How To Sell Less Beer: And Lose Money Doing It

Okay, so, let’s say we own a bar.  And we sell, among other things, beer.  And we need the revenue we bring in from the sale of beer to buy things we like, need and want.  Here is how you DON’T increase that revenue.

The first thing that you do if you wanna sell less beer and lose money doing it is to take out advertising spreading the message NOT to buy your beer.  Makes sense, right?  I mean, the single best way to have people not buy beer is to tell them not to buy your beer.

Good, one down, more to go.

Next, the second thing to do if you wanna sell less beer and lose money doing it is to restrict the days that people can actually purchase your beer.  For example, you set up shop such hat you won’t sell beer to people every other day.  Or, say, from the hours of 4pm through 10 pm, no beer.

The third thing to do if you wanna sell less beer and lose money doing it is to charge more for the beer.  In fact, you can charge so much money for your beer that people will look for other ways to obtain beer; maybe going to some other bar completely.

Okay, that should just about do it.  Three simple steps:

  1. Tell people not to buy your beer
  2. Restrict the hours you sell beer
  3. Raise the price of your beer to force folks not to buy it

If you do these things you should not be surprised when you sell less beer.  And you certainly shouldn’t be surprised when you begin to lose money doing it.

So why is the government so effin’ shocked when THEY do it?!?

The Public Utilities Department is funded primarily by water and sewer usage fees, so when consumption drops, revenue dries up.

Since the record-setting drought that gripped North Carolina in late 2007 and early 2008, local water consumption has dropped, Buchan said. Last year, usage was down 7 percent from 2007 levels, he said

Now, why does this concern the gentle city of Raleigh?  Why:

to help pay for a new water treatment plant that will come on-line next week.

Of course!

The city, like all other things, enjoys being able to pay for things it likes, needs or wants.  water treatment plants are no exception.  So, when needing money to pay for things you like, need or want, the prudent thing to do is NOT follow the three steps I outlined above.  Right?


1.  Tell ’em not to buy it:

Dick and Nancy Petty said they track rainfall at their house and cut back on water usage even more during dry conditions.

“We don’t want to run out of drinking water, for one thing. It’s just something that we’ve been on top of for a long time,” Dick Petty said.

2.  Restrict the hours you can buy:

Year-round water restrictions adopted by the City Council have kept a lid on consumption.

People with odd-numbered street addresses can water their yards on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, while those with even-numbered addresses can water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Violators receive one warning before $50 and $200 fines are imposed for second and third offenses. A fourth violation will result in a homeowner’s water being shut off.

3.  And raise rates to the point that people go elsewhere:

In July, the city will implement tiered water rates to begin charging people based on their usage. The City Council adopted tiered water rates two years ago…


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  1. Jeffrey Horn said:

    I heard of a similar concept in 2006 called “Tax Addiction.” Basically, governments pass cigarette taxes with the explicit intent of reducing smoking. Then, they work the revenues from those taxes into their budgets. Finally, they are (shock!) reluctant to ban smoking in public.

    So, cigarette taxes aren’t really about reducing smoking. They’re about making smoking more expensive.

  2. pino said:

    So, cigarette taxes aren’t really about reducing smoking. They’re about making smoking more expensive.

    North Carolina saw the same thing with the gas tax. Though to be fair, I suspect we drove less because of the market price of gas, not the drastic increase of a tax on gas.

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