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How To Run Your Battlefield Business Better

The Inside Running On How To Run Your Battlefield Business Better: Cash Handling 

Hit Pay Dirt With Good Cash Handling Procedures

cash banking sheet

Depending on how your Battlefield Business is structured you and your staff maybe we handling bucket loads of cash. 

Before we set up procedures to limit the amount of cash handling on the battlefield we collected, in high season, up to $10,000 in cash for just one day’s turnover. And that's just way too risky. 

If you are not there to personally oversee the cash flow then it is prudent to establish good control measures. 

Consider these 6 ideas for improved cash handling. 

1. Floats

Floats. We have a float for each venue, each event. We used to keep $110 as the cash float, now we have reduced this down to $90. Since we run multiple events simultaneously for mobile laser tag, each venue is allocated a money pouch. See the image for an example of our cash banking for after a weekend's events. The floats are issues from the admin office to each Shift C.O. The Battlefield HQ software also can print out all the Rego Forms including the Event Balancing Sheet there is a spot for staff to sign for their float. 

2. Receipts

Receiptsbalancing sheetThe booking software "Battlefield HQ" records all bookings. Customers are encouraged to pre-pay with big discounts. So most of the turnover is actually deposited directly into the bank either via Visa / MasterCard over the phone, direct deposit, or online via credit card or Paypal. At the close of business, each day customers are emailed a copy of their receipt/invoice. Or, if requested, a printed copy can be posted to the customer. So each day the cash sales from events as well as the electronic funds are balanced. 

3. Safes

Safes. Do you have a safe? A safe with a combination lock or a key is way more secure than the left-hand draw in your desk. Once you set up a safe consider, how many people other than you have access to it? Keep access to the safe limited. 

4. Drop Safe

Drop Safe. At the end of each shift, the C.O. returns the truck and the equipment and the cash to the Depot. He or she also return the pouch to a drop safe at your depot. Then each Monday the office staff reconciles and bank the takings. 

registration formThat way cash on-premises in the till and on the battlefield and in the money pouches are kept to a minimum. The staff who handle the cash are different from those who reconcile it, so there is less chance of the paperwork (and the cash!) being doctored. 

5. Petty Cash

Petty Cash. Most small businesses need petty cash. Cash used from the till to pay for petty cash items is also tracked and recorded. In Australia cash tips are rare, however elsewhere they are common so a system for tracking and divvying up the proceeds is a good idea. 

6. Third-Party Checks

Third-Party Checks. A random check or audit of cash pouches and tills and safes on an ad-hoc basis offers a good chance for "checks and balances". Even if you have fabulous staff no one is perfect so it is a great idea to get a third party to check on things. snack sales sheet

7 Ways To Wage a War Of Attrition Against High Staff Wages

One of the biggest overheads for many Battlefield Operators is staff wage costs. Shaving off a percentage of your wages costs can really help boost your bottom line. Here are 7 ideas about how to wage a war of attrition on wages.

1. Good Staff Makes A Difference

It might sound obvious, but employing a fast and efficient team is important to your business. Think about it. Is everyone on your team tip-top? Is there any dead wood? High performers prefer to work with other high performers. So keeping a slow-poke as well as making your customers frustrated might also be off-putting to the rest of the team. Investing in staff training is also vital. If your battlefield business has clear policies about what is expected of the staff then your operation will likely benefit. And you want to value and reward and retain your best performing staff.

2. Ticket Prices Make A Difference

The way you structure your ticket prices can make a huge difference to the time it takes your field staff to register your gamers. Fields staff are likely to be part-timers whereas full-time office staff is likely to be permanent so their per-hour rate might be less. Say your headline price is $43 for a two-hour session. But if you offer a discount for pre-payment (e.g. discounted to $30pp) then you can collect the money and manage the admin during your Monday to Friday 9 to 5 workweek rather than on the day of the event (which is likely to be weekend). If your registration details are organized ahead of time then doing the meet/greet and issuing of wristbands much quicker. So instead of registering 50 or so people on the day, you might only take payment on the battlefield for only one or two. This also has the benefit that your staff has less physical cash in their hands.

3. Up-selling Makes A Difference

Up-selling can make a big difference to your percentage overhead of wages. For example, say your turnover for the month is $40,000 and your direct wages are 18% i.e. $7,200. If your average take per person is $30 then if you can up-sell by just one dollar each then your turnover is now $42,000 but your wages had stayed the same and in percentage terms dropped to 17%. It sounds simple but it all helps. Ways to up-sell might include offering camo outfit rental or offering tubes of war-paint.

4. Automation Makes A Difference

Back in the day when we had the old classic system we had to employ one staffer per team to act as referees/medics. Each staffer manually respawned the gamers and counted the number of respawns with their Mark I Brain. Now with the digital SATR system, the Battle Boxes can act as a combo of Ammo & Medic. So the box acts as both an Ammo Dump where a gamer can press a button and it will automatically replenish their ammo (depending on which weapon emulation their gaming gun has been set to) and the box also automatically respawn gamers when they come in the vicinity of the box.

5. Big Groups Make A Difference

The SATR laser tag system makes hosting very large groups straightforward. And staff ratios for big groups are more favorable for your bottom line. Say you have 6 people playing at an event, in this case, we would roster one person. And say you have booked them in for $30 each, that's $180 turnover but you have to pay your staff $80 (4 hours at $20ph). That's a whopping 44% of your turnover. Then take the scenario where you have 20 players at once, so you need 2 staff and take $600. Your percentage of wages dropped to 27%. But just check out the numbers when you start entertaining big groups. Say you have 50 people each paying $30, that's $1,500 turnover. For 50 people you'll need 3 staff. Using the same figures then your wages overhead drops to 16%. But it gets even better for very large groups. Imagine you have 100 people at an event then at $30 ahead you'll earn $3,000. You will need 4 staff. That means your wages overhead drops to only 11% percent.

6. Rostering Makes A Difference

Tightening up start and finish times can make a difference to your wages. And over a year this can certainly add up. If you are running a mobile laser tag business then the average drive time between your HQ and the event can be calculated by Google Maps. If there is a big difference then find out why. There might be a perfectly good explanation, such as a motor vehicle accident on the Interstate or Motorway, but it is a good idea to ask the question. If you have a fixed venue consider installing a clock on/off time-machine.

7. Spot Checks Make A Difference

As the Battlefield Operator, the buck stops with you. Unannounced quality checks like “secret shopper” or a visit from the owner can ensure the standards you value are maintained. Cost-cutting does not need to equate to stingy service. In fact, periodic spot checks for accuracy and honesty should enhance quality.

In summary, one of the biggest overheads of a Battlefield Business is staff wages. Focusing on these 7 ways to wage war on wages can make a significant difference to your bottom line.