Pop Quiz, Monday with Craig Pannozzo

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Craig Pannozzo

Craig Pannozzo
Photo credit: Craig Pannozzo

What is your job role?
I am the General Manager of Gazeboshop

Tell us about your company?
We are the commercial suppliers of speciality marquees and gazebos. We established Gazeboshop in 2005 with myself and my father, Luigi. We now supply Coca-Cola, the BBC, British Army, Stroke Association, High5, Nandos, Sainsbury’s and St John Ambulance as well as many startups and SMEs across a range of industry sectors. We also specialise in bespoke marquees, gazebos and custom print accessories.

What do you love most about your job?
The thing I love most about my job is being able to help many businesses grow and increase their exposure through trade events, conferences, markets and more with our products. It’s a great feeling to meet a startup in its early stages and watch them grow to where they are now.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I enjoy coming into work and overcoming the challenges of being a somewhat seasonal business through innovating new products that our customers can enjoy all year round. In 2019, we will be launching a range of roll-out bolt-on canopies that are inspired by vintage shops so watch this space!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My father, Luigi, inspires me. His creative approach to our strategy has given the whole team a thorough understanding of the market. The team is always looking at ways to consistently make our offering fresh and relevant to existing trends.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I always make an effort to organise team socials. As a family-orientated business, it’s important for us to ensure that everyone on the team feels fully included.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
As mentioned, the seasonality of marquees and gazebos can be quite challenging. However, we always try to overcome any seasonal dips through innovating products that our customers can use all year round such as bespoke custom-print materials for conferences.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Resilience is key to growth in a startup. You must always have a contingency plan before embarking on a project or a campaign. So many startups fail because of this. Furthermore, before embarking on a project, you must have clear objectives and KPIs in mind.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Research the industry thoroughly and know your supply chain down to a tee. You should also get out there and network with other businesses. The great thing about the marquee and gazebo industry is that most sectors will, at one point, need one. Because of this, it is integral to starting out that you are networking with these businesses so that your company is at the forefront of their mind when they need to buy a gazebo.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth


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