Business Currents

How many of us grew up with or still enjoy eating Franken Berry, Boo Berry or Count Chocula cereal and watching Saturday morning cartoons, monster movies and reruns of campy creepy and strangely themed TV shows? If you liked shows like "The Munsters," "The Addams Family," the "Groovie Goolies" or "Scooby-Doo" and enjoy classic monsters in both serious and comic forms, our paths may cross listening to haunted tales before the next full moon.

Next week movie monsters, scream queens, unsuspecting campers and more will gather at Lake Lenape in Mays Landing for an inaugural event called Witch-Craft, a Mystical Encounter with Broos and Spirits. The event is the latest offering from the Good Time Tricycle team that has brought us the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival, the Downbeach Seafood Festival and many other not-to-be-missed lifestyle events.

This time around the witchcraft spooky theme will occur at one of the area’s coolest and possibly most underutilized large scale event venues, Lake Lenape. The park will be transformed into a mysterious wooded village of local partners serving up zesty stews and seasonal brews so magical it must be witchcraft.

The experience is being described as a one-of-a-kind Halloween-lifestyle event co-hosted by the original monster movie characters. Over 50 brew masters (boo-masters?) and distillery wizards (spirit pourers in a material world) will offer classic adult beverages as well as some seasonal debuts.

If previous events are any indication the event should bring together all that is good, creepy, weird and wonderful about the Halloween season. Whether relaxing by the fire, sampling new brews, mixing with distillers, carving pumpkins, dancing to music in a silent disco or sharing scrumptious eats, attendees can immerse themselves in all that Witch-Craft has to offer.

Tickets are on sale now online and at selected partner locations around the region. You can contact Good Time Tricycle at 609-385- 0716 for event details and ticket information. Don’t forget to tell them “Count Molineaux” sent you!

For those seeking some Halloween themed business tips, the legend of the Jersey Devil has been around for generations and always intrigued me. Most of you know the tale of hard times, family, uncontrollable growth, added expenses, being overwhelmed, wishing things were different ... . Sounds a lot like the trials and tribulations of running a small business doesn’t it?

This week, before Halloween happens, I think it is more than appropriate that we examine some Jersey Devil-ish inspired business tips.

• History and legend — Whether your business has been around for several years, decades, centuries or perhaps only several weeks, it has a history. Just like the legend of the Jersey Devil, the good, bad or ugly past of your business exists. Create a history full of growth and success. Add to that amazing service or great product offerings and that’s the stuff small business legends are made of.

• Believability — Be authentic and most of all believable in business. Not everyone believes in the legend of the Jersey Devil, but when you are walking in or around the Pine Barrens at night and hear some strange sounds or a rustling in the woods, a little bit of believer tends to creep into people. The easiest way to have your customers and clients believe in you and what you do is to meet their needs on a regular basis.

• Unlucky numbers — Thirteen happens to be a lucky number for many people. But for a larger number of people it represents the opposite. In business, the unluckiest of numbers are usually negative numbers. It’s the numbers that reflect a loss of customers, sales, revenue and most importantly a loss of profits. A sure way to kill a business is to ignore what could be happening and not examine what could be dragging you down. Face the fear and do whatever it takes to measure frequently and keep those numbers positive. If you find things are going in a negative direction adjust your efforts to keep your business profitable.

• Create a little shock — There are appropriate ways to shock people by creating excitement in your business activities. Strange or unusual contests and offers that grab customers' attention have the potential to be good things. Plus, keeping things fun, exciting and just a tad bit unpredictable when it comes to serving existing clients can help to keep them interested in what you are doing and create some enjoyment for them as well.

• Word of mouth and the media — All of the above can lead to a stronger word of mouth for your business. In addition to the people talking about your business, it shouldn’t be long before the media starts to take a look and write about all the things you are cooking up in the “cauldron of creativity” that we affectionately refer to as your marketing. Be ready for the media calls and inquiries, because you never know when you may scare some up.

When people ask where these small business ideas and actions came from, just tell them what I say, “The Jersey Devil made me do it.”

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