Small business stories in Krasnodar: a crazy team of freelancers and a lot of courage
I continue your point history of suspicious interest. Our Krasnodar team is just a dump of the head. Lyokha came from Kazakhstan, on the way officials lost his middle name and bank card. Vika from Belarus met Lyokha, got married and moved to him in Voronezh. Ira from Michurinsk worked in Mosigre in Voronezh, from where Zhenya fired her with a bang, and she decided to prove that she could open her point. Stas ... Stas is simply calm as a boa constrictor, owns a web studio, coworking and loves to travel.
It began with the fact that all these people decided to move to Rostov from Voronezh in a week and open a store there. But we got to Krasnodar.And they opened a store there. The rent of the first premises was found before they chose where to live - and the apartment was rented only from a taxi driver who drove them to the hotel after examining the future point.
Although no, it all started earlier, when the four of us began to spend evenings at the table. Then Ira got a job in our store, and a few months later she was fired for systematic lateness. The opening and closing schedule is one of those things that we fight to the bone.
On the same day, when Ira was left without work, the other three friends decided to quit too and start their own business.
More precisely, how. Ira and Stas decided to open their store, but realized that they would not pull together - and they invited Lyokha and Vika to the team. The business plan was considered by Stas.
So, the disposition: imagine that you are four people from different cities of our country, of which one just lost his job, the other three decided to quit and go to Rostov. Over the past month, you learned what needs to be done with the opening of the board games store by the new year, because this is the moment that makes sales like 3-4 regular months. By the time you earned money with salaries, a place has already been taken in Rostov. What are you doing?
In general, our heroes abandoned everything and went to Krasnodar, where they received the right to a franchise. I will not find now exactly what our new team told the franchisee manager, but if we knew the whole story, we would probably have considered the application a dangerous idiocy and would not have approved. But! Most importantly, Ira had experience working in our store in Voronezh, and the rest had one or another business experience in general. A crazy team of freelancers is capable of anything - because for several years everyone has become accustomed to being responsible for themselves and has become truly adult.
The store opened on December 10, 2014. The next stage of growing up has begun - taking responsibility for one’s mistakes. The fact is that a week before the girls arrived in the city, Lyokha and Stas had to choose a room for the store and find a two-room apartment where everyone will live for the first time. Naturally, due to inexperience, the room was not chosen the best (although from our point of view it looked normal) - the nuances opened a little later, and without viewing them in place it would be difficult to catch them. Actually, probably, there wasn’t any mistake, it was just possible to spend a little more time and find a better option for the same money. But there was no time. After a couple of such cases, we have a heuristic in the Frenchbook - if you spent less than a month searching for the first room - do not take it.
The key point at the opening in December is to convince the new owner of the point that a million in a product is not too much, especially considering that the next delivery will be on January 15th. A week after the opening, the turnover reached 60 thousand a day, and the goods began to run out - the team had no money for a large purchase, and the market threatened not to forgive this mistake. In the end, everything went to the point that on January 3-5 the store will remain completely bare, and then you will have to wait two weeks before delivery. As a result, the situation was saved by Zhenya from Voronezh - Ira knocked on him in search of help, and he shipped the goods from his vast stocks. Oh yes, the experience affected here - his stocks by that time were very large - he made not only New Year’s purchase, but also scored a “pillow”. Of course, he earned a little on the operation (Zhenya is still a cunning type), but he saved the situation.
“I was late a couple of times, once seriously, for 15-20 minutes, and Zhenya patted my shoulder in a friendly manner and said something like: we need to leave. He promised an awesome discount on games, free rental and just to visit (it was just a gorgeous dismissal). ”
By the way, yes, they have a good relationship. Eugene always helped with advice and deed, for which many thanks to him. I did not know that Ira had talked to him before the opening. And she just called and said:
- Zhenya, I want to open Mosigra here, let's sit in a cafe.
Eugene was a little bit dead, because she might have thought that she wanted to open right in Voronezh. But when “Krasnodar” sounded, everything at once relieved, and he showed her the numbers, talked about pitfalls and generally revealed everything that she could not see as a seller. Well, I talked about the features of working with us, that is, from the head.
I must say that Ira and Vika turned out to be very capable students. They are one of the few who read our franchise from cover to cover (I sometimes included a paragraph somewhere far away like “Well, if you read up to this place before January 1, 2015, then let us give you 10,000 games in the purchase”) . It is a pity that Krasnodar would not have had this item - they would have taken the achievement first. By the way, after I told this Easter egg, I’ll have to come up with something else to control reading the documentation.
