Final Blog Entry

Hello people.

I will just get to the point. In recent times I have been struggling a lot with financial issues at the Arena. The shop hasn’t been doing well and last month I barely made enough money to pay the rent. I have reviewed my “profit” from the past 6 months and I am looking at close to nothing compared to how much work I have put in here. To put it in perspective, having a typical job would get me more money, less stress and more free time. Not making enough to support my shop and myself is what makes for this “abrupt” decision. I have been pondering quite a lot on this subject. I have talked to people about this asking for their opinion and while everyone else is saying “just go on and you’ll see you’ll make it”, I can’t pay for my own living costs at the end of a full working month. I work 6 days a week, sometimes even 12 hours per day. The effort is much too high and it’s too much for me to handle.

One might say “but you just bought a bunch of stuff for the shop (Warhammer). Why close now?”. I am not closing tomorrow. My renting contract will expire in September. There are 6 months in which I will sell most of the German products that I have and then move back to Romania to pursue my options there.

“Why are you saying this now?”. I have already set up my transition back to Romania and I have already talked to Games Workshop to give back all the products that I don’t sell. I thought it’s just fair to tell everyone as soon as things were settled.

While that country is considered poor by European standards, there are quite a lot of people interested in hobby gaming. Much more than here. In Ingolstadt it always feels like a huge effort to get 8 people to draft at the same time, or to organize any event that’s not a pre-release. People just aren’t interested. I wanted to give this city something back after living here for so long, but it wasn’t the right choice.

I would like to thank all the people involved in helping make Arena a reality. Thank you for your trust in me and I hope that you will understand this as a natural progression of things.

Sorry.

 

 

6 Kommentare zu „Final Blog Entry“

  1. This is really sad for you and for Ingolstadt. But I understand your decision. Sorry I couldn’t help you more. But I still hope things get better the next month!

  2. Rudiger Hesse

    First, I wish you all the best in your new business in Romania. Close your business in Ingolstadt is not the end of the world. Most successful businessman have failed at least once. Creating a successful business is one of the toughest things to do and it often takes more time than expected and many trials and errors. Hence, right now the most important question is not, whether you failed or succeeded, but how you much learned.
    I only watched the situation from afar, but I actually noticed a few business mistakes, which you might want to avoid in Romania. If you are interested I share them with you. If not, then just ignore me.

    Opening Pros :
    – you started in autumn, which is the best time ever for a hobby gaming store. The weather gets colder, people are more indoor and christmas is coming.

    Opening Cons :
    – you didn’t start fully stuffed. I remember that Clemens posted a picture of your shop on facebook. I was shocked how small your Sales Corner looked like. I also write this to Clemens. Your whole shop appeared to more of a player’s room with an attached Sales Corner than a Gaming shop with an attached player’s corner. The first month is always crucial. Initial interest is high and in the first month you will make more sales that in most other months, which can carry you forward for some while. If … people can actually buy stuff. Moreover many people might check out your shop only once … in the first month. If you don’t offer their stuff, than they decide that you are not for them and they won’t return, no matter whether you have extended your product lines later.

    Hobby gamers are a difficult crowd though, they all have very diverse and only-niche demands. Often you will need to stuff some products which nobody is going to buy for months . Which brings us to the next point.

    Online Pros :
    You have an Onlineshop.

    Online Cons :
    You got your Onlineshop very late.
    Why is the Onlineshop so important ? See, in the region around Munich there opened 3 new hobby gaming store within the last 12 months. 1 in Munich , 1 in Rosenheim and 1 in Ingolstadt. 2 of them were actually pure Online-stores, which opened a retail store additionally. Please understand the difference : Nowadays the Online-store is the place to make the money and the retail store is a useful ad-don, not vice versa. As you know the retail store will give you some benefits in purchasing conditions. More importantly though a retail store is also a self-financing warehouse, a pick-up place for Online-orders, and a place where you can run events to do advertisement for your Online-store. Last but not least the retail store is a place to test new products. Meaning, you purchase some niche products, display them in your store and gather some feedback on demand. If the demand is good then you purchase more to sell it in your Online store. If demand is too low then you offer it on huge discounts in your Online store to free the storage place. You see, it all revolves around the Online store. There is hardly any retail business, except maybe for food and luxury, which can survive as a retail store only.

    Closing Pros:

    Once you made the decision you designed a round-map for closing and transition to a new location.

    Closing Cons:

    You published your closing date 6 months ahead … See, consumption is all about psychology. I mean nobody goes to a hobby gaming store, because he needs the stuff, right. People buy hobby gaming products, because they want the stuff. Hence it is very important to make your customers always feel jolly and comfortable. Well, a place that is about to close doesn’t have a jolly atmosphere to it. People usually avoid such places. An owner who is complaining about too less customers or too less attendance to events is not a jolly company. People usually avoid such people.

    Take Aways :

    Like I said, the most important thing in a failed business is to gather as much data and experience as possible. Information is invaluable, no loss is too high if you learned really useful lessons. Hence my advise would be to analyse your business in the most objective way possible and ponder about which area of business you must improve in your next trial. However, please don’t make it too easy for yourself. Just thinking Ingolstadt was the wrong place for business is most probably not the real answer you are looking for. 75% of businesses fail due to management mistakes and only due to management mistakes.

    1. Hey there. Thanks for the very cool response, however I am not closing. It was the 1st of April and it was meant as a joke. I did however read everything and I find your points quite interesting. However, as in most cases, just observing from afar doesn’t give you the full overview of how things actually happened. If I would have had 50.000€ at my disposal, things would have looked differently from the start. I opened based only on some people’s pressure, which in the end wasn’t the worst choice because people were happy even with little stuff on the shelves.

      Regarding the online shop. I am fully aware of the necessity of the online shop, but my marketing plan revolves in a different direction which I won’t discuss here. You are more than welcome to visit the shop and talk to me about it if you want to. It also helps a lot if you have a lot of money to pay for everything to get it done faster. However, the online shop was made by a friend and I am ever so grateful for just having it at whatever step. Not everybody has a gigantic budget to afford everything at once.

      And it’s actually 90% of businesses that fail because of bad management. My plans are still staying strong. A few bad months won’t deter me from going on with what I have planned for a year. Also, Ingolstadt is a great place for such a business. I am certain that things will get better based on the current inflow of people. Sure I didn’t get payed last month, but I will not die of hunger tomorrow and you have to take the good with the bad. Perfectionism is a very tricky thing.

      Thank you for your thoughts. They are insightful and I will re-read this comment any time I feel I am going completely off the rails. Until then, chill man. You just got punked for 1st of April 🙂

      Best regards,

      Adrian

      1. Rudiger Hesse

        fair, in this case I wish you all the best in Ingolstadt 😉

        Next time, I should wait for a few more days before posting anything. But I am on holiday today and I had too much free time ..

        1. Hey. Don’t take it like that 🙂 I really appreciate your reply and you are welcome to comment any time on anything that I post 🙂

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