SPOTLIGHT ON A SUPPLIER TO THE INFLATABLE HIRE INDUSTRY
YOUR NAME? Ian Amis
NAME OF YOUR COMPANY? The Didicar Company
YOUR LOCATION? Warwick.
WHAT IS YOUR AGE (or AGE GROUP?)
I’m well into the Middle Ages!
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU STARTED SUPPLYING DIDICARS?
Before establishing the Didicar in the UK and Europe I lived and worked in China and Switzerland managing sales for a company that made quality measuring instruments for the textile industry. No real link there, but Didicars are much more fun.
WHAT MADE YOU GET INTO THE DIDICAR BUSINESS?
Whilst living in China, 10 years ago, with my previous job a friend bought my then 2 ½ year old a Didicar (though it wasn’t called that then) as a present. She wouldn’t get off it and I hadn’t seen anything like it. I still can’t believe how strong it is and that adults can ride them as well as children. So as my China contract was coming to an end we took the plunge, came up with the name and brand and brought the new ‘Didicar’ to the UK.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?
Apart from riding Didicars with my girls I like the quiet pass times including Photography, reading and sports, well let’s be honest all sports I can see without leaving the house!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?
I’ve brought up two daughters so I have become indoctrinated by their influence. Therefore for me it’s anything from Dreamworks and animated.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?
You can’t go wrong with a steak and salad and a few fries of course.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG?
I don’t have a favourite song, I’ll screech along to most tunes.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE UK HOLIDAY DESTINATION?
North Norfolk is the best. Just don’t tell anyone.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION ABROAD?
My wife has roots in the Far East. Anywhere in South East Asia is a great place to spend some time.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMME?
I like the sports, so that takes care of a lot of programmes.
WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT THE LEISURE BUSINESS?
It’s doing something for a living that brings fun and happiness to people. It’s hard work but rewarding. I also love the names of all the Hirers and Play Centres they make me smile.
WHAT DO YOU LEAST ENJOY ABOUT THE LEISURE BUSINESS?
What’s not to enjoy about the Leisure Business, except maybe sometimes I’d like to be on the receiving end of the hard work a bit more and not always the provider. But it’s all good.
IF YOU COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE LEISURE INDUSTRY?
I’m a supplier to the Leisure industry rather than being active in providing the leisure, but for me I’d like more Add-Ons in the Business, (no surprises there!).
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A JOB FROM HELL? (or a particularly unusual job?)
No really hellish jobs. I did however once spend a day at a charity event, with a dozen Didicars, in the middle of Throckmorton Airfield near Worcester. It was raining quite nicely and I was there to raise money by getting people to race Didicars along a disused runway. Not many takers as Didicars don’t have roofs or windscreens.
DO YOU HAVE ANY USEFUL TIPS OR IDEAS THAT YOU COULD SHARE WITH THE OTHER BIHA MEMBERS.
There is one basic rule. If it doesn’t say Didicar it’s not a Didicar. Beware of Imitations!
Apart from the basic rule and the obvious tip to buy yourselves some Original Didicars and the smaller Walk ‘n Rides, it would be never leave your Didicars at home. Whether a party has ordered Didicars or not take them with you on the van. Make sure they are the first thing you get out of the van and leave them in the hall whilst you set up. Not only does this keep the children out of your way while you set up it also gives them time to want Didicars at the party.
When set up is finished go to collect the Didicars. Chances are that you won’t be taking them away when the children plead with their parents to keep them. You can choose to leave them as a sign of goodwill and the probability of future and repeat business or make a special offer, just this once, to leave them at the party. Twenty pounds or so paid on the day, after the main hire is paid for, won’t seem that much especially when the children are working on your behalf to make the sale.
HOW HAS THE BIHA HELPED YOU IN YOUR LEISURE BUSINESS?
The BIHA is a great forum for us at Didicar, and other suppliers, to talk to professional Hirers and Play Providers across Britain. Being able to communicate with users of Didicars and those who don’t have them yet is fantastic.