Business Plan Templates

10 Steps to Launching a Profitable Game Center Business: A Beginners Guide

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Are you tired of your mundane 9 to 5 job and want to become your own boss?

Do you have a passion for gaming and want to turn it into a profitable business?

Starting your own game center may seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance and preparation, it can be a lucrative investment that provides endless entertainment and fun for gamers.

The gaming industry has witnessed tremendous growth over the years, with a global market value of $152 billion in 2019. This is projected to increase to $196 billion by 2022, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. With the rise of technology and the increasing demand for online and mobile gaming, there has never been a better time to invest in a game center.

In this article, we have put together a comprehensive checklist on how to open/start/launch a game center business in 10 steps.

Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned gamer looking to start your own business, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps you need to take to get your game center up and running.

So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of game center business!

  • Step 1: Conduct industry research
  • Step 2: Draft a business plan
  • Step 3: Identify customer base and potential market
  • Step 4: Develop financial model and budget
  • Step 5: Secure necessary permits and licensing
  • Step 6: Establish business structure and system
  • Step 7: Secure proper funding
  • Step 8: Select prime location and space for the business
  • Step 9: Purchase or secure equipment and supplies
  • Step 10: Market your business

These steps may seem overwhelming, but it is important to note that starting a game center business requires patience, dedication, and careful planning. With a solid business plan and the right strategy, you can turn your passion for gaming into a successful and rewarding venture.

1. Conduct Industry Research

Before opening a game center business, it's vital to conduct thorough research of the industry. Knowing the current market trends, competitors and customer preferences is key to creating a business that is financially stable and satisfies the target customer base.

  • Research the market: Analyze the local market to determine if there's a demand and what type of games are popular in the area
  • Identify current and future competitors: Look for other game centers and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Determine if there's potential to offer something unique and different
  • Analyze target audience: Research the demographics of the area and determine what type of games would interest the target audience

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider conducting surveys or focus groups to better understand the target audience
  • Don't forget to research online gaming trends, as they can provide insight into what games could do well in a physical game center
  • Check local zoning laws to see if there are any restrictions on opening a game center, such as being too close to schools or residential areas

After completing industry research, the accumulated data should be utilized to develop a comprehensive business plan. This plan will serve as a roadmap for launching and operating the game center.

2. Draft A Business Plan

Before opening a game center business, it is crucial to have a solid business plan in place. This will serve as a roadmap for your business and help you to stay on track towards achieving your goals.

Chapter 1: Executive Summary

The first chapter of your business plan should be an executive summary. This should give an overview of your game center business, including its mission statement, target market, unique selling proposition, and financial goals.

Chapter 2: Market Analysis

In this chapter, you should conduct a thorough analysis of the market in which your game center business will operate. This should include researching your target audience, analyzing your competition, and identifying any potential opportunities or threats to your business.

Chapter 3: Marketing and Sales Strategy

In this chapter, you should outline your marketing and sales strategy for your game center business. This should include your promotional tactics, pricing strategy, and sales projections.

Chapter 4: Financial Plan

The financial plan chapter of your business plan should include your start-up costs, projected revenue, and profit and loss statements. It is important to have a realistic financial plan in place to ensure the long-term success of your game center business.

Chapter 5: Management Structure

Outline the management structure of your game center business in this chapter, including the responsibilities of each team member and their qualifications. It is important to have a strong management structure in place to ensure the smooth running of your business.

Chapter 6: Operations Plan

The operations plan should detail how your game center business will operate and include any operational strategies or systems you plan to implement, such as software for managing bookings or inventory.

Chapter 7: Legal Requirements

Ensure you are legally compliant by researching the legal requirements for starting a game center business in your area. This chapter should include information about licenses and permits you may need, as well as any regulations or laws you need to follow.

Tips & Tricks

  • Remember to keep your business plan concise and focused on your goals.
  • Include financial forecasting tools, such as break-even analysis and return on investment projections.
  • Refer back to your business plan regularly to track your progress and ensure you are staying on target.

Chapter 8: Conclusion

In conclusion, a well-developed business plan is essential to the success of your game center business. By following these steps and creating a thorough plan, you can help ensure the long-term success of your venture.

3. Identify Customer Base & Potential Market

Before launching any business, it is essential to identify the customer base and potential market to make sure that the product or service meets the demand of the market. A game center business is no exception.

3.1 Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research is crucial in identifying the customer base and potential market. This includes analyzing the demographics, psychographics, and behavior of the target market. It will also help identify the popular games, preferences, and interests of the potential customers. This information is valuable in deciding what games to offer and how they can be marketed.

