Answers25

SPOTLIGHT ON AN INFLATABLE HIRE COMPANY.

YOUR NAME?

Karl Gray

NAME OF YOUR INFLATABLE HIRE COMPANY?

Medway Leisure

www.medwaybouncycastlehire.co.uk

YOUR LOCATION?

Chatham, Kent.

WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

29

WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU STARTED HIRING OUT INFLATABLES?

I was a qualified plumber.

I also was a market trader for Betfair. (and am still involved)

WHAT MADE YOU START AN INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?

I always wanted to start my own business, and inflatable hire looked like a great opportunity.

Also, my sister hired bouncy castles quite regularly and I saw how easy it was to do.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?

Football and going to the Gym.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?

Apocalypto (2006) with Mel Gibson.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?

Roast dinner with all the trimmings.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE UK HOLIDAY DESTINATION?

Devon

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION ABROAD?

Majorca

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMME?

Breaking Bad

YOUR FAVOURITE SONG?

The A Team by Ed Sheeran

WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT THE INFLATABLE HIRE BUSINESS?

Earning good money, and working for myself.

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

I would make more sunny days and very little wind.

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

Yes, in 2014, I delivered a bouncy castle and soft play to an
indoor event. Unfortunately, a little boy allegedly bounced off
the castle and collided with some of my softplay, and then
rolled back down towards the floor, apparently breaking his leg
in the process.

However, rather bizarely the customer did not tell me that there
had been an incident when I went to collect the equipment.

The first I knew about it was 6 weeks later (yes 6 weeks!!) when
their “solicitor” hand delivered a letter through my letter box
informing me that the young lad had suffered a broken leg whilst
playing on my equipment.

I contacted my public liability insurance company who sent out a
loss-adjuster to investigate the claim. After a few weeks, the
loss adjuster instructed my insurance company to deny all
liability.

The ironic aspect to this “hiring from hell” is that when the
claim was put in, the young lad’s leg would have healed.

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

Yes, 2 tips….

1) Hiring out soft play alongside your inflatables is a great
extra income. If you don’t – then you are leaving money on the
table as many customers request it, and you are going there
anyway, but you need a big van!

2) When deflating a castle, use the vent on the side of the
blower to suck the air out of the inflatable. Currently, I hold
the rear tube in place with my hands, but I’m looking to get
some sort of attachment designed and engineered to speed up the
process.

NOTE from Mark Jerram (BIHA) This is a good idea Karl, and was
also shared with the BIHA around 10 years ago. However, you
might want to check with your fan manufacturer first to make
sure that when there is no load on the fan motor, that it
doesn’t overspeed and risk burning out.

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

I have enjoyed meeting some really helpful BIHA members through
the BIHA discussion forum and the BIHA Facebook Group etc. and
they have helped me answer my questions.

Also, the BIHA has built a professional looking website for me,
and recently made it fully mobile-friendly, See:
www.medwaybouncycastlehire.co.uk

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