SPOTLIGHT ON AN INFLATABLE HIRE COMPANY
NAME OF YOUR INFLATABLE HIRE COMPANY?
WHAT IS YOUR AGE?
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU STARTED HIRING OUT INFLATABLES?
I was an accountant.
WHAT MADE YOU START AN INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?
My wife was a nursery nurse and was fed up with all the long hours etc. She decided to look around for a business that could be started in our spare time. We started with three bouncy castles and haven’t looked back!
The income from our new bouncy castle hire business replaced my wife’s income very quickly.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?
I’m a scout leader.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?
The Abyss (1989)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?
Kebab (Preferably Shish)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE UK HOLIDAY DESTINATION?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION ABROAD?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMME?
The Walking Dead
One by U2
WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT THE INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?
Also, being an ex-accountant I get a kick out of the joy and excitement on people’s faces when I arrive with their inflatable. This never happened in my accountancy career!!
WHAT DO YOU LEAST ENJOY ABOUT THE INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?
Long wet days.
IF YOU COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY?
I would make it more difficult for newbies to enter the industry. Also, I would raise prices across the board – not just hire prices but also the prices that manufacturers sell new inflatables for. This would deter newbies and help keep them out of the industry!
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A HIRING FROM HELL? (or an unusual booking?)
On one occasion, a female customer took a fancy to one of my drivers, and tried to encourage him to go upstairs with her into her bedroom.
On another occasion we were picking up a castle and all the family were in the garden. The children were pestering us to not take the castle away and the whole family were doing the usual thing by encouraging the kids to boo us. The birthday boy was sat on his grandmother’s lap, and I did my usual thing of saying “You can keep the bouncy castle overnight for an extra £25. Why don’t you ask your grandma if you can have the extra money?” There was a moment of silence and then the grandmother said: “I’m not his grandma…..I’m his mum!” The rest of the family immediately erupted into laughter and needless to say we made a quick exit with the castle. The guys who were with me couldn’t stop laughing all day and surprisingly we never got another booking from the mother.
DO YOU HAVE ANY USEFUL TIPS OR IDEAS THAT YOU COULD SHARE WITH THE OTHER BIHA MEMBERS.
1. Get friendly with other inflatable hire companies in your local area. Take them out for a coffee at Costa or a pub meal etc. Pass bookings and referrals to each other. If you make enemies of your competitors then you will all lose out. There is more than enough work in most towns and cities to go round.
I am not geared up to take last minute bookings – so I can pass these on to my competitors who can take on this kind of work.
2. Don’t try and take on all of the work yourself. Use drivers to do it for you. We have 5 full-time staff who deliver and collect castles for us.
HOW HAS THE BIHA HELPED YOU IN YOUR INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?
The forum at www.BouncyCastleOwner.com is a great outlet and after over 9 years in the inflatable hire business I still pick up tips from it. You’re never too old to learn!!
Thank you Matt for taking time out of your hire business to answer these questions – it’s greatly appreciated.