How often should you clean a marquee?

The obvious answer is whenever it needs it so maybe a better question would be how often should you expect to clean a marquee.

A marquee is far more likely to get dirty when being erected/dismantled rather than when it is actually up. If you’re careful when erecting and especially when dismantling the marquee then you can usually get away with a thorough clean only once or twice a season.

There are however a few exceptions:

The dirtiest marquee I have ever had was one that was erected under some trees. When it rained all of the dust and grime was washed off the leaves down on to our lovely marquee. If you’ve got to put a marquee up under trees expect to clean it immediately afterwards.

Rain-skirts by their very nature will always get muddy in the rain, these should be given a wipe over on pretty much every job.

Traffic-film – eventually PVC can have a grey layer build up which is especially difficult to remove. It takes a long time for this to happen (a year or two normally) but at this stage it needs a thorough clean using a chemical. The material also needs irritating (gone over with a brush or similar) to get this off. Once thoroughly cleaned the PVC should be as good as new.

Tree sap is a nightmare to remove.

There are also some things that will never come out:

Petrol/Diesel can stain PVC. This will never come out so avoid them at all costs.

Ingrained mould – this affects many marquees especially those that are stored when still wet. PVC is made of many layers, if a marquee is put away wet or if cheap PVC is used then water can get inside the layers and create mould which will never come out. Incidentally this is one of the reasons we use better quality 500gsm PVC than available elsewhere, it takes far longer for the layers to break down in better quality PVC.

Some garden chemicals can stain – I was shown a marquee recently that had green stains around the rain skirt which seemed to have come from a chemical added to the lawn.

Better quality PVC always helps, we use a lacquer coated PVC as it is easier to clean and lasts longer than the cheap alternatives.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

The Showmans Show 2014

The showmans show is on again in a few weeks time, for those who haven’t heard of it it is the one show aimed at the outdoor event sector. In recent times it has become (whether by design or simply by the people attending) more about large public outdoor events rather than the relatively smaller private marquee events the marquee sales industry cater towards.

It’s something to be aware of but the industry is not the fastest moving in the world so there’s no real need to go every year.

With that in mind we will not be exhibiting this year. We were undecided but a couple of health scares have meant it is not sensible for us to attend this year – we will definitely be back next year though!

It’s a shame as we’ve got some new products for next year – you’ll just have to wait for them to go on the website over the winter.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Different styles of management on site with marquees

Different people have different styles of management, most (certainly in the marquee industry) fall in to one of two categories: Leading by example or leading by delegation.

Some will be proficient in both but most people naturally use one or the other and it is well worth learning both how your own management style works and those you work with to prevent conflict.

Leading by example:

In a small group this is a good way of getting the job done. The person in charge sets the pace and does the work and everyone else is there as an assistant. This is how most people in small businesses work, if you’ve ever worked with a self-employed electrician, plumber or similar this is their only way of working.

  • With a small group of people this is often the fastest way of getting the job done
  • The quality of the work will always be high, after all it is the best person/most qualified that would be doing all of the work
  • Everyone has to work at the same pace as the leader which prevents people dragging their heels
  • This does place a lot of work/pressure on the leader who becomes irreplaceable
  • It’s difficult to scale up – a person can only work with so many assistants

Leading by delegation:

This is ideal for larger groups where tasks are delegated to different people. This is obviously how larger businesses work

  • The only way of working with large numbers of people
  • The quality of work can be more varied as you are relying on different peoples finishes
  • You can have different speeds of work which can breed resentment if one team is significantly slower than another

What does this mean in marquee hire?

In my experience small groups are the most efficient way of working, within this small group should be a leader who leads by example (as above) otherwise it all becomes a bit aimless and drags on. The leader is the one who will set the pace, get the job done and maintain the standard.

On larger sites where you need more people the leader needs to be able to split the people and tasks in to smaller groups so they need to lead by delegation and have a leader by example in each smaller group.

Once the frame of a marquee is up you can split people up accordingly – some do the flooring, some do electrics, some could start another marquee if required. It is simply not efficient to have everyone doing the same job, if you have enough potential leaders working in 2’s and 3’s is by far the most effective and efficient way of working on site.

It is never a healthy thing having only one person capable of doing a certain job. If you run a small business and always work in a small group take the time to train those working with you as you work. It means your business will be easier to scale up (your assistant becomes a new leader) and less pressure on your shoulders.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

PS – if anyone can think of marquee terminology we missed please let us now.

Marquee tools

Following (always useful) feedback from customers we have introduced a marquee tool section. This helps us become more of a one shop stop for start up or existing marquee hire companies.

Further tools will be added soon.

We are particularly proud of the marquee stake puller that could be a great help when dismantling marquees, unlike most stake pullers it is also very light so fits in nicely with our marquees that pack down to surprisingly small volumes.

Should you require any tools that are not listed please contact us and we will design/source them for you.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer

6x4m marquee or 4x6m marquee?

