Thursday, April 21, 2005

Tents Growth

Over the past few months, I have been making some serious investments in my Tents and Events company. Here is just the short list:

1. Bought out the major competitor in the Charlottesville market.
2. Changed the layout on Hayes Investment's first industrial building from a rental investment to a Tents and Events facility.
3. Purchased about $300,000 in new rental inventory.
4. Invested in a dishwasher. (I don't even wash the dishes at home.)
5. Bought another truck. This one is a 20' box with a lift gate.
6. Hired an additional operations manager and two new installers.
7. Invested in a custom party rental order entry system with asset tracking.
8. Reworked all of our brochures and graphics.
9. Rebuilt the website.

Here is where we are. For the month of May, we will do more revenue than we did the entire year 2004. But that isn't enough. Once I get everything in place and organized, it is then time to push the pedal to the floor.

So many small businesses never make this last step. They invest, hire, train, and manage, but they never build the brand.

Your brand is nothing more than what people have experienced with you in the past and what they expect to experience with you in the future. Since this is a new company, I need to establish the brand via advertising.

Now, I am not talking about running a little 1/8 page ad on sundays and maybe some late-night television. I am doing a full-court-press. We are spending a huge amount of money to be everywhere someone looks for a period of about 6 weeks. Instead of doing a little at a time, we want to be everywhere for a short period, then back off to do maintenance.

Of course, I will be testing this in my smallest market to preserve my budget. The exciting thing is the buzz we will create. This includes print, radio, TV, and heavy PR.

I will keep you informed.


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