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56 West Main St.
Norwich, NY 13815

Quarterly Strike Newsletter Volume 1

MORE THAN A PITCH... a sales pitch that is.

Okay, so way more non-booth owner than owners will be receiving my newest endeavor but hey, you get a macintosh, you gotta use it. The information enclosed is loaded with advice and experience for the owners of my Mody Company Speed Pitching Booths and will hopefully serve as an enticement for those potential buyers thinking about having fun and making money.

I'm also hoping the quality of this letter will be my good cheer jab at those who teased me about the home shot sales video I give out. Forgiving the jabs, it did serve well as a visual document to the incredible set up ease and transportability of the system. Hopefully in time I'll improve upon the video as well. This news letter should also improve over time in the areas of photograph and paper quality. I hope for now the sharp print and layout will be a sound compliment to the insights of owning a system. I should note that as most owners know, I may have over emphasize the sports card show market in the past so you may be refreshed to see my insights in to other markets I've explored over the past summer. I hope to bring this to you
Quarterly to improve yourreturn on investment.Plus, sell a few more booths!

Year In Review

Or Maybe A Good Bunt.

Why write a yearly review with 3 months left in the year. Well, October & November are pretty standard mall months and December will probably be sketchy as I try to arrange mall time so I prefer to reflect on the closing year and get set for the next.
I'm well into my 2nd year operating booths and I've just completed my first 12 months of the sales experience and I've had an interesting summer trying to get a hold on the festival & carnival market ; plus, I gained new insights on having other people run the booth. By years end I had firmly established relationships with promoters and malls that would simply give me the ability to have steady work for coming years. What I did not anticipate was that people who saw my success would be curious to own one.
So after being approached by a business man to create a system for him, the first Mody Co. Booth was sold. Heading into the coming year I was curious about expanding this since my original plan was to manage systems around the country but the selling of my design would prove to be much more manageable.
As with everything I've done in the business, the first step proved fruitful. I wrote a letter to the editor of Income Opportunities magazine and sure enough it was published and the mail came in. To be honest, there really has not been a 2nd step until the publishing of this news letter. To date over 40 people have responded to the article and sales were made. Enough sales any way to comprehend the responsibilities ahead. I didn't just sell the systems but I offered advice and helped buyers get shows set up even to the point of calling promoters myself for my buyers. My summer phone & postage bills rose 300% but it was worth it.

Booth Sales
Slow Starts... Happy Endings

It certainly has become apparent to me that most people would love to own a booth. I want them to get caught up in my success but not convinced by it; to see the potential but not be blind to their own true needs and bottom line. Let's face it, when I tell a buyer I make $1000 to $2000 a month on weekends playing baseball games, it can be blindingly enticing and in truth, it has been so easy for me.
My favorite sales pitch is that if your start up costs are under $5,000 and you use some form of loan or credit, your monthly bill to pay for the business should be under $200. I make that in profitan average day. With that in mind it was perplexing to me how owners reacted to their initial start.
I put in plenty of phone hours counseling and I had owners come upon booking problems that I had not yet faced. Fortunately, the system itself was not an issue and I realized in overseeing others at how important a role the entrepreneurial drive and creativity can play. So, instead of listing the various concerns or detail obstacles owners initially faced, I am convinced that each person must evaluate their expectations and account for their bottom line. Probably the most important factor is not quitting your job or getting a weekday part time job at first.
By September I have put owners in California, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York and all have made money. I have to admit to one particular owner who really almost peaked my patience and was ready to sell the system at any cost. I'll say that some mall objections she was facing were absurd and frustrated both of us. I knew that I could handle the objections and I continued my advice seemingly to no avail. This case in particular made me realize again, how important self evaluation and expectation is in owning any business. The owners ability to overcome initial objection was questionable and I could only lend my experience not my guile. In my eyes they were making a proper start and generating some income but not enough for me to consider them successful and in their eyes it was a near investment disaster. I say near because within 3 months it began to develop and I should say plenty of the advice I offered was a major factor. The rule here is don't quit your day job and be happy just to pay the expenses the first few months and all will be better than you expect and grow quickly.


Since I own 2 booths I'm in a situation where I need to occasionally employ (contract) persons. I thought we had a job crisis? I guess not. In short, I did hire and we'll talk about it next time, it was "not good". One concept I did explore with success was hiring organizations. I had a Little League run a booth at a county fair and it was "good". I gave them 50% of the net and all were happy.
Which brings me to festivals in general. They can be broken down into fairs and carnivals. Fairs at a large level can be a booking nightmare. The problem being most concessions are run by a midway company and not the fair. If the fairs do some bookings it usually is for crafts or local organizations. That's where the Little League concept was fairly innovative on my behalf.
Carnivals were easy bookings but it may take me the first year to realize which are worth it. The best resource is a county chamber of commerce events calendar. There are also small midway companies that will include independent games usually at a percentage and the yellow pages did list some. Sound advice also came from talking with other vendors but their needs may not be mine.
In truth I prefer running the system inside so I may be bias to malls but malls are predictable where festivals can be goldmines one time and fools gold the next. Next year I'll bat 1000.

