I have received quite a few requests for me to provide an update on how Badger Comics is REALLY doing. It is actually difficult for me to go into in any great detail, mostly because the time I could spend talking about the store I could instead spend WORKING on the store. But to try and appease my few readers out there, here is my 9 month update…
The store is doing fine. My store sales have consistently grown month in and month out since opening. Even more importantly, my subscription base has grown tremendously every single month since opening. I really don’t feel it would be appropriate to talk about real numbers, dollars or percents, however I can say I set some goals up when I started this shop, and we are on a steady course to actually hit those goals. That part is kind of funny really. When I first established these goals, it was more along the line of “Here’s where I would love to be, but I would also love a million dollars, so we’ll see where it goes.” Now as we approach those targets it has been met with genuine shock by me.
Understand that I have put my sweat, tears, and even blood into this thing (check your packages to be sure). So while I seemingly have a nonchalant attitude about the success of the store, it isn’t because of any lack of effort. It also isn’t from a lack of caring. I am tickled by and proud of every accomplishment we’ve hit. The attitude comes from where this whole venture started out from. I wanted little time investment with no return. I wanted a way to buy cheap comics hoping to do so by putting very little effort into maintaining a business front. Yes, I know that is hardly the noblest of efforts, but it’s the truth. Thankfully the requirements of setting up various accounts nipped that in the butt. Thankfully? Really?
Yes, really. Had my initial plan moved forward I have no question in my mind that I would have closed up shop long ago. I certainly wouldn’t have built the site into what it is today, easily one of the most comprehensive online comic shops in the world. Requiring minimal effort to keep something running usually results in giving it minimal effort. And as we all know, minimal effort eventually turns into no effort which eventually turns into a proper shutdown, or atrophy followed by death.
So we are growing, expanding, blossoming, or whatever other positive word you would like to use for it. Knowing a little of what I do of some of the local shops, we are on par with some of the smaller retailers on the area. We still have a ways to go to hang with the local big boys, but I imagine we will be there in…. well, sooner than you might think. 😉 Do I have words of wisdom to anyone looking to do the same thing? Sure do! Whether looking to open a comic shop, an online business, or just something you need to commit to on a regular basis:
- Over-commit. Committing to something is a precise science that is almost impossible to nail down. Most people tend to under-commit to things. If you have to set your sights, choose to take on more than you can handle instead of less.
- Do your research. This sounds like a no-brainer but it still amazes me how many places out there don’t research something until it’s too late. You don’t even need to research it beforehand. During is just fine. But by all means, research it before it turns into an unsolvable problem.
- Brace yourself for an emotional roller coaster. Your very foundations will be shaken the first time a crisis happens, and they will. Jump right in, press on, and keep running even when you think you can’t any more.
- If you can take a break, do so. You deserve it. Then get back to work because there is obviously something else you could be doing.
- If you are doing everything right, you will be the hardest most demanding boss you have ever worked for. Never satisfied, always looking for more, and ready to lay into you when even the slightest thing pops up.
I have more, but right now I have to get back to work. The boss just walked in and is none to pleased that I’m blogging on the Internet.