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Purple Herring Video games: Navigating a Enterprise Throughout a Pandemic


Ever needed to assemble your mates round a dinner desk and accuse them of homicide? Hopefully, your good friend group dynamic has by no means really bought that darkish — however that’s the normal idea behind Purple Herring Video games’ homicide thriller video games! Teams get collectively, gown as much as match the setting of the sport — from the Orient Specific, to a Twenties home social gathering — and play the characters assigned to them to be able to guess the assassin of their midst. 

Purple Herring Video games are masters at this idea and have received quite a few awards for his or her homicide thriller video games, together with the Small Awards: Residence and Away Award. They have been named one of many 2016 Prime 100 Small Enterprise Saturday winners which led to them exhibiting at No. 10 Downing Road (headquarters of the British Prime Minister).

Nonetheless, the onset of COVID-19 clearly made group gatherings troublesome and had a huge effect on any enterprise fashions primarily based round internet hosting occasions. We talked to the “Chief Candlesitck Wielder,” Jo Smedley, about how having a WordPress web site has helped them to navigate the pandemic. 

Jo Smedley, Courtesy of Purple Herring Video games.

Why did you first resolve to make use of WordPress for your small business web site?

We switched to WordPress just a few years in the past after we redesigned the web site — for the fourth time! We don’t promote a normal product, which meant we would have liked a store that might have a variety of data pages in addition to the flexibility to take a look at. We wrote an enormous wishlist for our web site designer and WordPress with its plugins did almost all the things on that listing — and was far simpler to take care of and use from our facet than the opposite platforms we’d used beforehand.

How do you discover utilizing WooCommerce as your cost technique? 

WooCommerce has been very easy to make use of and it’s by no means brought on us any points. We promote each bodily and downloadable merchandise and it handles supply of each actually simply.

Courtesy of Purple Herring Video games

In addition to promoting merchandise in your fundamental Purple Herring Video games website, you might have a web site known as Cosy Killer, devoted to a subscription-based homicide thriller sport. What are the benefits of that? 

Subscription merchandise stage out the peaks and troughs in our seasonal enterprise (Christmas is our busiest time). It’s been our greatest improvement within the final three years — and we’ve been in a position to take our subscription website from a standing begin to buying and selling at an identical stage to our fundamental enterprise inside simply three years. That isn’t to say we haven’t put a LOT of selling into it, and promoting prices have been excessive too — but it surely’s grown exponentially.

Courtesy of Cosy Killer

What’s your advertising and marketing technique for selling your websites?

We use a mixture of search engine optimization, paid-for Google AdWords, Fb advertisements, and extra conventional, free, social media posts, e mail campaigns, and piggyback advertising and marketing for the opposite companies we provide in with the mail order. We’ve additionally labored in tandem with a variety of different small companies — inserting flyers into their mail order or operating competitions collectively. The weblog can be a helpful technique to speak with potential prospects. We frequently signpost to articles we’ve written on the weblog to help our subscription enterprise puzzle solvers, or for these on our social gathering enterprise who’re searching for extra data. It additionally helps search engine optimization web page rating.

Courtesy of Purple Herring Video games

How have you ever tailored to the difficulties posed by COVID-19? 

We had no concept how COVID-19 would have an effect on our enterprise and spent the primary 4 weeks of the outbreak seeing refund after refund going by means of the account. If it hadn’t been for the federal government grant on the finish of March I wouldn’t have had sufficient cash to pay my employees wages. We spent two weeks rethinking our web site technique and made some modifications to our WordPress website.  

In early April, issues circled dramatically and we noticed gross sales in a six week interval that have been equal to a whole yr’s value of gross sales within the enterprise! It was loopy! We have now at all times offered downloadable video games, however up till the outbreak we’d seen an enormous shift from individuals preferring the boxed units to our downloadable variations. In the course of the outbreak, nobody was visiting retailers and the very fact all our video games have been downloadable was immediately an enormous benefit as they enabled everybody to play remotely whereas in lockdown. The simplicity of our WordPress web site meant we have been quickly in a position to revise our web site for this digital panorama and seize these gross sales after we wanted them. 

We’ve additionally seen an enormous shift in our occasion bookings, with extra bookings for digital occasions than ever earlier than — and once more — that’s all due to us having the ability to revise the data pages inside our web site rapidly to comply with that new pattern.

Courtesy of Purple Herring Video games

Is there any recommendation you wish to provide new on-line entrepreneurs? 

One of the best recommendation I can provide is to not overstock. Inventory is money you possibly can’t use. You would possibly suppose one thing will promote rather well, but when it doesn’t you’re caught with that money tied up in inventory too lengthy and it’ll trigger your small business money circulation points. Though you will be tricked into bulk shopping for as a result of the numbers look good — it’s really higher to purchase in smaller portions and see much less revenue to be able to preserve your money circulation wholesome.  It’s even higher if you should buy solely as soon as the orders are in — so search for suppliers who will work with you to ship on demand. That approach you don’t maintain the inventory your self. It might be the distinction between making a 20% or a 50% revenue on an merchandise — however that’s 30% money you’re retaining in your small business.


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