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Looking for a experienced individual on how to sucessfully start and build a business!


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Recently I've come up with the thought of starting my own business/establishment within SL. But the biggest issue is I do not have a clue where to start or what starting a business entails. I am looking for someone who can shine some light on what it all entails from Purchasing a piece of land for the establishment, through to the building process of the establishment. I wouldn't require necessary help with how to run a business because I have a pretty good idea how to do that.

So If anyone could spare some time to shine some light and explain some ground works of starting a business in SL that would be perfect and much appreciated ! I'm just an entrepreneur looking to get a foot in the door and just require a little bit of a helping hand.

I also apologise if a similar post has already been made xD

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I'd be happy to help you out at no charge. :) Happy to see fresh blood in my favorite aspect of SL. To answer some of what you've posted here:

  1. Land for the establishment: You don't necessarily need land to start a business. In fact, unless you intend to sell furniture, homes, or other things that would be better-suited to a rezzed, inworld demo, I would advise starting on the marketplace first! You can set up a marketplace storefront for absolutely zero upfront cost, and zero upkeep costs. The only cost to you for marketplace sales is that Linden Labs takes a 10% commission fee out of every sale you make. It seems a bit steep, but unless you're also planning to sell a lot of big-ticket items, this will often end up cheaper overall than an inworld store. Plus, many consumers like the convenience marketplace shopping brings. Even if you do opt for an inworld store, I would HIGHLY recommend setting up a marketplace store as well to get more eyes on your products, and more feet in your store. To begin setting up your marketplace store, log in to marketplace.secondlife.com and click the "My Marketplace" button at the top of the screen, then click "Merchant Home" on the dropdown.

    However, if you ARE selling things that need to be rezzed, rather than worn, to be seen, or you're dead-set on having a physical presence, you can always buy or rent land. If you'd like to own land, you'll first need a premium membership through Linden Labs, as well as some starting funds in the form of lindens. Once you actually purchase your land, you'll also need to pay for the appropriate tier level for the size of land you have. All premium accounts have 1024sq m of free tier to put towards a parcel. It would technically be possible to squeeze a small store into a parcel this size and not have to pay any monthly fees except the cost of premium alone, but you're likely going to be making some sacrifices in your build. Further, premium membership gives you L$300/wk, plus a L$1000 stipend if you've never been premium before, and you keep the service for at least 45 consecutive days. You can use this money to invest in your business. You can find parcels for purchase by checking the world map in-game and looking for the $ icon around the map. You can find more information about tier pricing here, and more info about buying land here.

    Alternatively, you could do away with the whole process of premium membership, and tier, and all that stuff, and rent land from another SL user. Renting can give you a lot more options for store types at any budget, from as small as a 10 land-impact allotment to place on a pre-built kiosk, all the way up to renting full sims you can build in from the ground up. Just be sure that, whatever or wherever you're renting, you check the land-owner's rental policies to be sure they allow commercial operations on their land, as many do not. You can find land rentals by searching for "rental" or "mall" either on the SL website, or in the search function in-game
     
  2. Building a store - Whether you're renting or buying, you're going to first need vendors to place your objects in to sell them. CasperTech offers amazing vendors that are well-loved across the grid for the ease-of-use and features they offer. They even have some free models if you're really on a budget. I highly recommend you give them a look. Next, you'll need to actually set up shop. If you're renting a tiny kiosk with only a few LI to work with, I would recommend rezzing just your vendor(s), a sign, and perhaps something people can click to get a link to your marketplace store and/or join your group, if you have one. If you're renting a predone storefront in a mall, there will likely already be walls in place, so you'll have your full allotted land impact to place down vendors, group joiners, signs, and decorations. You can find all of these things on the marketplace website. If you're renting or buying an empty parcel, you'll also need some sort of structure to house your merch. I've seen stores as simple as a big, flat wall with a bunch of vendors, but you likely want something flashier. There are loads of pre-made store buildings on the marketplace, so find one that meets your size requirements, land impact allotment, and budget, and place it down. You could also build a structure yourself, but unless you're good at 3D modeling, this isn't advised, as you'll end up spending a lot of your land impact on prims, and you won't get a very nice looking end-product. Once you have your building down, you just fill with your vendors, group joiners, signs, and decorations as before. 
     
