Pivoting a Production Company into Budget Camera Rentals

Kennedy Seed had a thriving film production company, but when the pandemic hit, the demand for services dwindled. He knew he had to find a way to maintain an income, and with...

Budget Camera

Founded

2020

Industry

Camera rentals

Location

Toronto, Canada

Key features used

  • Quotes & Invoices

  • Inventory Management

  • Online Bookings

Kennedy Seed had a thriving film production company, but when the pandemic hit, the demand for services dwindled. He knew he had to find a way to maintain an income, and with thousands of dollars worth of equipment sitting around, there was only one option. He started a camera rental business and now uses Booqable to manage online bookings.

The Pandemic hit many businesses hard, and most had to shut down because the reduced demand for their services decimated their revenue. However, some business owners were clever enough to pivot the focus of their company to maintain revenue. Now, these businesses are thriving because they met a new demand that opened up to them.

Budget Camera

Kennedy has always loved film and television and has been involved in it for much of his teenage and adult life. He started as an actor working in a small studio in Nigeria, which developed into his obsession with film and photography, leading to him attending film school. After he graduated, he set up a small production team with his friend to create music videos and TV commercials.

He understood that a business structure for his production team would help them stay organized, accountable, and, more importantly, productive. From this point on, his company was thriving with constant shoots booked until the pandemic hit in 2019. This forced him and his friend to downsize, refund customers, and reduce the number of gigs they could fulfill.

His equipment was sitting in storage gathering dust until his friends started contacting him privately to borrow gear, like lenses and dollies. This is when Kennedy saw a new business opportunity. He decided to buy a RED GEMINI camera because it was trendy, and it started getting rented out like wildfire. In November 2020, he and his friend started a camera rental business called Budget Camera, and the rest is history.

Adjusting to rentals

When Kennedy rented out camera gear to his friends, he didn’t have a structure. They would pick up the equipment and pay for renting it straight away, but when he formally established his business, this changed. He now needed to take bookings through calls and email and keep track of his inventory and orders to ensure everyone got what they asked for and that nothing was overbooked.

Meanwhile, as he started renting out higher-quality equipment, he could no longer just take bank transfers. When customers asked him what equipment he had and what they needed for their productions, he had to create quotes and invoices for every order. He was beginning to think he would need to hire a third person to share the workload as it was a lot for two to handle.

A one-stop system

Eventually, this work became too much for Kennedy, and he knew he needed to find a better way to complete these daily tasks. While searching for a system that combined online bookings with inventory management and payments, he came across Booqable. As soon as he started using it, he realized it did everything he needed and more, so he kept using it.

Now, Budget Camera’s customers no longer need to call in and ask about their products and when they’re available. They can simply go to their website and see what equipment is available in real-time and request a quote. This has made their lives easier as they can quickly submit a request and reduced the amount of time Kennedy spends answering calls and emails.

The follow-up is also much easier as quotes in Booqable are automatically populated with the correct information and can be sent directly to customers from within the software. Once the quotes are approved, customers are sent an automatically generated invoice and a payment request link. This makes it easy for them to complete their order and takes the burden off Kennedy.

Preparing for growth

Kennedy has saved a lot of time and money since he started using Booqable. He now spends much less time dealing with administrative tasks, with much of the work being automated. This has also meant he hasn’t needed to hire extra staff, and he has noticed a significant increase in the number of bookings since implementing his new booking system.

Next, he is looking to grow Budget Camera even more and spend more time focussing on the studio space he runs called BC Studios. This has been the home of Budget Camera, and customers can rent the space for projects alongside the equipment. He is looking to expand this aspect of the business as the film industry recovers from the setbacks of the pandemic.

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