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  • Writer's pictureRoger Andrus

Pelican Pete's Secret Sauce

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Picture this: it's thirty years ago, and I'm standing in the bustling amusement park that is Pelican Pete's. The warm Florida sun beats down on me as I take in the sights and sounds of the park. Everywhere I look, there are people of all ages enjoying the outdoor and indoor facilities.

As I speak with the owner, I'm struck by his dedication to running the park by the metrics. He knew exactly how much revenue each square foot of his property needed to generate on a daily and weekly basis to turn a profit. And he didn't just rely on intuition or guesswork – he calculated the placement of each video game inside the facility to maximize revenue.

The owner's commitment to data-driven decision-making impressed me more than anything else. If a certain area of the park wasn't generating enough revenue, he would swap out the machines or move them to a different location until they were producing the desired profit. This level of attention to detail and commitment to profitability is what sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest.

Since my visit to Pelican Pete's, I've been on the lookout for other business owners who share this "Pelican Pete" mindset. Those who prioritize metrics and data-driven decision-making have a better chance of success than those who rely solely on intuition. By analyzing data and using it to inform decisions, entrepreneurs can identify underperforming areas of their business and make changes that lead to increased profitability.

But what exactly is the "Pelican Pete" mindset, and how can entrepreneurs cultivate it in their own businesses? Here are a few key takeaways from my visit to Pelican Pete's:

Use data to drive decision-making. Successful entrepreneurs don't rely on intuition or guesswork. Instead, they use data to inform their decisions. By analyzing metrics and other key performance indicators, entrepreneurs can identify areas of their business that are underperforming and make changes to improve profitability.

Pay attention to every square foot of your property (Virtually or Physically). Pelican Pete's owner knew exactly how much revenue each square foot of his property needed to generate on a daily and weekly basis. This level of attention to detail allowed him to identify areas of the park that weren't performing as well as they could be and make changes to improve profitability.

Be willing to make changes. Pelican Pete's owner wasn't afraid to swap out machines or move them to different locations if they weren't generating enough revenue. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to make changes to their business model or operations if it means improving profitability.

Prioritize profitability. At the end of the day, the goal of any business is to turn a profit. Pelican Pete's owner understood this and made decisions with profitability in mind. Successful entrepreneurs prioritize profitability above all else and make decisions accordingly.

The lessons from Pelican Pete's are clear: running a business by the metrics drives profitability and success. Entrepreneurs who are willing to embrace this mindset and use data to inform their decisions are more likely to achieve sustained growth and profitability. By understanding the importance of metrics and data-driven decision-making, any entrepreneur can learn from the success of Pelican Pete's and apply those lessons to their own ventures.

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