Business collaboration is a known method for business growth, but can it work for marquee hire?
Business and competition are actually at odds with one another, when you think about it.
If we think about business in terms of fighting a '
competitor' in order to get agreement to trade from someone else, then haven't we lost already?
The heart of business is service, surely?
It's about giving not taking. Therefore, "business collaboration" makes sense.
The more people agreed to give together, only multiplies the value all-round.
What is a 'vertical marketplace'? How is this relevant to collaboration?
A vertical marketplace is a niche.
This need is met either with existing products (tent structures), or through creating or importing new products invested.
Structure of a vertical marketplace
The vertical market begins at the source with an origin of raw materials.
In marquee hire, the production of canopy and structural materials, such as, PVC 500gsm or Aluminium respectively, would be at the top of the vertical.
Downstream from market producers other businesses in the niche would feed.
At each stage of a vertical marketplace, businesses are involved as participants in the converting goods/services received, into value for participants typically further on downstream, however upstream benefits are also entirely feasible.
Such value is passed on by the donor organisation and sometimes (...but not always) to their financial profit.
As value accumulates through the value-focused labour of donor businesses/participants, the entire marketplace is benefited.
The following is an example outline for the marquee hire market vertical, comprising of it's participants, both donors and end-users:
- Raw materials producers [producer/donor]
- Aluminium, PVC etc...
- Raw materials dealers/brokers [donor]
- Bulk buy raw materials as aggregates and bulk sell on
- Raw materials distributors/suppliers [donor]
- Sell smaller lots of raw materials to manufacturers, on demand
- Materials manufacturers [donor]
- Produce made to measure items like sheets PVC or metal joists
- Marquee manufacturers [donor]
- Produce ready made event tent assemblies for purchase
- Equipment wholesalers/distributors [donor]
- Buy bulk stock of marquee structures for the purpose of selling in smaller numbers to trade customers
- Marquee hire companies [donor]
- Buy marquee assemblies for the purpose of hiring the structures to be erected for a fixed duration at venues for the purpose of sheltering events temporarily and other functions, occasions or gatherings
- Event venues [donor]
- Locations where marquees can be erected temporarily, upon formal request and booking, by private individual or company
- Event planners/organisers [donor]
- A professional organisation or private person who is responsible for planning and delivering an event
- Event guests [end-user]
- People who attend a specific event
What about the supporters of each participant which help them give the best value?
At each level of the aforementioned vertical marketplace, there are also support acts who don't participate directly within this niche of marquee hire, but which add their own indirect value to the cumulative value of the entire niche.
The following is an example of the marquee hire vertical marketplace again, but this time with associated horizontal supporting acts, who are indirect donors to the overall value of the vertical or niche:
- Raw materials producers
- (fuels suppliers, mechanical engineering firms, PPE manufacturers...)
- Bulk materials dealers/brokers
- (IT networking firms, telecommunications firms...)
- Raw materials distributors/suppliers
- (industrial construction firms, logistics firms, facilities management firms...)
- Materials manufacturers
- (custom mouldings manufacturers, security contractors...)
- Marquee manufacturers
- (e-commerce developers, import agents...)
- Equipment wholesalers
- (inventory software, customer relationship management software...)
- Marquee hire companies
- (marquee cleaning companies, van & commercial fleet hire companies, event brokers...)
- Event venues
- (landscape gardeners, photographers, florist...)
- Event planners and organisers
- (web designers, event staff recruitment agents, graphic designers...)
- Event guests
- (friends & family, Google...)
How is this 'value' increased by donor participants (either directly or indirectly) within a vertical marketplace?
Labour is the value driver.
What kind of labour? Well, it all counts - both internal and external processes all add value.
Let's take a closer look within a typical marquee hire company and the value adding commercial functions:
- Marketing adds value by...
- communicating to the marketplace any message of value to any participant
- Customer service adds value by...
- answering the questions of participants to help them make better decisions or investments decision
- Administration adds value by...
- keeping the organisational integrity of internal processes, problem free
- Procurement adds value by...
- researching and acquiring the most appropriate hire stock to meet demand
- Inventory management & stock maintenance adds value by...
- keeping stock clean, prepared and ready for each installation, without fail
- Rigging and installations adds value by...
- delivering and installing marquee structures onsite at venue for end users
- Training and accreditation adds value by...
- operational training and ensuring of staff competence to perform to the highest prescribed standards
- Risk management adds value by...
- Information technology adds value by...
- ensuring the processing of information both inbound and outbound is supported optimally by available technologies and feasible solutions are proposed for use
- Account management adds value by...
