Answers22

SPOTLIGHT ON AN INFLATABLE HIRE COMPANY

YOUR NAME?

Natalie King.

NAME OF YOUR INFLATABLE HIRE COMPANY?

King Of The Castles Entertainments

www.kingofthecastlesentertainments.co.uk

YOUR LOCATION?

Stevenage, Herts.

WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

33

WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU STARTED HIRING OUT INFLATABLES?

Full time mother.

WHAT MADE YOU START AN INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?

I realised that because children are born every day of the year, they will always have parties. The biggest attraction at a childrens party is always the bouncy castle or other play inflatable.

So, if you are based in a reasonably sized town, there should be strong demand for bouncy castles all year round!

If you run the business properly, it should be impossible to fail !

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?

Holidays.

Cinema.

Running a fake tanning business as a side-line.

Doing booking for weddings.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?

Dirty Dancing (1987) with Patrick Swayze

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?

Steak and Chips, onion rings, mushrooms, ribs and all the trimmings.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE UK HOLIDAY DESTINATION?

Haven Caister (Great Yarmouth, Norfolk)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION ABROAD?

Algarve, Portugal.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMME?

Eastenders

YOUR FAVOURITE SONG?

Us against the World by Westlife.

WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT THE INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?

Providing a service which makes kids (and adults) very happy!

I like the fact that they love me and see me as their favourite person of all time!!

I particularly enjoy doing events, and meeting lots of people including the organisers etc.

IF YOU COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY?

I would like to see a little more common sense applied to health and safety of inflatables.

There are too many petty restrictions.

For example, one amazing safety feature in days gone by, was a front safety wall, unfortunately, this feature has now been banned by the industry.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A HIRING FROM HELL? (Horror story or an unusual booking?)

Yes, 2 stories….

1) A customer once booked a large adult bouncy castle for their back garden in an ordinary sized house.
However, on the morning of the booking, it was raining, and the customer rang me up and asked me if the castle could be set up in her front living room instead!!!

2) I once took a booking for a castle from a group of travellers. Unfortunately, they refused to tell me the address of the venue until 20 minutes before the party was due to start. In addition, they refused to sign my Terms and Conditions of Hire form.

In the end, I cancelled the booking.

DO YOU HAVE ANY USEFUL TIPS OR IDEAS THAT YOU COULD SHARE WITH THE OTHER BIHA MEMBERS.

Yes, 2 tips….

1) When you are providing different inflatables at an event, give the children different coloured arm-bands to wear so that you know exactly what inflatables they have paid for to use. E.g. blue for the bouncy castle, green for the slide, and orange for the obstacle course. Otherwise, there’s nothing to stop the children from using inflatables that they haven’t paid for!!

2) When you buy inflatables from new – ALWAYS use a reputable manufacturer!! Never pay with cash, and never do a direct bank transfer. ALWAYS use your credit card to pay. Unfortunately, I learnt this the hard way.

I spent £5,000 with one rogue bouncy castle manufacturer who then fled to the USA with my money and never delivered my inflatables as promised.

I won my court case, but because he is now living in the USA, I have not received a single penny back.

HOW HAS THE BIHA HELPED YOU IN YOUR INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?

The BIHA has massively helped me in my inflatable hire business.

I have benefited a lot from all the advice and tips that the BIHA has given to its members over the years.

In addition, I like being able to get a discount on my PL insurance as a result of my membership.

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