You won’t believe how many bouncy castle hire companies do almost nothing to attract new clients. Maybe they have been lucky that there’s no competition in their area, or maybe they offer a totally unique service.
Unfortunately, this is very rarely the case - many hirers simply don’t know how to bring in new business, or don’t have the time or inclination to do so. Some operators even fail to do easy activities, such as handing out business cards or flyers at the schoolyard of their children’s school, or placing flyers somewhere near a bouncy castle when it’s booked.
- Online advertising
Advertising in the Yellow Pages is often a waste of money, and local newspaper ads are far too expensive when you consider the tiny return you will get from them, especially if you have lots of competition in your area. Hirers now need to think digitally – internet marketing is the most cost effective and convenient way to find and connect with new and existing customers. Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone, which they use to search for things in Google and access Facebook, e-mails and all manner of messaging services - and this is how the most successful hirers farm for new business.
Always ask your clients for referrals. You need to do a proper job on the booking first, of course; most satisfied clients are happy to refer you to their friends, business partners, co-workers and others who could be interested in renting a bouncy castle. Ask people if their friends might want a bouncy castle for their kid’s birthday, ask schools about open days and sports events, promote yourself around weddings and corporate events, try to get involved with business reopenings, and when you get a foot in the door, leave them with a few leaflets!
Consider teaming up with companies that hire out products to the same customer base but that don’t compete with you – these might be stage hirers, marquee hirers, face painters or mobile DJs - or collaborate with other entertainment companies such as clowns, balloon artists and catering service providers. Ask these businesses to offer your bouncy castles to every single client or booking they get, and offer a small commission on successful leads. These companies probably don’t have bouncy castles themselves but will frequently cater to clients that could be interested in your services. This will give your newfound strategic partner a risk-free opportunity to earn additional revenue with no financial investment. You can also add their services to your website to make you look even bigger and to draw in more custom!
When you’ve established some trust with your clients for them, you can try and upsell additional services to them. Although this may sound a bit ‘pushy’ on first sight, there’s actually nothing wrong with offering your clients some of your other products or services as well – this can make their event an even bigger success!
In some cases, customers may not be interested in booking additional products or services from you, but more often than not, they appreciate your thoughtfulness and are happy to take your advice. You can deliver more goods to the same client / address, so you are generating more income without any extra costs. You’d still be driving the same distance and the job would still require almost the same amount of time, but you would get more money for doing it.