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When Graham Larkin and Dan Segal started Deal Wizards, they had ambitions of becoming entrepreneurs with a good side hustle, like many people nowadays. However, what began as a buy and sell business quickly became a thriving rental business when a lucrative opportunity arose. Now they are the biggest fitness equipment rental business in Calgary.
Fitness equipment rental isn’t something that you immediately think of when putting together your home gym, but it turns out it is very cost-effective. This has been particularly true over the last year, with gyms being closed and people wanting to get their gym fix at home. Even with more gyms opening now as we exit lockdowns, people favor working out at home, so the fitness equipment continues to grow.
In the summer of 2020, two budding entrepreneurs, Graham and Dan, came together to create a business. They wanted to join the many thousands who have taken up a side hustle as the trend makes its way across social media. Initially, they decided that buying used items in bulk and selling them individually would be the best and most feasible way to each gain secondary incomes.
However, they soon discovered that they could rent out the equipment they bought to make a lot more money off single items. After all, reselling equipment will get you a one-time profit, but renting out items means that once the initial investment has been paid off, there’s infinite profit that can be made from them. Taking into account depreciation, of course.
Deal Wizards now offers a range of fitness equipment for people to use at home, including barbells, plates, squat racks, spin bikes, dumbbells, and air bikes. As a result, they have taken advantage of the increased demand for home gym equipment and offer customers an affordable way to work out from home.
The workout grind
When Dan and Graham switched to rentals, the learning curve was pretty steep as they hadn’t done anything like it before. First, they struggled with managing their rentals with a calendar and online booking system. In the beginning they used a piece of rental software that charge a commission fee on bookings, which meant that costs increased drastically as the company gained more customers.
So, they moved to good old-fashioned telephone bookings and managed them through spreadsheets. If you’ve read any of our other customer stories, you’ll know that, as Graham puts it, “As anyone can assume, it wasn’t working well.” They lead to misplaced equipment, double bookings, and poor communication between those who have access to them.
Then they decided to make the switch to Booqable, and they say it completely transformed their business. Deal Wizards now has a website that has integrated bookings so customers can book online. As a result, their time can be spent moving their company forward rather than constantly taking bookings over the phone or getting lost in spreadsheets.
Since starting to use Booqable, Deal Wizards has seen a rise in bookings and new customers. This is partly due to the ease of booking that it offers with the hosted store attached to their website, but that’s not where it had the most effect, according to Graham.
Booqable has freed up a lot of time for Graham and Dan because they don’t have to spend as much time on the admin aspect. They can focus on marketing their fitness rental business and growing their customer base in a way that just wouldn’t have been possible without have been possible before Booqable.