In the marquee industry there is not a huge amount of terminology for someone new to the scene to get used to. One is getting used to feet and metres and how to switch between the two (3m=10ft essentially), most customers prefer everything in metres but you still get some that need it in feet.

Another standard to get used to is that when talking marquees the width comes first and the length second. A 4x6m marquee is very different to a 6x4m one for example.

4x6m Classic DIY Marquee

A 4x6m Marquee means that the A-frames are 4m wide and it is 6m long (three 2m bays).

6x4m Classic DIY Marquee

A 6x4m marquee on the other hand has 6m wide A-frames and is 4m long (two 2m bays).

Why offer both?

The most popular way of covering a 4x6m area is with a 4x6m marquee, there are however times when this is not the best option.

  • If you already own a 6m wide marquee or have spare 6m metalwork then you can just buy a 6x4m roof and therefore increase your hiring potential without buying a complete new 4x6m marquee.
  • If the marquee is going up against a house then it is far easier having the gable butted up for weathering and access purposes. If the customer needs the 6m side of the marquee up against the house then it is best practice to go with a 6x4m marquee rather than a 4x6m one.

Hopefully that makes sense!

Thanks for reading, apologies for the gap in writing but this summer has been even busier than usual. Normal service (articles & blog posts alternating every week) should now be resumed.

Spencer

Cheap marquee for sale

We have some clearance pagoda marquees we are selling cheaply on eBay, the pagodas are very very good quality and even have 2.3m legs.

The first one: 7x7m Pagoda Marquee for sale on eBay

Keep watching for more going cheap and happy bidding.

Spencer

How often do marquees need cleaning

It depends on the frequency a marquee is used, the environment it is erected in, the material in question and the weather conditions but in general marquee hire companies will lightly clean a marquee nearly every time it goes up but do a thorough ingrained clean maybe twice a year.

By lightly clean I mean wipe down any marks or mud that may have splattered on to the sides, this can be done when the marquee is erected on site. By ingrained clean I mean using a power washer, a floor scrubber or brush and strong marquee cleaner product. Or getting a professional marquee cleaning company in. Ingrained cleaning removes the grey film that builds up on marquees over time.

There are three categories of dirt on a marquee:

  • mud splatters or other marks on the covers. These can be removed by light cleaning
  • grey film that builds up over time, to be removed by an ingrain clean
  • dirt and residue from trees. If it rains when your marquee is under a tree a lot of dirt gets washed off leaves on to your marquee, there may even be some sap on there too. The dirtiest marquee I ever saw was one erected under a tree. These need ingrain cleaning immediately as they won’t be good enough to hire out and leaving sap on PVC would not be good.

Different marquee materials, different cleaning methods:

  • Canvas cannot be cleaned without removing it’s FR coating
  • PVC can be cleaned as above, good quality PVC (like ours) will have a laminate coating to make it easier to clean.
  • Clear PVC (window panels) must be cleaned very carefully so the clear material isn’t scratched.
  • Poly/PVC you have to be careful as the PVC coating is a single layer than can be scratched off with aggressive cleaning.
  • PE material can be cleaned similar to PVC though doesn’t have a laminate coating so will not come back as new.

The most important point of all – never put your marquee away when wet. A wet stored marquee will create mildew (PVC & PE) or may rot (canvas & the stitching in any stitched marquee).

Thanks for reading.

Spencer

A message from our finance partner

We have partnered up with Gable Asset Finance in the UK to provide businesses with individually tailored finance packages.

About Gable Asset Finance

✔ Financial Solutions

✔ 98% acceptance rate

✔ Rates from 3% Flat!

✔ Decision within 2 hours

✔ Immediate Funds Available

✔ 100% Tax Deductible

Contact Now

Barry Smith – 0117 977 9494

Gable Asset Finance

Richard Sorsky – 0845 612 2626 / 07956 156 354

richard@gableassetfinance.co.uk

http://www.assetequipmentfinance.co.uk/

Financing

Gable offers a full range of equipment leasing and financial solutions which can offer many advantages over outright cash purchases for all businesses in the private and public sectors; from sole traders to local authorities.

Gable Asset Finance funds a diverse range of assets, for all shapes and sizes of business. The customer negotiates the purchase price of the asset then Gable Asset Finance arranges the right financial package. Quite often the facility is already in place, being part of a pre-negotiated credit line. Financing in this way allows you to let your equipment pay for itself over a period of time for a small monthly payment.

Financing equipment is becoming a popular way to start a business or to improve the cash flow within an existing business.

With little or no capital expenditure, many business owners have reaped good financial rewards, by utilizing tax efficient finance agreements.

Small business finance

Gable Asset Finance provides tailor-made finance solutions to small businesses, medium enterprises and start-up companies (subject to status). Offering competitive rates on small business finance, Gable Asset Finance leads the market in providing affordable solutions in a challenging economic climate.