- maintaining flawless dialogue with existing hire customers for the sufficing of their ongoing needs
- Repairs adds value by...
- keeping all stock viable for hire and in peak condition
- Labour management (including recruitment) adds value by...
- acquiring and maintaining of the best available labour resources for the business giving the highest value
- Accounts/Payroll adds value by...
- keen professional financial management for keeping the business best poised for meeting near and far objectives
- Management adds value by...
- oversight and stewardship of the entire operation, effectively serving all staff members to keep them able always to give their best for the business
In all of the ways listed above (and more), any marquee hire business can increase the overall value served to other participants in the marketplace.
The cumulative effect of the individual contributions of businesses within their marketplace, is multiplied value gained for each participant throughout the chain.
Most of all, the end users receive a user experience which is always above and beyond expectation as excellence become commonplace.
Overall, the demand for the industry niche increases.
Serving your market vertical or niche with value is not
Networking involves the pursuing of mutually beneficial arrangements between consenting parties.
The motivator for this is increasing one's own business profit through the offering of a boomerang proposal of sorts, which brings benefit right back to the person offering.
This kind of giving is with the hope of getting as much, if not more, back in return. The underpinning mindset involved in networking short-changes the potential for genuinely adding value.
Service on the other hand, in the true definition, is the giving of what you or your business has to another person or organisation on the sole purpose of helping them.
The more value given, the more valued that business is by their marketplace by both upstream and downstream participants. This, in both the short and long term is more profitable without the direct intention of making money ruling over the act of giving value.
What is it that each vertical participant must do in order to deliver this value?
To achieve anything, there must be sacrifice.
With so many other interceding issues of business and life which compete with your purposes coming to maturity - unless you really put first things first, you leave yourself no chance of success.
The same applies to value & excellence. If you really see the value in producing excellence as a business owner in the marquee hire business, then you will make sure your business focus and resources are not spared to achieve it.
The fundamental here is that you must think first about how you will benefit those above and below in the vertical marketplace.
Isn't this theory flawed, in that not all participants want, to or are able to create as much value as others?
The only concern each participant should have is adding value to fellow participants in their marketplace.
Remember that participants' focus should be in the increasing of value for the whole marketplace, not just their direct customers. Where you can benefit a supplier, for example or one of your supporting horizontal businesses, the whole industry benefits.
The receiving participant within your industry is not only bettered by the value served to them, but the example of giving value for the sake of benefiting the receiving party (with no seeking of profit) will serve as an encouragement for them to do the same elsewhere, spreading the value beyond your reach throughout your vertical.
The smallest show of value, can make the biggest difference. You just don't know how it is going to be received and what it will mean to your fellow participant - even if it be another marquee hire company on your patch.
Traditional thought would call other marquee hire companies 'competitors'. But this is based upon the flaw in economic theory which sees a marketplace as having fixed resources which competitors fight over in order to divide the benefits among themselves through striving.
In truth though, the marquee hire industry is unlimited, because any and everyone could be a end-user. Also, end-users can book services as many times as they like. Fact.
This means, the more the demand for marquee hire services is generated by the entire vertical or niche (being the sum of all participants) investing in prospering the niche, the more end-user investment is drawn into the niche.
So for all concerned within the vertical, upping the cumulative market value increases the gains all-round.
competitive market vertical
Fear is the driver behind competition.
Competition is the focus of fighting others for personal gain.
Serving is the focus of giving value to another for the sake of giving, with no expectation of return.
The two are completed opposed.
In a competitive business vertical participants see other like businesses as 'competitors' and they seek to claw back customer interest away from 'competitors' in order to beat them to bread and butter sales.
True value and service are not what the competitive participant has in mind, but they are rather afraid that if they gave service to all other participants on the basis of serving value only that they might go out of business from not making profit.
This mindset deprives the entire market of increased value and keeps participants fearfully holding on to ever decreasing commercial trade.
The service (value) led market vertical
In such a vertical marketplace, the participants are not governed by the fear of losing business to their peers, but rather are brimming with the confidence to serve all other participants with excellence.
Essentially, team play.
This leads us on neatly to the idea of business collaboration...
The more team work between participants, the more is value shared, the more demand is generated for external investment into the niche - as excellence attracts further business.
The gears of PR, advertising, promotion, niche awareness, news worthy mentions, social media re-shares and mentions, web backlinks etc...take off and the interest in marquee hire as a niche rockets.
So, what are your thoughts about it?
Are you using this approach already? What is the response from other participants?
Not convinced? Why not give it go? Otherwise, comment below and tell us about your reservations.
Categorised in: A Guide To Event Business Management
This post was written by selmore