3.2 Define Target Market

After analyzing the market research, define the target market . It could be families, teenagers, college students, or gamers. Defining the target market helps to tailor the gaming experience and outputs to the interests and preferences of the customers.

3.3 Determine Competition

Determining the competition is essential in identifying the potential market. Look for other game centers located within the same area and evaluate their marketing strategies, game variety, and customer service. This will help to identify any gaps or opportunities in the market.

  • Offer a unique gaming experience to stand out from competitors and attract potential customers.
  • Pay attention to customer feedback and tailor the gaming experience accordingly to retain customers.
  • Offer promotions, loyalty programs, and referral bonuses to attract and retain customers.

3.4 Create Marketing Strategy

Based on the customer base and potential market analysis, create a marketing strategy to promote the game center. It could include leveraging social media, targeting specific events, offering promotions or discounts, and creating targeted advertisements. Promote the gaming experience, the game variety, the game quality, and the customer service to attract more potential customers. Additionally, offer loyalty programs or referral bonuses to retain customers.

3.5 Monitor and Update

Finally, monitor the changes in the market and analyze the customer feedback regularly. Use this information to update the gaming experience, promotional offers, and marketing strategies accordingly. The ongoing process of analyzing and updating will help the game center stay relevant and attractive to the target market.

4. Develop Financial Model & Budget

Developing a financial model and budget is a crucial step in the process of starting a game center business. It will help you understand the potential costs and revenue streams involved in running your business.

  • Identify your revenue streams: Before you start developing your financial model, you need to identify the different revenue streams for your business. This could include entry fees, game rentals, food and beverage sales, and more.
  • Research your competition: Research other game center businesses in your area to get an idea of their pricing and revenue streams. This will help you determine how much you can realistically charge for your services.
  • Estimate your costs: Determine the costs involved in running your business, including rent, utilities, employee wages, equipment, and more.
  • Calculate your break-even point: Once you have estimated your costs and revenue streams, calculate the point at which your business will break even. This will help you understand how much revenue you need to generate to make a profit.
  • Develop a budget: Use your financial model to create a detailed budget for your business. This will help you track your expenses and ensure that you are staying on track.
  • Consider hiring a professional accountant to help you with your financial model and budget.
  • Be conservative in your revenue projections to avoid disappointment later on.
  • Regularly review and update your financial model and budget to ensure that your business is on track.

Developing a financial model and budget can be time-consuming, but it will help you make informed decisions about your business and increase your chances of success. Take the time to research and create a thorough financial plan before launching your game center business.

5. Secure Necessary Permits & Licensing

Opening a game center business requires different licenses and permits, depending on your location and the type of games you will offer. These regulations are in place to ensure that you meet various safety, zoning, and health requirements. Thus, it is crucial to research the permits and licenses required by your city, county, and state before starting your business. Here are the necessary steps to securing permits and licenses.

  • Step 1: Research the permits and licenses required for opening a game center business in your location. Contact the local government agency responsible for business licensing and zoning to obtain information about the specific permits and licenses you will need.
  • Step 2: Obtain a business license. Most states require that all businesses have a license to operate, which involves submitting an application along with a fee to the state government agency or your local city hall.
  • Step 3: Apply for a zoning permit. This permit is important because it confirms that your business location is zoned for commercial use. Check the zoning laws and regulations in your location before selecting your business location.
  • Step 4: Obtain a building permit. If you plan to remodel or repair your business location, you may need to obtain a building permit. Depending on your location, you may need to submit an application with the state, county, or city.
  • Step 5: Get an occupancy permit. This permit ensures that your business location meets safety and health standards. You may need to pass an inspection before the government issues an occupancy permit.
  • Step 6: Secure additional permits and licenses; these may include a sales tax permit, amusement and gaming license, and fire safety inspection certificate.
  • Research the permits and licenses required for opening a game center business in your location before starting your business to avoid delays.
  • Local authorities can assist with clarifying the licensing and permit requirements for your type of game center business. Take advantage of your local economic development office - they usually offer free assistance to help you with licensing and permit requirements.
  • Some states may require that your business has workers' compensation and general liability insurance. Check with the business licensing and zoning agency in your area to learn more.

After securing the necessary permits and licenses, you can legally operate your game center business in your location. Make sure that you meet all the safety and health standards required by the authorities. Maintaining regulatory compliance can help you avoid noncompliance penalties and fines.

