Take a listen as he provides some tips to be successful in this industry as a shop owner and some insight into creating a business plan.
And I even did it. It was the culmination of not only my prior retail experience I co-owned Dr. I built what most everyone who was ever in it seemed to agree was a beautiful store that was a nice place to shop and play in.
Unfortunately I probably picked a poor time to open in terms of the overall economy and the cycle the game business went through downturn as Yu-Gi-Oh! In the end, what I did wrong mattered more than what I did right and we were forced to close the store in January, During the time that business was dropping off month by month, one thing I heard repeatedly from my fellow gamers was to keep my head up because I was "living the dream.
I'm going to lay on you not only the hard lessons I have from my retailing experience, but also advice from other retailers who, ahem, still have stores. A lot of you dreamers won't be by the end of this, so proceed trading card game business plan caution.
The first thing you need to know is this is retail. You happen to be selling games, but retail is retail. The problem with "the public" is that it includes everyone. Being a store owner means being a business-human first and gamer second, and most gamers don't want to do that.
Owning a store is a tough row to hoe, as my dad used to say. I dearly love my store and my customers even the obnoxious ones.
I enjoy hearing the lock click and turning on the OPEN sign. Sometimes, if he thinks he is being sneaky he tells us that he is asking for a friend. This latter person we rarely give the time of day to. The former, though, we will sit down with and give some general advice.
Usually they skew way too optimistic and I tell them what the average game store owner makes. Most of them don't even continue after this slice of reality. Same goes when I ask about benefits. What kind of hours do you want? Do you want vacation time?
When I tell him the reality that most of us face, he begins to see that running any retail operation is time-consuming. It is kind of like having a baby, his schedule will not be his own for some time.
Why do you want to open a game store? If he answers me that he loves games and wants to play games more I immediately categorize him as a fan boy and take a different tack with him.
I explain to him that in some ways I "love" games less. They have less romance and seem like less fun sometimes. They are now a business. If he doesn't want to look at his hobby from this angle, then he shouldn't open a game store.
Have you started a business plan? If yes, then I refer him to my employer for specific numbers, etc. Not that I don't understand them, but it isn't within my rights to give out my employer's proprietary information.
If no, I start telling him about all the little expenses he might not have considered. Do you understand that a lot of job will be bill-paying, vacuuming, cleaning toilets, etc?
Is it because 'it would be heli-kewl', or it is because they have analyzed the area and believe it to be a worthwhile business investment to do so.
As you know, even with that analysis it can be tough to gain a foothold—but the odds of failure go up the more it is a hobbyist decision than a business one.Jan 11, · 2) Join GAMA (Game Manufacturer's Association) In addition to running this little show called Origins, the GAMA provides resources including an FLGS' discussion group from which you can learn A LOT about past issues, current problems, and more - you may even find people willing to go over your business plan.
The GAMA also lets you buy in to a group insurance plan. The business plan consists of a narrative (body) and financial worksheets. Work through the sections in any order that you want, except for the Executive Summary, which should be done last.
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