We will return in 2014 to Krasnodar. The guys shook hands in the "Book House" at a point with this arrangement:
This is close to the center, a very good passable place, but, alas, there is a morning stream (in the evening it behaves a little differently, and we need an evening stream in Krasnodar). The difficulty is that the “Book House” is, let's say, a very Soviet place. And they go there by no means for gifts, but for nostalgia. We are bright, noisy, funny - and there the whole atmosphere of the room just kills the mood. Which is much worse, for a very long time there was no sign (it could not be hung, because it is an architectural monument), and then they only agreed on a 1x1 meter banner on the wall. In the spring they rented a side on a pilar (this is a column with advertisements, by the way, one of the most stupid city security constructions, because blind passers regularly beat their heads against it and old telephone booths). Pilar worked, and Lech decided to buy a second side, too, saying the sacramental phrase "Well, you already have a layout." Naturally, no one thought for him, and they rolled exactly the same layout on side B as on side A. That is, the arrow began to show in the other direction, which introduced a spicy note of panic into the situation.
Yes, about the situation. The fact is that at that moment the real owner came to the apartment where the team lived and asked who all these people were. He was leaving, and left the keys to his brother to live. The brother gave them to a friend, and he handed over the apartment and began to earn. The owner, who was dead of such a chain, said that the hut was sold. And he sold it along with the “passengers” to a girl from Sochi. She decided that this deal is very profitable - the "serfs" are already settled, and the apartment brings money. I did not drive. But for now, they sorted it all out - nerves, of course, were badly worn out.
Before the signs appeared on the street, leaflets were distributed about the store. In general, every time a leaflet mockup is ordered in our central office, I strain - it means that somewhere, someone was hollowing something. In ordinary retail, flyers are only needed for fairly rare promotions.
Zakutok in the Book House
We started to collect game libraries and write about the opening of Vkontakte (they went around all city free groups). We held two tournaments - according to Munchkin and the Imaginarium. I was just passing by, and then Lyokha said, "I gave a hat for Munchkin." I saw the situation a little differently - I asked to calculate the profitability of each of the tournaments. It seems like he himself realized that the point is to make games more popular, and not to hang out with the same people. Then the tournaments were for fun simple games that did not require special skills - like Crocodile, “Answer in 5 seconds”, Twister, Jenga, less often - all sorts of easy-to-learn strategies like Hive. They quickly invented the all-around format, when in one tournament there were several simple games from a quiz to something for dexterity.
Very quickly we typed the VKontakte group. Around this time, our former franchisee partner came to the point (he decided to leave the network and become a wholesaler). He asked how are you, specified when they will close, and whether it will be possible then to buy goods at a cheap price. Ira’s eyes lit up very badly - thanks to the peasant, he helped out in a difficult situation. It was simply impossible to slow down after this.
We made some practical jokes on the radio - radio operators just asked for boxes, ours gave. For this - "the sponsor of the Mosigra store in the Book House. Come to them to buy gifts. " Once they got into the morning show with a story about business and desktops. Then the next day we went in a taxi, the driver told them about such a curiosity - a table shop in the city.
After that, a wave of toy stores began in the city's cafes - they played in KFC, Starbucks, Subway, in the new hefty shopping center "Gallery" in the restaurant courtyard. And in general, wherever it was fun, from the city park to the beautiful Nabokov. Yes, who does not know - you can just go to Krasnodar. It is incredibly tasty there, and there are a lot of establishments specializing specifically in Russian cuisine, one that is delicate and tasty, and not too fat and salty. Plus, there are formats of very tasty affordable fast food like “Parsley”, where, with all the savings, an “adult” restaurant service. Very cool, I learned a lot from them on their last trip.
So, looking ahead for a year, the tour of the cafe ended with the fact that the "Gallery" offered to hold a festival with them. There are simply no places steeper than the “Gallery” in the city flow - this shopping center looks like a sectoid warship, which sat in the middle of the city and began to load the population for the flight to Zidonia. At least everything looks like this from the outside. The spectacle for a person from retail is very mesmerizing.
After the first sexual holidays, it became clear that the room needed to be changed.
Then there was an epic with moving to Stavropolskaya Street - they found the premises, paid a deposit of 15 thousand rubles, and then consulted and decided that it was not needed. Yes, next to a state university, yes, a cool place - but again the wrong side of the stream, 40 square meters and 60 thousand a month without a communal apartment in incomprehensible conditions. Plus the difficult entrance - there are steps like ours in Vladimir.
There was a room directly opposite the book house - next to Starbucks and the opening Burgerking. It is generally insanely cool - and the stream, and there is no atmosphere of the book house, and the journey is painless (just across the road from the last place, you don’t even need to warn anyone), and a sign ... But - 80 thousand for 15 square meters, there is no toilet, there is no repair - everything must be done from scratch. To remove it then did not work, like, the owner wanted to make repairs in the end.
As a result, in November 2015, they moved before the holidays. And not just moved, but opened opposite the Gallery itself, right at McDonald's (at the crossroads of the two most juicy streets of Krasnodar). There is simply no sweet spot in the city. Naturally, a much higher rental, of course, is not the best room (30 square meters with a tunnel-gut deep into the house), of course, significantly more expensive than the last point. But then the sign and the stream. For the store, 17 square meters were separated, the rest was a technical room, which was something like this at the time of arrival:
Krasnodar artist Guz painted a wall - this is in the picture above.
