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Marquee hire and employees

Employing people can be stressful but a necessary evil if you want to build up your large marquee hire business. When you start you can call on family and friends for a while but the novelty soon wears off for both sides.

It’s a lot easier if the people working for you are self employed, you don’t need to worry about PAYE etc but the downside is they decide the hours/days they work, they can turn round and say no to you. I think technically they should supply their own tools and shouldn’t be constantly under your direct supervision but I’m not an expert in these matters.

When you’ve got a lot of bookings and you take time to train up some staff so they don’t need you there all the time your main worry is they’ll leave halfway through the season leaving you in trouble. Our solution, and it worked very well all round, was to offer a substantial bonus to key staff. They received the bonus at the end of the season (mid September) provided they still worked for us.

A few extra points with offering a bonus:

-we deducted the cost of any tools broken by them or their team (this reduced breakages immensely!)

-although we didn’t, I know a lot of companies offer bonuses for months in which no sick days were used. If it becomes a problem then it’s certainly something to consider.

University students are ideal labour to recruit as their holidays generally coincide with peak wedding/party marquee season and if you get a 1st year student it means he’ll come back for the following season or two.

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