Corporate asset finance

Corporate asset finance provides a solution to companies that are in need of new capital assets. Gable Asset Finance, one of the leading providers of corporate asset finance in the UK, offers several different types of funding that can help businesses secure the assets and equipment they so desperately require.

WHY LEASE?

Leasing is probably the most popular method of financing new equipment today. Virtually any item of equipment can be leased from a Sunbed to a total new refit i.e. from £1000 to several hundred thousand pounds.

SHOULD I PAY CASH OR LEASE?

You may be able to afford to buy the equipment outright, but before you make this decision you must consider the following:

  1. All leasing payments are rental payments and as such are an allowable business expense, therefore if a business is making profits they reduce the profit by the amount of the rentals you pay each year which in turn reduces your tax bill.
  2. Lease payments are the same throughout the lease contract. This means that increases in interest rates do not affect you and enables you to budget your cash flow more effectively.
  3. Leasing enables you to save your cash for other purchases such as new stock, staff training, advertising and new business opportunities.

DO MY PAYMENTS INCREASE IF INFLATION OR INTEREST RATES RISE?

No. Your monthly payment is fixed at the start of the lease and so are unaffected by interest rate rises. This enables you to budget your cash flow more accurately.
As inflation rises, because your payments are fixed the cost of the equipment reduces in real terms.

IS THERE A TAX BENEFIT ASSOCIATED WITH LEASING?

Yes!
A business wishing to acquire capital equipment has to seek the most tax efficient way when doing this. All lease payments are treated as an allowable business expense and therefore attract tax relief for the full duration of the lease agreement. Your accountant will be able to confirm this.

HOW DO I MAKE MY MONTHLY PAYMENTS?

All payments are made by Direct Debit on the same date each month. Other options are available.

SHOULD I GO TO MY BANK?

Using your bank for all your business funding is not good practice. If you use all your overdraft facilities you leave yourself in a vulnerable position to react to any unexpected needs of short-term borrowing. Your bank may change the interest rate mid-way through a loan or reduce your overdraft facilities, which can dramatically affect the cash flow of your business.
Sometimes banks will limit the amount they will lend you without further security for example taking a charge on your home.

It is not financially prudent to have all your eggs in one basket.

WHO LEASES?

Nearly every market sector large or small benefits from leasing, from new start business to large established companies.

HOW DOES A LEASE WORK?

A lease agreement is a contract between you the customer and a leasing company. This enables you to use equipment over a period of time on payment of rentals to the leasing company.

With a typical lease agreement, you make a series of regular payments (usually on a monthly basis), thus helping cash flow, as opposed to a large capital outlay for the equipment.

At the end of the lease term, the equipment is yours, subject to a small final administration charge to transfer the title in the goods to you.

HAVE THE BEST EQUIPMENT.

You normally only pay a small deposit with a lease agreement, this enables you to choose the best equipment available with only a small initial cash outlay. This enables you to have the best equipment available with the latest technology and start to enjoy the extra profits this generates before your next lease payment is due.

Acceptance for leasing is subject to status and provided by the leasing company.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

The largest range of Marquees in the UK

As you may have noticed our website has changed, this is due to our expansion in to other ranges of marquees. We now have five ranges of marquees across 23 different sizes of marquee culminating in over 70 different marquees to choose from, we believe this means we have the largest range of marquees available in the UK and hope to have the marquee to suit any requirement. We also now stock a heavy duty range of pop-ups and pagodas.

Our two new cheaper ranges probably won’t be of interest to you as a hire company – the party tent range uses PE fabric (only suitable for occasional domestic use) and our new Classic range is made using 500gsm PVC but without the features we believe are essential to hire companies – I wouldn’t recommend hiring out a 6m marquee without eave braces for example.

Our new Professional range should prove popular in the hire industry, it is based on our Commercial framework but with a heavier duty 650gsm PVC roof.

As always our new products and ranges come from feedback from customers (thank you) and our own experience. This is why we are one of the leading designers and suppliers of marquees in Europe. Which we’re quite chuffed about to be honest.

We always like to hear feedback regarding our marquees or website so if you have anything to add or any new product ideas please always send them along.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

Marquee electrical training courses

The lighting systems we have designed to fit in our marquees are very easy and intentionally designed to need no training however as you grow your marquee hire business the power requirements on site can become ever more complex. Our friends at Essential Supplies can help:

We shall be holding some training courses in the next couple of weeks. We are planning to run courses in PAT Testing, Event Electrics, and Event Lighting. These are tailor made to the marquee/events industry. We have a new member of staff to carry out the training courses, so these can now be held at our premises near Plymouth or closer to you.  If you are interested in getting more information then please email louise@essentialsupplies.co.uk to register your interest.

Training can be essential for growing businesses especially to learn about industry best practices.

Thanks for reading.

Spencer