By Nan Finkenaur, founder of My Life Games, LLC
I recently started a new business, My Life Games. The successful launch of Personalized MONOPOLY is due in part to SCORE’s expertise and guidance!
My idea for personalized games was born in early 2011, when I was on a popular photo website making a customized gift. I had an a-ha! moment: why not pair the world’s most iconic game brands with personalization: photos, backgrounds, captions, places and faces; in short — your life? I did a little research: amazingly there was nothing like it in the market! Almost all photo products are commodity-based — licensed brands were used for mugs or T-shirts, but no one made personalized games. I approached Hasbro for the license and they encouraged me to pursue this opportunity.
My core competency is branding and creative strategy, so there was a lot I needed to learn to build this business. I contacted SCORE in the summer of 2011 for their help. Dave Manley and his team in Gloucester provided invaluable input from that point through the launch of personalized Monopoly on CafePress.com in September 2013. From the start, the team at SCORE helped me assess the financial aspects of my project including viability, break-even points, possible expenses, and forecasting. They encouraged me to invest cautiously in My Life Games, which helped to conserve my personal savings. Dave and his team also advised on the negotiations essential to working effectively with my partners, both CafePress and Hasbro.
I consider SCORE to be part of my advisory team as I refine and expand the business going forward into 2014. I highly recommend their services. SCORE’s support provided education and advice in areas that have been critical to the successful launch of Personalized MONOPOLY, evidenced by our selling out of initial quantities during the holiday 2013 season, and continued development of new product offerings. Thanks, SCORE!