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NicholasKulp

Running a business in SL?

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I've ran things in the past and I just have a few questions for fellow business-minded sl residents. I know there are many different business types and these questions might not even have to do with yours but if you see one that may, I'd love to see your responses.

 

1.  When developing products you...:

a.  Do everything yourself (build, script, texture, animate, etc)

b.  Keep everything between yourself and with a business partner that has different skills.

c.  Come up with the idea and build it but buy the textures, scripts, animations, templates, sculpts or other important aspects.

d.  Just come up with ideas and outsource the bulk of it.

 

2. When launching a product you...:

a.  Send out notices and just wait for it.

b.  Advertise in world via clubs/hunts/ad boards.

c.  Advertise on SLM.

 

3.  For product images you..:

a.  Take all the pictures and make the images.

b.  Pay someone to do it for you.

c.  Have a business partner that does it.

 

4.  You work...:

a. Alone

b. With a partner or 2.

c.  With a group of people 3 or more.

 

Hope to see some responses :) Even if you don't answer the questions... just share a little.  The questions are just a few things I'm wondering about off the top of my head,

 

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Nice thread idea, Nicholas!

1. When developing products I do everything myself. On some projects, my partner (who I'm living with & married to in RL) helps with texture art & packaging. We don't outsource anything, and we even do all our own customer service :)

2. When launching new products I might send out a notice or two, otherwise just rely on word of mouth mostly. I do advertise too but not inworld at all, nor on SLM.

3. Product images, I take my own pictures.

4. I work alone, or with my partner.

I think that individuals, or very small close-knit partnerships, work best in SL: minimal overhead & no drama.

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In March I hired a family member as a PT asst, and recently another as a part PT asst, so now I have help with picture taking and packaging and a lot of marketing, maintenance, and adminitrative stuff.  These two are super smart and I can give them any assignment and they can figure out how to do it. (Yes they are well paid by RL standards.)

I send notices of new releases and advertise.

I will buy anything I can use in building in order to save time but mostly end up making stuff because I am very particular. I handle all the actual creating of final products and customer service.

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1: There are two of us. I handle most of the technical stuff and modeling, my business partner is a graphic designer. So we have someone handling the creative side and someone handling the technical side. This allows us each to focus on just one area.

 

2: We haven't done much advertising and don't send out notices. I post new products and information to the feed in my profile.

 

3: I do all my own pictures. For packaging I have a template that my partner created.

 

4: Just the two of us .

 

Cheers :)

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Good questions Nicholas!


1.  When developing products you...:

a.  Do everything yourself (build, script, texture, animate, etc)

b.  Keep everything between yourself and with a business partner that has different skills.

Both. Actually I do it all myself but with our SexGen brand products, Stroker makes the bases and the animations and I do the build/textures.  I build a bit different than most as I create all my textures first.  I visualize the build, then create my textures from scratch in PS. From their, I make the shapes I need to hold my textures.  It takes me about 75% of my time on the textures alone.  A good example of this is my Wine Country Classics line of bedrooms.

2. When launching a product you...:

a.  Send out notices and just wait for it.

And rarely I do that.  I try to add at least 2 new items a week to my store.  It's really more about building SL's largest store of this type so I want a lot of inventory and a lot of choices for my customers.  When I add a new product, I also tag it with a sign that says "New" and place it near the front of my store.  My store is about 120 M x 120 M and on it's own sim so traffic dynamics are always a carefully planned strategy.

3.  For product images you..:

a.  Take all the pictures and make the images.

I have a photo studio with my building space that is set up specifically for my style of art.  I shot everything with a solid background then drop it into my PS work with no background.  Really just a style preference but as I consider what I do as Graphics Design, I do it all myself. As for my textures, I either start with a blank canvas in PS or I shoot it with a Nikon DSLR.

4.  You work...:

a. Alone

Almost always alone but I have done many sim builds with friends who build with me.  In all I have built 26 sims and about 8 with the assistance of friends. For my store, it's all me, the scripts, the textures, the shapes, the...well, everything.

