So in the comments of my last post Yehuda asked me about whether Border Reivers has made a profit and whether or not the business model is viable. Good questions, and not the sort I can really answer in the comments - so here is a full post dedicated to a full answer.Profitable?
Short answer: Yes! Long Answer: Border Reivers has just broken even - including paying for the tools I bought which will last for more than one game. From now on most of the money I make from further Border Reivers sales will be profit, though there are still PayPal and BoardGameGeek fees to pay, and the glue for the tiles I buy as I need - and it's expensive. However the lion's share is now pure profit.Viable Business Model
The above statement looks like it answers this question too, but it's not that simple. Currently I don't draw any wages from the company, so the company keeps it all. So as a hobby business it's definitely viable, providing I'm happy to spend a huge amount of my time working effectively for free the company will make a profit (assuming I keep publishing games that sell well). Since I own 100% of the company, I am really making money too, but I'm not taking any out. Is it a viable business model for full-time bread-winning? Nooo. I'm currently manufacturing the games largely by hand, which takes a phenominal amount of time, and drawing no salary. Even if I took all the profit as salary it would be a tiny fraction of my current full-time wage in my real job.The Plan
So what is the plan? Well short-term it's to sell out of Border Reivers, which I'm making good progress on. Slightly longer term it is to publish more games in the same 'hand-made limited edition' way. This will gain me valuable experience in the marketplace and hopefully continue to grow the business in terms of capital. Hopefully soon I'll come across (or design myself) a game that sells so well in the limited edition phase that I feel confident enough to get a print run done professionally, which I can sell to distributors and shops/internet stores. Obviously I need to make more money before I reach that stage, as I currently don't have enough capital in the company to pay for a professional run (minimum 1000 copies really). What next, if I achieve all that? I don't know - we'll have to see how it goes.
In the meantime, if you'd like to contribute to my pipe-dream fund, please buy a copy of Border Reivers (or order a copy of Codename: Monster) for yourself, and one for each of your friends and family ;-p