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MistressWickah

How do I start a business?

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Starting a business is incredibly easy in SL.  There are no licenses, no local taxes, no shipping or warehousing costs, to union contracts or government regulations, ....  All you need is a product and somewhere to sell it.  Most content creators sell their own products, because it is so easy and there's no advantage in selling wholesale to another business.  The cheapest way to run a business is through Marketplace, which charges you a 5% commission on sales but has no other storefront fees.  You can get started by reading here >>>  http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Selling-in-the-Marketplace/ta-p/700193 and in the embedded links.  If you'd prefer an in-world shop -- many of us have both -- you can find a place to rent quite easily.  The landlord will have restrictions on the number of prims you're allowed and may have some local rules about signage and such, but once you pay your rent, the shop is yours.

If you aren't interested in a retail business, but are in the service sector, running a business is even easier -- though sometimes more freewheeling and frustrating.  As a scripter, for example, I get clients by word of mouth, which is not always a guarantee of continuous income.

I know you didn't ask this part, but .....no matter what you decide to do, it's good to remember that very few people can earn enough money in SL to beat what they could be earning with comparable effort in RL.  Relax and enjoy running the business, generate the income you need for in-world needs, and leave enough time to enjoy the rest of SL.

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I am a CEO of several very successful businesses. The company me and my business partner started recently IPO'd on the capital exchange for 20,000USD. We make a monthly income in the 1,000s of USD.

The way to make money in SL is not to compete with the masses. Find a niche. To do that you need to bring together a team with a range of talents (usually scripting, marketting AND design) and come up with something that is genuinly new and not easy to emulate. :matte-motes-sunglasses-3:

Don't try to compete with the masses. In SL theres 1000 people competing for one viable market spot. You'll fail. :matte-motes-sour:

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Starting a business is incredibly easy in SL.  There are no licenses, no local taxes, no shipping or warehousing costs, to union contracts or government regulations, ....  All you need is a product and somewhere to sell it.  Most content creators sell their own products, because it is so easy and there's no advantage in selling wholesale to another business.  The cheapest way to run a business is through Marketplace, which charges you a 5% commission on sales but has no other storefront fees.  You can get started by reading here >>>  http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Selling-in-the-Marketplace/ta-p/700193 and in the embedded links.  If you'd prefer an in-world shop -- many of us have both -- you can find a place to rent quite easily.  The landlord will have restrictions on the number of prims you're allowed and may have some local rules about signage and such, but once you pay your rent, the shop is yours.

If you aren't interested in a retail business, but are in the service sector, running a business is even easier -- though sometimes more freewheeling and frustrating.  As a scripter, for example, I get clients by word of mouth, which is not always a guarantee of continuous income.

I know you didn't ask this part, but .....no matter what you decide to do, it's good to remember that very few people can earn enough money in SL to beat what they could be earning with comparable effort in RL.  Relax and enjoy running the business, generate the income you need for in-world needs, and leave enough time to enjoy the rest of SL.

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Rolig has answered things nicely. I just wanted to add that starting SMALL is a good thing. I see new retails setting up huge buildings  and buying large pieces of land when they have nothing to actually sell :D.  That's fine if you just want to play at being in business -- and maybe that is all you want to do. But you can spend a lot of real life dollars playing at business in virtual lands.

 

So if you want the experience without using up your coffee money for the next month or two, then a small shop in a nice locale would be good. Prim rates range from 0 linden per prim to the most popular 4 lindens per prim and up from there. The marketplace is a great place to sell now. I sell most of my products that way even though I have a small shop. But the marketplace doesn't give you the EXPERIENCE of being a retailer and that is fun for some.

 

Above all, enjoy yourself. It shouldn't really be work -- in my mind anyway. We are here to enjoy ourselves and have new experiences.

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1 Reality Check:

Don't quit your day job. Look at SL income as an additional bonus to your RL income. If one day it overtakes your RL income, great. But if LL goes away, then what.

 

2 Explore:

Start off by making your SL business a hobby. (As in, the business itself IS your hobby. Not making a hobby into a business.)

So just like you would in any other hobby, you spend a little money on it. So spend a little in exploring what you want to do, and learn what you need to develop in that area. For uploads, maybe personal land to work in so you know how rent and land ownership works. It depends on what your going into but the point is to explore the field your interested in making a business.

 

3 Grow:

Build on what you learned. Create better products, or services, over time. If you develop and sell virtual products, then you'll have an inventory that grows as you create more products, which usually continue to sell themselves. Don't expect a lot of sales at the start. In fact give away your first products at related events or to friends.

Take feedback as a whole, don't dwell on what one person says. Learn from the feedback and use it in updates and in later products.

 

4 Marketing:

Develop into a brand. As you build products or create services, you'll want an identity for them. A simple logo or name that fits your products in some way. Also make it as easy as you can for people to find them. But don't spam everyone with your shop landmark. Keep it within your products. And only use advertisments when it targets a market for your particular product or service. For example, if you make sci-fi items, then a community around mid-evil fantasy wouldn't want to see it.

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