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Hoping to start discount shop and need Assist.


Hallelujah Bellingshausen
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Attempting to starting something along the lines of TDR,TFG,Grunge Soul, ETC.

I would like to go a different route. Getting some already established designers as well as some up and commers. I was wondering how I would start something like this. I love shopping at these discount places. Who doesn't? And as someone who is starting to design as well as shop until I literally drop, how do I start something like this? 

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I would start with a business plan

Make sure you understand your cost/revenue equation.  You are going to have hard costs for land and you will need to advertise and offer your merchants other marketing support.  It is hard to start new businesses in SL just like RL and it is unlikely you will show any immediate profit.  You will want to make sure you can or are willing to financially float the shop until you build up enough clientele to at least break even.

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First of all, don't think of it as a business. Think of it as a hobby that you will continually pour money into. There is a slim chance that you will ever cover your costs. Second, the permissions set for items from recognized builders make it difficult for resellers, and the time required for them to participate in a small shop project like yours won't be worth their time. Lots of malls filled with recognized content creators are going out of business in favor of shopping in the Marketplace. Don't want to burst your bubble, but the life of a merchant in SL is extremely time consuming and can be expensive. So, consider everything I've said and if you're still ready for it, congratulations and welcome to the club :)

 

 

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My best advice would be to find a distinctive focus or theme for your efforts, especially if you're 'new' to everyone.  I have several successful and a few not so successful friends and collaborators, and without doubt those who have a particularly unique look or style that is consistent throughout their work are most successful in my experience.  More often than not, more unrelated variety has not proven to be better for sales or brand recognition, especially early on when you're building a name for yourself.

I, and I suspect you and most everyone else, have a favorite this or that shop (casual, formal, lace, latex, springtime fluffy, hippie colors, indoor furniture, outdoor furniture, clocks, birds, frisky toys etc).  These are the places that stick in your mind and that keep you coming back for more.  They're also the places you recommend to others which is obviously good for business.

The short of it is try not to just put up a smattering of nice but unrelated things.  I've been surprised over and over that some of the wildest most out there products I've collaborated on have done well because they appealed to a group of folks who shared an enthusiasm for that special niche of the market.  Think about where you shop and why then try to understand and how they present themselves and use that to guide your 'branding' (do they use consistent colors, shape, textures, design, vendor, billboard themes etc).

Lyra and Blaze are so right when they talk about the time and expense of doing it well and successfully so don't get discouraged early, but also don't dilute your brand with anything and everything in an attempt to succeed (adding rubber ducks to your airplane shop probably won't improve sales of either).  Just some thoughts from observations over the years...

Enjoy your entrepreneurship!

Lanas

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Blaze Nielsen wrote:

First of all, don't think of it as a business. Think of it as a hobby that you will continually pour money into. There is a slim chance that you will ever cover your costs. 

Don't want to burst your bubble, but the life of a merchant in SL is extremely time consuming and can be expensive. So, consider everything I've said and if you're still ready for it, congratulations and welcome to the club
:)

 

Exactly what Blaze said and to add another point, it's just a game.  If you are one of the lucky ones who can make a living at it, great but don't go in expecting to and you will enjoy what you do more. My stores exist for one reason, I love to design and create, nothing more.  I lay awake at night thinking of ideas I can create and how I would go about creating them but never once have I considered how much money I can make.

I've done well and in fact have had some years over $100K in US income.  I didn't expect it but when it happened, I quit my job and made this full time.  Terrible mistake and though I am now back to my career, I wish I had just kept this a hobby and had never tried to make it more as it has taken me two years to get back to where I was in RL when I did that.

Whatever you do, create a single goal for yourself and that is to do what you do better than anyone in the game.  After that, the rest will follow.

 

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First Be realistic.

Get a plan and stick with it,thinking people with a name will take their product they invest in land/adds and time and split the profits with a  stranger is not realistic.

If you look at the cost of a island,adds and build cost you are talking a easy 1000 RL or more a month in cost.

Example  ...We have 2 islands and 30k a week in adds each island cost 1k RL up front,300 a month to pay for and 30k a week in adds is 100 RL dollars.To think we meet some one new with a idea that is based on a already well used marketing like discount pricing is not realistic.(not that I would think you ask me to do any of this,but a simple example)

I think we all find our own way here,I know my partner and I took the long road on our own.Spending years learning and investing.

This money is cashed into RL money..

So lets be real,No one investing is in it for fun.

If they have a name, it was not built on luck ,it comes from hard work and the end goal is money.

Any one that claims that it's not ...well you are rich in RL or living on a different planet them most of us..

I spend 30 hours a week in SL there is  a dollar amount goal tacked on to it..That is just being realistic..

Trust me I have a RL job and all the dead lines and stress I can handle.This is my version of online poker and I take a risk every month hoping it will pay it's self and a profit for me.

rule of thumb...if you use 90% templets you are not going to get far...The people here that can say they made 20,30,50k a year here in RL money have worked their ass off doing it and did not make it off designers kits...

 

Be real,work hard.have fun see what happens...



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