It’s remarkable how one opportunity can lead you down a particular path that you never expected to be on. When Phil Dickenson was asked to create oversized games for a festival, he...
Auckland, New Zealand
It’s remarkable how one opportunity can lead you down a particular path that you never expected to be on. When Phil Dickenson was asked to create oversized games for a festival, he and his wife Sam realized how amazing they were and wanted to share them with more people. Now, they use Booqable to manage bookings, payments, and email for their business.
Phil has had a long career as a carpenter and spent much of his free time creating wooden toys for himself and his children. It brought them a lot of joy, and they would spend hours playing together. So, naturally, when he was asked to create oversized versions of children’s games like Connect 4 for a festival in Auckland, New Zealand in 2013, he jumped at the opportunity.
The couple attended the festival and saw how much younger and older people alike had played these games. Something about them sparked joy in everyone that could not quite be described. They wanted to share this joy of connection and learning through games with their friends, family, and community. So, the idea started to take life in their plans and dreams.
Soon, Woodbotherer Games was born, named after Sam’s nickname for Phil because he was always working on something. From there, the business has grown, and they now rent out oversized versions of classic games like Connect 4 and Naughts and Crosses, as well as ones inspired by games found in European cafes and even new games invented by Phil himself.
Having previously started her own businesses, Sam took on the role of managing the running of Woodbotherer Games. She had great systems in place for operating when the business was smaller, but as it grew, she ran into some issues. For example, inventory was managed on sheets of paper, which made it very difficult to see what games were available to rent out.
It was also difficult for customers to make a booking as it had to be done over the phone and by email. While payments were processed through bank transfers and it was difficult to chase these payments. In addition, Sam had to write the same email repeatedly, and it was difficult to keep track of conversations between herself and customers as the business grew.
The culmination of these issues meant that every time a customer wanted to make a booking, Sam had to rifle through lots of sheets of paper to see what was available, reply to customers, and chase payments. This, of course, cost a lot of time and money, which made it difficult to confidently grow the business to the heights that she and Phil had been dreaming of.
Sam knew she needed a better system for tracking inventory, managing bookings, communicating with customers, and getting paid. So, she looked for rental software to assist her. After comparing her options, she decided that Booqable was the best choice. It helped solve her inventory problems, and it provided solutions for online bookings, emails, and payments.
Now, Sam can easily see which games are available very easily with the calendar and real-time availability in the order screens. This means she no longer has to go through pieces of paper and can quickly assist customers who call. She can then quickly create a booking and take credit card payments over the phone, including security deposits.
The customer journey has also improved as they can see what games are available on their website, add them to their booking, make a reservation and pay at the checkout. Sam can then easily follow up with emails created from templates and auto-populated with customer information. She can also view a history of emails sent to each customer to track the conversations.
Phil and Sam are well on their way to taking their mission to the next level by spreading joy and their environmental message. Since they started using Booqable, they have seen bookings increase and love that more people are enjoying their games. The time saved managing their business gives them the confidence to expand to more cities in New Zealand.
In addition, they have made Phil’s woodworking plans available on their website, so if anyone is inspired to start their own giant games rental business, they can do so using his designs. They have already seen a lot of interest from people across the world, and it’s exciting to see lots of people playing games and creating joy and connections with each other.
Get started and see the benefits of rental software.