InTents August/September 2019 - 46

Zachary Wilson, president
The Greenwich Tent Co.
Bridgeport, Conn.
www.greenwichtent.com
Employs: 10 full-time and
30 to 40 seasonally

[Q&A]
(Q) What do you think
clients need to know about
temporary structures?
(A) I think rental companies
need to be up front with
clients about the limitations
of temporary structures.
They're not permanent
buildings, and I think a lot of
people view them as such.
We need to be very clear
with clients that they are
not as strong or as durable
as a permanent structure-
and that in case of severe
weather, not only does there
need to be an evacuation
plan, but there needs to be
a backup plan for the event.

46 intents

august-september 2019

Z

achary Wilson, president, The
Greenwich Tent Co., Bridgeport,
Conn., was introduced to the tent
rental industry at age 17, working on
an installation crew at Sperry Tents in
Portsmouth, N.H. When he graduated
from college in 2013, he became general
manager for Sperry's second location
in Greenwich., Conn. Two years later
he bought the Greenwich branch and
launched The Greenwich Tent Co.
"Before I bought the business I
developed a business plan-it was 20
or so pages long," Wilson says. "I didn't
expect anybody to be willing to back
me until they saw that I had laid out
clearly what we were trying to do."
The Greenwich Tent Co. specializes
in high-end weddings, corporate events
and milestone parties, targeting clients
who are "wealthy individuals who want
something very particular and want to
be wowed when they enter one of our
structures-so that's what we provide,"
Wilson says. "Our growth is coming from
developing relationships with people who
are movers and shakers of the industry;
people who continue to want to work
with us after their irst or second event."
Wilson points out that it's not only
relationships with clients that fuel
the business-the relationships with
employees, vendors and other regional
and national businesses are also vital.
What surprised him, however, was

how capital intensive it is for a tent
and event rental company to thrive.
"Initially, I thought because I was
taking over the assets of an existing
company that initial spending would
be low," he says. "But there are a
lot of replacement costs. Inventory
depreciates. You need to be realistic
about how you're going to grow the
company and have the backing to do so."
For a tent and event rental company to
thrive, Wilson says it's important to do
two things: ind out where the industry
void is and igure out what you do best.
"If you're not going to be the best at
renting tents in your market then maybe
you can be the best at renting machinery
or something else," he says. "If attention
to detail, inesse and building things by
hand is not your forte, maybe a different
path in the rental industry would be
better. If you can't provide something
unique, you're going to lounder."
Above all, Wilson advises people
thinking about getting involved in
the industry to be aware of how
much work it is. "This is a really hard
industry," he says. "My view is that
people who are in this industry and
are successful work harder than most.
You really have to want to work."

Sigrid Tornquist is a Minneapolis-based writer and
editor, and a former InTents editor.


http://www.greenwichtent.com

InTents August/September 2019

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InTents August/September 2019 - Cover2
InTents August/September 2019 - 1
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