Meet the co-founders of Marquee Bookings
Hey Tim Verwey, so what's the story behind the launch of Marquee Bookings?
My brother Bill started the company in 2015, I joined him last year. We both have years of experience putting up marquees. We then both went to Uni, went travelling, did ski seasons then got jobs in a big companies & hated it. We always wanted to start a business.
What sparked the launch of your business?
We set up the business after our sister was planning her marquee wedding.
During the process of hiring a marquee, it was almost impossible to answer these simple questions online... how much will the marquee cost, how big does it need to be, what will it look like & will it fit in my garden? It had us thinking, why isn't there a website that easily answers all of these questions? Especially as you can order food in seconds, flights in seconds, book a holiday in seconds etc...
It was because this, that we set out to build a website that brings the marquee industry into the 21st century. Making it easy & stress free for anyone wanting to find, compare & book a marquee. We are the only comparison website in the world for marquee hire.
You're already super unique, but what really distinguishes what you do from other companies out there?
Comparing and then booking a marquee is so slow & stressful for every one involved. None of our competitors have made life easier for the consumer or the supplier. We have brought this old school industry into the digital world through technology that delights the consumer & supplier.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audience includes, brides, grooms, festival organisers, corporate clients, anyone who needs a marquee for an event.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Wake up at 5:45 and head straight to the gym. It sucks as first, but soon you’ll love it. You are full of energy & ready to take on the long gruelling day of trying to grow your business.
Any exciting plans for Marquee Bookings over the coming 12 months?
Lots, we are in early stages of bringing on a CTO who headed the development team which built the comparison software for U-switch. With his help we plan to make the transition from a broker business model to platform business model. Customers can build bespoke quotes, create custom floorpans, contact the supplier & make payment. Suppliers receive completed quotes - all they need to do is say yes to the booking.
Entrepreneurship isn't an easy climb, so what do you think entrepreneurs should be asking themselves on the journey?
How can I prove my hypothesis that I am solving a problem my audience is willing to pay for in the leanest & quickest possible way. “Think big, start small, grow fast"
What impact do you think tech have on your industry over the next 10 years?
Massively, for example: traditionally you would have to wait days or weeks to receive marquee quotes. Our software allows you to build quotes & compare local marquees in seconds.
One customer told us what we did in 12 hours took her 3months!
In the future, imagine having a VR where you can walk around your marquee, decorating the inside months before your big day.
How did you build such an amazing consumer culture around Marquee Bookings?
Get the first 100 customers to absolutely love what you do. Every enquiry we get no matter how big or small we treat the client the same. We go above and beyond for them. By giving all our customers first class customer service, not only does it lead to word of mouth marketing but it also creates the amazing consumer culture you asked about.
Failure is a natural experience in entrepreneurship - what are your thoughts on failure?
Every week we will come up with 100 ideas to help grow the business. 99 of them will fail. You need to accept as an entrepreneur most of your ideas suck & aren’t going to work. But for every failure, you learn a lesson you will never forget.
What keeps you going??
I always focus on long term success not short term success. I define short term success as working in a job you hate 9-5 Monday to Friday, then you live it up on the weekends spend all your cash then back to work Monday morning.
Long term success is slogging it out 7 days a week, sacrificing a wage, sacrificing parties, sacrificing the best surf of the year at Croyde. Eventually if you stay motivated & persistent you will reap the rewards of long term success.
Number one tip for young entrepreneurs?
Most start ups fail because instead of learning from they failures they quit. Persistence is what will make you succeed.
Most of all - Think big, start small, grow fast.