Stas came up with the idea that this place should be handed over, because all the same, all the goods in the store are in drives, and the warehouse is not needed. They started to hand over: at first I wanted to call in the repair of cell phones, but decided not to sign. The stream would be strange. As a result, we got a vape shop (those who earn on the ban on smoking by selling inhalers to hipsters, may the last forgive me). A month later, they faded their sign, and, alas, it is also red - it pretty annoyed me about ours. But they didn’t do anything yet - it seems to me that the fashion for exhaled steam will pass soon, and we will have something like a yarn store or even a small play area there. We calculated both the mini-coffee shop in Voronezh and the gaming zone in Vladimir, but so far they have decided so.
Design a new point
The old point in the book house worked in parallel with the new one for a couple of weeks, then it left.
Playday Festival August 27
Birth trauma affected in 2016 that, according to the experience of Zhenya and Lena from Voronezh, they began to prepare a large festival. It works cool for him, so ours decided to repeat it. It turned out, of course, not at all like that. If Zhenya gnawed the site and worked mainly with advertising on the radio, then the site and the advertisement already, in fact, were there - it was necessary to find participants and generally the content of the big festival. And money, because all this was far from free. The full implementation was undertaken by Vika.
After all the adventures and negotiations, I managed to agree with a bunch of cool people. Local television channels Kuban 24 and Krasnodar 24 came to the festival to shoot a story (and they were competitors, and when they saw each other, they thought that it was necessary to shoot not about the festival, but to themselves on the stage with the tables). Vika agreed with Rostelecom for sponsorship. We gave prizes, plus the publishing houses of Cosmodrome (this is the Imaginarium), the Umnimkov Gang (children's educational pieces), Ekivoki (respectively, Ekivoki) and Hasbro (Monopoly) also joined. The local comic book store fit into the festival, they found a presenter and a DJ, Questoria arranged atmospheric themed quests, and the City Adventure company quests in the shopping center, Geometry made a discount for the photographer, a maflucub, players club in Go arrived (yes, he is very cool in Krasnodar ), there was a homemade cardboard photozone,
Everything was done by Lech and Vika themselves. Mounted, assembled, dragged, carried, pushed ... In general, a classic of small business romance.
We trained 10 volunteers to be animators, all went to the festival themselves. A little more than 500 people came, everyone played and wildly rejoiced. It resulted in near-zero sales on the spot (a little less than 7 thousand rubles of turnover) - and then a big surge in the store. We also know this - you can’t sell at game stores, it makes it difficult to try games. It's one thing when you just play and know that you can buy such things there, and another when you have a seller somewhere nearby. The whole event is being questioned, but whether or not they’re telling you something. The exception is festivals like “Invasion” and other distant trips, of course.
From the losses - they went to minus 55 thousand rubles without taking into account their work (and this is a good indicator, since everything paid off with an increase in recognition and popularization of sticks in the city) - and with one stolen Svintus. Let me remind you that we had combat losses at one glamorous party with millionaires, which somehow amounted to dozens of games in an hour, and at "folk" festivals they usually dig one, two or three. Once again, two virgins in swimsuits asked Twister for a city day in Moscow and left with him just like that, apparently hypnotizing the animator with their appearance ... but something was distracted.
After that, stable companies began to take shape at the toy libraries. For example, one of 8 people not only played together, but at some point began to travel together too. Game libraries crawled around the city - many took games and played themselves. The best result possible. To the opening of a new point, the toy libraries moved to a cafe right next door.
As a result, Krasnodar has worked well for the new year. During the trip I looked at a new point and quickly went over the main points. From the important - there are a couple of jambs there, plus, judging by the feedback from Habr, it is necessary to work a little more with the training of sellers. From the important thing - they lost the mechanics of issuing business cards with a 3% discount in each package “This is for your friends” (it works very cool), they made a hanging sign “Open - Break” on the door (this is the thing that turns the store into a trap), they don’t sell the packaging . The logic is that packaging takes the seller’s time, and the seller has one shift per shift, and he won’t be able to pack at peak times. The solution is gift bags or self-assembly boxes for peaks and a regular table with packaging for quiet periods. Packaging anywhere with gifts is important - it is very marginal, although it is demanding on the time and skills of the seller.
The seller is Kristina, then Ira Kuznetsova, Victoria Matuznaya, Alexei Matuzny, and Stas Neprokin hid.
The impression is very positive both from the city as a whole and from the point. In my opinion, the city has become much more comfortable than a couple of years ago. And tastier, of course. The team is now unlikely to fancy something bright and crazy because of some interesting situation, but after 4-5 years I bet on what we still learn about their adventures in different, if not countries, then cities for sure.