|I love Cotton Candy Machines, I mean I really love cotton candy machines. I first discovered the power of cotton candy in 2001 when I invested in one machine
|I quickly realized that I did not have enough machines to meet the demand so I invested in 4 more. The next week we kicked off a promotion that offered cotton candy, Balloons, and a bouncing castle for $199, which became an instant hit.
My thrill over the success of this promotion lasted only for one week, to be exact it lasted until that Sunday night. Even after we spent extra time at each delivery explaining how to operate the cotton candy machines correctly, the customers still managed to burn out the motors on 4 out of the 6 machines. All of the machines were under warranty, but the problem was now the the turn around time for a replacement was 3-4 weeks. I did not have the luxury of time due to the fact that all of the machines were booked out for the next weekend.
So imagine a grown man crying like a 4 year old child, and you have just capture my mental breakdown moment. It took me about 48 hours to pull it together, I was at the very bottom a pessimistic pit. I did not want to buy 4 new cotton candy machines in order to replace the damaged units therefore, I had to come up with something really fast. Whenever your faced with catastrophes in you rental operations I want you to approach it from the positive position of what resources do we have that will minimize the impact to future obligations. When I applied this problem solving principal to my current situation I came up with the following solution.
Four out of the six cotton candy machines were destroyed the first weekend out. This left me with two good machines to cover six parties. So I came up with a plan to split the two machines in between both parties. I then called each customer and announce that their party has been selected to receive a free concession server to operate the machine for one hour. The customers all loved the ideal because their biggest concern was how to operate the machine without making a huge mess.
I have had plenty of good ideals over the years but this one was, and is still the greatest of all time. I recruited my brother to take three parties, and I even paid one of my drivers to get in a Winnie The Pooh suit for one hour. The plan was a hit and we totally excited the entire party, business cards were flying everywhere. I discovered with this method that I actually made more money on each machine than if I were to rent the unit to one customer for the entire day. Once the replacement machines finally arrived I hired a cotton candy / costume crew to entertain 18 parties per day, at a charge of $229 each.
The Recording Artist Seal 1991 song “crazy” says “were are never going to survive unless we get a little crazy”. In our business “crazy” represents creative thoughts. If you allow your creativity to flow no matter how crazy it make seem, you will enjoy the taste of sweet profits.