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Poggers’ Playbook: Ray Lauzums’ Strategies for Success in Gaming Retail

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Poggers’ Playbook: Ray Lauzums’ Strategies for Success in Gaming Retail

We are delighted to bring you an interview with a remarkable individual in the realm of gaming and collectibles. Today, we delve into the entrepreneurial journey of Ray Lauzums, the visionary founder and proprietor of Poggers.

Poggers stands out as a sanctuary for gamers, a treasure trove for collectors, and a haven for families seeking quality entertainment. From the latest video games and cherished collectibles to intriguing board games, Ray’s store is a testament to his passion for the world of play and imagination. Furthermore, with the addition of an ecommerce platform, Poggers has transcended geographical boundaries, extending its reach to enthusiasts worldwide.

Raimonds Lauzums

In the following conversation, Ray generously shares the ins and outs of his entrepreneurial voyage, shedding light on the challenges faced, the victories celebrated, and the invaluable lessons learned along the way. Whether you are an aspiring business owner, a gaming enthusiast, or simply intrigued by stories of perseverance and success, Ray’s insights are bound to resonate and inspire.

So, without further ado, let’s unravel the story of Poggers and gain a deeper understanding of the dedication and fervor that drives Ray Lauzums.

Inception and Inspiration

SBS – Can you share the story of how your business journey began? What inspired you to start it?

Ray – Let me share my insights on your query. I have had since childhood an innate passion for a specific field, which ignited within me the urge to start my journey as an entrepreneur. The inspiration to start my own business came from a combination of factors. These factors include a drive for autonomy, a need to innovate, and a belief that I would add value to customers at some point. That is what it was — a plunge into the great unknown.

Branding and Identity

SBS – Choosing the right name for a business is crucial. How did you come up with the name for your brand, and what significance does it hold?

Ray – Indeed, choosing the right name for my business could be very important. The reason was simple — for the sake of my job-related essence, I wanted a memorable name as well. Finally, after much debate, I chose the name of “Poggers.” This is important as it reflects the brand value and mission, which represent my brand. This is something that echoes our audiences and indicates the kind of product we want them to get from us.

Financial Foundation

SBS – Starting a business often requires capital. How did you fund your business initially, and did you explore any unique financing options?

Ray – Initially, funding my business was hard but necessary as I looked for funds from various sources, which included money saved, contributions from family and friends, as well as a small bank loan from a nearby bank. For example, I was involved in a startup acceleration course that gave me guidance and initial funds.

Market Differentiation

SBS – How do you differentiate your products/services in your market?

Ray – Differentiation in today’s competitive marketplaces means success; that is why at RIM, we use an array of strategies as one of the ways to differ from others. For example, our first pillar is an attractive UVP whereby you are giving customers something very different from what their competitors cannot easily mimic, such as extraordinary quality. Secondly, we put emphasis on a customer-oriented approach, which requires us always to listen to and adapt based on customers’ feedback so as to offer relevant solutions to customers. In addition to this, innovative activities are of great importance and require significant investments in R&D to bring new product or service offerings into existence. Non-compromise on quality assurance with high standards builds trust, which sets us apart from other providers. We leverage our expertise to attract our potential customers, develop a unique corporate culture, and build effective marketing strategies.

A Day in the Life

SBS – As an entrepreneur, what does a typical day look like for you?

Ray – In terms of my day-to-day life as an entrepreneur, it takes the form of a blend of healthy habits, communication management, strategy making, operations work, networking, continuous learning, and moments of introspection that help maintain flexibility.

Optimizing Inventory Management

SBS – How do you manage your inventory, especially given the diversity of products you carry, from video games to collectibles and board games? Do you have any specific strategies or tools that help you optimize stock levels and reduce holding costs?

Ray – Managing our inventory at Poggers.com can indeed be a complex task due to the diverse range of products we carry. To optimize stock levels and reduce holding costs, we employ inventory management software that helps us track sales data, forecast demand, and set reorder points. This ensures that we have the right amount of stock on hand without overstocking or understocking.

Building Communities

SBS – Gaming communities can be a significant driver for businesses like yours. What efforts have you put into building a community around your store, and how has this impacted your business?

Ray – Building a strong gaming community has been integral to our success. We’ve invested in various community-building efforts, including hosting online and in-person gaming events, creating a presence on social media, and running loyalty programs for our customers. This has not only increased customer engagement but has also positively impacted our business through word-of-mouth marketing and customer retention.

Online-Offline Integration

SBS – With an ecommerce store as part of your business, how do you balance your online and offline marketing strategies? What challenges and opportunities have you encountered in managing both aspects?

Ray – Balancing online and offline marketing is indeed a challenge. We’ve found it essential to have a seamless integration between our retail store and ecommerce website. We use data analytics to understand where our customers are coming from, which helps us allocate resources effectively. Challenges include the need for different strategies for each channel, but opportunities lie in the ability to reach a broader audience.

Trendspotting and Adaptation

SBS – The gaming and toy industry is constantly evolving. How do you stay updated with the latest trends, and how often do you update your product offerings to align with market demands?

Ray – Staying updated with the latest gaming and toy trends is crucial. We regularly attend industry trade shows, follow industry news, and engage with our community to gauge their interests. We aim to update our product offerings every quarter to align with market demands and keep our customers excited about our inventory.

Sustainability in Action

SBS – Have you considered or implemented any sustainable practices in your business operations, particularly concerning product sourcing or packaging for your ecommerce store?

Ray – Sustainability is an important concern for us. We’ve taken steps to implement sustainable practices, such as sourcing products from eco-friendly manufacturers and reducing unnecessary packaging. This resonates with our environmentally-conscious customer base and helps reduce our environmental footprint.

Team Building and Company Culture

SBS – Can you talk about how you’ve built your team and the company culture at Poggers? How important has this been to your business’s success?

Ray – Building the right team and fostering the right company culture is critical. We ensure our employees are passionate gamers and collectors themselves, and we provide ongoing training to keep them updated on the latest products and trends. This not only enhances their knowledge but also their ability to assist our customers effectively.

Triumph over Trials

SBS – Every business faces challenges, especially in its early stages. Can you share a particular challenge you encountered and how you overcame it?

Ray – Like any business, we faced our share of challenges, especially in the early stages. One significant challenge was managing initial cash flow issues. We overcame it by securing a small business loan and adjusting our budget to ensure we had enough working capital to weather the initial storm.

Reflections and Wisdom

SBS – Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently when starting your business? What lessons have you learned that could be valuable for new business owners?

Ray – Looking back, there are always things we could have done differently. One valuable lesson for new business owners is to conduct thorough market research before launch and to be prepared for unforeseen challenges. Additionally, focusing on the right team and fostering a strong company culture from the beginning is crucial for long-term success.


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Poggers’ Playbook: Ray Lauzums’ Strategies for Success in Gaming Retail