Friday, February 29, 2008

Ten Years of RentQuick

RentQuick has been in business now for 10 years. Recently, I took some time to look back at where we started and what my predictions were about the meeting industry. What I found was that I was wrong more than I was right.

For instance, I believed that costs of delivery would increase with normal inflation. So my math models showed a 3% increase in shipping each year. Instead, we have seen the actual cost of shipping increase 8% per year (close to 125% total). The main cause has been the fuel surcharge. The secondary cause is the oligopoly that is UPS and Federal Express. During the entire 10 year period, we have only increased our shipping rates to our clients 8% in total.

In my predictions, I believed that the equipment rental industry would eventually go through a series of mergers or consolidations. This has not happened. It is likely because as an AV company gets bigger, the margins compress. In any case, I don't have competitors calling me regularly about buying me our or wanting to be bought out.

Fundamentally, our model for delivery of projector rentals and other AV equipment has not changed. We hopefully have become more efficient and better at what we do, but the basic rules still apply. We send it out, it is used and it is sent back. Pretty simple stuff.

Over the past ten years, I have truly enjoyed serving the needs of my clients. I can honestly say that my small crew are the best employees I have ever had. In fact, I would say they are the most customer-centered people I have ever met. That is no reflection on me. I believe they are caring people who love serving others. I am lucky to have them on my side.

As an entreprenuer who has several irons in the fire at any given time, RentQuick, my crew and our clients are the best business I could ever hope to have.

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