Woo hoo, the Oakleaf blog's back baby!! Sorry it's been so long (5 months) but there have been plenty of marquee fish to fry since I last posted. Now I can commit to posting once a week at least until the season kicks off again (which currently looks like mid March).
Marquee hire work is obviously quite seasonal so people often ask 'what do you do in the winter?' and the slightly more forthright finish sentences with comments like ‘I guess you’ve got nothing else to do this time of year’. Well, this is absolutely not the case so I’ve decided to give a complete rundown of this week for you. This is what the Oakleaves have been up to at Oakleaf HQ (no yawning!):
-Minor service on a Land rover and Transit Luton (oil change every 6,000 miles don’t you know)
-Service five marquee heaters ahead of Christmas/New Year work (thanks Rob and Ed)
-Optimise our website for better search engine results (look out competitors, we’re coming for you)
-Submit quarterly VAT return
-Install a marquee for a party near Stalbridge, Dorset and remove another near Bridgwater, Somerset
-Three furniture hire deliveries/collections in Dorset
-Keep on top of emails, enquiries and quotes (I call this ‘proper work’ as some of our guys are under the impression that bookings just appear out of thin air)
-Three site visits for 2015 bookings
-Load spreadsheets with details of our hire stock for uploading to a new IT system being implemented at the end of January (line upon line upon line upon line of data). This includes checking and counting stock in the first place; weighing it, allocating codes, descriptions, categories, sub-categories to it; loving it, holding it, nurturing it etc. It’s quite amazing that our inventory now numbers in excess of 600 stock lines!
-Keeping on top of accounts (invoicing, reconciling, paying, updating cash flow and P&L projections etc) – more ‘proper work’. Again, like bookings, it’s a common misconception that money just appears out of thin air too. I wish…
-Deleting junk mail both email and posted. Seriously, is it just me or is there more of this flying about now than ever? And I’m not talking about Viagra just to pre-empt any witty comments!
-Repair, overhaul and clean furniture and PVC (this is ongoing throughout the whole winter and spring)
So glad I’ve got this down in writing. Now when people ask me what we do in the winter I can refer them to this post with a smug grin on my face. This means you Andy!
Have a great weekend everyone.
Something a bit more lighthearted today. We all love a bit of 'You've Been Framed' style humour, so here is a collection of my favourite marquee related mishaps on YouTube.
Please don't worry if you have a marquee booked or if you're thinking of booking a marquee, the mishaps were caused by freak weather overseas and flimsy or poorly installed marquees. We've never experienced a marquee blowing away or falling down.....and one of our marquees was up at Lulworth in 80mph winds just before Christmas!
First up, my favourite clip. Too much free reception champers and wine for this lady in red (and Chris de Burgh certainly won't be singing about her drunken escapades any time soon). I wonder if the bride and groom ever spoke to her afterwards? Doubtful....
Next, this little garden marquee certainly gives its owners the run around. It's as if it has a mind of its own and just decides to move location!
Another of my favourites, this one happened stateside. On a more positive note, at least the guests have smiles on their faces and everyone looks like they bonded in a sort of team building exercise way!
What do you do when your neighbour's marquee looks like it's about to blow away? Answer A: run round, tell them and possibly help or Answer B: grab your phone, take a video of their misery and hope you can make some sweet moolah? You may have seen this one, it happened in the UK a month or two ago and was covered in the news.
On the subject of grabbing phones to record the havoc, these folks look more interested in getting a dramatic video than either helping or running for their lives.
That's about enough revelling in other people's grief. For a more comforting marquee video experience, check out these videos of Oakleaf marquees being installed (no mishaps - I promise): traditional marquee wedding at home or wedding at a Dorset vineyard (the gazebo in this video is not ours!).