Bankruptcy in 10 Easy Steps

A Bizarro Look at Running Your Business

1. Blow off Special Orders

Special orders require paying attention to something else while you’re furiously concentrating on ordering your new items. Those special orders don’t add up to all that much, and that guy might not even come back in to pick it up, leaving you stuck with a $40 game, book, or box of plastic. That’s just too much work for the reward. If you wanted to be a Sears catalog, it would say so on the sign.

2. Hire Rabid Fanboys

People respect the opinions of your employees, and a 3-hour lecture of the evils of D&D’s slavish class/level system is a valuable service they provide your customers. Taking out the trash, receiving inventory, straightening merchandise and all that crap isn’t really as important as it is in a big-box store, where hundreds of people see it every day.

3. Order What You Want

One of the perks of being a game store owner is buying games at cost. I mean, what’s the loss if you order an extra box of minis for yourself, or open up a few boosters for your personal collection. That stuff can’t cost more than $50 or $100 bucks a week. What difference does $5,200 a year make? That’s almost nothing.

4. Keep It on the Shelf. Forever.

Selling something for full price is better than getting half price. You can’t afford to take a loss on anything, not at the prices you pay. People still play Galactic Empires; one of those guys was just in here the other day looking for some Star Frontiers. Give it a little more time. Besides, you know the minute you sell it on eBay, somebody will walk in the store looking for it.

5. If You Build It, They Will Come

Advertising is too expensive. Your store is so awesome that word of mouth will continue to increase sales faster than customers leave the hobby. It worked for the other stores, like that one down the street that closed, and the one that used to be on the other side of town.

6. Just Sign the Stupid Lease and Get it Over With

The likelihood of those clauses concerning non-payment, building destruction, or whatever coming into play is almost zero. That stuff doesn’t matter. If I go out of business, it doesn’t matter how much I owe because they won’t come after me for it; if I’m out of business, they know I’m too poor to take action against. Besides, it’s not like commercial rent’s negotiable or anything, right?

7. My Accountant Handles the Taxes

That’s what I pay him for, right? I don’t need to get involved with that stuff. Nothing I do makes that big a difference, anyway.

8. Games Sell Themselves

If a game doesn’t sell itself, it doesn’t have any place on my shelf. If the manufacturer doesn’t think it’s important enough to spend money on it, then I don’t, either. That volunteer who comes in once a month or so, trash-talks other games, argues over rules, and barely talks to me is good enough for me if he’s good enough for them.

9. First-Come, First-Serve Service Providers

I made all those phone calls for my bank, insurance, and credit card vendors years ago. They’ve been fine all this time. No sense rocking the boat now. Besides, I’m sure everybody’s rates have raised over time.

10. I Have an Exit Strategy—Sell

A lot of my customers want my job. If I can find one with enough money to pay off my debt, I can skate out of here with no loss. What they don’t know won’t hurt me, right?