For Optimists, the Recovering Economy is a Source of Opportunity

Recently, Scott and I went our separate ways to see and learn about new ideas.  Scott attended a legal conference and I went to the International Laser Tag Association / Roller Skating Association convention in Orlando, Fla. We both came away with the same theme—the opportunities to have a successful business are still out there—those who act on them are the ones who are successful.

Owners of small businesses and senior management of large companies are responsible to grab those opportunities.  Individuals in charge of their company’s destiny set the tone, pace and direction. Those who complain and blame the outside world often are the cause of their own problems.  At every ILTA seminar and at the dinner meetings and even on the trade show floor, the positive attitude within that sector of the industry was contagious.  I was excited to learn about “outdoor laser tag” and how it is one of the fastest growing industry sectors.  We spent four hours at dinner learning about the successful promotions of those individuals in attendance, and we all had a chance to debate why they were successful.  We also learned about the unsuccessful ones, and we all had a chance to discuss why they failed and what changes could be implemented next time around to make them successful.

Scott came back with “the deadwood theory” that might explain exactly why companies downsize in a recession.  From a management employee perspective, very few who get pink slips would not spend their valuable time complaining but look at their termination in a positive light as a wake-up call that they may have actually been “dead weight” to their company and now have an opportunity to work for a company where they can play an integral part of that company’s success.  Yes, capitalism can be cruel sometimes, but it is also the best business model out there when it comes to progress.

For example, 9/11, a terrible and tragic event, has created opportunities that did not exist previously.  A huge multi-billion dollar security industry has blossomed worldwide.  In our own industry, those facilities that have offered new and exciting attractions with great service have captured market share in a mature industry.  Other examples are the bowling boutiques (that are generating $30-plus per capita spending rates), ropes courses, upgraded laser tag hardware and software utilized in multi-level interactive arenas, outdoor laser tag (as previously mentioned), a dozen or more great games that are capturing 80 percent of today’s game revenues, water interactive elements (for both outdoor and indoor), and the opportunities just go on and on.

Our game revenues for the Fourth Quarter 2010 and the First Quarter 2011 are now outperforming the pre-recession figures and there is still opportunity to further increase as we pull further out of the recent recession. The opportunities (including technology advances) are coming at us faster and faster these days. Often it is the simplest new technology that we can embrace.

Employees also like to work for companies that are taking advantage of opportunities and capturing market share. They are motivated by their owners/managers who they view as hard workers and innovators. They work harder and spend less time complaining.  They actually like their jobs and enjoy being at work. That just may be the true benefit of capitalism.

(Scott C. Borowsky is president and executive editor of Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine. Reach Borowsky at editortapmag@Kanec.com. Contributing Editor Frank Seninsky is president of the Alpha-Omega Group of companies, which includes a consulting agency, Amusement Entertainment Management, LLC (AEM), a nationwide revenue sharing equipment provider, Alpha-Omega Amusements, Inc., Alpha-BET Entertainment, and Alpha-Omega Sales, a game and related equipment distributor. All are headquartered in East Brunswick, N.J.  Contact information: e-mail: fseninsky@aol.com, Web sites: www.AEMLLC.com and www.comfylandusa.com. For more information, circle 255 on card. )

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