It has been 4 years since our last store opened in Evansville, Indiana as a franchise. At the time we had two company owned stores in Terre Haute and Bloomington here in Indiana as well. We had just finished filing all of our franchise documentation with the state of Indiana and at that time franchising seemed to be the best way for us to continue to expand.
Since that time a lot has happened. Obviously the biggest change was that the recession came to the Midwest in full force. Everyone lost so much of their net worth as stocks plummeted and 401k retirement savings shrank. It just seemed everyone went into hibernation to wait and see how and if the economy would recover.
The biggest changes since that time has been in the ownership of eBash at the corporate level. In 2006, myself and my partner Shawn Wells were approached by an investment group that we allowed to buy a majority of the company to help us with expansion plans. Over the next 4 years that group invested over $1 million, many times at their own discretion. Many different things were tried including a different store design in our Bloomington location and of course franchising.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but circumstances and the recession forced the investment group’s partners to move out of the area and in 2010 Shawn and I bought back the Terre Haute location. We continued to negotiate the rights to the overall eBash name and all assets company wide and a few months ago we became the sole owners again of the name eBash and all associated goodwill.
During this time I have always received 5-10 inquiries per month from potential new game center owners asking for advice, consulting and start-up assistance. I try to help as much as I can in an honest, no-nonsense way that hopefully paints a realistic picture of our industry and business strategies. Until we controlled the rights to the eBash name I could not really offer anything other than ideas and suggestions. However when I met Derek Rankin and Harry Kim from Charleston, Illinois the time was almost perfect to start our new program in conjunction with their plans to open a new video game center.
The great news now is that we are launching a new plan to allow centers to operate under the eBash “umbrella”. In talks over the years with publishers, developers and manufacturers we know that until we have around 10 stores operating as eBash in a diverse geographic area we won’t be able to get any kind of benefits upstream in the video game industry. This new partnership agreement gives us the ability to help new and existing centers grow their business AND allows those stores to operate under the name eBash.
As we move forward in Charleston I plan on sharing our progress here on my blog that will continue to help many prospective and existing game centers with their own planning and expansions. I also plan on releasing the details on how centers can purchase access to all of our planning and financial data as well as become partners under the eBash name. If you would like more information just comment here on my blog or contact me : http://terrehaute.ebash.com/index.php/info/contact-info-store-hours/
12 thoughts on “New eBash Video Game Center Opening This Fall”
Wow, that’s awesome! Congrats on this exciting opportunity to expand.
If I weren’t so set on the plans to start my own company, I would definitely jump on helping eBash expand to my area.
Here’s to hoping that your new plan works. It’s exciting to see you not only growing in this industry, but during a recession. Very few businesses are able to claim that, so you know you’re doing something right. Keep up the good work!
Me and my partner are very interested in using the e-bash name. You might remember us we were the two guys that stopped by right after you had your fire. We had information on Laser Tag and talked with you for a while that day. We have been delayed because of the landlord, but as of this past Monday we have that taken care of. We expect to have a lease to sign before the 24th of this month, and the investors will be doing a capital call on the 24th at the meeting we are having, the total project is close to 2 million, we would like using info on partnering with you and leveraging that e–bash name. We want to focus heavy on Tournaments and leagues and agree that the more centers we have the better we could do. We have expansion plans for the next few years as well once the Wichita Falls TX center is up and running. You can send that information to my email. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
synth3tk – Great to see someone else getting a store open. Everyone has been in a holding pattern the past few years because of the recession. I like these signs that our industry is ready to make a come-back! No matter what your plans are, you can feel free to contact me and set-up a retainer and I would be happy to consult/help you get things up-and-running, even if you aren’t under the eBash banner.
John – Great to hear from you! It was a crazy day when you guys stopped by our store a few months ago. I am so excited that you want us to help you guys, I think your model is very intriguing and I want to see you guys make it happen! I will send you an email to talk more.
Glad to see you guys expanding! That is awesome!
Are you guys hiring in Charleston? I’ve stopped by a few times but didn’t see anyone inside.
Looking to start a LAN business in my area. I enjoy your perspective and success in this realm. You guys definitely hav the business down. I have much to learn from you guys.
There are a few questions I have if you are willing to answer them?
You can reply via email if you like.
1. What was your initial starting cost gor your first endeavor?
2. I am curious how much your business averages a month?
3. I would also like the info for expanding ebash to other areas.
Thanks for the compliments! Here are some brief answers:
1. My first store opened in 2004 in a VERY different economy. I was able to start it with less than $50k in cash and $75k in leasing with $0 cost in building out the store. Today things are much different. The owners of our newest store are planning on around $125k upfront and an additional $25k for cash flow over the first 6-9 months.
2. Our flagship store in Terre Haute, IN peaked at an average of $27,500 per month during the “glory days” of 2007 and 2008. We were in the peak of the new Xbox360 and PS3 console lifespan and our tournaments were huge (100-200 players per tournament). This year we are closer to $23k per month average, but we have also really streamlined our business model for the current economy.
3. We would love to talk to you about opening an eBash in your area. Our new partnership agreement is very simple and allows you to jump in as an eBash store in your area for just a small monthly fee. We are available to help you get started at a very small hourly consulting rate and as part of our group your monthly fee gets you access to 100% of all of our marketing, promotions, financial reporting and events both from the past and in the future. If you would like more information just shoot me an email.
We are planning on setting up a center here in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Would we be able to partner with EBash here? Does your EBash ‘umbrella’ extend to Canada? If we are unable to partner with you, could we still draw on your experience, and hire you as a consultant?
We are impressed with your business and site, and would really like to work with you.
Jim – Sure we could help you and you could even operate under the eBash name up in Canada. We have a partnership agreement that I can send you to look over which includes joining up with the eBash team at your location and also a very reduced consulting rate. Shoot me an email and I can share the google document with your gmail account.
why was the center in the bloomington area closed down?
The Bloomington store was an unsuccessful attempt at a new store design and layout. It ran neutral or at a loss for 2 years and we took an opportunity to get out of the long term lease when the tenant next door needed more space.
where are you expecting to put this ebash in Evansville