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56 West Main St.
Norwich, NY 13815

Quarterly Strike Newsletter Volume 18


Sorry to have skipped over the July issue but The Mody Company was in the process of moving and I needed all my new info. ready so you would know how to reach me. Almost everything is new, address, phone, fax and web site; only my email address is the same. Please note the new contact info listed below and on the back page.

I'm also pleased to say that I have received a number of nice emails from new owners the past few months and I'll be publishing one each issue on the back page. There's no nicer feeling in the business than knowing owners are doing so well, and as they should, this is fun, easy money.

New Contact Info:

The Mody Company - 56 West Main., Norwich, NY 13815
ph/ 607-336-6233, fx/ 607-336-6232, toll free 888-828-MODY
email:, web site:

Accessory To Speed

Large Readout Displays...

Are They Worth It?

The ultimate speed booth accessory, large readout displays, are not always a speed booth necessity. I'm talking about the large square boxes that mount on or near the cage and read the players speeds in large numbers for all to see. Seems like a logical necessity to have at your booth. Considering their cost and temperament, it may be an item that can wait.

All radar guns have a speed display on the back of the gun, that speed is transmitted through a cable to the large display which also reads the speed for the players and public. There's no arguing it's appeal to your booth but I've gotten by many years just fine without one. It's initially just a factor of cost, most are more expensive than the radar guns, or generally one-third of the system purchase price. True, it cost more in the long run to add one later on than buy it initially in the package but if you can't afford the display, why skip buying a system all together. Or even worse, wait to buy one. The longer you wait, the more events you miss and the more money you don't make. A display should have no factor in your decision to purchase, if you can't afford it now, it won't be long until you can. It's an add-on item so don't let it diminish your cash flow unnecessarily. You will need money for other small accessories, prizes, space deposits, business cards & information. These are more important items than a display when you start so consider the full scope of your business start-up.

I've run my systems without them for many years and when I finally got one, it was a great addition but I've made tens-of-thousands of dollars without it. I simply tell the player what their speed is, since the speed is on the back of the gun.

Now That You Own One!

Okay, so you can afford to get one. If you have the money or room on your credit card it's cheaper to get one with the initial purchase. You now have some options on how you run your system.

First, where do you mount it. I usually hang it in the upper right corner of the cage. This does however, make it a potential stray pitch target. There is a protective clear screen but a hard stray pitch will most likely damage the unit. Placing it in an area where you display prizes and speeds is a safer option but be sure your display stand is sturdy and won't tip in the wind or when it's bumped. You can also set it on the ground at the foot of the cage or display stand. Be sure to wrap the cable tight to the pole and net and taught to the ground.

Now you have some options on gun set-up. Without the display you always had to have the radar gun facing into the cage so the speed was accessible to you. Now you can place the gun behind the cage since the score will read out front. This can be a problem if there is general patron traffic behind the cage, the gun could potentially be knocked over. Try roping or taping a 5 foot area around the back of the cage to keep people away. I have a long extension cord for power and I sometimes use the excess as a rope. It's a good safety measure anyway. The other problem is manual control of the gun. If you do need to use the trigger you'll have to bring the gun outfront anyway. I'm most secure where I have access to the gun.

1 Dimensional.

A Strategy For Start-Up Planning.

It's not easy to write an article on a method of business which I myself do not practice but none the less, I feel for some people, concentrating solely on one area or type of event can help place a solid focus on your direction.

Recently I've developed a mindset of work that focuses on relatively close to home events. In my maverick days I would do anything anywhere, over 50 events a year. However, focusing harder on a specific criteria has surprised me in how many profitable close to home events there actually are. These do encompass all types of events but for this article, lets focus on events of a singular type.

Fundraising is a good place to start. If there's a salesman in you, then this is the area to focus on. The Pitch/kick-A-Thons give you an opportunity to do the full gamut of business;; set up a business plan, solicit sports leagues, make the sale and host the event. And like all great sales jobs, you get a percentage of your work. For me personally, this would be my singular area of choice. There are hundreds of sports leagues in my region, all of which need fundraising. The uniqueness and fun of incorporating speed timing will command great attention from leagues. Rest assured you will always be able to "pitch" your program to someone in a sports league.

