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Norwich, NY 13815

Quarterly Strike Newsletter Volume 9

Don't Agree To DISAGREE

Simple Agreements or Contracts Help Avoid Simple Misunderstandings

Sure Thomas Jefferson knew how to write a contract but it certainly didn't help avoid a conflict. Remember that the point of writing up an agreement for your business is to simply be sure that everyone involved understands the terms or your arrangement. If your intent is to be sure you can stick them under hot coals if necessary, lighten up!

There are a number of instances where a written agreement may be necessary in the operations of your pitching booth. Now before I get into this, let me fore- warn you that I make them up as I go along and I can not guarantee the legitimacy of my contracts so take my suggestions as simply a reference to go from. There are 2 criteria I use when deciding a contract is necessary, When other people handle money that is in some part mine and when someone takes possession of my equipment. Most events I attend I run the booth and handle the money so it's no big deal.

There may have been a few instances where a promoter failed to live up to his word and some form of a contract would have given me better leverage in making clear exactly what his word was but very rarely would it have effected the financial bottom line. In fact, having no contract sometimes gives me more leverage and freedom to do what I want.

The first situation that comes to mind for a contractual situation is in contracting workers to run the booth. Notice I say contract instead of employ or hire because your workers should be classified as independent contractors. In the agreement you want to specify that point and list all of the responsibilities of self employed personnel; particularly, paying their own taxes and that they are not on a standard payroll. Be specific about percentage payment structures but be careful not to specify any duties that may consider them under your employment.

If someone or an organization is going to be running the booth at one particular event, it is obvious that they are not employees so your concerns in the agreement can be more task specific. What are the hours of operation, who specifically shall be operating the equipment and handling money, what responsibilities and restitutions shall be made for damage or theft of equipment. Often an important point is when the equipment is to be returned. If I'm receiving some sort of percentage from then booth, I try to do the set up and tear down of the booth an attempt to handle as many details as possible. If it's a straight rental, the return of the booth is a greater issue since I'm generally out of the operational loop.

My most common and consistent agreements are written for the Pitch-A-Thon fundraisers. Mainly because pledge money is turned into the league and must be allocated to me by check once it's all collected. Many times the person I arranged the event with is not the person responsible for paying me. I try to be very specific and demanding of my role in the agreement specifying that I supply prizes and forms, etc. This gives them a sense of security that I take the event seriously. Outlining the deadlines for turning in money and when I expect to be paid is an important point make; however, I've never been paid on time but I've always been paid.

This again brings up the point of contract validity. Many times the agreement simply makes you appear a bit more professional and intent on having things run properly. I doubt it helps in actually making law your intent in the agreement. I'm sure in case of damage or theft of your equipment you gain a great deal of leverage by the agreement and possibly should someone be hurt while others are in operation of your equipment, you have a greater chance of escaping liability. Think about it, what are you going to do if you are not paid on time or the booth isn't run properly, sue someone? If someone is going to stiff you in some way, there's not a lot you can do.

The real point of the agreement is to not let 2 honest people be unsure of responsibilities because nothing was written down. Sure I try write the agreement to be frank and concise with a slight harshness but it does not need to be lawyer jumble. You want your intent to be clear to the other party with no fine print. Don't give anyone a reason to misunderstand because you copied verbiage from a car rental agreement. Simply create a check list of responsibilities and identify the intent of the agreement in your own words. Probably the most effective way to let someone know the agreement has meaning is by a comfortable manner in presenting it. Oh, and be sure they actually sign the agreement.


Work When YOU Want
Maximize Your Events
Pursue Other Interests

While, in the midst of writers block, my special someone gave me a call to see "what's up". I happened to mention that I was having trouble coming up with the final article because I simply haven't done much so far this year. Fortunately, the voice on the end says, "write about that, the luxury of working your own schedule". Hey, She's on to something.

It's true, the number of events I'll be working will be down a bit this year and It's by choice. I had been averaging over 50 events a year the past 3 years and felt I could cut back my schedule by making the most of the events I did attend. Part of the hard work I put in the past years has allowed me to identify the great from the merely good events. Most of which happen annually so I was assured the work the following year.

It's important to continue to pursue other interests since to be blunt, You can't become a millionaire running a pitching booth. I've worked hard to make a decent full time venture of it but it's best applications are probably as a great supplemental income or something to support you while you pursue evengreater opportunity. In my case, I play guitar and I wanted to play in a band again
this year but when do bands play, on the weekend. The reason my first quarter schedule was light is that most events in winter & spring are malls which run late hours thus creating a problem with a bands playing schedule. In the summer I'll be focusing on soccer tournaments and my fund raisers which end at early evening so I'm fine for evening activities. I've even cut back on the amount of phone work and weekday activities to pursue my computer interests and get my web site up. I'll try to do some freelance web page design in the future.

The events I have done have fit into my plans perfectly as all events have met or exceeded my expectations. Remember that just because an event may not be great doesn't mean you should not do it. All events are good if you network with other vendors and get yourself some needed exposure. From a mediocre event you may make contact with a promoter of a great one; it happens all the time.

Even though I stated you need to pursue other interests, the pitching booth may be the base from which you build. It's what started me in the design and selling of my systems and made me spend more time on the computer which I've become pretty good with. Realistically, my knowledge of event promoting is solid and is an area I could potentially exploit. I could also add to my pitching booth with other event related activities and starting a carnival games rental company. Right now I believe the real expansion to be pounding the fund raising program. There are just so many sports leagues that can benefit from Pitch-A-Thon or Kick-A-Thon that it simply can be the only thing you need to do if you pursue it.

Simply put, the basic business knowledge and skills needed to pursue any business interest can be attained from the operation of a speed pitching booth. Why, because it's all the same. Your determination that makes it work will build your confidence for your ventures at the next level. Plus, you've always got the booth to fall back on when needed.


Has anybody won any good prizes at your booth ately. If not, do your best to get affordable yet desirable prizes. At first I started with baseball cards, then went to posters, Snapple beverages are something I still use but currently I'm getting these sports team license plates which are cheap at $1.25 a piece but look great. I get my prizes from an auction house which sells a lot of sports accessories. Try to avoid buying retail. Carnival type prizes are a can't miss item and I've included some phone numbers below to get a catalog. When buying trophies for the fundraisiers I like Dinn Brothers. Most towns have a trophy shop but I've found Dinn Brothers to have the best selection & prices.

ACE/ACME Novelty - 800-325-7888
Rhode Island Novelty - 800- 528-5599
Dinn Brothers - 800-628-9657

News & Notes

There again are pricing changes in the Mody Company systems. There are now 3 systems available and large display units are now part of the pricing structure. Some of the radar gun manufacturers, including Jugs, have new models and modifications which I can tell you about. Prices range from $1,395 to $4,295.

I want to thank RHB Ventures, and my contact John Anz, who handles Jimmy Connnor's Champions Tennis Event, for purchasing equipment from The Mody Company for the second year in a row. The same goes to Bess Cable at The Family Circle Magazine Cup professional women's tennis tournament. This is one of the top stops on the women's tour and fans I'm sure enjoyed testing their serve speeds at a booth purchased through The Mody Company. I also want to thank Bess for the many kind words she has spoken on my behalf.