The board game industry is no different and with the bulk of sales occurring in the 8 weeks prior to Christmas it is imperative that as a company you have everything ready and in place to allow you to maximise the potential of this lucrative sales window. Get it wrong and you have to wait 40+ weeks for the chance to rectify things. And if you are a small start up then ‘getting it wrong’ often means there is no next year.
1 – The plan
If you are a company similar to Taxi Game Ltd. where you continually aim to launch new products or editions in Q4 of each year, then you will know that the development process often starts 10 months or more before the product is ready to appear on the shelves of retailers or in the online stores. From initial idea to tentative first designs, customer focus groups, further development, sign off and then manufacturer a project plan with the appropriate contingency is an absolute necessity.
2- Communication is key
In this world everyone is different, we all excel in different areas, unfortunately not everyone is good at keeping their colleagues, their customers or their suppliers informed of events which may impact on others. Slow delivery or poor communication on one task can have a significant impact on the timely delivery of a project or on the ability of others to complete their tasks.
Communication issues are easy to fix.
Regular update meetings and/or quick emails advising of changes which may impact others are easy to implement and the benefits are instant. Keep everyone in the loop your project will benefit massively from this and surprises should be eliminated.
3- Own the task
‘It’s not my responsibility – I was waiting on someone finishing their task before I could start mine.’ Is a familiar excuse for non delivery.
Don’t sit back waiting on someone to deliver their part of the project immediately prior to your task. Own it, ensure that the person before you is on schedule to deliver their part of the process in the agreed time. If they are struggling to deliver then help where you can OR rework your plan so that any implications are factored in or understood else where.
Planning, communication and ownership are all vital in the development and launching of new board games, and in future blogs we will look at each of these in turn, in more detail, and how they are vital to giving you the opportunity to succeed in that magical ‘sales window’.
As Taxi Game has evolved we have made and learned from a number of mistakes on our journey to date, and inevitably we will make a few more as we progress. We will share our experiences in the future in the hope that it may help others.
Look out for the next blog in November.