Yes means more business and more business means more money. As with most businesses, when I started I was very eager for more business and to establish a client base. With that being the goal I made my target clientele any business that holds meetings. Which essentially means any business. When I did succed in getting a business to give our company an opportunity, I was also eager to keep their business. With that in mind I said “Yes” to every rental request whether I had the equipment in house or not.
There were many times in the beginning when a client would ask, “can you rent us a blank” fill in the “blank“ with an item that we did not have. I would always answer, “Yes, when do you need it.” Then I would proceed to find that equipment from another rental company to cross rent. With longevity in mind, I would pay close attention to the frequency of how often my client would rent a non-inventory item and I would subsequently decide to purchase that piece of equipment and bring it in-house. Over time, what this did for our company was provide us with a wide variety of a/v equipment, rare equipment, ancillary event equipment and cut down on our cross rental expenses.
One excellent example of this process is my relationship with Frank Quinn of Ballard Spahr LLP. Frank is one of my first clients and I have always admired his dedication to Ballard Spahr LLP. In corporate America and most industries, you have in-house clients and outside clients. Your in-house clients refer to your co-workers. Co-workers who, during the execution of their jobs require your assistance in someway. Frank Quinn is in charge of the audio visual department at Ballard Spahr LLP. Frank’s in-house clients call him to reserve audio visual equipment for upcoming meetings they are preparing.
Ballard Spahr owns their own audio visual equipment but use A. V. Rental Services, Inc when they are overbooked or overextended. One of the first things I noticed about Frank was his can-do attitude and enthusiasm to never say “no” to his in-house clients’ requests. Admiring his work ethic I made it a point to always say “Yes” to his requests and Yes to more business.
One of his first non-inventory request was for stage risers. Initially I cross rented them from Starlite Productions, in New Jersey. After a few rentals I quickly decided to purchase stage decks from Staging Dimensions Inc., in Delaware and bring them in-house. This helped to cut down on our expenses from cross rental companies and the fuel having to send a van to pick stages up and return them after the rental ended. The added and unexpected bonus was an additional revenue stream from a client base interested in renting stages for a wide array of different applications.
Initially Frank’s usual order was three stage decks which are 4′ x 8′ each. Having so said, initially I purchased three stage decks from Staging Dimensions Inc. One day frank called to order a stage but he needed four decks this time. So I purchased a fourth stage deck. We now have 10 decks in house and can build a 16′ x 20′ stage at 3 foot height with railings and steps, supplied all in house.
Suffice it to say, our decision to start stocking stages was a wise and profitable one. The building of the stage can be laborious but the bonus is it can be built by your every day laborers. I will close by advising you to think twice before telling your client you do not stock the item they are looking for.