There are a lot of industries in which businesses — and the teams that run them — have to work quickly and under specific time constraints. Event rentals are among those fields. Neil Mirchandani, Founder and CEO of Atlanta-based LLL Event Furnishings and Rentals, has been mastering fast-paced leadership for years and his company’s revenue topped $11 million this year.
“It’s a fast-paced environment, and things can get a little crazy around the warehouse, but we get it done in a timely manner and where it needs to go,” explained Mirchandani of the 35-person team in his 70,000-square-foot space, which is chock full of lounge furniture, dance floors, drapery, chairs, and other event rental items.
The founder and master of operations has been so successful in his field that his company is the number one furnishings provider in the Southeast of the US for film sets, music videos, sporting events, and other temporary settings.
They have also sourced items for Netflix shows, decked out venues for album release parties and music videos, and have seen it all in the fast-paced business. Fans of Netflix’s Love is Blind are already familiar with Mirchandani’s talents — he provided most of the furnishings featured on the show.
People not in the event rental business never realize the crazy hours and quick turnarounds involved. The company’s on-staff crafters and furniture makers might need to repair things in a hurry if they are damaged or immediately being rented again, and clients often put in late requests, or need unexpected customized items.
“Basically, everything has to be done overnight in this business,” he said, meaning it literally and figuratively. From late-night setups for early morning events and frantic last-night searches for the perfect items, event rentals can certainly overstress business owners.
But not Mirchandani, who shares his best advice for leadership and overcoming challenges, gleaned from years of working under pressure.
“Be prepared at all times,” said the Founder. “Things can change at any moment, and you have to make progress where you can get it. Always stay calm. Don’t rush and go crazy when you get a call to do something insane at the last minute.”
Whether that means having a breathing routine you do when stressed, or a certain friend you call that always has a calm head, find a strategy for staying calm and use it each time. In the moment, you might feel like it’s a waste of time to take 90 seconds for breathing or talking things through, but it will save you hours of mental stress later to stay poised in the moment.
Avoid Hitting the Panic Button
The only thing worse than a frazzled founder is a distressed team. That’s why Mirchandani advises never to let your staff see you sweat and keep them from getting stressed or overwhelmed.
“Don’t panic in front of your staff. Energy is contagious. As an operator, you have to stay calm and de-stress those around you. Keep your cool whether the building is burning down, COVID hits, or you just don’t know what to do,” he said. “I’d never go to our warehouse crew and say ‘Oh my God, we have to get this done now!’ frantically,’ I know that will only make things worse.”
Tackling a Post-Pandemic Atlanta
He explained that the global pandemic presented even more unique challenges to his business and leadership, forcing him to step up and become even better at leading under pressure.
“Atlanta business went from zero to millions, post-COVID, because while we were fairly large prior to the pandemic, we were forced to completely close during 2020, with effectively zero employees and zero revenue,” Mirchandani. “When we opened towards the end of 2020 and into 2021, we navigated quickly, had to hire, buy, and adapt quickly because the demand was intense.”
So, whether navigating an internal crisis or a global one, cool heads need to prevail among leaders, and with this insight from Mirchandani, we can all lead a little bit better.
About Neil Mirchandani
Neil Mirchandani is the founder and CEO of LLL Event Furnishings & Rentals, an Atlanta-based multi-million dollar event rental, furniture, drapery and dance floor provider. The company is the #1 furnishing provider for film sets, music videos, sporting, corporate and other events in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about the Southeast’s largest selection of quality lounge furniture, fit for all social and corporate events, please visit: https://luxuryloungeatl.com/