View Cart
radar gun pricingradar gun operationsradar gun newsradar gun renting


56 West Main St.
Norwich, NY 13815

Quarterly Strike Newsletter Volume 3

HELLO... You Sprang; IT's SPRING!

Is your phone bill getting a bit inflated... GOOD! Then I'm not the only one. This time of year you really need to start making plans to secure a summer of profit.
First, realize that your best mall season is at hand. The rainy spring weather brings gold in them there drops and people are feeling active. It's a good opportunity to set up at a mall even without an event. Also, keep in touch with the mall manager for upcoming events other than sportscard shows. If an event runs Saturday & Sunday, try getting in on Friday for the evening traffic of kids. Be picky about your locations and space fees. Offer to use the booth as a promotion for upcoming events at the mall.
Now, get on that phone and call every possible Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau in your reach to receive a calendar of events. Most will gladly mail you one free the same day. Your state will also have a central bureau for county and state fairs listings. Prepare for summer events now. Take an extra browse through your local papers or even call the proper staff writer. Send letters to potential event planning organizations like charities, PTA's, colleges, parks departments, etc. Check your book stores for festival guides. And, for the ultimate in preparedness, save a little profit for Uncle Sam.


Retracing The Steps 2 years and 100 Events Later

I was looking for the irony in the fact that my 100 th event landed on the exact same weekend as my 2 year anniversary in the operation of my pitching booths. Could this be a harbinger that the coming show would be a huge success. Irony and omens aside, the show was anticipated to be a block buster. A Lions Club Expo at a mall in Kingston which has been getting tons of press. Heck, I should pocket $700 maybe a grand.

Well, I grossed $400 and change, not to mention that I lost $30 at the late night Lions Casino. The event was great but as I discussed in volume 1 of my newsletters... location, location, location. The event had been a year in planning but I only heard about it 2 weeks prior to the event so location was not negotiable. I was a little mad at myself for doing the event knowing that the location was not ideal and hoping for my omen to bring a weekend wind fall which it didn't. It did not take me long to realize that this show like some others that just fell short of expectations now will surely bring that windfall later. As I've discussed with other booth owners it is important to do shows even if you feel your profit margin will be slim. Do not go in to lose money but the exposure is very important and making the most of talking with vendors and customers will lead you to new events.

Sure enough, Tuesday morning a call came from a school in Kingston that's considering doing my Pitch-A-Thon fundraising program. In all I must have given out 5 info packs on the booth so the odds were that someone would call. Another positive was that the mall management and the Lions club were very receptive to the booth and we discussed how to better utilize the booth next year, plus they are already looking into doing Pitch-A-Thon.

This got me thinking as to how the growth of my business is referral based. So, what I've done is made an evolution tree to trace my route from day 1 to 2 years later. I first found out about the shows and promoters from Beckett Baseball Card magazines show directory. The 3 show promoters listed make up about 90% of my mall shows. From there I traced one mall manager who has been so helpful in referring me to other events which led to 2 very successful radio promoted events. At one of those events I then made the contact for the Kingston Lions Expo and the contacts from there are starting to take shape for the future.

The same ethic should go for the week days. If I feel I want to expand a little it may come down to just making one extra phone call a day. Not for any solicitation but just to see what's happening. It may be a call to an events calendar hotline, going to a Little League game or rechecking the local paper for possible shows or contacts. Just one extra action a day can be surprisingly satisfying and effective. That's what "Just Do It" means. There's a difference in thinking an event will be bad and
knowing it. You're weekends are too precious to be doing events you know are a waste but if you are not sure and it's a choice between doing nothing and making a little money plus making contacts that could lead to those windfall events... Just do it!

I guess the final thought is that I'm not superstitious to begin with so thinking that 100 events on my 2 year anniversary would be significant in the money I made was foolish. What's significant is the success I've had over 2 years and 100 events. I am successful because I made the best of situations, I made the extra call, I handed out one extra promo pack, I mailed out one extra letter. In the words of the great "Hawkeye" Pierce, "never let it be said I didn't do the least I could do". And the least you can do may take only one extra minute of your day.

Help Wanted .... No Clowns

Well, no clowns so to speak. When looking for someone to operate the booth in your absence, personality is as important as the standard traits such as courtesy, honesty and promptness.
In past issues I have made it known that my luck with contracting others to run the booth has been a big pain. I should amend that to say that contracting from people other than friends or family is a big pain. I know it usually works the other way in most businesses concerning putting family to work but in this case it has been successful.


In my situation, I had been in business for 6 months and I began to have options of shows to attend. So, I decided to put together my second system. Actually though, my first experience came after my first ever event. The 2nd event I ever scheduled came on the same weekend as a friends wedding and I was fortunate to get another friend to run the booth and that probably is where most of you will have your first experience.

It is difficult to book shows months in advance then have a conflict that same weekend; you or a family member could get sick or you may have to cover for someone if you work during the week, etc. For emergency situations it may be good measure to take a trusted friend or relative to an event and show them how to set up and run the booth. It's like preparing someone to be on call. In any event, even if there is no deposit to be lost, it's never good to cancel. I have a booth owner in Florida that just doesn't want to work every weekend since he has a job during the week so he has someone there he splits time with. Nice huh! What ever your reasons, the first order of business for both parties is money.


