We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Jeremy LaBahn a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, thanks for joining us today. How did you scale up? What were the strategies, tactics, meaningful moments, twists/turns, obstacles, mistakes along the way? The world needs to hear more realistic, actionable stories about this critical part of the business building journey. Tell us your scaling up story – bring us along so we can understand what it was like making the decisions you had, implementing the strategies/tactics etc.
I got started in the event rental industry by purchasing an existing business. At the time, I was working for someone else as a regular employee and I was miserable. All I wanted was to have my own business, but I had no idea where to start.
My girlfriend at the time (now wife) was on girls’ getaway weekend with some friends and one of the ladies there mentioned that she was selling her rental business. Long story short, the following week we sat down to talk about the business and a few months later we finalized the deal and I was officially a business owner.
We started in 2018, and by the end of 2021 we officially 5x’d in revenue since when we originally took over. How did we do it? Well, when you buy an existing business you don’t have to start from scratch. We inherited the products, client relationships, website, photos, reviews, etc. Our goal was to take what was already started to the next level.
In 2019 we bought another business to merge with our existing company. This really accelerated our growth and future potential. Since then, we have focused on excellent customer service and quality products, both of which have helped us continue to scale.
To start 2022, we recently hired a full-time operations manager whose primary focus is to manage and execute our events for the year.
Jeremy, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I shared in the last question on how I got started, but here I can expand on what exactly we do. We specialize in providing higher end, specialty rentals for weddings and events in San Diego. We primarily provide rentals like farm tables, chairs, lounge furniture, photo booths, market lights, dance floors etc.
We love providing quality products that contribute to an unforgettable event for our clients.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
At the end of 2019, we were in such a good place! We had recently purchased another business, my wife and I had just bought a house and we were looking forward to a 3 week trip to Europe in February.
We returned home from Europe at the end of February, and just a few weeks later Covid started the early stages of shutting down the event industry.
In 2020 we had over 150 events either cancel or reschedule which created quite the strain on our cashflow. We were in a tough financial place and we had to figure something out. So, I had the idea to start a moving company.
Being in the event industry, we already had the trucks, the guys, equipment etc. so it was relatively an easy business to start. This was how we pivoted during 2020 and it helped us pay our bills and keep guys working while events were shut down.
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
The best source of new clients for us has been through event planners and coordinators that we currently work with. We try to focus on building great relationships and connections with a select group of coordinators. We know that when we make their job easier, then they will continue to send us new clients.
- Website: email@example.com
- Instagram: @wonder.eventrentals
- Facebook: @wonder.eventrentals
- Yelp: Wonder Event Rentals