Think Twice Before You Pay Their Price

Taking a closer look at whta creates or negates your profits.


Of all the events I attend, only one consistantly lives up to it's billing, The New York State Fair. Without question most others have been profitable but seemingly never as grand as the some promoters work up.

Most card show promoters do not know how to price you so take advantage of this and suggest a price first, usually $50 a day.

Be wary of festival promoters that do not have an immediate price for space. They may be the type that tries to get the most out of you while the guy next to you only paid half.

My rule of thumb says that giving percentages is safest but no event is worth giving away 50% of my take.

Be very careful to understand all costs. Hidden expenses like electric and parking fees can be large, especially when doing convention centers since most electric is on union scale.

Don't be fooled into thinking that because a show is expensive it's good. Promoters will brag about their advertising budget or autograph guests to justify costs and don't let them charge you too much more than an average
vendor table.

MY BEST COMPROMISE: If a promoter wants $350 for a space and I can't justify it, then I have a creative way of negotiating a fair price. I will agree to send him $150 for the event up front. After the first $300 is generated at my booth, I will pay an additional percentage between 25 and 40 percent of my gross take over $300.

This way the promoter has made $150, I've made $150 and if the show is as populated as he attested then we both stand to make out very well. The difficult factor here is trust. He has to trust that you will be fair in your accounting. Also if the show is not as good as he thought, he may then believe that you made more money than you actually did. Both require tough dealings but you'll kick yourself if you pay the $350 he wanted and make $25 net.

2 Universal Factors Besides Price

1. WEATHER: no other single factor comes into play be it indoors or out. Speaking strictly for my north east climate, I try to avoid malls during summer months. Once you establish a decent mall circuit, usually with the card show industry, you always have them to fall back on. If you are fortunate enough to be able to call a promoter on short notice, check the weather for possible rain. Rain any time of year means bigger cash flow in malls. It even feels that a higher percentage of people pitch when the weather is bad outside.

Winter months are top mall seasons. We all know Christmas is king but it's difficult to get in then. Right up to May though, is a profit paradise, massive snow storms withstanding. Summer festival season is reliant on sun. However, sunny weather is not so reliant on your success as is the atmosphere of the event and the 2nd universal factor.

2. LOCATION: If you are in a mall and it's raining, your location will most probably affect the amount of PROFIT you make. A bad mall location still should be reached by most patrons, it just makes it difficult to get the ones who need a few passes by the booth before they'll pitch.

A bad location at an outdoor event tends to be more devastating. One of the most important location concerns is not just traffic flow but the surrounding vendors or events. Being next to food vendors gives the potential patron an opportunity to relax a take a better look at your booth while eating. Being next to game vendors gets you in the feel of the action and where the expendable money is spent. Avoid crafts and similar merchants or hap hazard, poorly planned mixes of vendors. Don't be afraid to request a favored location in advance and make all attempts to have your spot moved if you are unhappy with your location. Calmly explaining your needs to a promoter will many times get your request granted.


transport with ease; PLEASE!

Of course, among the great features with the Mody Co. system is the incredible ease in transport and set up of the entire unit. Owners know that they can easily transport the entire system in most cars and have it set up in 15 to 30 minutes with no mechanical assembly required.

There is one area though, that every mobile business has to contend with and that's getting your stuff from the vehicle to the set up location. I'll admit that at first I carried the load in piece by piece... WHY!

Get a dolly. even the cheapest $19.95 carts are perfect for the system and they easily disassemble for transport. After a few shows I arranged the packing so that it only took me 2 trips to load everything in. that includes my promotional stand, speed board and framed poster prizes.

The Time Is Right?

Fair play with a minor adjustment

Have you ever heard about a guys who tries to beat a speeding ticket by arguing the laws of physics in relation to the position of the police car on a down grade curve while the moon is in a solar eclipse during a meteor shower. It may be far fetched to make a case in that scenario but to the customers pitching at your booth, gun positioning highly affects the accuracy of the readings.

The most accurate readings occur when the gun is positioned directly behind or in front of the pitch with no angle on the read. Since I'm not about to stand inside the cage to read an on coming pitch, I suggest taking the best possible spot behind the thrower. Now the space you are givin may not allow the luxury to set up directly behind the thrower but depending on the person, it's only fair to make the best possible adjustment.

I will always set up on the right hand sideof the cage since most people throw right handed. However, If you have ever timed a lefty from the right side then switched to the left side, you know that the left side reading can be as much as 10 MPH faster. If prizes or pride is involved for the thrower, do your best to be fair and make minor adjustments to reposition the gun or thrower so the reading is accurate. One are I pride my system on is the quality of radar guns and unlike many carnival systems that jack up the speeds or do not account for positioning, I care about speed accuracy not stuffed animals. Then again, I may have to write a whole 'nother article on dealing with customers who expect to throw as fast as the previous carnival booth that ripped them off.

Thank God for the tuning fork!