I know that there are a lot of you out there who would like to open an arcade but might not be sure where to start (you might also be scared out of your wits due to the way the economy has continued to slide downhill where we’ve been hoping that flushing trillions of our tax dollars down the toilet will magically fix the root of the problem). I have written extensively about the subject in the past and one thing I have pointed out before that one place that can help you with research along with giving you an idea of what to buy will be a good distributor. Now it does pay to shop around as every company has their own deals and salespeople to deal with and we recently received an e-mail from a distributor known as Monkey’s Arcades who is extending a hand to those of you looking to get into this business. In particular you can contact Dave Gull there and see what they have to offer you as they have helped many people get their start in the arcade business. Thanks for sending that along to us Dave.
I also should take this opportunity to update all of you on my own status as of late. You might recall that I have been stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to my business since November of last year – it was then that I found out that the mall where I am currently located had plans on giving me the boot to make way for a new entrance and I was under the impression that I was going to be closed at the beginning of January, since that is what I was told. As it turned out they didn’t close me down in January but the possibility of
being closed any day continues to hang over my head, which makes it extremely difficult to take steps to keep my business healthy, such as through advertising. Why spend hundreds of dollars on advertising that I would be locked into for weeks on end when I could be shut down with only 24 hour notice? (Note: When you do a contract with a landlord, fight to get plenty of time in there where they have to notify you about eviction for whatever reason – that’s one lesson I have learned) So I have been focusing on free means of advertising as well as working on a new location. In the forums I have discussed my progress on a new location in a different city, where I will be partnering up with another arcade owner who has a lot of cool games and shares my attitude and vision towards the arcade industry. The only problem with the new place is that we still have an awful lot of work to do, although we have made great progress over the past two months from where we started. If things work out the way we are planning, we should be ready sometime next month and this time with more experience to jump off of, I will do things a little differently, such as in how I market to people. It will be easier with a much larger location with an expanded game selection to do so but one thing we will certainly do is have a grand opening. With my current location I did a soft opening with a plan to do a grand opening later but unfortunately I procrastinated on that and by the time I was ready for it too much time had passed by. It also will be easier to hold parties since we will have a couple of party rooms, which is a big money maker for many arcades. At my current place there is no space to have a separate party room and so while we have offered to do parties, we haven’t had very many since we are not competitive in that arena. On top of that we’ll have a fully functional Sega R360 which
should be a cool attraction for players – it never hurts to have some sort of attraction to bring people in although the primary focus will still be on video arcade titles. We will do a little bit more redemption on the side but that will not become the main attraction like with so many places. Of course if you want to make an arcade of your own where redemption is the big thing and arcades are the after-thought then that is fine, I’m not on a crusade against those kinds of places as they are proven to work. I admit that I have been pleased that I have been able to survive for almost a year here without a redemption center, although I do admit that if it weren’t for my PC LAN center it would have made life a bit more difficult in this particular location. I also should have finished all of my painting at the beginning which would have brightened up the place a bit but that’s another lesson I can take with me into the new place.
So I guess that is part of the message here – you probably will not get everything right with your first business but any failures you have the first time around will better prepare you for the next time where you can make it a bigger success. Of course it is also wise to change things up when you see that something is not working as opposed to standing firm in your mistaken way of handling business so that a small mistake doesn’t turn into a fatal one.