Volume 34, Number 4, April 1999

 

THE BUSINESS:

The Test

Yes, the economy is good, but these are turbulent times in the glass industry . . . and turbulence leads to chaos . . . and chaos leads to worry . . . and worry leads to self doubt . . . and self doubt leads to people questioning whether or not they really have what it takes to be successful in the glass business or in any other business for that matter. In fact, I am regularly asked by people from all walks of life . . . "Do you think I could make it in the glass business?" This is not an easy question to answer. In the old days, when I started out, it was much easier. But now there are computers, and guys with MBAs, and all that HTS. And "exactly what is HTS?" you ask. Well, my friend, that stands for HIGH TECH STUFF . . . see what I mean about how much harder it’s getting? At any rate, I have now developed a simple, fool-proof, effective test to determine whether or not you, or anybody else for that matter, has what it takes to get into the glass business and become one of it’s many-fold success stories. It is concise, deadly accurate and takes less than ten minutes. Also, it is self scoring so nobody has to know how well you performed.

I spent a great deal of time developing this test and I could probably sell it for a great deal of money. However, I’m a generous kind of guy and therefore, I’m only going to charge you $5 to take the test. We’re going to do this on the honor system. Honesty is very important to all of us in the glass industry and so is trust for that matter. So now you must make a choice. If you want to continue reading and therefore take the test, you must now mail me $5 . . . cash is always preferred. If you don’t want to go on, stop reading now and give this article to a friend . . . preferably someone who has a lot of money but is also burdened with a lot of self doubt. I’m trusting you to do the right thing because it is common knowledge that the glass industry in this country operates under the highest of moral and ethical standards.

OK . . . for those of you who are still with me and have already mailed in your $5, let me say a word of thanks. For those of you who are still with me and have not mailed in your money, shame on you. You are a disgrace to us all and my guess is that you’ll do very poorly on the test anyway.

I have named my test the GLASS APTITUDE GRADIENT . . . or GAG for short. It should be taken with a number two pencil or with the second pencil you take out of your drawer . . . either one is fine. It is a timed test. You have exactly eight minutes and 45 seconds to take the test. You are allowed one timeout for a drink of lemonade because taking this test has a tendency to cause thirst. I’m not totally sure why. The timeout cannot last longer than two minutes. Both of your feet must be on the floor and you are not allowed to use any reference books of any kind. The test can be self scored but if you would like me to score it and give you an honest opinion of your individual SUCCESS ASSURANCE PROFILE . . . or SAP as we in the testing business call it, you will have to mail me $10 and a self addressed, stamped return envelope. Allow 45 days for processing. OK . . . are you ready? Here we go . . .

The Setting

It is early July. You live in a relatively small midwestern town. You are ten years old and you have decided to open up your town’s first, and therefore only, lemonade stand. With help from your big city, drug-dealing, 12 year-old cousin, you do a very thorough analysis and determine that your cost to produce and prepare a 7-ounce glass of lemonade is exactly 8 cents.

This cost includes all ingredients, labor, and overhead allowances.

Select the decision you would make in each of the following situations . . . score yourself as indicated. Keep a running total of your score.

 Situation 1

You decide to go for it by opening up your first lemonade stand on the corner nearest your home. You know your cost per cup is 8 cents so you decide to:

1.    Sell your lemonade at 12 cents per cup. Score 1 point

2.     Sell your lemonade for 8 cents per cup. Score 3 points

3.     Sell your lemonade for 6 cents per cup. Score 5 points

Situation 2

You are totally shocked to find out that you are not the first or only lemonade stand in town. You discover that another kid has opened up on the east side of town and is selling her lemonade for 9 cents a cup. You decide to:

1.    Open up across town from her and sell for 9 cents per cup. Score 1 point

2.    Call her and reach a price fixing arrangement to sell for 10 cents per cup. Score 3 points

3.    Open up right across the street from her and sell for 7 cents per cup. Score 5 points

Situation 3

After several months of losing money, your 3-year old little brother points out to you that you have been selling your lemonade at a price that is less than your costs and that you will soon face bankruptcy if you don’t change your ways. You decide to:

1. Pursue a job delivering newspapers and give him the job of running the lemonade business because he is obviously more qualified than you. Score 1 point

2. Punch the little guy in the nose and tell him to stay out of your way because it’s very obvious that he doesn’t know the lemonade business. Score 2 points

3.     Hire a high priced consultant, preferably someone who has already gone bankrupt a couple of times in the lemonade business, to give you advice.
       Score 7 points

Situation 4

You begin to realize that the 3-year old brat was right and that you can’t go on much longer. Some new, creative program is needed if you are to survive. You decide to:

1. Purchase a Lemonade Nurse franchise which allows you to do all the nifty things you’ve been doing but now you get a monthly newsletter telling you how well all the other Lemonade Nurse franchisers are doing. Score 1 point

2. Join a big time network and let them handle all dealings with your old customers. You then drop your price to 7 cents per cup so they can continue to sell at 8     cents. Score 3 points

3. Water down your lemonade mix, use foreign manufactured paper cups, offer free home delivery and lower your price to 6 cents a cup. Score 8 points

Situation 5

You opted for choice number 3 in situation number 4 and your customers are complaining that the quality of your lemonade is terrible and might even be a health hazard. You decide to:

1.     Quickly display decals and stickers that say "Master Mixer Certification". . . Accredited by the National Lemonade Association of America. Score 2 points

2.     Blame it on sabotage by your competitor. Score 3 points

3.     Close your business down, move a few blocks away and open up under a different name a few months later. Score 5 points

Scoring Your Test

If you scored nine or less points . . . forget the glass business, become a lawyer or used car salesman.

If you scored 10-20 points . . . your odds are slightly better than 50-50 of making it.

If you scored 21 or more points . . . you can’t fool me, you’re already in the glass business.

And don’t forget, if you need your Glass Aptitude Gradient (GAG) scored by me personally under the Success Assurance Profile (SAP) plan, send $10 to me at once and I will gladly be of service in helping you decide if this is the business you belong in.


USG

Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission..