Key features used
Whether it’s the products you rent out or your website, it’s often a good idea to start small and grow as you become more comfortable. Russell Perkin took this approach to Strawberry Hire, renting out bouncy castles and creating his website. Since then, he has expanded into many different party items and started using Booqable to accept online orders.
It can often seem daunting to start renting products, especially when there is an online component. However, the results can be incredible if you take it at your pace and allow the business to grow with you. Building up a business this way will enable you to expand your offering incrementally and increase your reputation within your local community.
Russell started Strawberry Hire in 2018 with a few bouncy castles he had at the time. When it came to his website, he didn’t want to pay for someone to make it for him, so he taught himself how to make it with tutorials online. This proved effective for some time, and once the business matured, it split into two rental companies, one for inflatables and one for event hire items.
As Strawberry Hire evolved, a separate website was created for inflatable rental items called Strawberry Bouncy Castles. The offering expanded to include ball pits and soft play items. He then turned his focus to Strawberry Hire so that he could grow this side of the business. He saw a lot of potential and wanted to ensure it had the best chance of success.
Strawberry Hire now rents out standard party and event items, such as wedding hire, sound and lighting, children’s table, and chairs. The range of products includes wedding LED signs, wedding table décor, donut walls, prosecco walls, candy floss machines, popcorn machines, lego equipment, teepee tents, Nerf guns, audio equipment, and special effects.
When Russell created the website for Strawberry Hire, he chose to create a website using WordPress and WooCommerce. This was great for creating the browsing experience he wanted with an eCommerce feel, but it wasn’t ideally suited to rental products. So, Russell started looking for a plugin to help him create the ideal online booking experience.
He decided that Booqable was the best option for him, as it gave online booking capabilities and allowed him to manage his inventory. He was to integrate Booqable with his existing website built on WooCommerce and quickly add the ability to offer rental products. Russell liked that he could add it to the current website without redesigning anything.
Now, he can maintain the website he spent time creating while being able to accept online bookings. This is something he hadn’t imagined possible previously, having thought he would have to rebuild his website to accept online bookings. Thankfully, integrating Booqable with WooCommerce is easy, allowing him to get up and running quickly.
Continuing to grow
With online bookings, Russell has more time to focus on growing his rental business. Thanks to not having to answer customer calls and emails to get their order information. He plans to add more wedding equipment to his offerings, like LED dance floors, more LED signs, and equipment for children’s parties and baby showers.