6. Establish Business Structure & System

Now that you have a solid plan in place for your game center business, it's time to establish the structure and system for your venture. This step involves deciding the legal structure of your business, determining the financial requirements, and setting up the operational framework. Here are the essential chapters you need to focus on:

6.1 Legal structure

One of the first things you need to decide when starting a game center business is the legal structure of your company. This decision affects the way you file taxes, the amount of paperwork you need to maintain, and the potential liability you face. The most common options include:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation

6.2 Financial requirements

Starting a game center business involves some upfront costs, such as renting or buying a space, investing in equipment and technology, and setting up the infrastructure. Along with that, you'll need to create a budget and financial plan that covers expenses, income, and cash flow projections for at least the first year of operation. Some of the essential financial requirements include:

  • Cash reserves for emergencies
  • Equipment and furniture costs
  • Marketing and advertising expenses
  • Insurance and legal fees
  • Possible loans or financing options

6.3 Operational framework

A successful game center business depends on a well-structured operational framework that covers everything from game selection to customer service. It would help if you designed a system that allows smooth business operations, staff management, and inventory control to ensure customer satisfaction and profitability. Here are some essential aspects to consider:

  • Game selection and variety
  • Staff hiring and training
  • Opening hours and scheduling
  • Cash handling and payment methods
  • Point-of-sale system and inventory management

Top Tips & Tricks for Business Structure & System:

  • Tip #1: Choose the legal structure that suits your needs and protects your assets.
  • Tip #2: Keep a close eye on your financials and adjust your budget as needed. Keep the records organized and up-to-date.
  • Tip #3: Create a standard operating manual that outlines your business procedures, staff workflows, and customer satisfaction guidelines.

Establishing a robust business structure and system can seem overwhelming, but as a pro business consultant who has helped countless entrepreneurs, I can assure you that it is a crucial step in launching a successful game center business. By following the guidelines and staying organized, you can create a solid foundation that sets you up for long-term growth and profitability.

7. Secure Proper Funding

Starting a game center can be lucrative, but it also requires a significant amount of funds . You will need startup money to acquire the necessary equipment, rent a commercial space, purchase insurance, hire employees, and invest in advertising. Without proper funding, your game center business may fail even before it starts.

Ways to Secure Proper Funding

1. Personal Savings

  • One way to fund your game center is by using your personal savings to get started.
  • You can also tap into your retirement accounts if you have a 401(k) or IRA plan.
  • However, this should only be done as a last resort because there are penalties for withdrawing early.

2. Small Business Loans

  • If you're unable to fund your game center through personal savings, you can apply for a small business loan .
  • There are various types of small business loans, including traditional bank loans, SBA loans, and online loans.
  • Be prepared to complete a thorough application process, including providing financial statements and demonstrating how you plan to repay the loan.

3. Grants and Crowdfunding

  • There are various grants available to entrepreneurs in certain industries, including gaming.
  • You may also consider utilizing crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe to raise money for your game center.
  • Note that you will need to provide an enticing plan to potential funders, and there are fees associated with using these platforms.
  • Research and compare different funding options before committing to one. Choose the funding option that works best for your business and financial situation.
  • Keep your personal finances separate from your business finances to maintain accurate records and avoid potential legal issues.
  • You can also consider seeking out investors, but be prepared to give up some control over your business in exchange for their financial support.

8. Select Prime Location & Space For The Business

When starting a game center business, the first step towards success is selecting a prime location for the business. This involves scouting for locations that are easily accessible and have high traffic. The following chapters provide a comprehensive look at how to select a prime location and space for your gaming center.

Chapter 1: Research on Potential Locations

Researching on potential locations for your gaming center is an essential step towards finding the best one. Start by checking the local newspapers, internet, and advertisements to identify available spaces for rent or lease. You can also ask local realtors for a list of available spaces in the area. Once you have a few potential locations, visit them and evaluate the feasibility of each site. Look out for aspects such as the flow of traffic, accessibility, visibility, and zoning laws, among others.

Chapter 2: Consider Your Target Market

Your target market should always be in your mind as you consider potential locations for your gaming center. Be sure to select a location that is easily accessible to your target market. For instance, if your target market comprises young people, a mall or shopping center within a busy urban area would make an excellent location.

Chapter 3: Choose the Right Space Size

Choosing the right size for your gaming center depends on your business needs and budget. Consider how many game machines you would like to have and how many customers are expected to visit your center. Approximately, games centers require at least between 50 and 150 square feet per gaming machine, and 1,000 to 5,000 square feet for the entire space. Remember that smaller gaming centers tend to be more affordable to maintain, while larger spaces may cost more in rent and other overheads.

Chapter 4: Negotiate Your Lease Agreement

As a new business owner, it is imperative to negotiate a favorable lease agreement for the space you choose. Ensure that you carefully review the lease agreement and understand your obligations as a tenant. Consider negotiating with your landlord for a long-term lease (3-5 years) with a renewal option in case you want to continue with your business after the lease period is over. This could protect your business if the landlord decides not to renew the lease.

