It’s incredible how much having the right software can change your whole perspective. James Williams at Pro Studio Hire was planning to stop offering equipment rentals because it became too difficult to...
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It’s incredible how much having the right software can change your whole perspective. James Williams at Pro Studio Hire was planning to stop offering equipment rentals because it became too difficult to manage. Then, they came across Booqable and found it so easy and satisfying that they now plan to grow and expand their rental offering over the coming months.
There’s an old saying that a poor craftsman blames their tools; however, sometimes, the tools available genuinely hold them back. This is often the case with rental businesses, where they are using outdated or complex systems to manage their processes. Once they get software designed for the tasks they are trying to achieve, they see a massive difference.
Pro Studio Hire was founded three years ago by James Williams in Bournemouth, England. He is an experienced photographer and video content creator with several years of hands-on experience with camera equipment. In 2019, he decided to open his studio equipped with two photography/video spaces that can be hired for personal and professional use.
The studios are equipped with an insane amount of equipment, including cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, projectors, grips, tripods, microphones, rigging, sound blankets, and cranes. This equipment can be rented alongside the studio spaces or separately for anything from university projects to professional studio productions in Bournemouth.
In addition, James’ years of industry experience allow him to provide the studios and equipment and real-world guidance. This ranges from giving customers recommendations on the equipment they should use to demonstrating how it is used. This means that customers get a hands-on experience before they take the equipment on set.
As you can imagine, running a full-time rental business alongside two studio spaces and being hands-on with customers is a lot of work. Especially when you don’t have an efficient system in place, rentals themselves can be incredibly complex to manage. Still, with a growing inventory, time becomes a premium that is difficult to find when you’re running back and forth.
James struggled with managing their inventory, knowing where their equipment is and when it should be returned, and going back and forth with customers to provide quotes for equipment. They had no real system in place, and the processes were prone to error thanks to the use of spreadsheets and email chains to keep on top of everything.
It came to the point where it was too much work to handle, and they had considered stopping offering rentals altogether. It had become too difficult to track and stay on top of bookings, especially as the business grew and finding the time to do essential things became more challenging. They were just about to give up when they decided to give it one last shot.
Earlier this year, James came across Booqable and found that it solved all the management and tracking issues he was facing. He could set up the system quickly and get up and running very quickly. It gave him a new perspective on the rental side of the business and led to not only keeping it going but also wanting to grow the equipment rentals offered.
He has found Booqable super easy and efficient to manage inventory and keep track of customers’ orders. He and his team can quickly see what is available and when they should expect equipment back. It also allows his customers to browse equipment and request quotes confidently without having to email/call back and forth about availability.
Meanwhile, keeping track of quotes, knowing what bookings and returns are upcoming, and tracking equipment usage is easily achieved. In addition, they have saved time doing quotes as they are now done automatically when a customer submits a request on their website. James commented that rentals are now kind of fun and satisfying now.
Since implementing Booqable on their website and backend management, Pro Studio Hire has seen an increase in bookings. Their customers love to browse equipment online, and even if they don’t make a booking through the website, they love being able to see what equipment they have and when it is available. This has changed the whole customer experience.
Now, James plans to continue investing in more equipment and growing what they have available to offer clients. He is also looking to hire more staff to help with equipment bookings as the company has seen demands grow massively. Finally, he is looking forward to where this takes the business, now that it isn’t a burden to manage and keep on top of.
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