If you love to play games, classic games without screens or digital formats, this might be the time to start your own game business using our start up business plan template. Traditional games, including dice, board, and card games came roaring back into fashion during the pandemic and the high wave of interest has never stopped. From Left to Right,™ which every four-year-old wants to play (endlessly), to the classic game of Clue,™ where Col. Mustard is always messing around in the kitchen with the knife, board games, card games, and dice games are the glue that knits players together for life. Building a business around such activities is a giving back to the world at large in a few memorable ways.
However, even the newest, most exciting games will need a business and a plan built around them to sustain the games and game developers for years to come. Preparing a business plan secures that future and protects the rights of those who’ve developed the game, equally important for all parties. For these reasons, we suggest the following steps to fully develop and utilize your game business plan.
If you have a game or games almost ready to go into production, you’ll want to ensure they are fully protected by copyrights and trademarks. Use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Library of Congress as resources to determine if any other similar games have been created and whether your game can qualify as patentable. Also, trademark game names and copyright any taglines, as needed. Take care of the valuable commodity your business has created before going to the next step.
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Research your potential game players to determine what they want and need in a game. Test your game(s) with several marketing groups and make improvements to the games, if needed. Test-driving your games will prevent major errors from going to market; be patient during test marketing, as it takes time. Also, form a demographic of the typical customer who will want to play your games. Are they older than ten years or younger? Where do they live? Are they sophisticated game players or those who like card games with pictures? Knowing your future customers will aid in selecting packaging and marketing materials for your customers.
Complete each step of your business plan at this point, filling out the sections for financial plans and forecasts, objectives, and goals, research results for customers and competitors, an operations plan and other information as needed. Ensure the information is clear and easy to comprehend; include a series of game images with variables in place to demo the game(s).
Prepare your marketing strategy based on the demographic customers you prepared and the research you’ve obtained of other companies and their business outlooks. If selling into retail chains or big box stores, you’ll want to arrange sales with distribution companies, as well, and produce pricing information that will conform to retail expectations. Market your games via social media, producing video clips that demonstrate how much fun the games produce, and post onto all media. Post at least twice a week with product updates and other announcements of progress. Target any commercials or ads to children at appropriate ages or teens, as needed, and consider advertising to family channels, as well.
Define your unique selling proposition that will set your business apart from the competition. Your unique selling proposition is the reason why customers will choose your games over others and include the proposition in any presentations offered to investors or lenders. Always articulate what makes your game business unique and how it addresses a need in the marketplace.
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Finally, bring your business plan to fruition by presenting it to associates, investors or lenders and share your confidence in the upcoming success you already know is ahead for your game business. If desired, add shareholders to your company with funding that will scale your game company and take it to the next level, as well. This is the time to create a product presentation that investors will take note of and see the value in making an investment into your business.
There will always be challenges and opportunities ahead for your game business; however, the simplicity of a card game, a dice game, or a board game reminds us all that these games last long after digital games are gone and these traditional games create the best memories of togetherness that last through the years.