Helpful Tips & Tricks:

  • Look out for essential features like parking, security, and proximity to public transport when choosing your location
  • Ensure that your location stands out by having a unique and eye-catching storefront or signage
  • Negotiate for flexibility in your lease agreement, including options to sublease or expand your space in the future if needed.

In conclusion, the location and space you choose for your gaming center can make or break your business. It is important to gather as much information about potential locations as possible, consider your target market, pick the right space size, and negotiate a favorable lease agreement. By following these steps and the tips provided, you are sure to open a successful gaming center business.

9. Purchase Or Secure Equipment & Supplies

Before opening a game center, it is essential to have all the necessary equipment and supplies in place. This step is crucial to ensure that your customers have a fun and enjoyable experience at your center. Here are some of the things you need to consider:

  • Games: The primary attraction of your game center will be the games you offer, so invest in the latest and popular games that cater to different age groups and interests. Consider games that are suitable for solo play, multiplayer, and family entertainment.
  • Consoles: Purchase gaming consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch, to run the games. Have multiple consoles, so that your customers do have to wait long for their turn to play.
  • TVs and Monitors: Invest in large screens to run the games. Consider having high-resolution TVs and monitors, as they enhance the gaming experience.
  • Furniture: Choose comfortable sofas, chairs, and benches to provide a cozy and functional seating area for your customers. Also, don't forget to buy tables and shelves to store the consoles and games.
  • Other Supplies: Purchase accessories like controllers, cables, headphones, and charging stations to enhance the gaming experience. Additionally, have a good sound system to create an immersive gaming experience.
  • Always have backup equipment in case of technical issues.
  • Consider leasing equipment or buying used equipment to save money.
  • Do your research and compare prices before purchasing equipment and supplies.

Securing equipment and supplies can be a significant investment, so it is critical to create a budget and source the items wisely. You can purchase new equipment, lease or buy used equipment, depending on your budget and goals.

Furthermore, it is essential to create a system to manage your equipment . You need to keep track of your equipment and ensure they are in good condition and working optimally. You may need to hire staff to manage your equipment and ensure they are maintained correctly.

In conclusion, having the right equipment and supplies is essential to provide a fun gaming experience to your customers. A well-equipped game center will attract more customers and lead to repeat business. Follow the above checklist to make sure you have everything you need before opening your game center.

10. Market Your Business

Marketing is the lifeblood of any successful business. It is essential to have a well-planned marketing strategy for your game center business. Your marketing plan should be effective enough to reach your target audience and attract customers. Here are some important steps you should consider while marketing your business.

Step 1: Develop a Brand Identity

Your game center business should have a unique identity that sets it apart from the competition. Create a brand identity that resonates with your target audience and reflects your business values. Develop a logo, website, and social media pages that reflect your brand identity.

Step 2: Define Your Target Audience

Your marketing efforts should be focused on your target audience. Research your target market and identify their preferences, needs, and behavior. Develop a customer persona to help you understand your target audience.

  • Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach out to your target audience.
  • Sponsor local events and sports teams to increase visibility and attract customers.
  • Offer special promotions and discounts to attract customers and retain existing ones.

Step 3: Choose the Right Channels

Choose the right marketing channels to reach your target audience. Use a mix of traditional and digital marketing channels. Some popular channels include social media, email marketing, print ads, radio, and TV ads.

Step 4: Develop a Content Strategy

Create a content marketing strategy to attract and engage your target audience. Use high-quality images, videos, and blog posts to showcase your products and services. Develop social media campaigns that resonate with your target audience.

Step 5: Use SEO to Increase Visibility

Optimize your website and content for search engines to increase visibility and attract organic traffic. Use relevant keywords, meta tags, and descriptions to rank higher on search engines.

Step 6: Track Your Marketing Metrics

Track your marketing metrics to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Use analytics tools to monitor your website traffic, social media engagement, and conversion rate. Use these insights to refine your marketing strategy.

Step 7: Leverage User-generated Content

Leverage user-generated content to promote your game center business. Encourage customers to leave reviews, share their experience on social media, and tag your business. Use this content to showcase your products and services.

Step 8: Build Partnerships

Build partnerships with other businesses and organizations to increase visibility and attract customers. Partner with local businesses, schools, and community centers to promote your game center business.

Step 9: Attend Events

Attend local events and trade shows to promote your game center business. Network with potential customers and other business owners. Use these events to showcase your products and services.

