Oct 9, 2009

I have a dream...to have a...dream?

Good afternoon, folks and happy friday :)

I wanted to share something with you, and try a little crowdsourcing - or is it still just plain old social networking? Bah - anyway, My wife and I have decided that our village of 120,000 souls needs a gaming store. Not just ANY gaming store, but one run by myself. There have been a few before, one was too heavily leveraged on comic books and associated merch, another was too heavily invested in Warhammer products. I feel that I can learn from their mistakes, and make it worthwhile - all while living my geek dream of bringing the awesomeness of gaming to the masses.

As such, I wanted to ask for your thoughts, feelings, links, and anything else you can possibly spare the time to provide. This project has actually been in the works for a few months now, and as the newest clients of the Solano Business Development Center, we have begun the arduous process of putting plan to paper, and money where our mouths are.

What say you? I rightly brag to my friends here that I am part of one of the most intelligent and insightful communities this side of MIT. Wanna be able to brag too - or learn a little so you can do it yourself?

I plan on making the evolution of this project something I update on a fairly (Hah!) regular basis. Anything would be helpful. As of this particular moment, we are pegging our opening day at about a year out. There are SO many things to do...I will admit that it's a little daunting.

One of the things I am looking to leverage is synergies. As such, I am specifically looking for other similar businesses that have been able to make partnerships and such work - i.e. A gaming store in Minnesota that I visited a little over a decade ago was a smallish retail spot between a subway and a starbucks. The gaming store (whose name escapes me now) had worked out a deal, in which a monthly membership from them netted the card-holder a 10% discount in-store, and a 5% discount at it's neighbors.

I understand that many feel that the brick-and-mortar business model is slowly dying, but I disagree. I think we are seeing more of a survival of the fittest scenario, and as such I want to enter the market as lean and mean as I can get.

Thank you in advance for your support, advice, or insults. I intend to learn from them all :)

Whew...that all said, any of you play Alpha-omega yet? What were your thoughts?


Josh Cornwell said...

Well, I doubt I'll be able to offer much in the form of advice or ideas, but I want to wish you good luck.

I've entertained the same dream pretty much all of my life but haven't had the guts to make an attempt at pulling it off. I hope you see success, and I look forward to seeing future updates.

Donovan said...

Thank you for your well-wishing :)

Just knowing I have fans who WANT me to succeed helps a lot. I will endeavor to surpass your expectations - since there is no "try" eh?

Mad Brew said...

I looked into doing this once myself, but decided that if I wanted to make money, my time was better applied elsewhere.

That being said, it sounds like you've thought it out and with little to no competition and a sound business plan, it could be an awesome opportunity.

I tried digging up all the old resources I read, but found these few:

Tilting at Windmills - Comic retailer based, but I believe it still applies, check out the sequel too

The Game Manufacturer's Association (GAMA) has a retail mentorship available that might be very insightful.

The Comics & Games retailer forums

Behind The Counter series of articles at RPG.net

Hope this small list helps you succeed!

Opening a Game Store Article

Donovan said...

@ Mad Brew - Thank you :) These are exactly the kind of links I will be using. I appreciate the time and trouble you went to in placing them here.

As to everyone else - 3 days, 600 pageviews, and two comments? I must say that I DID expect better...but no mind, consider this comment thread open into eternity if any of you finds a gem that may help.

David said...

I worked for a comic/game/ anime store for about 4 years, and I've thought about doing the same thing you are! Good luck!

There are a couple of places whose models I'd recommend you checking out.

The Whiz up in Mass. http://www.whiznet.com/ They're a game/hobby/toy store.

Sarges Comics in Ct. http://www.sargescomics.com/

One thing both stores do really well is events. Free Comic Book Day is a big one. Painting contests, tournaments, 24 hour game day all get people into the store.

Also I would recommend working with other local entertainment venues - movie theaters, libraries, etc. and coordinate events as you can. New superhero movie? Put some heroclics and free comics with your store info on them to give away.

Also, stock snack food, not just candy. Ramen cups and access to a microwave! For big event days even some fruit might be worth it. Check the local food delivery places. See if they'll cut you a discount for frequent orders!

There is probably more, but thats a start. Again, good luck!!