For a circuit based focus, county and community fairs are plentiful. County fairs give you an opportunity for a full work week as many run 6 days. Most don't conflict with each other so you can still stay regional and fill up a whole season. Field days are the next level down and usually run 2 to 4 days. Focusing on these events gives you great exposure to other vendors. Pay attention to the vendors that do well and if you see them consistently on the circuit, ask them what's the best events of the year and why. These events are also good at honing your negotiation skills. By sticking with these events you'll understand how to get the best location and price. Your major drawback is the long hours and up front money needed for deposits in advance. Good county fairs however should make you $1,000 or more with pretty reasonable space fees. Here in Upstate they run under $160 for a full week. Well to do counties could be more.

Youth tournaments can nowadays go year round in any climate. Indoor soccer facilities are becoming common place in most communities so soccer tournaments are held year round. Add in baseball and hockey events and you'll hold a tremendous influence in the youth sports community. This ofcourse is a great focus for parents who have kids that play sports, attending and working them at the same time. The income is consistent but not enough to support most full time requirements. Expect to make between $250 and $500 a weekend and I usually offer up 20% to the host league or facility. Your hours are pretty flexible as well, since most of the time you can determine when you will be open. Successfully focusing on these events involves understanding the line between downtime recreation and pre game preparation interference. Note how and when to properly draw the kids to your booth.

This singular focus can give you an edge in planning and preparation when you start your business and also helps in long range assessments. Once you've attended a full year of events you can then gage your potential for years to come.

I find this approach particularly useful for new owners. If you have no experience in planning because your this is your first attempt at self-employment full or supplemental income, the straighter your focus the better you can plan. Despite this article it's simply common sense to find any event in a variety of classifications.

There is so much out there to do and it's common for people to speak with me and become overwhelmed because I'm throwing all kinds of possibililties at them. That can be intimidating for sure. The truth is most game concessions have to focus on fairs and carnivals because they have no other tie-in. But a speed timing booth brings so much variety that if you don't want the midway atmosphere just find anyplace with people.

Eventually your sales and management skills will be experienced enough to consider the possibilities of corporate promotions, rentals and other flat rate events where people pay you. It's only inevitable that you become well skilled at setting these up and your home office will become as valuable as the equipment itself. Now your singular focus is managing and promoting your business from home.

To "B" or Not To "B"

Thinking of upgrading you cage "A" to a "B" system cage. Worried about losing transportability and easy set-up. There's not much to lose and the advantage of having both styles at your disposal is helpful. Cage "B" is the more traditional solid square frame unit you would expect to see in a speed booth. Cage "A" was a great choice for minimal investment or quick set-up but now business is good and you need options. for multi-day events or heavy indoor baseball, cage "B" gives you confidence in leaving the unit up over night and that extra headroom to hold stray pitches. Although it lacks the simple pop open set-up of the "A"'s, simple press buttons snap the cage together... well, in a snap. The unit breaks down to the same size as the "A"'s for easy transport. If you have a one day event or soccer heavy use, the "A" is great, but when the time is right for you financially, you'll appreciate adding the sturdy look of cage "B".

Excellent E-Mail

Subject: Thanks!
Sent: 06/30 8:43 PM
From: Jeff Leroux

To: T. Mody,

Update from Canada....I managed to get booked for Pioneer Days in Oromocto, New Brunswick, Canada and the response has been great. We are running the booth by giving away Gatorade if they can guess their speed on the 4th/5th pitch. We constantly get multiple players. This is great! On Saturday, we managed to pull in $244 despite the rain and on Sunday.......$412. We started our day around 11 am and we were packed up no later than 8:30 pm on each day. Since then, things are only looking up. On Sunday I met a gentleman who is on the executive committee for a local little league and managed to book my first Pitch-A-Thon. We also booked 2 one day sessions at a local hockey school for August. Running that same time frame, we are booked for a Canadian Nationals Softball Tournament. Thanks for the ideas and support...Jeff

News & Notes

We have a new price guide and info booklet out now. There are some price adjustments for system 2 packages to note. Also, I now am making available theme backstops. You can choose baseball, soccer, hockey, golf & football graphics. Price... $320. I often am asked why I use the general target backdrop instead of the eye catching graphics. There are a number of reasons but durability and general use are the 2 main reasons. The yellow target backstop inclusive with all systems is made to withstand this application. I still use the same ones when I started in 1992. Since it's a simple non-sport specific target, you are not limiting someone's perception that it's a one sport game. There's no arguing graphics add a slick look but they can limit your income potential. Then again, some might say graphics will draw more customers... so you choose.