Step 10: Measure ROI

Measure your return on investment (ROI) for each marketing campaign. Calculate the cost of each campaign and the revenue generated. Use this data to prioritize and refine your marketing strategy.

  • Use email marketing to stay in touch with your customers and promote your business.
  • Partner with influencers and bloggers to promote your game center business.
  • Create referral programs to incentivize customers to refer their friends and family.

Starting a game center business is a challenging yet fulfilling endeavor that requires careful planning and execution. With the steps outlined in this 10-step checklist, you can be on your way to turning your passion for gaming into a successful business venture.

Remember that conducting industry research, drafting a comprehensive business plan, identifying your customer base and potential market, developing a financial model and budget, securing necessary permits and licensing, establishing a solid business structure and system, securing proper funding, selecting the prime location and space for your business, purchasing or securing equipment and supplies, and marketing your business are all vital steps to take to ensure a successful launch.

With the global market value of the gaming industry projected to reach $196 billion by 2022 , opening a game center business can be a lucrative investment that provides endless entertainment and fun for gamers. Stay patient, dedicated, and focused on your goals, and you may just find success and satisfaction in the world of game center business.

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Gaming Lounge Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

gaming lounge business plan

Gaming Lounge Business Plan

Over the past 10+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their gaming lounge companies.

If you’re unfamiliar with creating a gaming lounge business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process. For most entrepreneurs it is, but for you, it won’t be since we’re here to help. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.

In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write a gaming lounge business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your gaming lounge business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a gaming lounge business or grow your existing gaming lounge company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your gaming lounge business to improve your chances of success. Your gaming lounge business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Gaming Lounge Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a gaming lounge business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan (hand it to them in person or email to them as a PDF file) and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for gaming lounge companies.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

How to write a business plan for a gaming lounge business.

If you want to start a gaming lounge business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The guide and sample below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your gaming lounge business plan.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of gaming lounge business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a gaming lounge business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of gaming lounge businesses?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. 

  • Give a brief overv iew of the gaming lounge industry. 
  • Discuss the type of gaming lounge business you are operating. 
  • Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. 
  • Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team. 
  • Offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Overview

In your company overview, you will detail the type of gaming lounge business you are operating.

For example, you m ight specialize in one of the following types of gaming lounge businesses:

  • Gaming lounge membership club : While the lounge is dedicated to serious video game play, the members-only club creates a community of friends and hours of enjoyment. Members pay monthly dues for unlimited access to video gaming, virtual reality and class video slot machine play.
  • Board game cafe: Board gaming cafes are dedicated to board game aficionados who join any games that appeal to them. Appetizers and beverages may be offered.
  • Arcade gaming lounge: For video arcade diehards, the arcade gaming lounge represents the classic arcade games much beloved by players. Games are video slot machine-play.
  • Gaming bar and grill: For players who like to combine the latest video games, virtual reality and high-end technology, gaming bars are the go-to place. Players typically have a choice of beer, wine or cocktails with favorite foods, such as burgers and fries, from the grill. 

In addition to explaining the type of gaming lounge business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of gamers served, the number of large gaming events held, or, reaching X number of lounges opened, etc.
  • Your legal business structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the gaming lounge industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the gaming lounge industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends.

The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your gaming lounge business plan:

  • How big is the gaming lounge industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your gaming lounge business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your gaming lounge business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, club members, event partygoers, and corporations.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of gaming lounge business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than event partygoers, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers. Ideally you can speak with a sample of your target customers before writing your plan to better understand their needs.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are othe r gaming lounge businesses. 

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This includes bowling alleys with pinball machines, at-home gaming, or gambling with casino-play. You need to mention direct competition, as well.

For each direct competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What type of gaming lounge business are they?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide rewards for frequent players?
  • Will you offer events, such as video tournaments, that your competition doesn’t?
  • Will you provide the newest technology in gaming consoles?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a gaming lounge business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type o f gaming lounge company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you provide gaming tournaments, rewards for frequent players, themed parties, club membership perks and extended gaming hours on special occasions?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of yo ur plan, yo u are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the site of your gaming lounge company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your gaming lounge business located in a popular restaurant and theater district, a standalone building or in a “destination” setting? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your gaming lounge marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertise in gaming magazines
  • Reach out to gaming websites 
  • Distribute flyers for special gaming events
  • Engage in email marketing
  • Advertise to club members on social media platforms
  • Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your gaming lounge business, including adding and maintaining video machines and equipment, planning and providing tournaments and special events, restocking food inventory, etc. 

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to book your Xth gaming tournament, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your gaming lounge business to additional locations.

Management Team

To demonstrate your gaming lounge business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company. 

