July 29, 2011

on Tuesday, 02 August 2011.

Things are wide open at the shop and we are quickly filling up the month of August on the schedule.  This week we had a lot of custom cover work combined with our regular seat work plus the bag liners have been keeping up hoping also so things are going really good around the shop and it's good to be busy.

Since Sturgis is out of the picture for us this year I have started working on getting things ready for the NC State Hog Rally which is going to be held in Hickory NC this year.  This is going to be our first state Hog rally and it looks like it is going to be a pretty big rally.  I almost wish we wasn't going to be working the event because they have some really cool rides planned and one of them is blasting down the Hickory Airport runway.  I have been on the runway before but it's always been taking off or landing in a plane and I think it would be really cool to get to ride a bike down it.  I may have to sneak off that morning so I can do it...we'll see.

I have one other event that I am looking into for this year but I am just not sure yet, it really depends on the cost of the spot.  Working a event as a vendor has a lot of good opportunities but most people don't know what the "Promoter's" charge vendors to set up.  For us, we need a spot 20ft by 30ft or 600 square feet, decent size but nothing like the big haulers you see the big name bike suppliers and manufacturers have and that will kind of blend in shortly about the big name vendors.  I won't name names of rallies but for our size spot most 3 or 4 day rallies want $1000-1550 for the spot and throw another $150-250 for electrical hook up so that just got the spot cost up to $1150 to $1800.  I am all about saving money and it don't bother me at all to sleep in the hauler, but there is only one rally I know of that don't mind you doing that and that is Stugis, so our set up cost there includes room and board plus power so no add ons for there.  Then you have to figure in your employee cost, food and accommodations.  So for a 3-4 day rally you have to add another $1000 to $1200 to cover that cost.  Then there is the fuel bill.  Our truck holds 36 gallons of diesel and we can roll around 360-400 miles on a tank and most events we have done in the past we had to stop twice to fill up the truck, so throw another $600 for the fuel bill. So best case scenario you are looking at $2750 to set up at a rally and worst case $3375.  So now we are set up and ready to work but you forgot about figuring in the cost of the supplies you are going to need.  For a 3-4 day rally we normally take about $6500 worth of memory foam and gel pads plus the other things we need to do the seats.  So now you are up to an expense of $10,000 to $12,000, see where I am going with this.  I know that isn't much money to some people but to a small business owner and manager it is really a nightmare because what if it rains one day? are screwed then.  I can give a great example of this.  Two years ago we were set up at the Thunder Beach Rally.  We were busting butt Friday morning and actually we were doing the best we had ever done at any rally that morning.  We had just received our 12th seat of the day which was around noon.  It started drizzling shortly after noon and everything stopped.  We finished the 12 seat around 1 to 1:30 PM and because of the drizzle which was on and off all the bikes cleared out and we went cold and didn't get another seat for the rest of the day.  Everybody always thinks that just because you go to a rally and set up you are making big money when you're hoping to break even for your worst case scenario and best case you are lucky if you bring home $500-1000.  Maybe we don't charge enough, I don't know?

That's enough whining today, I need to get back to work.  
Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.


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