The traits of a board game store entrepreneur
Tao Wong
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Having run Starlit Citadel for over a year now, we thought we’d take a tongue-in-cheek look at what it takes to launch a board game store from the ground up.

Add your own to the list, with appropriate games of course.

Tao
http://www.starlitcitadel.com

Edit: I realised that some people thought/think we are a FLGS. Unfortunately, for the moment, we're just an online store. Give us a year or two though... it's a definite must on both of our lists for the biz.
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1. Board Game: BattleLore: Call to Arms [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Tao Wong
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Courage

Everyone, and I mean everyone, will tell you this is a bad idea. Whether it's your friends, local game store owners, family, your business advisor or random strangers on forum boards, they will all have an opinion. And it won't be positive.

So buck up, gird your loins and just do it.
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2. Board Game: Twister [Average Rating:4.56 Overall Rank:15305]
Tao Wong
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Flexibility

I don't mean physical (though if you started out on a budget like us, you will need that too to squeeze between your storage spaces) but mental. The external environment is going to change on you repeatedly and each time, it's going to make all your well laid plans good only for packing your customers board games.

Whether it's exchange rates getting worst or a recession or new competitors, it's all going to change and you will need to adapt. Or fail.
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3. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:206]
Tao Wong
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Wealth

I won't even start with the old saw about making a small fortune from a large one (Wait, I did). To start out though, you will need capital. Lots of it. Whatever type of retail store it is, you will find a list of charges you would never think of - first and last month rent, lighting, shelving, bank charges, your salary, inventory, bookkeepers, lawyers, government licenses, taxes, marketing, IT, and on and on.

So pull out your check book and make sure you can write it all off. At least for a few years because you won't see any of it back anytime soon.
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4. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit [Average Rating:5.21 Overall Rank:15255]
Tao Wong
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Bookishness

Know anything about Quickbooks? How about Shareholder Agreements and Articles of Incorporation? Gateway charges? Lines-of-credit? Distributor terms? Lease agreements? Insurance documents? CSS? Carpentry?

You'll need to know all that and all the board games, role-playing games, miniatures, card games you stock. So you better get ready to put on your reading glasses and get learning.
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5. Board Game: Shear Panic [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1581]
Tao Wong
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Stubbornness

There are days where you will wander why; for less than minimum wage, you're doing all this. You could be working 9 to 5, grabbing a good paycheck and hanging out with your friends playing board games. Instead, your working long hours stocking games, talking to distributors and customers, negotiating lower rates, figuring out what to do next week, next month, next year. And damn it, you aren't even playing as much as you used to.

And you know what, you're right. Right here, right now, it sucks. So you better be stubborn and willing to push through these dark days (and nights), because if not, you won't ever get to the light one's.
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6. Board Game: Sleep Walker [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Green Knight Games
United Kingdom
Cheltenham
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Sleep Deprivation

Staying up late to get those last parcels booked in for the morning courier collection.

Greetings from fellow game store owners, (although we're strictly online). We've being up and running for about 2.5 years now.
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7. Board Game: The Nightmare Before Christmas TCG [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:7744]
Green Knight Games
United Kingdom
Cheltenham
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Christmas is a Nightmare

Says is all, really. The best part is doing BGG Secret Santas.
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8. Board Game: Pick & Pack [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2658]
Green Knight Games
United Kingdom
Cheltenham
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Picking and Packing

The fun part of running an OLGS
 
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9. Board Game: Funny Friends [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1629]
Junior McSpiffy
United States
Riverton
Utah
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People skills

This item could easily evolve into a string of horror stories about all the bad customer service stories we've had at FLGS, but there's a reason for those stories: customer service matters. Whether it is buying a boardgame online or choosing to spend it on something other than a board game, if you want people to spend that dollar at your store, you have to walk the tightrope of being attentive but not pushy, engaging but professional, knowledgeable but not Simpsons Comic Book Guy, and you have to be a closer while making all of the aforementioned look effortless.

I take great pride that I had a group of customers who would drive 3 hours (Western Wyoming to Salt Lake) once a month just because they felt a night at my store was the best entertainment they could get anywhere. And I take even more pride that I made some of the best friends I now from them coming in the store, originally planning to just make fun of it.
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10. Board Game: Events [Average Rating:4.54 Unranked]
Bill Stripp
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
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Events... lots and lots of events. Do you like that great new Yu-Gi-Oh release? No? Too bad, you'll have a store full of 8-12 year olds all wanting you to put on the show of a lifetime. Do you know the rules? You better, because you are the impartial arbiter of each life and death duel between pint sized pugilists.

If you want to make money, you need people to come. If you want people to come, you need a draw. If you want a draw, you run events... lots and lots of events.
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