  3. Extras -  You'll want to get an idea for your brand's theme, logos, and overall style before you begin making any type of storefront, on the marketplace or otherwise. Making a 2D logo and sign that you can use on both the marketplace and on a flat prim inworld is a great starting point, assuming you haven't already done that. Choose (or create) items and colors to decorate your store that compliment the overall aesthetic of your products. Look to other successful inworld businesses in your market sector for inspiration. 

    If you have any more specific questions, i'd be happy to answer them. Alternatively, if this all seems like a massive headache, i'd be happy to help you plan and set things up inworld, while teaching, for a bit of compensation for the time spent.
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4 hours ago, Reyetta Claven said:

I'd be happy to help you out at no charge. :) Happy to see fresh blood in my favorite aspect of SL. To answer some of what you've posted here:

  1. Land for the establishment: You don't necessarily need land to start a business. In fact, unless you intend to sell furniture, homes, or other things that would be better-suited to a rezzed, inworld demo, I would advise starting on the marketplace first! You can set up a marketplace storefront for absolutely zero upfront cost, and zero upkeep costs. The only cost to you for marketplace sales is that Linden Labs takes a 10% commission fee out of every sale you make. It seems a bit steep, but unless you're also planning to sell a lot of big-ticket items, this will often end up cheaper overall than an inworld store. Plus, many consumers like the convenience marketplace shopping brings. Even if you do opt for an inworld store, I would HIGHLY recommend setting up a marketplace store as well to get more eyes on your products, and more feet in your store. To begin setting up your marketplace store, log in to marketplace.secondlife.com and click the "My Marketplace" button at the top of the screen, then click "Merchant Home" on the dropdown.

    However, if you ARE selling things that need to be rezzed, rather than worn, to be seen, or you're dead-set on having a physical presence, you can always buy or rent land. If you'd like to own land, you'll first need a premium membership through Linden Labs, as well as some starting funds in the form of lindens. Once you actually purchase your land, you'll also need to pay for the appropriate tier level for the size of land you have. All premium accounts have 1024sq m of free tier to put towards a parcel. It would technically be possible to squeeze a small store into a parcel this size and not have to pay any monthly fees except the cost of premium alone, but you're likely going to be making some sacrifices in your build. Further, premium membership gives you L$300/wk, plus a L$1000 stipend if you've never been premium before, and you keep the service for at least 45 consecutive days. You can use this money to invest in your business. You can find parcels for purchase by checking the world map in-game and looking for the $ icon around the map. You can find more information about tier pricing here, and more info about buying land here.

    Alternatively, you could do away with the whole process of premium membership, and tier, and all that stuff, and rent land from another SL user. Renting can give you a lot more options for store types at any budget, from as small as a 10 land-impact allotment to place on a pre-built kiosk, all the way up to renting full sims you can build in from the ground up. Just be sure that, whatever or wherever you're renting, you check the land-owner's rental policies to be sure they allow commercial operations on their land, as many do not. You can find land rentals by searching for "rental" or "mall" either on the SL website, or in the search function in-game
     
  2. Building a store - Whether you're renting or buying, you're going to first need vendors to place your objects in to sell them. CasperTech offers amazing vendors that are well-loved across the grid for the ease-of-use and features they offer. They even have some free models if you're really on a budget. I highly recommend you give them a look. Next, you'll need to actually set up shop. If you're renting a tiny kiosk with only a few LI to work with, I would recommend rezzing just your vendor(s), a sign, and perhaps something people can click to get a link to your marketplace store and/or join your group, if you have one. If you're renting a predone storefront in a mall, there will likely already be walls in place, so you'll have your full allotted land impact to place down vendors, group joiners, signs, and decorations. You can find all of these things on the marketplace website. If you're renting or buying an empty parcel, you'll also need some sort of structure to house your merch. I've seen stores as simple as a big, flat wall with a bunch of vendors, but you likely want something flashier. There are loads of pre-made store buildings on the marketplace, so find one that meets your size requirements, land impact allotment, and budget, and place it down. You could also build a structure yourself, but unless you're good at 3D modeling, this isn't advised, as you'll end up spending a lot of your land impact on prims, and you won't get a very nice looking end-product. Once you have your building down, you just fill with your vendors, group joiners, signs, and decorations as before. 
     
  3. Extras -  You'll want to get an idea for your brand's theme, logos, and overall style before you begin making any type of storefront, on the marketplace or otherwise. Making a 2D logo and sign that you can use on both the marketplace and on a flat prim inworld is a great starting point, assuming you haven't already done that. Choose (or create) items and colors to decorate your store that compliment the overall aesthetic of your products. Look to other successful inworld businesses in your market sector for inspiration. 

