Who among us doesn’t dream at least a little bit about owning a hobby store? You know, the friendly Local Game Store you want everyone to want to come to find their games? Well, I’m sort of realizing that dream, although not really.
The thing is, Sensei’s Divining Shop is a ‘kommandiittiyhtiö’, which doesn’t really have an equivalent in most countries (besides Finland, it exists at least in Germany and Austria), but its a form of company where you have partners with liability and silent partners. In this case I’m of the latter kind, which basically means I have loaned the company money. I have no power within the company, nor does the prosperity of the company affect my share in any way, as long as the minimum is reached. On the other hand, I don’t hold any liability, so if the company goes belly up, I’m not responsible for any of the losses. I can get my money out before the liable partner in this case, but not before other creditors.
Now that we’ve managed to sleep through that little lecture in Finnish business law, I’d just like to jot down some of my thoughts on the subject.
The business idea is to reach to the hardcore MtG hobbyists in Finland and sell them boxes and single cards. Its that simple. There isn’t much competition in Finland itself (there is plenty of competition on the Internet), and I’ve done some research on the subject. There seems to be enough demand to support our little company. Especially since currently the whole business is ran from an apartment with no extra cost. The company doesn’t have much in the way of fixed expenses and its a growing market. The future seems good.
On the other hand, there are of course risks involved. Perhaps we can’t reach big enough share of the market, because the marketing is very limited at the moment. Perhaps Wizards screws up and there’s a huge downswing in the popularity of the game (I can see them going too far with the Expeditions kind of stuff, which really hurt comic books back in the 90s).
I’m guessing the major risk is that the volumes just don’t grow fast enough. Gladly the government does help somewhat, as the liable partner does get support for some time in the company’s early days. The website will be open at the end of the month (which is why I haven’t linked it here yet), so we’ll get some indication on things will go then.
I don’t think this venture will actually bring me any extra bliss. However, if everything goes well, it will in time be a good investment, which will hopefully be one more trickle of capital in my (very) small financial empire. I sort of do like the idea of having this in my portfolio. I don’t play MtG to make money and there’s always the risk of losing interest in the game if it becomes too big a part of my livelyhood, but its still sort of nice to be able to say I have a stake in this kind of a company. I can’t really say who I could impress with this titbit, but you never know.