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing gaming lounge businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a gaming lounge business or successfully running a video arcade or casino gaming room.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance s heet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you see 10 new video club memberships per day, or develop new ways to enhance video gamer play areas ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your gaming lounge business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. 

When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a video game room business:

  • Cost of gaming equipment and maintenance
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and foodstuffs, board games, barware, or restaurant equipment

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a list of club memberships generating steady income.

Writing a business plan for your gaming lounge business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert and understand how to start a gaming lounge business. You will understand the gaming lounge industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful gaming lounge business.

Gaming Lounge Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my gaming lounge business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your gaming lounge business plan.

How Do You Start a Gaming Lounge Business?

Starting a gaming lounge business is easy with these 14 steps:

  • Choose the Name for Your Gaming Lounge Business
  • Create Your Gaming Lounge Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Gaming Lounge Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Gaming Lounge Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Gaming Lounge Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Gaming Lounge Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Gaming Lounge Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Gaming Lounge Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Gaming Lounge Business
  • Open for Business

Where Can I Download a Free Business Plan Template PDF?

Click here to download the pdf version of our basic business plan template.

Our free business plan template pdf allows you to see the key sections to complete in your plan and the key questions that each must answer. The business plan pdf will definitely get you started in the right direction.

We do offer a premium version of our business plan template. Click here to learn more about it. The premium version includes numerous features allowing you to quickly and easily create a professional business plan. Its most touted feature is its financial projections template which allows you to simply enter your estimated sales and growth rates, and it automatically calculates your complete five-year financial projections including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Here’s the link to our Ultimate Business Plan Template.

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Gaming Lounge business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.  

Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan professional services can help you create a winning business.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

How To Start A Video Games Center Business

How To Start A Video Games Center Business

If you ask any entrepreneur, starting a business comes with its fair share of challenges.

Starting a video games center requires a great deal of effort, dedication and most importantly passion .

If you're willing to put in the effort to build your own business, you're going to want to follow the critical steps to creating a successful brand.

We've created a guide that covers each step of the process - from making key financial decisions, to launching and marketing your business the right way, and tips/strategies on how to grow your business effectively.

Start A Video Games Center ➜ market size $155B starting costs $18.9K see all costs ➜ gross margin 43% time to build 270 days pros & cons 24 Pros & Cons see all ➜

💡 Introduction To Starting A Video Games Center

Is starting a video games center right for you.

There are many factors to consider when starting a video games center.

We put together the main pros and cons for you here:

Pros of starting a video games center

• Rewarding work

Starting a video games center can be really rewarding work. After all, you are solving an immediate issue for your customer and you're working on something you truly care about.

• Meaningful business connections

You never know who you will meet as a video games center. This could be the start of an incredible business opportunity!

• Daily physical activity

Video Games Center's typically involve a much greater degree of movement than other lines of work. Most days, you will spend your day walking, running errands for your business, and performing a multitude of tasks. This can have a positive impact on energy levels and your overall health.

• Amazing perks and discounts

Working in the video games center comes with its perks! As a seller for these products/services, you typically also get to enjoy industry perks and discounts.

• You are your own boss!

With starting a video games center, you are the one to make decisions for almost all of the operations. Calling the shots can be empowering and liberating!

• Local Community

One of the best parts of starting a video games center is that you can develop a local following by selling your products at craft shows, farmers' markets, or even local storefront businesses! This gives you access to additional revenue streams and loyal customers.

• Higher likelihood of getting referrals

This business is all about referrals, which can be a a very impactful way to attract and retain customers. It's critical that you have a great referral program in place that incentivizes your customers to tell their friends about your product.

• Location is everything!

When operating a physical storefront, the location often speaks for itself and serves as it's very own marketing tool! It's important to choose a location in a high traffic area so you can spark curiosity and get people through your door!

• Face to face interaction

If you are the type of individual that thrives on human interaction, then this is the business for you! With a video games center, you will be hands-on with customers and or employees every day.

• Simple business model

A video games center has the advantage of a simple business model, which makes launching and building the business more seamless.

• You get to do something you truly love

With starting a video games center, you get to put your energy into something you are truly passionate about! You'll find yourself devoting as much time and energy as possible into the business to make it successful.

• Easy to Learn The Business

When starting your video games center, there is a ton of information readily available to you online (Facebook groups, Youtube videos, Starter Story etc). This will help you get the business started and answer any questions, doubts or concerns you may have.

• Never a dull moment

With starting a video games center, there is truly never a dull moment. Your job offers a lot of variety and allows you to meet interesting people from all walks of life.

Cons of starting a video games center

• Crowded Space

Competition is high when it comes to your video games center, so it's important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.

