sit far more upright. I’m speaking from experience, I used to own a pick-up that I’d have to fold myself out of after an hours drive. With a land rover I can hop out no matter how long the journey.
  • Sit back in chairs and sofas, don’t slouch
  • When lifting a heavy object (marquee roofs for example) keep it hugged close to the body rather than over one shoulder. Also try to avoid twisting when lifting as this seems to be the worst thing for your back. You often hear about people twinging their back when getting out of the bath – this is because they’re lifting (themselves) and twisting (to get out).

In brief: Stick your leg out when bending down, sit back in a decent height chair, bend your knees when lifting and don’t twist.

It’s easy to laugh all of these off but if you want to be in the marquee hire industry long term they’re well worth following, trust me I should know 🙂

Thanks for reading

Spencer.