August 2016 – A Reflection on Two Years of Photo Booth Services in Central Pennsylvania
Sitting at my desk this evening, I started to reflect on our business. Where it started and where we are today.
It’s August 2016 and we are celebrating two full years in business, as a photo rental company. Our very first event was a Family Reunion / Barbeque type gathering for about 80 guests. Based on the feedback we had received that day, we felt like we were on to something special. The date was August 9, 2014.
That said, we are not the first photo booth provider in Central Pennsylvania. If you had done a search on Google or Yahoo back in 2014, you could have likely found dozens of listings for a photo booth.
It’s a challenge starting a new business. Frankly, knowing there were a number of photo booth operators in the area, it was daunting. Lisa and I spoke about this at length. We have extensive backgrounds in the area of client management. We’ve worked for companies traded on Wall Street, we’ve worked for the state of Pennsylvania. However, knowing there were a number of providers out there, we agreed that success of our photo booth service was going to be based not only on a quality product, but also on great customer service and creating a positive / guest customer experience.
If we were not going to be the first, we had to strive to be the best at we do, or pretty close to it. More so, we were going to focus on the photo booth service entirely. We did not want to meet expectations, we want to exceed expectations. While we have experience in other aspects of service and entertainment, the photo booth was going to be our sole focus. We all know multi-line providers of goods or services. As a customer, it may be easy to go to one source for a variety of needs, but in the long run, the provider of the good or service cannot be possibly excel in everything. What you are left with is good or great in one area, and a lower focus and attention on that quality of service in another area. When you focus on too many things, you lose focus on overall quality.
Another aspect of this business was to make it a “family affair,” include the children. It would be a lesson for them to understand entrepreneurship, hard work, etc. They are all college age now and have been an integral part of our formula and success. We will not “employ” unengaged and disinterested photo booth attendants or operators…..the attendant who “baby sits” the booth or “hides” but is more interested in his or her Facebook profile than providing service and direction. We’ve heard many stories from clients and guests about the disengaged operator or attendant. You will not find this experience with FX Photo Booths.
In less than 2 years, we’ve managed to complete over one-hundred photo booth events. We’ve been all over Central Pennsylvania. We’re very proud of this fact, plus dozens more already scheduled out into late in 2017 at this point in time. This fall, will be crazy with Weddings and corporate events, all the way through the Holidays! But, to take a fledgling start-up to 100+ events in such a short period of time is no small task. In less than 2 years, we’ve received over 60 reviews on WeddingWire, which was our initial platform, beginning in September 2016. We have nearly 20 reviews on The Knot and nearly the same on Google+.
A lot of people ask about our photo booth business. From what they see as a client or guest, it must look easy. They see us for 3 or 4 hours on average, guests are having fun, they are smiling and laughing, just having a great time. Of course, we enjoy interacting with the guests, helping them choose props, complete the scrapbook, etc. What the average person does not realize, there is much more that goes into an event than just the 3 or 4 hours they see us. We work hard to make sure every detail is right. In fact, more times than not, we go out of our way to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Planning and preparation have been an essential aspect of our business development and growth. Reviews from past photo booth clients can testify to this fact.
We’ve had a plan and a vision and for our photo booth service. At the same time, we took a leap (calculated step) into an area that put us out of our comfort zone. Aside from our desire to succeed, our strongest assets getting into the photo booth business has been our ability to work with people.
As we look back at the first two years of our photo booth service, we are excited for the future of the business. Our clients have been terrific. In some cases, they have become our friends. One of the most rewarding aspects of the business is seeing past clients as guests at other events or guests that have become clients. We’ve had clients book us for the same annual event three times already. This November, we’ll be providing our photo booth services for the same organization for the third time. Or a last minute Wedding photo booth booking in Hershey that has lead us to additional guest bookings for Weddings in Harrisburg, York and back to Hershey.
As we wind up the second half of 2016, we will be very busy. Our third year in business is looking better by the day. More bookings and more opportunities to share our business and service with discerning customers and guests, seeking a high quality product and excellent photo booth experience.
Reflection on 2 Years of Photo Booth Services in Central Pennsylvania