Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I've always loved roleplaying games and boardgames. I wrote one for another company 10 years ago and loved the experience, but the money wasn't there to do it properly. When Kickstarter launched in the UK we had our opportunity and launched thinking we'd do ok, but to our surprise we funded £170k! We earned another £150k last year with a new Kickstarter, and another £250k this year. We have been building up a big fanbase who now discover our lines, or add to their collections of cool games and merchandise via our Modiphius.net store with licenses like Conan, John Carter and Thunderbirds. Our products are designed in-house. Our books are printed in Europe and our boardgames are produced in China.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We built up a big following via surveys, online press, and social media, so we had about 2000 people on a list when we launched. Our own website drives the most sales, which is thanks to our extensive work in building up strong brands, doing more and more web-based PR, building connections with bloggers and websites, etc.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
Tabletop RPGs sell as either PDFs, or as a print book with a free PDF included, so we use SendOwl to deliver the digital content. Auto Currency Switcher helps keep the site relevant to fans across the world and we're just starting to use DeepMine. S Loyalty we have spent time on and I believe will pay off in time as fans build up loyalty points. Currently we manually export sales and send them to our warehouse, however we're now planning an integration to make it automatic. We ship globally from the UK - since it's as cheap to ship to the USA from the UK as it would be within the USA.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Build up an audience first, then talk to them and learn from them. Work hard to build up a press database and speak to everyone directly when it's important - don't send mass emails that get ignored. Don't stop - keep going until it's working, and most importantly, make sure it's something you're passionate about, that you'd starve for, because then the results will show.