As your business grows, your eyes open to endless possibilities. Sven de With experienced this when he started renting out “at-home” cinema packages and quickly expanded into party rentals. Along the way,...
As your business grows, your eyes open to endless possibilities. Sven de With experienced this when he started renting out “at-home” cinema packages and quickly expanded into party rentals. Along the way, he discovered he needed a more robust payment system that integrated with his bookings, and he found that Booqable was the perfect fit.
Often when people start their own business, they begin small and manageable and grow organically. As a result, the company they are running a couple of years down the line can look very different from how it started. This ability to evolve a business in a natural though unexpected way can be challenging, but in the end, it is 100% worth the effort.
In early 2020, the world started hearing about a new virus spreading across the globe. Meanwhile, Sven was creating an idea to rent out “at-home” cinema packages which you could say was perfect timing. He started with an inflatable cinema screen with speakers and a projector. This experience was hugely successful in providing entertainment during the lockdowns.
Over time, he began to add more products to his inventory. He mainly focused on enhancing the cinema experience with chairs, popcorn machines, and decorations. They all contributed to a unique experience for his customers, leading to more and more bookings. Which opened his eyes to the endless possible products he could rent out.
From here, he started to shift focus from not only cinema-related products and began to focus on general party rentals. This includes pop-up marquees, chairs, tables, and photo booths. In addition, he delivers every order to his customers and sets them up if requested, though most customers opt to set up the products themselves.
Throughout this incredible growth and expansion, something was bugging Sven about his operation. He was unable to deal with security deposits efficiently and professionally. The process usually requires customers to transfer the deposit into the company’s bank account. Then, they would provide their details to Sven so he could transfer them back again.
In the meantime, customers would request quotes via phone and email, and when they decided to go ahead, he had no system to book them in. This meant he had to make a note of the order, create an invoice, and send customers a payment link to book it. This, combined with the security deposit process, took up a significant amount of Sven’s time.
Finally, it wasn’t easy to stand out among competitors as they all had a similar process. Customers would get in touch for a quote, then receive pricing afterward. This meant customers interacting with multiple party rental companies had a similar experience. Of course, Sven had to find a solution to help him achieve his goals in these areas.
After trying rental software from a few vendors, he found Booqable to be the best fit for everything he was doing. Its built-in credit card pre-authorization system allows him to hold funds when someone makes a booking. This has given him a lot of confidence if something happens to his equipment and reduces the amount of chargeback and refunds, saving on credit card fees.
The booking process is now also vastly improved. Customers no longer need to go through him to book out party equipment. They can make a booking themselves, and a pre-filled invoice attached to an email template is automatically sent to them. It also allows for the flexibility of adding more items after the fact, with funds being withdrawn automatically.
Now, Starlight Party Hire stands out among its local competitors. As mentioned, most work on a quote-based model without upfront pricing. Not only is Sven able to let customers book online, but he can also share the pricing and availability of his products. This makes the process more straightforward for the customers, who can book for themselves instantly.
Sven loves that customers can now make a booking without interacting with him. While taking security deposits is also a much-streamlined process which saves him valuable time. This time is spent on other things like growing the business and working towards the future. He has also found the iOS app amazing and uses it all day to manage his deliveries on the go.
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