San José, Costa Rica
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When Caramba Rental started, they were a side business for Caramba Films, but they have become a standalone company in their own right over the last few years. They saw a gap in Costa Rica’s camera rental market and took advantage by developing a successful business model. They went from having just four pieces of equipment to rent out to now having well over 50 pieces.
We have constantly seen camera/AV rentals among the most rented items from our customers throughout the years. In areas where there are few places to rent such items, like Costa Rica, it is crucial to stand out and deliver the best service possible. Something as simple as being the only one where rentals can take place entirely online can be the thing that makes people rent from you over your competition.
Caramba Rental was started in 2014 as a side business to the Caramba Films production company. They had the idea to earn some extra money by renting out their cameras and lights while they weren’t in use. While doing some research, they realized that there was a growing market for low and medium-sized productions in Costa Rica, but no company that dealt with them directly.
All of the other camera/AV rental services in the country wanted big productions with big budgets as their customers. So, Caramba decided that rather than having one or two huge clients a month, they could have one small client per day. This model turned out to be very successful for them, and they now receive bookings from several small to medium-sized clients per day.
“We started out with two cameras and a couple of lights. Our stock would fit in a single closet. Now we have over 15 cameras, a dozen microphones, and more than 20 different lighting kits. We now employ four people and are a fully independent business from our production company.”
Turning mess into magic
Frederico Lang describes the company’s beginnings as a “total disaster.” First, they would use a combination of Excel spreadsheets, Google Calendars, and their memory. Then, he said, “we had clients that came in, and we didn’t remember that they had ordered something; or even worse, the equipment was somewhere else.” Not the ideal situation for a young, growing rental business.
So, they had to find software that could manage their bookings and overview their inventory to keep track of where everything was a who had booked them out. They also needed an online store, and the software had to be easy to use. That’s when they came across Booqable, and their rental business turned around completely.
“I need to say this. If it weren’t for Booqable, we probably wouldn’t have the company we have today. We would have given up. Having user-friendly rental software has allowed us to grow, and enabling our customers to book online has been awesome.”
With Booqable, Caramba Rental has been able to grow into a company in its own right. They have rapidly expanded their inventory and keep track of it all through Booqable easily and ensure their customers have the equipment they want when they want it.
They are now the only fully online-capable camera equipment rental business in Costa Rica. Customers can rent everything they need online without having to call or visit their shop to make a booking.
Frederico describes this as “pretty weird in our business” as other rental companies require you to visit in person, which has worked out great for Caramba Rental. In regards to the ease of use, he said, “We just hired a new guy, and he basically needed no training for using Booqable; he found it to be so easy that his training was less than an hour to use the software properly.”