Getting started

by Nate T on December 18, 2010

Well, we've finally taken the plunge and become small business entrepreneurs. If you have no idea who we are, get to know about us in 'About Us'. After years of dabbing into an interest here and an interest there, Steve and I are going head first into this business venture. We'd love for it to take off, but know it will take time. We hope you'll be part of building WoodForSheep not just as a boardgame retail site, but also a good boardgame resource site. Now, if it simply becomes an excuse to play even more boardgames... then I don't think either of us will complain (except maybe our good friends XBox360 and PS3 since they won't be getting as much love).

The next matter to determine is what to talk about. Rest assured, Steve and I will be sharing our 2 cents on games (ex. reviews), game trends (ex. comparisons), each other's personal life (probably more of Steve's since his is more interesting) and whatever else boardgame related that may come up (ex. industry news). I'll also share our some of our experiences that may come up in the industry or just business in general (in case it may prove helpful to somoene else starting their own business, preferable not in the same area); though it may just be general ramblings of a madman.

Adventures in Selling Boardgames

So, one of the first challenges was how to store our inventory, which meant looking for good shelving options. After trips to Canadian Tire, Home Depot and even Costco... and seeing the cost for new, good sturdy shelves that could hold chunky cardboard boxes (of variable weights) meant that we should look somewhere else for now. My better half (no, I'm not bi-polar) suggested that we should look for second hand ones to get us off the ground. So I was off to scour Kijiji, craiglist and redflagdeals to find something sufficient. After finding some potential possibilities, and inquiring (and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting), got some replies (yay!) and settled on some old industrial shelves a company was looking to sell, since they were moving to bigger and better places (Mississauga, really? :P).

Of course, the pickup had to be complicated, since convenient and easy weren't on the menu.

  • Pickup on Wednesday
  • Between 10AM and 4PM
  • Shelf will be uninstalled but you have to transport it yourself
  • Help may be available to load your vehicle
It was now Tuesday. And my 5 foot hatchback, wasn't going to fit those 8 foot brackets. O-K.

After making some quick calls, arranged to borrow a van. Couldn't work around my day job schedule, so zipped over during lunch for the pickup... hoping that with their help, we can get it all loaded in under 30 minutes, and still make it back to work on time. Once arriving, I can't say I was surprised to find out that... there was not much help available. Oh well... so off to lugging 10 metal brackets and 4 baseboards from the 6th floor to the loading dock where I parked. Thankfully, there was a service elevator (though i may have left a mark or two when moving in and out of it... sorry). As each of these brackets felt like carrying a 12 pound bowling ball, I realized one thing: I am SOOOOOOO out-of-shape. Not that it was going to get any better with holidays coming around the corner (and the obligatory eating that goes with it).

So, it took a little longer to load everything... which barely fit. Seems the van was only like 7 feet long, so had to be creative in angling the pieces right to make it all fit, without punching through any of the windows. Not too bad. Was only a bit later coming back, although way exhausted from all the unexpected carrying (and the aforementioned being-out-of-shape). Regardless, lesson learned and made a call to make sure to have help when unloading and installing back at WoodForSheep headquarters.

Not much happening on the final leg of this story. Got off work. Got back. Got help. Got it unloaded. And got it all up and done. I guess one interesting thing is that this was pretty much done on impulse and I didn't measure anything... like if the space where the storage shelf would go would fit 8 feet (both length and height). After trying out a few different positions and hoping not to cut any power or water lines, was able to fit it into a satisfactory place. Now, its installed... yet again, barely. Boxes unpacked (and urge to open games kept in check) and lo and behold... storage space! See pictures for your viewing interest. :)

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