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Norwich, NY 13815

Quarterly Strike Newsletter Volume 13

Net Gains

As I have always given owners my expertise on speed booth operations, I will gladly consider internet consultation as part of the services I render. I can also inexpensively design a page for you. Most important is that you truly consider the power you have to sit on your butt and get leads. That's what 2 centuries of the American Dream has gained us. Don't disappoint our fore-fathers.

A Buck is a Buck!

If it moves... Cha-Ching!

They're out there... the most obscure sectors of or money pool and they take a bit of ingenuity to attract but if anyone has something that moves, they potentially have the curiosity of how fast. This article will pretty much be brainstorming. I'll be throwing around some ideas of these obscure applications even though I have no real practical experience in timing them.

RACES: For any kind of non speedometer racing you could make an arrangement with the race promoters, probably a flat fee, to time speeds. The bigger the event the more potential interest there would be. This depends on whether you have a long range gun and display. I recommend testing the workability of this in advance before committing. If it's a bike race then get out there and time a bike. Check for optimum distances and timing angles.

MARTIAL ARTS: Here you can give new meaning to the fundraiser Kick-A-Thon. Using our sponsor and pledge based program consider a "Kick-A-Thon" for you local martial arts schools. Timing the actual speed of the physical leg may be difficult but what if you set a ball on a T-ball stand and had them do a karate technique kick at the ball. You could measure the speed of the ball once kicked as the basis for the pledges. I also have access to punch bags which measure impact and that could be another pledge based event.

PINEWOOD DERBY: If you were in the cub scouts as a kid, remember those cars you had to carve from a pine block then race. It was always the biggest event of the scouting year. How about a pledge based fundraiser on how fast the cars will go. Why not right! The curiosity has got to be there and the kids have put a lot of work into their cars, it's a double whammy of an event.

GOLF DISTANCE: If you remember from my news & notes last year. There now is a system that will measure golf ball distance as well as ball speed. Corporate parties or special annual club tournaments could bring in some nice flat fees. Take it to an event and charge as well.

OTHER: Don't forget all the ball or movement oriented sports and activities out there; lacrosse, bowling, tennis, football, archery, hockey... This list goes on and so do your possibilities to make money.

All's Fair

... but not all fairs are the same!

Fairs, carnivals, festivals, expo' city, by county, by state... like the people who attend them they come in all shapes and sizes and temperaments. Here's the psycoanalogical profile you'll need to know.

SPACE RENTAL: Renting space can come from many different components that make up a fair. A small festival or carnival is generally run by the same singular organization. Many times a charitable organization, youth group or community body. Events that are to attract people from many municipalities, like a county fair, will have some interesting options. First there is always the staff of the event and generally there is someone who handles concessions like food, crafts and independents; the latter is you. The event promoters will have their own space for these concessions. The rides and the midway are usually contracted to an amusement company. Any independents that wish to set up on the midway must contract with the amusement company. Lets just say the event promoters are generally glad to have us and the amusement company is not always so gregarious. Your third option is to sublet from an business or group that has already dealt with either of the 2 entities.

FEES: Small community carnivals are worth no more than $50 a day unless you know the event well. As with all outdoor events, you run the risk of rain but many small events compensate you for that or are willing to negotiate a percentage based fee. Many specialized events like expo's and festivals can get pricey because of the target consumer they attract. Specific consumer events may not benefit you so be conservative in what you are willing to pay. Surprisingly, county fairs can be the best value based on the number of days. When booked through the fairs staff you will be located in the concessions area which is fine and the rates, at least for me in upstate New York, have been the best of any events I do. I pay $120 dollars for our 6 day county fair and the staff is pretty accommodating to all my needs. At some fairs they require games to book by the amusement company. The only advantage is that you will probably be set up on or about the midway. Amusement companies service different sized fairs and the bigger the company, the bigger pain in the butt they are. The medium sized companies seem to handle independents well and the fee's are fair but strict. They have been know to give me a break during rain outs.

EXPECTATIONS: Until you've done them annually there's no way to predict anything. Turnouts vary heavily from year to year. Weather, your fee and location will all factor into your success. Some events can still be great even when the ambiance is lame; not fairs. If there's alot of activity and festivity, you'll be fine. Otherwise, they can be pretty long days; yet somehow I always seem to make out okay in the end.

WIN... but when!

The balance of your prize structure affects both the turnout of your booth and the profitability of you business. If you are going to use prizes be fair yet reasonable on what you can accommodate. If guessing speeds are the basis for winning then remember that guessing baseball speeds are much easier than soccer kicks. If I'm using a prize like snapple that is under $1 and easily restockable, a simple guess of their last pitch is all it takes to win. If I'm using a prize that ranges between $1.50 and $5, the sport and accessibility of the prize comes into account. My current prizes are sports team license plates. They cost under $2 but I have to drive 70 miles to get them so baseball generally requires 2 guesses to win. If you are doing a raffle of an item between $10 and $30 make winning easy. Either guessing pitches or breaking speed records is perfect. Let 'em win all they want, it's paper!

Thar She Blows!

Be safe now, the wind is not your friend. Stake down your cages well when outdoors. Cage style "A" has stake holes in the feet so it's a simple matter. Cage "B" will need some help. I usually buy some small plates about 6 inches long with holes on each end. Place the plates across the cage ground poles and hammer stakes into the holes. 4 plates, one at each corner should be fine. When on hard surfaces, sand bags work well or if next to a grounded object, secure the cage to it.

News & Notes

I'm hoping to have a new sales booklet completed by mid June. This will be a 12 page newsletter format packet covering updated pricing, components and some of the basic operating tips. If you current owners would like one just let me know. I'll be upping my sales promotions heading into next year so stake your claim in your area now.

Remember, if there's something of interest you would like top know or submit for Quarterly Strike, I'm all ears... then fingers.