StoryClub Games was founded in 2009 in Charleston, South Carolina.
(article continues below)
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
StoryClub Games' first edition is called Girls' Night. It's a box game where you get together with your friends, a la, book bunko or bridge club, and write stories together.
How did you come up with your business idea?
From a dream. Really. I dreamt about a huge argument within my book club on which book to read next. Nobody could agree on one. So, I suggested that instead of reading someone else's story, why don't we write our own? Thus, the beginning of the StoryClub vision.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I also have a small marketing/media company called The MediaDept. which handles mass media advertising for retail clients.
Did you write a business plan? Was it an effective tool for you?
I wrote a pseudo biz plan. It had all the important stuff: vision, mission, goals, objectives, strengths/opportunities, timeline, funding, blah blah blah. And, it was good to get it on paper, but since we self-funded StoryClub, there was no need for investors or bank loans. We do refer back to it regularly to make sure that we're on mark.
Who did you hire to help you?
I work with a business partner and a graphic designer. We did work with a lawyer for trademarks/copyrights and my smart husband who is my biz advisor.
Did you operate your business from your home? What were the challenges and benefits to this strategy?
Yes, I operate my business from home and find no drawbacks, only benefits. All we needed was the internet and some collective creative noggins.
Did you have a partner when you started your business? How did you select a partner?
Yes, and I selected my partner based on creative energy and enthusiasm.
Do you own a business with family members? What do you think are the benefits and challenges to running a family owned business?
StoryClub is currently a family business. No challenges within the family. The biggest benefit is that it's easy to get decisions made!
For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young women who would like to become an entrepreneur? Are there specific advantages, disadvantages to being a women business owner?
People champion young business owners whether male or female. My experience is that doors open easily for females. I hate to admit this, but I believe we are much more intuitive and are better listeners than our male friends. (justsayin)
With the current economy in a slump, what cost saving tips would you have for a new entrepreneur?
When in production, negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. There are lots of companies out there that can produce just about anything you want. Prices are negotiable!
Social marketing is consistently being written about in the small business space. Has it worked generating business for you?
Yes! Facebook, Twitter, and website blogging have gotten us a lot of online exposure which, in turn, has resulted in awareness and sales.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Social media, participating in women's organizations, hosting StoryClubs, involvement in women's trade and gift shows, etc. You just need to get out and talk about it to everyone you know!
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
It's challenging, but fun and most importantly, I'm my own boss!
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Go for it! It's scary, but stop talking about it and start doing it!
That is great advice, Marcie. Best wishes for success with your game.