As with any small business, consistent marquee hire repeat business is the difference between rough seas and plain sailing
When speaking recently to various marquee hire company owners in the London region, we discovered the highly prized premium of having an existing book of marquee hire, repeat business.
In the early stages of our business start-up journey we considered the idea of selling one of the first iterations of this Selmore online-based business.
At the time, the website produced new inbound marquee hire enquiries from London (predominantly the Harrow and East London districts, albeit from a variety of prospective customers). There were obvious gaps within our geographic coverage and the written web content was a little thin, not to mention it was lacking in a genuinely innovative value proposition.
However, driven by a personal financial pressure and seeing what appeared to be 'a gap in the market' for year round marquee hire lead generation, we decide to tout the business on the open market, as 'for sale'.
We chose not to hire a business broker (...we were the one's who were broke!) and hit the phones, speaking with almost every marquee hire owner in London and Essex.
As we began engaging the marketplace, we found most owners found it an empty sell without the following:
- Event Hire Stock
- Marquee structures
- Event equipment & accessories
- A Book of Repeat Marquee Hire Business
- Ideally, weddings within the Asian communities
Whilst we could see the advantage of repeat business, we were still confident that for a marquee hire website which produced in the region of about 3-4 enquiries per week during winter (August to March to be exact) from a fair mixture of corporate and private enquirers, it might still fetch a solid transfer price.
Some prospects seemed interested at asking price, some wanted it for less, others seemed to think it was a bargain but lacked the funds - alas, no sale.
Then I had a conversation with a franchisor, who very kindly gave me both his time and some professional insights gained from many years experience in the business. He was a marquee hire business owner some years prior, but quickly found himself leaving behind the operational duties for a more office based (absentee) managerial position whilst franchising out territories to operatives.
He grew his company by acquisition.
So as struggling contractors couldn't any longer sustain themselves through the rigours of season-on, season-off trading, he simply approached with a cash offer to buy their business either outright (bringing their operation under the roof of his parent company), or just buying their stock.
Now for the prize of our conversation: the most valuable assets to him in his valuation estimate of a target marquee hire business were namely, in this order:
- Booked repeat business
- Marquee structures
In his opinion, especially where there is a community or strong focus on nationality amongst your customers, all it takes is to hand out one single business card and that could be far more valuable than any website, regardless of Google rankings...because of the profit potential of referrals, by far outstripping the profit potential of new business enquiries, by quality, even if not by quantity.
His comment regards our lead generation website was along the lines of, "...for the right person who needed the leads, especially for winter bookings it might have value", but even then he saw a corporate website which generated leads as a low value asset.
It seemed for him as well as for the many, many (many) other marquee hire business owners we spoke with, that the classic, traditional book of repeat business plus its cumulative power of customer referrals (especially where the communal dynamic was strong) was incomparable to new business enquiries via a website.
In conclusion: Marquee Hire Repeat Business vs. New Marquee Hire Business Leads?
Where most business owners do enjoy the rush of a new customer enquiry, when valued in comparison to repeat bookings, WoM and referrals - it seems those short lived leads just don't compare to the long term 'real business' value of having a database of existing customer contacts.
Everyone starts somewhere though, how can you build up your own book of marquee hire contacts?
We sell marquee hire new business leads for a flat fee to companies seeking a temporary boost to grow their book of customer contacts, without the over bearing budgetary involvement of hiring a marketing consultant or paying for uncertain advertising campaigns.
Categorised in: A Guide To Marketing An Event Business
This post was written by selmore