4 Stages of Competence and Game Stores

Psychology includes an explanation of understanding referred to as the four stages of competence, formally summarized by Gordon Training International in the 70s. Summarized, they are: Unconscious incompetence A person does not know how to do something, and does not recognize their lack of knowledge. They will make mistakes they do not recognize as mistakes, …

On the End of the Press Ganger Program

Yesterday, Privateer Press announced the end of their Press Ganger (PG) program. Our local PGs are, understandably, upset. Many of our Warmachine and Hordes players are, also, understandably upset. The end of the program came with little warning, and as a surprise to many. We hope our PGs will remain active parts of our community, …

Find a Niche

Specialty retail appeals to people into whatever it is you sell. If it’s horseback riding, it sounds cool to run a barn. If it’s fly fishing, it sounds cool to sell specialty lures. If it’s gaming, it sounds cool to own a game store. However, specialty retail is, by definition, so specialized that there is …

The most important 3% of your budget

Marketing, real marketing, is the single most important part of your budget in a game store. I’m not talking “oops I ran that event below cost let’s write it off as marketing” screw ups, I’m talking about genuine “get people in your door and excited” marketing. If you read around the game industry, and retail …

Ban them and move on

Every store owner has problem players; the person who attends an event and by their mere presence, makes a negative experience for other participants.┬áSometimes it’s the store’s fault for providing poor customer service, this is fixable. Correct mistake, apologize and make right, move forward. Sometimes this really is no one’s fault. The player has an …

3 Game Stores in the Wild and How to Identify them

Part of running a game store, or any business, is customer acquisition and retention. One of the big struggles a game store faces is, somewhat counter-intuitively, what kind of customers to pursue, charm and win over to their fold. Some of this is based on the demographics of a stores’ region, but much of it …

On Kickstarter and impact on game stores

Customers occasionally ask me “Isn’t Kickstarter bad for game stores?” They almost ask this like they want me to be pissed off about it. Or like they want me to agree “Oh yes, it’s killing me, and your total comes to $145.62, would you like a receipt?” Or they wonder how we can possibly be …

The Competition: Working side by side

I see a lot of store owners sweating their competitors. Mostly the ones who apparently operate without business sense or an infinite advertising budget. Or a trust fund. There’s lots of those, in every industry, but far more important is to recognize the good, healthy competitors you have and work with them. Aren’t your competitors …