Archive for October, 2009

Showmans Show 2009 follow on.

Monday, October 26th, 2009
Our stand at the show

Our stand at the show

So this was our stand at The Showmans Show 2009. Hopefully most of you came along and saw it in person.

Firstly I apologise if it seemed rude I wasn’t up greeting everyone, I injured my back quite badly on Wednesday morning which meant I could only stand for a few minutes at a time (an appointment with a specialist is booked for later today). By the end of the show even the security guard was taking the p**s out of me for taking so long to hobble back and forth to the car park!

Secondly a thank you to Colin, Kim and the local first aiders for keeping me in drugs for 2 days (some of them even helped my back!), but especially a big thank you to Mal at Premier Party Tent who hung round in the pouring rain to take my place dismantling all of our marquees. Sir you are a gent and I owe you a very large pint.

A lot of things came from the show and I learnt about various things which I’ll discuss on here soon enough (every day’s a school day!).

Unfortunately a slightly sour note came from the show and it’s been bothering me ever since. Someone started a rumour saying I was bad-mouthing one of our competitors. Now anyone who knows me or has dealt with us knows that this is something we just don’t do. Not only that but I’d encourage you never to do so either.

As a hire company you’ll always have people asking you to compare yourself to another company and I’d strongly strongly urge you to stick to positive comments, only praising yourself and your companies strong points. If you start saying negative comments about someone else then they’ll start doing the same to you and before you know it you’re both coming across like politicians and customers won’t want to deal with either of you!

Anyway back to us – I’m very lucky in that we get on very well with most of our competitors so a quick phone call took any tension out of that situation but it’s still not pleasant to have said about you. I’ll give this anonymous person the benefit of the doubt and rather than accuse them of malicious rumour-mongering maybe they misinterpreted my comment last week of bad-payers not being allowed to attend as aimed at one of our competitors. It certainly wasn’t.

Thanks for reading, thanks for visiting us at the show and for those who don’t know my wife’s pregnant and due to pop in the next 4 weeks so I may suddenly disappear for a few weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

Spencer

The Showmans Show 2009

Monday, October 19th, 2009

We started setting up our stand at The Showmans Show today with a few bits left for tomorrow, obviously our stand looks good(!) but the show in general looks very impressive.

I’d heard that some exhibitors weren’t going to be allowed to attend due to being bad payers but as far as I can see all the major players are there and some marquees look very very impressive. When I ran our business we always stopped at the size you could put up without machinery so to see some of these huge structures being erected is fascinating.

Anyway, enough of that, what are we going to be offering you this year?

2m x 6m Walkway – as mentioned previously we’ve started offering a modular 2m wide walkway. The number of times we’re asked for it means it should prove popular and an essential for any expanding marquee hire business.

6m wide deluxe marquees – Initially only available as a 6m x 12m marquee even though we’re displaying it at the show as 6m x 8m (we don’t have endless space, you get the idea!). These marquees are 2.3m high at the eaves making them the same height as aluminium frame marquees and feel a little more spacious walking in. They will also have 650gsm PVC roofs and 500gsm side panels but they’re not finished yet so the 6×8 has the standard 500gsm roof & 380gsm side panels. Do I think it’s worth having this extra thick roof? Honestly? not really, the big appeal to me is the added height but some people out there base everything on the thickness of material rather than other factors so we have to offer something thicker.

Coloured linings – bit of a cheat as it’s not new, we’ve always made coloured linings but having a purple interior to our pagoda sounded quite eye-catching. Hopefully in a good way..

Starlight roof linings – We’ve started supplying these always popular black twinkling roof linings. Again, something different for you to see and offer your customers next year. They come in 6m x 2m sections so you can use them across our whole range of 6m wide marquees.

9m wide aluminium frame marquees – my God some work has gone in to these. And is still going on in fact, it’s a bit of a race against time over the next 24 hours but we should have some framework and covers for you to see.ย  The next step for any expanding marquee hire business is to go bigger, and that means using an aluminium/steel combination to go 9m wide. We’ve developed these to be compatible with others in the market so even if you’ve already got some this could be of interest.

As always thanks for reading, I hope to see you at the show – the forecast is mixed so have those waterproofs I mentioned a while ago handy just in case. Remember – Avenue E, stand 267. Half way up on the right or just two along from the HUGE black/silver marquee.

Marquee hire businesses during the winter

Monday, October 12th, 2009

It doesn’t matter how big a company you are winter months for a marquee hire business are going to be quieter than the summer. A fool could tell you that. In fact a fool is telling you that!

Business will have gradually slowed down in October and November will be very quiet. It depends on your market whether you’re busy at Christmas (corporate events, parties and New Years Eve bashes). January and February will be quiet (though a very busy time meeting people if you specialise in weddings).ย  March and April will be like October, not really busy but enough work to get you by and warm up for the summer.

So during the winter quiet months you need to think what you’re going to do. Here’s some suggestions:

  • Take up skiing. Holidays during the summer are difficult, learn to enjoy winter holidays ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Maintain your stock, clean what needs cleaning, repair any holes etc you’ve been putting off when you just didn’t have the time.
  • PAT test all your electrical equipment. Unless you fancy going on a one day course this will mean getting an electrician in.
  • Make any new stock you want for next season that it’s feasible to make. Seat pads are a good, easy one to do. Even building your own tables is possible.
  • Make any new carry boxes or containers you may want next year, make racking or whatever’s likely to be needed in your storage facilities.

While you’re coming up with ideas of what to do in preparation for next year you should also plan what stock you’re likely to need. With VAT going up in the New Year any purchases you make (even if you don’t have it delivered until next year) will be at a 2.5% discount. If you’ve got the cash flow available it’s worth getting organised quickly.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer.

But it’s raining..

Monday, October 5th, 2009

If you’re starting up a marquee hire company you have to realise you’ll be working outdoors most of the time. And most of the time it’s very enjoyable – you get a suntan, fresh air (City marquees apart) and life is good.

The flip side of this is you have to be prepared to put marquees up in all weathers. So when you start up a business and you’re drawing out costings don’t forget to include a decent set of waterproofs for you and anyone working with you. Ideally they’d have your logo on but don’t go spending silly money.

  • jacket
  • trousers
  • gloves (sealskinz were my favourite)
  • waterproof boots
  • hat – much to the amusement of some of my lads I’d often wear a hard hat in heavy rain. Why not? It’s got a natural gutter round the side so no dripping down your neck, it’s also raised off your head so you don’t get too hot.ย  It just makes it look like you don’t trust your workmates lifting skills!

This is on my mind as we’re out testing some marquee designs tomorrow and the forecast is awful, time to dust off my old marquee waterproofs (and maybe a hard hat).

Thanks for reading – only 2 weeks to The Showmans Show.

Spencer.