    If you have any more specific questions, i'd be happy to answer them. Alternatively, if this all seems like a massive headache, i'd be happy to help you plan and set things up inworld, while teaching, for a bit of compensation for the time spent.

Thankyou so much for this ! It's been exceptionally helpful. I will take away what you have written here and address it to the plans I tend to carry out when starting up my Establishment.

Thanks Again :D 

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You want to start an SL business? Here's what you'll need:

1. Product - What exactly will you be doing? Being an affiliate store for a preexisting business such as X-Core, ADN, or another that has affiliate vendors? Or, will you make your own meshes? If so, you'll need to learn how to properly make mesh items. Then, you need to decide if you'll make them for male or female avatars. THEN, you'll need to decide if you'll make meshes for one specific body, or multiple bodies. What works for one body won't work for another. Will you need scripting? It's recommended, but not required, depending. Will the item be bento rigged? Again, not required, but recommended.

2. Marketplace and/or Vendors - Will you sell your items on Marketplace, and/or in a physical vendor? Keep in mind that sales on Marketplace will tax you a certain amount of the earnings if buying price exceeds a certain amount, unless that's been changed. But, uploading products is free. However, you can go the more costly route and have a proper inworld store if you use a system such as Casper or others, but the standard is Casper from what I've seen. Of course, going inworld will require land.

3. Business name and group - Not the number one most important item, but it's absolutely in the top 5 of things you'll need/want to even get started. What's in a name? Alot of things, and all things have one. 

4. Land - You'll need a physical location won't you? Gotta make sure you have enough prims for the vendors, storefront, etc..

5. A store building - Don't skimp on quality. You want it to be attractive to your ideal clientele, otherwise they may not want to return. You also want it to be spacious to a point. Be reasonable here.

6. Linden/L/L$ - The single most important thing you will need to get started. But, why is it so far down the list? Because you won't fully know how much you'll need until you're finished gathering the pieces. It isn't cheap to get started.

7. Advertising - Probably the second most important thing on the list, other than L$. Who are you? Do you even exist?  Is your business appealing? Are  YOU appealing? Even if you build it, they won't come. They won't come, because they probably won't know it exists unless its' been advertised.

Here's an example scenario to consider:
Person1 Resident: "Who is this Domm69 person? Do they have a business and/or product?"
Person2 Resident: "I'm not sure, I haven't seen anything about them. Must be some random."
Person3 Resident: "Wait, I've seen their work. They do have a business and/or product. Wanna check it out?"
Persons 1 and 2 Resident: "We hadn't. O_O Sure, I guess we can. Got an LM/TP?"

VS

Person1 Resident: "Who is this Domm69 person? I've seen them advertised around the grid."
Person2 Resident: "I'm not sure, but we can go check them out if you want."
Person3 Resident: "Alright, lets go. I've heard they have quality things. I saw them on a board the other day."

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  • 3 months later...
54 minutes ago, argonorth said:

If you decide to have a store inworld you do not need to use a system like Casper. You can put your products into a single prim and set it for sale. 

You can and I do - LOL.

 

Actually most all of my products are rezzed out for people to see or I will rez large houses and such if asked. Most times customres can buy that EXACT item (well a copy of that exact item) and so they know precisely what they are getting. 

I agree that "vendors" like Caspervend are now the standard.  I personally hate them -- so there you go.  I like to be able to see the price easily, see what is actually IN the package, etc. etc.  So there are options as noted by argonorth.

 

Everyone has there own idea of what makes a good and or successful business. So you will certainly get conflicting answers and will need to decide for yourself.

I think you need both a Marketplace presence as well as an inworld store.  You can rent some nice storefronts for very little money and I suggest that starting SMALL is a good thing.   I just vacated a very large building in Xenosaur that housed my free art gallery as I moved the gallery to my new sim.  That very large building was 150 lindens a week for 300 land impact.  I am sure there are similar ones if you take the time to look.   There are other stores in the same area with similar (or even lower) rates. 

 

Grow slowly. Do good work. Have reasonable support standards.  Keep your prices competitive.    All good things to think about.  

And be SURE and ENJOY THE PROCESS.  

 

 

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I think a Marketplace presence is important. I shop %99 of the time there, so I can keep track of my purchases, and calculate expenses.  It's also easy to lose track of an item in a store, if I didn't buy it, and go back and try and find it again.

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