When everything comes together perfectly, the risk is worth it all. James Gillett experienced this when he combined his passions for camping and outdoor activities to create Campers & Kit. Coming from...
Camping and Equipment
When everything comes together perfectly, the risk is worth it all. James Gillett experienced this when he combined his passions for camping and outdoor activities to create Campers & Kit. Coming from a rental background, he knew how vital rental software was, and Booqable ticked all his boxes from the very beginning.
Camping and outdoor activities are very hot topics at the moment, and they have seen a massive rise since the pandemic. Not only are they an easy way to enjoy yourself without leaving the country, but they are also affordable and fantastic for your physical and mental health. However, as James says, “the best escapades come when you combine the two.”
In late spring of 2020, James Gillett found himself in the position to start his own rental business. He had been working for a company that offered rentals and felt he had learned the skills he needed to make a go of it himself. In addition, he has always loved camping and outdoor activities, so he thought, “why not combine the two” to create the ultimate adventure rental business.
He already had a commercial van that had been converted into a camper which allowed him to test his business before investing more. Once he was satisfied that it could be a success, he invested in more inventory. He now has four camper vans and a variety of mountain bikes, sup boards, and hiking equipment that can be rented alongside them.
These add-ons are presented as outdoor activity kits and provide everything you need to enjoy the outdoors. For example, his Mountain Bike Kit includes a 2021 Kona Mahuna Hardtail MTB, a helmet, tools and hand-pump, and a replacement inner-tube if customers need to make repairs. He has thought of everything an adventurer will need to have a truly amazing experience.
During his time working with rentals at his previous job, he learned the benefit of having an established system to manage equipment. So, he wrote down the essential features of his software of choice. It needed to seamlessly integrate rental management with a front end website to accept booking and Booqable ticked these boxes perfectly.
He was able to get Campers & Kit up and going straight away and concentrate on growing the business, “rather than trying to implement a management system while struggling to fulfill the orders coming in.” This has meant that Booqable is the cornerstone of his operations and part of every piece of contact someone has with the business.
In addition, he has been able to use Zapier to connect Booqable to various aspects of his operations to “turbo-charge the automation side,” as well as creating a friendly website where customers can book 24/7. Now, James says, “bookings can flow all the way through from inquiry to collection/return of the equipment and following after-sales contact.”
James has been able to achieve his dream of offering an authentic outdoor experience with high-class adventure camping vehicles and equipment. He is now looking to the future and expanding the possibilities for his customers to experience even more of the outdoors, alongside continued growth in bookings.
Currently, he plans to add two more camper vans to his fleet by April of next year to increase his availability. He is also looking into other outdoor experiences he can create Kits for, sharing new ideas for trips, and going the extra mile to make sure his customers enjoy their time away.
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