The biggest problem with outsourcing assistance or taking a partner is in the area of trust and reliability. As with the things I partner on with Stroker Serpentine, he is one of my best RL friends as well as my best SL friend.  We know each others families, travel together and stay at each others houses when in town.  He is one of the few I totally trust in SL but that comes from years of friendship in RL.

I also ask friends for their opinions and they often ask mine. My friends are all SL celebrities in my eyes and I trust the opinions and am always flattered when they ask for mine. (however callie Cline only calls for legal advice :0)

 

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1.  When developing products you...:

a.  Do everything yourself (build, texture, animate, etc) 

When I have to use scripts or sculpties, I go to buy them. lol

 

2. When launching a product you...:

a.  Send out notices and just wait for it. and  c.  Advertise on SLM.

I've tried in-world ad boards, but they had no effect at all.  Another thing I do is send out a review copie to bloggers but I doubt its effectiveness cuz most people who shop in-world don't read sl fashion blogs or even these forums for that matter.

 

3.  For product images you..:

a.  Take all the pictures and make the images.

 

4.  You work...:

a. Alone

 

 

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My partner and I have different skills. We usually make everything ourselves, except animations.

We don't advertise and don't need to. Our items are used and displayed outdoors. So, in effect, every customer is advertising our products for us. And with new products, people will explore our store in SLM or inworld - so if the item is good it takes off quickly.

I make our textures. Sometimes my own pictures and sometimes from texture download sites.

Working with a partner has huge advantages. It really gets too much for one person as your business grows. And the best part is having another person's opinion on something new.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting thread!

 

1. A combination of a, b, c. Myself and the other two owners of Larnia Kids make anything we know how to in our products, and if soemthing happens to be beyond our knowledge at the time we buy the components and then attempt to learn how to do that particular thing later. A good example is animations, we used to buy them, now I've begun to make our own.

2. We do a robust amount of advertising including inworld, marketplace and our website. We also participate in hunts and such. So a combo of a, b, c

3. a. We take all the pictures and create all our box art, logo images etc... and always have

4. c. It was just Rory and I, but our good friend Audra joined the business as the primary pose maker when we were so impressed with her abilities

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1 and 4:
I like to cooperate in SL. In my current brand we are with group of 3 people: two of us are sculptor/texturemaker and we have a scripter.  My collegue sculptor does animations as well. So we have all skills in the house we need for our products.  My collegue and I both do our own products, most of the time. Only now and then we cooperate on the same product together or with the three of us.
I always have more ideas then hands to make then and my collegue likes to get ideas for what he can make. We now and then discuss the things we are working on. We both are critical and appreciate the critical eye and honesty of the other, it's helps to make better products. So most of the time the cooperation often doesn't exist of working together, but more of being involved with each others work.
We avoid to use work from others. For our business (full perms items) it is important that we can guarantee our customers that we are the legit copyright holders. Sometimes for little parts in textures we use pictures or stamps or such  that are donated to the public domain or we ask permission from the original creator to allow us to  use his work in our SL product. But that is seldom, most is home made.
The 'dirty work' of running the business is done by me. I do the sales strategy, the promotion, I own the land and the in world shop, I'm the marketplace merchant, I make plans for the business and discuss them with my partners.
Customer service is done by all three of us. Each does the support for his own work, cause you simple know your own work the best. Now and then, when a customer has an unusual issue we ask each other advise on how to deal with it.
2:
When we launch new products we send out two notices. One is to the people who have subscribed for our update group, the other is to a SL media network.
We don't advertise in world. (The only exception is when we are approached to sponsor a   charity event, and we agree to do so. Advertisement is part of the sponsor deal in most cases.) 
Sometimes we advertise on the SLM, sometimes we don't.
Apart from that we take advantage of all free publicity we can get.

3:
My sculpty/texture partner and I both make our own product pictures.For product images we have developped a template for the presentation as brand. We both use the brand template as base for the product pics.

 

Nice thread.

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