It was going to be a State of the Nation address as it feels that important to me but I reigned myself in. For transparency and also a bit of therapy I am putting this up so those of you that are interested can see what is going on.
The past couple of weeks have been the most stressful period for the store. We went to the bank (my wife and I) on 10 September to see if we could draw down $60,000 from the mortgage to create the store. My bank advertises on TV that they approve home loans “over the lunch hour”. Long and short of it is we are still waiting to hear from them. We have provided everything they need but;
- They do not want it to be a mortgage extension, they want it as a business loan because they make more money from those
- My wife went from night worker to day worker in a seasonal role (potato picking) recently because it means a lot more dollars but because the bank can’t “predict” seasonal work they are going to take her income out of the equation, despite them having proof that she is earning and earning well
- It looks as though this bank will say no to the money in my mortgage because of this, so much for equity in your own home
So that means that as of tomorrow I will likely be looking for a new back and have suffered a two week setback for little reason apart from the bank playing games.
This would not be too bad except I got given a piece of information this week. There is a person intending to open a Mind Games store in Burnie now. I have my suspicions that someone tipped him off to what I was doing and he is attempting to get in first. I know this person and it will be a shame if he gets this up and running before I do. He loves the game, but not really the people around the game. Burnie does not have a population to support two hobby stores in this regard. i am not that concerned about the franchise nature of this, Mind Games is pretty much an unknown in Tasmania but I am concerned that whoever gets in first is going to win here and this is making me sick to my stomach for every day I do not have the money to start the build.
So now I have to think of contingencies. I have started the online store and have PDF’s and audio books and other material for sale there. Publishers are coming on board at a steady rate and a good level of support from their side of things. In an effort for transparency, I will openly say here that the store has handled only one sale to this point as customers are much slower to sign on, though I am hoping that with time and content this will change. I must constantly remind myself that this is a start up business and it will take time to grow. As far as this side of the business goes I am happy to continue it.
The contingency must now be looked at from the physical product perspective. I still very much want there to be physical products run through the store. There are some problems with this though;
- Many distributors of this product will not deal with you unless you have a bricks and mortar storefront. This is really a major concern as I wanted to be the place people thought of (in Australia at least) when they wanted to get x game online. It will remove a lot of the stock that I wanted from even being able to be bought for the store;
- Without a central delivery place where I can guarantee people will be there to take stock, I will struggle to be able to get the products from distributors as they want guarantees for this.
If the physical store is out of the picture then the amount I need to draw down is only $25000 – $30000 for stock. This is a fantastic improvement but not what I want to do. If it comes to it though this is precisely what I will do and run the physical stock through the online business.
To me, this business is really about being an integral and upstanding member of the gaming community, not just about making a dollar. If you saw the financials you would realise that it is tighter than I thought it was going to be. I am not a quitter though, I think I just needed to order my thoughts here and just push on and get this store up and running – make it the Friendliest Local Game Store and online sales portal there ever damn was. Thanks for reading and your support!