Thursday 14 January 2021

Squarehex 2020 Review and 2021 Plans

Considering the reality of 2020 for many businesses, Squarehex has had another relatively good year. The main downer was not being able to attend any Conventions. However, we did get some government support which partially made up for what we lost due to the cancelled events. We managed a couple of mini Kickstarters (Combat Counters and Keyboard Mapping Pads).

The main project of the year was The Black Hack Classic Monsters book. It did better than I expected on Kickstarter, which led to the book having some extra pages. To be honest I was quite glad to have the extra work over the Summer putting it together and then the fulfilment in the Autumn.

Ongoing sales of the rest of the Black Hack range have been strong throughout 2020 and we've had a few more stockists carrying our products. The main impact of Covid on web orders has been delays in the postal system. Thankfully, even with delays we had very few parcels that didn't eventually arrive.

For 2021 it looks like it will be Autumn at the earliest before even smaller Conventions can run in the UK. From a business planning perspective I'm making the assumption that there won't be any large Cons in 2021, but I hope that I'm proved wrong.

Brexit is also presenting a few problems for UK businesses. Sales to the the EU only make up about 20% of our business, and it looks like the main risk will be that export orders to the EU may get hit by VAT in some countries. It's too early to tell how much of an issue that will be, and what impact it might have on sales. The increased cost of postage to the USA and the current strength of the £ are bigger threats at the moment as the USA accounts for about 50% of our trade. The strong £ also reduces income from PDF sales as they are generated in $.

My main plan for 2021 is to keep my head down and bash out a couple of small Kickstarter projects before the Spring (Dungeon Geomorph Pads in mid January and a Zinequest project in late February). Then in the Spring I hope to have a new Black Hack project ready to go. Beyond that there are lots of other new things I'd like to get on with. Maybe I'll feel more bullish once I've had the jab.

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