How To Grow a Photo Booth Rental Business
So many people get their photo booth rental business started before the next major question arises: "How do I grow my photo booth rental business?"
As someone who grew my own photo booth rental business from nothing to turning over 100K within 2 yrs I believe that there are 3 key areas of focus which have nothing to do with your photo booths or anything technical. These 3 key areas of focus all come back to business basics and are all equally important and intrinsically linked to one another:
- Great Customer Service
- Building Relationships
- Getting Client Referrals
1. Customer Service
Let's start here by defining first what "Customer Service" is:
The assistance and advice provided by a company to clients before, during and after the sale or use of their products/services.
The giving of "great" customer service therefore is
Ensuring and exceeding customer satisfaction
So then how do we as photo booth operators give great customer service? Here is a list to help you, it is by no means definitive but certainly covers the crux of it:
- Have an informative website that looks professional
- Have a social media presence which reaches and engages your target market(s)
- Answer emails promptly
- Be available by phone
- Have an answer service
- Return calls in a timely manner
- Be flexible and willing to help
- Build rapport
- Follow up and keep in touch
- Give advice
- Foresee issues and offer solutions
- Fix problems, offer compensation, say sorry even when it's not your fault
- Ask what you can do to make things right with your client
If you can give great customer service your clients and the venues that share that mutual client with you (and see you in action) are also more likely to refer you. It is this process of referral that can massively boost growth but we will get to that shortly.
2. Building Relationships
There are 2 sources of relationships you should be building at all times. Firstly with your clients which comes from rapport building during the customer service process. Secondly and very importantly you should be building relationships with venues.
Building relationships with venues can be very rewarding both on a personal side but the amplifying effect it can have on growing your business is unquestionable.
Why Build Relationships With Venues?
- Nice to work with people you like
- Knowing a venue makes setting up and packing down easier
- Mutually beneficial
- People start to associate your business with venues
- Brand awareness through cross promotion
- Venues will refer you = more business
- Referred business is much easier to win than cold leads = more business
How To Build Relationships With Venues
You need to look after your venues and event co-ordinators on professional level and also on an interpersonal level, here's how:
- Courtesy calls when you take a booking to let them know you're the point of contact
- Confirm set up and pack down times with them in advance, reconfirm this closer to the date
- Be friendly and flexible, always adhere to venue requirement
- Offer to participate in any venue open days
- Offer your photo booth at a discounted rate for staff
- Offer your photo booth for free for 1 venue staff function per year (eg staff Xmas party)
- Send out Xmas/Thank You cards/gifts
- Follow up calls post hire to check venue and mutual client was happy with you
If you do all the above right and the venue is unofficially recommending you anyway I would recommend you consider formalizing this with a "Preferred Vendor Agreement"
Preferred Vendor Agreement
A formal document which puts in writing exactly what is expected from both parties and the benefits that come from meeting these expectations. All items should be listed and a set period of time given (generally 12 months) before a review is to be taken by both parties with the option of continuing the agreement if it is deemed as being still beneficial.
Here is a sample of what you might expect to see on a Photo Booth operators Preferred Vendor Agreement with a venue
Preferred Vendor Agreement
- Discounted Photo Booth Rental for venue staff 15% off for weekend hire, 30% off for midweek hire.
- 2 x free hires for venue staff events eg staff Xmas party
- Participation in up to 2 venue open days, photo booth to be made available to guests to try
- Active referral of all your clients to our services
- Inclusion of our brochures and services in any preferred vendor documentation (electronic and physical)
- Inclusion of our services in your packages
Period of Agreement
This agreement shall begin on the 1st Jan 20XX and run until 31 Dec 20XX at which point both parties will review the success of the agreement and can mutually elect to extend the agreement for a further 12 months.
3. Getting Client Referrals
Client referrals are king! There are simply no better leads than a referral. Here's why
- Everyone wants decisions made easier for them
- Less likely to shop around
- Easier to deal with as they trust you already
- They don't expect you to be the cheapest
- Prepared to pay more to get you as they trust you will look after them
- More likely to convert and convert sooner
- More likely to answer your follow ups and give you a second bite
So then how do you go about getting past clients to refer you? If you give great customer service many of your clients will refer you on their own the problem is though you are relying on them to even remember you at some point down the line when they are in the position to recommend you to someone who is interested. The trick here is to get them to recommend you immediately and to do it on your terms to be most effective and get that viral effect happening which really sets growth into action.
How to Get Client Referrals
- Offer referral deals post hire
- Engage past clients on social media
- Entice past clients to leave an online review (swap the source periodically eg Thumbtack, Wedding Wire, The Photobooth Finder)
- Ensure your business name and/or website appear on printed photos/photostrips
- Market to your past client database periodically (so they can easily recall your name if ever asked)
How well you master the 3 Key Focus areas will not only have a direct impact on your businesses overall success but also how easily and quickly your growth will be facilitated.
Of course you still need to give a good photo booth experience but that's for another blog!
Disclaimer: Whilst every caution has been taken to provide readers with most accurate information and honest analysis, please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this blog. Author will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.
(Photo Booth Blogger: Justin Jowett)
(Photo Credit: Flickr)
- Welcome to The Photobooth Finder for USA / Canada
- Photo Booth Rental USA and Canada: Essential Info
- Tips to run a great Photo Booth Rental Business
- Why start a Photo Booth Rental Business?
- Photo Booth Rental Branding and Corporate Events