• Finding The Right Supplier

Most businesses in this space go the supplier/manufacturer route, which isn't a bad thing! However, finding the right supplier can take a lot of time, energy and trial/error. If done properly, this process can save you months (if not years) of time and energy. More on this below in the "finding a supplier" section.

• Motivation of employees

If you plan to have a sales/content team on board, finding creative ways to motivate them can be a challenge. It's important that you're able to offer great incentives and a good work environment for your employees.

• Low margins

The gross margins for your video games center are typically around 43%, which can make it more challenging to incur new expenses and maintain profitability.

• High employee turnover

In the video games center, employee turnover is often high, which can be quite costly and time consuming for your business. It's important to try and avoid this as much as possible by offering competitive pay, benefits, and a positive work environment.

As a video games center, you typically pay self-employment taxes which can be quite high. It's important to understand what you will be paying in taxes each year so you can determine if the work you're taking on is worth it.

• High overhead expenses

With starting a video games center, there are overhead expenses that come with selling a physical product. You will want to make sure you strategically budget for these overhead costs. We discuss this more in the startup costs section below.

• You may need to charge sales tax

If you are selling your products in various states, you may be required to charge sales tax. Although this may not impact your financials specifically, it can be a headache to create a process and procedure for this. To learn more about sales tax, check out this article

• Time commitment

With starting a video games center, all responsibilities and decisions are in your hands. Although this is not necessarily a negative thing, work life can take over at times. This can place a strain on friends and family and add to the pressure of launching a new business.

• You might struggle financially (at first)!

If you bootstrap your business or choose not to pay yourself (or pay yourself less than you were making at your corporate job), this can be financially taxing. It's important to adjust your lifestyle and set a plan for yourself so you don't find yourself in a stressful situation.

• More of a challenge to run your business from home!

Running your business from the comfort of your own home is a big appeal for many entrepreneurs. With a video games center, you are more likely to run your business out of your office or storefront space.

Big Players

  • MCV/DEVELOP (160K Alexa Ranking)
  • Virtuos Games (1.03M Alexa Ranking)
  • PLAYlive Nation (1.05M Alexa Ranking)
  • Player 1 Orlando (1.81M Alexa Ranking)
  • Video games that teach science (2.67M Alexa Ranking)

Small Players

  • ACS Amusements (8.57M Alexa Ranking)
  • Video Games Live™ (8.1M Alexa Ranking)
  • Press Start Gaming Center (3.93M Alexa Ranking)
  • Games Cambodia, The biggest video game online store in Cambodia (3.9M Alexa Ranking)

Search Interest

Let's take a look at the search trends for video games center over the last year:

How To Name Your Video Games Center

It's important to find a catchy name for your video games center so that you can stand out in your space.

Here are some general tips to consider when naming your video games center

  • Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
  • Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
  • Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
  • As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!

Why is naming your video games center so important?

The name of your business will forever play a role in:

  • Your customers first impression
  • Your businesses identity
  • The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
  • If you're memorable or not

It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your video games center.

You can search domain availability here:

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.

It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.

As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.

Here's some inspiration for naming your video games center:

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How To Create A Slogan For Your Video Games Center:

Slogans are a critical piece of your marketing and advertising strategy.

The role of your slogan is to help your customer understand the benefits of your product/service - so it's important to find a catchy and effective slogan name.

Often times, your slogan can even be more important than the name of your brand.

Here are 6 tips for creating a catchy slogan for your video games center:

1. Keep it short, simple and avoid difficult words

A great rule of thumb is that your slogan should be under 10 words. This will make it easy for your customer to understand and remember.

2. Tell what you do and focus on what makes you different

There are a few different ways you can incorporate what makes your business special in your slogan:

  • Explain the target customer you are catering your services towards
  • What problem do you solve?
  • How do you make other people, clients, or your employer look good?
  • Do you make people more successful? How?

3. Be consistent

Chances are, if you're coming up with a slogan, you may already have your business name, logo, mission, branding etc.

It's important to create a slogan that is consistent with all of the above.

4. Ensure the longevity of your slogan

Times are changing quickly, and so are businesses.

When coming up with your slogan, you may want to consider creating something that is timeless and won't just fade with new trends.

5. Consider your audience

When finding a catchy slogan name, you'll want to make sure that this resonates across your entire audience.

It's possible that your slogan could make complete sense to your audience in Europe, but may not resonate with your US audience.

6. Get feedback!

This is one of the easiest ways to know if your slogan will be perceived well, and a step that a lot of brands drop the ball on.

Ask friends, family, strangers, and most importantly, those that are considered to be in your target market.

