It's been just over a year since I quit my job as started Reiver Games as a full-time job. There have been some ups and some downs as I'm sure you're aware but if I'm to continue the most important thing is the bottom line: I need to make some money or the dream will die!
Several things went right this year, but also several things went wrong. I'm really proud of the distribution network I've achieved in this first year, from nothing. Essen was a fantastic show for me, a huge success. But when push comes to shove, the company has had a mediocre first full-time year. With the delays getting It's Alive! manufactured I spent the first five months with only a handful of hand-made copies of It's Alive! to sell, which disappeared pretty quickly. From mid-May to the beginning of September I had absolutely nothing to sell. That I made any money at all those months is due to doing some contracting work for my previous employer. When the games did finally turn up it took me some time to get the distributors on board (several didn't sign up until January - five months after It's Alive! arrive in my warehouse). As a result my sales were a bit disappointing - especially in the last few months of the year.
I had to pay out for the games at (or before) the point of manufacture, so my expenditure has been pretty high. I still hope that I'll make a profit on those runs, but to do so I need to sell a large proportion of them, and that takes time. More time than I had between It's Alive! arriving in September and the end of the tax year in April. As such Reiver Games has made it's first loss this year after two years with a very small profit. Sales were up hugely, selling to distributors and shops rather than individual customers, but the bottom line is that this year I didn't make any money, and I'm going to have to start making some money soon if I'm to carry this on.
With Sumeria arriving shortly I'll have another opportunity to boost sales, but with it comes another huge expenditure on manufacturing. This year I'll have stock all year round, and with more games in my portfolio I'll hopefully be a more attractive prospect for other distributors as I'll look a little more professional. The three distributors who contacted me during the BGG competition will hopefully start stocking my games. I hope the BGG competition will boost awareness enough to lead to a bunch more sales. The bottom line is that I need to be selling more games, more quickly, I'm still not sure how to achieve that.