Ever since my son was a little boy I started to teach him about money. We love playing this counting game together. It goes like this…
When you walk into any location that has a set price and a lot of people just start counting. Paying for parking at a baseball game then it’s $10 per car so start counting $10, $10, $10, etc. At a gym working out, start counting the monthly fees of $40 per person – $40, $40, $40, etc. We always share a smile when we run across this type of situation because as a reoccurring revenue stream or a captive mass market the $$$ really start to add up.
This weekend we went to the University of South Carolina to watch the Gamecocks take on the Florida Gators. It was packed, full house, sold out! As usual we started counting $10 to park, $55 per ticket, $3 per coke, peanuts, program, the dollars collected at this one event has to be in the millions.
At halftime we went down to get a couple of hotdogs and cokes. This would have been another $5 at least for each of us. I said would have been because the upper bowl concession stands ran out of hotdogs and a lot of concession stands ran out of diet coke. I saw person after person being turned away (-$5, -$5, -$5, -$5). My son looked at me, smiled, and said “imagine the amount of revenue this event is losing.”
Not to mention we didn’t roam the whole stadium looking for food, we went back and watched the rest of the game and got something to eat after the game. The Subway’s down the Interstate was pack with families and students (+$5, +$5, +$5, +$5).
One of my “rules of thumb” is that when someone is trying to give you money for your product or service you need to take it. It sounds so simple but… the manager of concessions at the stadium blew a whole lot of revenue. He has history on his/her side. He should know (I’m being kind after countless games he DOES know) that 80,000 people will eat “x.” It’s not like they haven’t had sold out games before at that stadium.
You only have so many chances to make a good impression on your customers. Don’t create customer dissatisfaction with unacceptable stock levels. I could see it if you were a new small business heading into the Christmas season for the very first time. If you are an established business you really have no excuse.
People are trying to give you money… take it or someone else will.
PS: Take the revenue because it adds up quickly, on the other hand the opportunity costs adds up quickly as well. So at this event depending on who you are you either had a very good night or you could of had a very good night.
(Subway +$5, +$5, +$5 or USC =-$5, -$5, -$5)
David Peterson – President: Atlanta Sales and Consulting