I try to avoid the word "employ" at all cost. Until you are well established and sure that the employed can consistently make "X" amount of dollars and you feel your business is prepared to meet all status required to pay employee taxes and meet all state & federal requirements, do not even use the word "employ".
Independent Contractor is the approach to take for most situations. Now, I'm no authority on the laws of contracting out help so you may wish to speak with a professional. The general idea is that the person contracted is himself an independent business per say. Just like you contract someone to fix your roof, you contract this person to operate the booth at specific events on specific dates. They in turn must report all their income to the government and pay their own taxes. I have the individual sign an agreement for each event thus showing that he is working per contract and not permanently. If the individual makes over $600 in a year I must report his earnings but I am not responsible for his taxes. Once you have a clear understanding of hiring this way, you can see that it is not only easier but appropriate for this type of work.


This is a cash business and the bottom line is that anyone can steal from you and you could never prove it. I even have hinted the accusation at one worker who was not happy about it. My approach is that given the unpredictability of events you have to be generous yet base the earnings on performance. Simply put, I split the net profits with the worker. If an event fee is $120 and the booth grosses $520. The net profit is $400 which I split with the worker. That's not a bad weekends pay for not working. I usually will guarantee $75 just in case of disaster. I also feel that this arrangement deters theft since where else can they work for a fairer deal then 50/50.


There are mainly 3 sources for finding workers:

1) Family & Friends 2) Referrals 3) Employment Ads.

If you can't trust your friends who can you trust? I have had great success with hiring both my sisters, my mother, and close friends. There has not been one bad experience. In fact, one friend after working for me bought a booth and moved.

A few people were referred to me and the situation was not negative but I'm always perplexed at unemployed peoples attitudes towards money. In all, the person ended up working a weekend, making $110 playing a baseball game and still was not happy. I certainly did not keep him from looking for a job during the week nor expected him to be at my beckon call but hey, I thought he needed the money. If you are not comfortable contracting family or friends you should ask them who they know that may be interested.

Hiring from a help wanted ad is an experience. Can you trust them? The book is still out. For this kind of work your odds are against finding an educated, personable, reliable and motivated worker. The real plus is that they need the work and you should be more comfortable being the boss than with family or friends. No, I'm not being negative, I'm being honest and still looking for the right guy.

One solution I touched upon in past issues is contracting organizations. Instead of splitting profits with a person, split it with a Little League or other related group. Especially if the event is a carnival or fair. Have them arrange one adult and some kids to split shifts and run the booth. All you would do is set up, check in and tear down at events end.

Now again, this has been some what of a pessimistic issue for me but due to your need for expansion or limited schedule or emergency, make it as positive and profitable as possible.

Funny moments to avoid

Running a SpeedPitching Booth is great, the people, the events, the money, the humor... huh! the humor? Yeah, there have been a few laughs at myexpense you may wish to avoid. For example...

There was the time I drove up to a service station after a show and while I was pumping gas the entire wad of profit for the day, including about $250 in one dollar bills, fell out of my coat and in one windy swoop was scattered across the huge lot. It also happened to be dark, cold and wet and I spent a majority of time chasing one or two bills while the attendant gathered most of my cash which had stuck to a huge snow bank. So keep your cash stashed!

As much as I brag about being super cautious in making the booth safe, I am the only person know to be hit with a pitch. I mean, I really hate it when little kids run unattended into the booth so as usual, I went to fetch the little rug rat only to be the recipient of his fastball. Now, clocked it couldn't have been more than 30 MPH and I did keep the ball from escaping from the cage, by blocking it with my chest, but I felt really stupid. Anticipate Kamikaze kids. Okay, how many times has this happened to you, a passer by thinks the radar gun is a camera. Explaining the booth to a U.S. citizen is one thing but when they're from Pakistan, well... I repeated the phrase a dozen times to them, "5 pitches for $2.00" and the father would repeat "5 pictures for $2.00". Finally, I demonstrated the pitching motion a few times and it all seemed clear. He handed me the $2.00 and the proceeded to gather his family in side my cage. All dressed in their Sunday best they faced what they thought was a camera and stood proud and smiled. The crowd chuckled, I just shook my head and finally the mother figured it out. Needless to say they did not pitch. When language is a barrier, remember to flash the universal symbol,
a baseball.

Where Do I Plug In ?

You just booked a huge flea market, tons of people are ready to spend money & have a great time. As you're setting up people are waiting with anticipation to test their speed. Lastly, out of your bag you stretch that extension cord to plug in and power up. Wait! Where are the outlets. THERE AREN'T ANY!!!

When booking outside events be sure to ask if electric is available and does it cost extra. Of course, your radar gun comes with a battery pack that you should have fully charged anyway butkept continuously on it only will last around four hours. To greatly extend the life of your battery just turn off the power between customers. I've gone a whole weekend with the units battery.
However, if you know that you will be doing many outdoor events you may wish to buy a longer lasting battery, You can contact me to order one or try a CB or car stereo shop for a 12 volt chargeable battery. Many times using the battery is a matter of convenience even if power is available and when using an outlet try turning off the gun after each customer simply to get in the habit.


  • Did you keep a record of your mileage when traveling to events & related appointments?
  • Did you keep receipts for your other travel expenses like food & lodging?
  • Did you deduct or depreciate the entire purchase of your system?
  • Did you keep receipts for operation expenses like baseballs, hardware, office supplies, etc?
  • Did you get receipts from promoters for space rental fees at their events?