Several years ago, a banker at one of our industry’s seminars warned the operators that if they weren’t in debt, they wouldn’t be successful. I thought that was one of the most self-serving remarks I’d ever heard from a seminar speaker…until I remembered another one which, contrary to Ben Franklin’s famous advice, warned that in business, money saved isn’t really money earned. How true. Avoiding a necessary expense isn’t adding income to the bottom line in this capital-centric economy we find ourselves in.
Umpteen years ago, I attended the AMOA’s very first Notre Dame session, learning, among some other useful things, that employee morale is often pegged to the physical condition of the place of employment. And so, we publish RePlay from a very nice office suite in a very nice, but fairly expensive, office building here in L.A. Our med policy is a PPO and the coffee is free (then again, I’m the only one who drinks it). Also, people are “recognized” when they do their jobs well.
We’ve all heard of the boss who fired people because he thought they were making too much money, even though they more than pulled their weight. I once worked for a guy who fired his driver one week before he would have been vested in the company’s pension plan. Too much of this kind of thing goes on in the real world. But, as said earlier, that’s not earning money. Those are the kinds of reasons Karl Marx’s ideas got some traction in the old Russian Empire back in 1917.
This industry’s fortunes rise and fall on the equipment it puts before the playing public. Prices for better-earning goods are often higher than they were five years ago, and five years before that, ad nauseam. But, gross earnings have also risen for many who know what to buy, when to buy it, where to place it, and are well experienced in coin-op’s various avenues of financing.
And since so much comes from redemption these days, maybe those who cast a more generous eye on the quality of their prizes, on the “eye candy” appeal of their prize displays, and on that “other thing,” prove out the fact that winners make players (and more active players mean fatter cash cans…but I figure you already knew that).
Summer’s here, which means good times for many readers. But, there’s also a big temptation to look at it as a chance to kick back on expenses while raking in plus-bucks. There’s also a good chance that’s not necessarily a good idea. Be brave. Be a showman. Spend a buck to promote your goods and services on things like better signage, social media, your website, building those customer lists and producing and running compelling ads in the niche media that reach your buying audience. Make and keep every possible customer well aware of who you are, where you are and what you do. Saved money isn’t earned money.
–– Eddie Adlum