Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Topless Prophet by Alan Markovitz
From the book:
"There are 2,500 topless clubs in America with gross revenue exceeding $7.5 billion. Topless clubs entertain an estimated 1,000,000 customers every day and employ 350,000 workers to serve them. Topless clubs serve more alcoholic beverages (and, I would add, at a higher average price) than any other type of nightclub and are open more days and hours than any other type of nightclub. Of particular significance, topless clubs pay more state and local taxes than any other type of nightclub and receive less corporate branding than any other type of nightclub."
These are just some of the surprising facts that the author, Alan Markovitz, shares about his life as the owner/operator of the #1 rated topless club in the United States. Markovitz grew up in Detroit, the child of a Holocaust survivor. When he finished high school, he was at loose ends. He was accepted and tested to be a figher pilot for the Israeli air force, but ultimately declined. He went to college in premed, then later business, but again just wasn't satisfied. He started working at a topless nightclub, and immediately saw the business opportunity that hadn't been exploited there.
When Markovitz started out, most topless nightclubs were lower class establishments, with the typical clientele being biker or other gangs, or blue-collar workers. He saw that there was a niche not being filled. There was room for an upscale club that would cater to businessmen and professionals. This is the type of club he started, along with his father and an older man in the business as partners. His vision was correct, and it led to a lifetime in the business, multiple clubs, and wealth.
While the language is rough, it is interesting to read how the success came from a standard business model, and how Markovitz talks incessently about business concepts like quality of service, return on investment, loss leaders, location, etc. Not everything is business talk, and there is certainly a downside. Markovitz has been shot twice and one of his partners hired hitmen to kill him. There were incidents with law enforcement and local municipalities.
This book is recommended for both those interested in topless nightclubs, and surprisely, those interested in business and how to succeed in a business.