4 golden rules to start a retail video game company

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Do you want to turn your passion for video games into a retail business? If so, it’s an interesting market to enter right now. Although digital gaming continues to grow in popularity – Microsoft even released an all-digital Xbox console in 2019 – there also remains a strong demand for physical games.

In fact, thanks to a swathe of YouTube channels highlighting the history of this popular hobby, retro gaming has arguably never been more popular – or expensive. Combine this with recent reports that gaming is the world’s most popular form of entertainment, and there’s plenty of money to be made in this industry.

If you feel you’re ready to take a slice of this lucrative cake, first read these four golden rules to start a retail video game company:

1. Firstly, is it the right market to enter?

Before you start planning any further, this is an important question you need to answer. Your dream might be to own a video game retail shop, but you can’t allow this desire to blind you from reality.

  • Are you in the right location for a video game store?
  • What type of competition do you face in the local area?
  • How can you surpass what online retailers currently offer?
  • Do you have a unique angle for the business?

You have to remember that the gaming industry is a highly competitive one, and small individual retailers will always be up against it when battling major corporations such as Amazon and Walmart.

To help with ensuring you have a viable plan, don’t be scared to receive advice from a consultant. For example, Take 2 Strategy is a start-up consulting specialist who can assist with everything from formulating a business plan to forecasting your financial results in the future.

2. Online, physical, or both?

If you have settled on the idea of going forward with a gaming retail business, you have to decide on the type of operation you will run.

First of all, in this day and age you should always have a website representing your company. You’re leaving a lot of potential money on the table if you fail to offer the option of purchasing online. Additionally, you are seriously limiting your reach if you only have a brick-and-mortar store. The latter will bring in local customers, but a website opens up the world.

When it comes to creating a website, never skimp or rush this aspect. The site is representing your business. It needs to be professional, responsive, and optimized in terms of performance and SEO. To stand out even further, you should also opt for custom web design. This will supply your site a unique, eye-catching look that goes beyond any generic templates.

Speaking of a physical shop, this is a big decision you need to make. Your research and planning should detail if it’s a suitable choice or not. If you’re running a retro-inspired shop or one with an emphasis on arcade gaming, it will likely have a better chance than one selling the latest releases.

3. Get the right funding

The plan is ready. You know what type of retail shop you’re going to operate. You know your expenses. You have a forecast for when your business will (hopefully) start to turnover a profit. This means it’s time to secure funding.

There are several methods available when it comes to funding. You could go the traditional route by signing for a bank loan. There’s the possibility of securing an angel investor. If you’re sticking with strictly an online presence, you likely won’t need as much funding and you could possibly get away with using personal funds or 0% interest credit cards.

4. Spread the word

Once your store is open for business, it’s time for the hard part: marketing. Trying to get people to visit your shop – beyond family and friends – can be tricky. However, there are various options to ensure your launch begins with a bang.

For instance, you could utilize a competition to build interest. A social media giveaway, where the prize is a big ticket item such as a new video game console, could generate a large amount of visibility for your business. If you want to go a little more extravagant, consider hosting a video game-themed event. This could be a big gaming tournament where everyone is free to join in and enjoy complimentary food and drinks.

Posting on relevant video game websites, forums, and Facebook pages can also help boost visibility within your target market.


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