Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Playground Elephant

We who have taught, or love children who have been taught, know this is funny! From the diary of a Pre-School Teacher
My five-year old students are learning to read and we took them outside onto the playground for some fresh air.
Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,
"Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?""It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"
And so it does...

" A f r i c a n Elephant "
Hooked on phonics! Ain't it wonderful?
Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.
After our lesson all the kids played on the new school playground equipment we installed

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How does the price of steel affect the price of a commercial playground equipment?

How does the price of steel affect the price of a commercial playground equipment?

Commercial playground equipment is made out of steel or aluminum posts, steel decks dipped in plastics, and steel clamps, bolts and other hardware. Also used are steel climbers, overhead ladders, rock walls and other playfield equipment. Slides and climbers are also made out of plastics and steel.

So with gas/oil prices falling how will this affect the price of NEW commercial playgound equipment or NEW school playground equipment?

See this interesting video discussing the drop in raw materials and steel prices.

We all know gas prices have fallen by feeling it at the pump.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Being available – better playgrounds on the customers time

In this seasonal playground business (at least for us Northerners), it is important that when you are busy, you are never too busy for a customer. Now for me, this is not a 9-5 job. I am assuming it is not for most of us in this niche industry of installing playgrounds. So here are a couple quick tips on staying available.
1) Email – you must have it. Period! Exclamation point! Too many businesses and customers rely on email to allow them to interact with you when they want to. Whether that be 9 AM or 2 AM. Playground equipment buyers, like any customer wants to work on their time, not your time. This is one way to allow them that, without interfering with their work or play.
2) Cell phone – I have one and answer it religiously. If taking a call on a Friday night about a playground design minor change or color selection change means less headaches on Monday morning, I do it!
3) Schedule – Make one and keep one – but be a little flexible. If you can tell a customer which days you are available and then “STICK” to it, most customers will respect your planning and organization.
4) Call ahead – If you are running late – call ahead ASAP. Do not keep a customer in suspense as to when you might show up. They will better understand a legitimate apology (prior to the appointment) then an “oops” after you show up late.
Albeit my wife does not like the late calls and weekend emails, but she understands that if I take 5 minutes to help a customer or potential customer out, it will mean much more to me and that customer in the future. So when I am running late or need to leave early for my kids baseball game, the customer will respect my time as I have given them 24/7 most of the rest of the time.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Port Clinton, Ohio

Walleye Fests

Port Clinton is "The Walleye Capital of the World."
And 14 years ago, to honor their scaly mascot, this Lake Erie resort community began dropping a 20-foot, 600-pound Walleye on New Year's Eve. "The idea arose just where most great ideas are generated ... in a bar!" says Mike Snider, Walleye Madness at Midnight Committee Chairman. "We're on our second fish (named Wylie Walleye); the first fish was paper Mache and went to 'the great lake in the sky' after the second drop." This year's festivities include a rock-paper-scissors challenge, fireworks at midnight and a band boasting a walleye-shaped guitar.
May kids had a great time playing on the playground equipment!
Port Clinton brings in Jan. 1 with a plummeting walleye.