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Brady Flower's Kiosk Profit Tips



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Dear Friend,

When I started my first cart, my product supplier had a software program they provided to help us keep track of sales, and commissions, and so forth.

Problem for me was that I didn't own a computer at the time. (This was several years ago.)

I had most of my funds committed to opening my cart... starting inventory, and mall rent, and credit card machine... 

No extra money for a computer. 

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So rather than make a big issue of it... what I did was make an arrangement with the manager of the Kinko's across the street. 

He let me load the software onto one of their computers. And once or twice a week, after the mall closed, I'd head over to the Kinko's to enter my sales numbers, and print sheets with my staff's commissions.

I'm pretty sure Kinko's would never allow an arrangement like this now-a-days. 

But at the time it worked out fine.

(Except for the one week Kinko's replaced all their computers! I had to stay up late one night re-entering data so my sales people would get paid on time.)

At the end of the season, I went in Kinko's to print end-of-the-season bonus reports for my salespeople.

The software allowed me to print sales reports by day, week, month... and although I had printed these reports throughout the season, the sheets had gotten wrinkled and folded and misplaced.

So I made a clean set of printouts. It probably took two hours of computer time and more than $50 bucks to pay for the prints.

But I got 'em all printed.  And stuck 'em in a three-ring binder. 

Then... when I had to meet with a new leasing manager that spring, I lugged that binder with my sales figures along and showed it to them.

It turned out, having that binder with me was really helpful WHENEVER I had to meet with a new leasing rep.

I found it helped in at least these three ways:

1) First, a new leasing manager doesn't know you from Adam.  Some get several THOUSAND inquiry calls a year. And they get lots of calls from 'big talkers'. 

The reality is that it can be hard for them to tell who's serious, and who's blowing smoke up their butt.

But I could SHOW them real numbers. I just had to open up my binder. The numbers were there in black and white.

And everything I said afterwards was more credible.

2) Second, when leasing reps are dealing with someone new to the cart business... they WANT to be helpful.

But sometimes it can be tough to toe the line between looking out for YOUR interests, and the interests of the mall.

(The interests are not ALWAYS the same. For example, if you are negotiating rents.)

When I pulled out that binder, it sent a clear message that I knew what I was doing... and could take care of myself.

They could relax.  They knew they didn't have to worry about holding my hand. And we both could get down to business.

3) Lastly, and probably most important... having that binder really helped my confidence.

When I pulled it out, I felt more professional. And I am sure that I came off as more professional.

Confidence and a healthy belief in yourself is attractive in ANY endeavour in life. If you're confident and believe in yourself, people want to work with you.

And it helped the leasing reps want to work with me.

If you haven't done so already, set aside a couple hours as soon as you can to generate some sort of permanent record of your sales.

Even if all you have is numbers written down in a spiral bound notebook, sit down at the computer. Enter the sales numbers into an excel spreadsheet or a word document.

Then print the pages and collate them into a notebook.

(If you took pictures of your cart or kiosk like I suggested... ... add those pictures to your notebook too.)

When you meet with a new leasing rep, pull out your binder. Show it to them. 

You might only have it out for a minute or two. However, first impressions are often lasting ones.

Show a record of what you've done, you'll be ahead of ninety percent of the people they talk with.

You'll appear more credible, more professional, and more confident. That's the kind of person most ANYONE wants to work with.

Oh... after that first season... I DID invest some of my profits in my first laptop computer... no more Kinko's computers for me!

Brady Flower
Kiosk Expert

P.S.If you are not currently a subscriber to the Specialty Retail Report magazine, you might want to consider becoming one.

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