Red Herring Games – the ups and downs

Red Herring Games are creators of murder mystery dinner party games and personalised events, with a very extensive online offering. SME spoke to Jo Smedley of Red Herring Games to find out more…

What have been your biggest challenges? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge to date was a financial one. Our old website “died” on us as it was developed on an old operating system. The new one that replaced it was so glitched it dropped out in peak season losing £16k of business which left us with a short fall into the new year. (our sales our seasonal so it was a major issue). I managed to negotiate with all our suppliers to give us a year to turn the business around, had to make the decision to lose 2 PT and 1 FT staff member in the summer and narrowly avoided being taken to court in August by a firm who’d passed their contracts onto a third party – but by Christmas we had cleared all outstanding debt and we’re on track to have a good year.

What have been your greatest successes?

My biggest success to date was being approached to write the murder mystery for the 125th Agatha Christie Festival. For a Crime writer that’s quite a coup!

What are your top tips for SMEs?

You don’t have to be doing something NEW – you just have to be doing something BETTER. Customer is king. If you give them what they want they’ll come back, and repeat business is cheaper than trying to reach a new market every time. Turn any negative into a positive. If you receive a complaint deal with it promptly, providing a refund, and learning from the mistake if it was at your end.