Here's some inspiration for coming up with a slogan for your video games center:

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  • Get Your Simple Video
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  • Get Your Quality Video
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  • Bold Video, Satisfaction Guaranteed
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The Brick & Mortar Business Model

When deciding whether or not to start a video games center, it's important to first decide what type of business model you want (brick and mortar, eCommerce, or both)!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering a Brick & Mortar store:

If you do plan to open a physical store, it's important that you find a spot in a high-traffic area. This is a great way to gain exposure for your business and also get new customers.

It's also important to consider the higher costs associated with operating a physical store (ie - employees, rent, utilities, etc) and the long days/hours associated with running a store.

The main benefit, however, is that customers love being able to see products in person. It's important to recognize that although some people enjoy shopping online, there will always be the shopper persona that likes to touch, feel, and see the product they're buying.

Learn more about starting a video games center :

Where to start?

-> How much does it cost to start a video games center? -> Pros and cons of a video games center

Need inspiration?

-> Other video games center success stories -> Examples of established video games center

Other resources

🎬 How To Start A Video Games Center

article

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Video Games Center

If you are planning to start a video games center, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.

We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of starting a video games center and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $12
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $37,876

Raising Money For Your Video Games Center

Here are the most common ways to raise money for your video games center:

Bootstrapping

You may not need funding for your video games center.

In fact, many entrepreneurs take this approach when starting their own business, whether they have a little amount of cash or a substantial amount to get started.

So what exactly does the term "bootstrapping" mean?

This method essentially refers to self-funding your business without external help or capital and reinvesting your earnings back into the business**

Bootstrapping means building your company from the ground up with your own, or your loved ones, personal savings and reinvesting all earnings back into the business

Here are some tips to consider when bootstrapping your business :

  • Use your savings as your capital - one of the best ways to bootstrap your business is to collect your savings and use them as startup capital. This will also help you avoid using your personal or business credit cards when getting started.
  • Determine exactly how much capital you need and how much capital you have to get your business off the ground. Generally, when bootstrapping your business, you may want to consider starting a business that involves less startup capital.
  • Consider starting a business that will generate immediate returns so you can put money back into the business
  • Be as lean as possible - this refers to cutting down expenses as much as possible, such as payroll, fancy software tools, unnecessary travel, renting an office, etc
  • Consider outsourcing instead of hiring - in the beginning, you may not need to hire someone permanently to help run your business. It tends to be much less expensive to outsource work to a freelancer and hire someone permanently down the road!

Want to learn more about bootstrapping your business? Check out this article

VC funding is a traditional and long process, but an effective way to raise money for your business.

The term "VC funding" refers to venture capital firms investing in businesses in exchange for equity.

The VC's (venture capitalists) are an individual or small group investing in your business and typically require substantial ownership of the business, with the hope of seeing a return on their investment.

VC's are typically the best approach for businesses with high startup costs - where it would be very difficult to raise the money on your own or through a loan.

When deciding whether to take this approach, it's important that you have a few things in place first, and know what you're getting yourself into:

Determine if your business is ready

Having an idea is not enough to get VC funding.

Typically, VC's will check to make sure you have these things in place prior to closing any deal:

  • An MVP (Minimal Viable Product)
  • A founding team with all proper documents in place (articles of organization, business formation)
  • A validated idea with actual customers buying your product/service

Get everything in place and build a pitch deck

A VC individual or firm will be expecting a fine-tuned presentation that gives an overview of your business.

Here's what you should consider including in your pitch deck:

  • Management team, their previous experience + current roles in the business
  • Market challenge and solution
  • Company financials - including a P&L statement, cash flow statement, and projections
  • Company progress
  • Investment amount - how much do you need and why?

Research the right VC to fund your business

Research the types of VC investors out there and what niche they focus on.

Then, put together a list of target VC's you want to approach and your strategy around setting up meetings.

Be sure you have everything in place (as discussed above) before setting up any meeting!

Make sure the terms and expectations are right for your business

Committing to VC funding is a big deal and a decision that should not be made lightly.

Although the money and experience from VC's can help your business quickly grow, you are also giving away a stake in the company, and the money comes with strings attached.

Be sure you do your due diligence in finding the right investor - one that truly believes in the growth and success of your business.

What Skills Do I Need To Succeed In Starting A Video Games Center?

As a video games center, there are several essential skills and characteristics that are important to identify prior to starting your business.

Let’s look at these skills in more detail so you can identify what you need to succeed in your day-to-day business operations:

Business Savvy Skills

When starting a video games center, there are a few fundamental business skills you will want to learn in order to be successful:

  • Leadership and training skills: A great team starts with YOU. Make sure you have all company policies and training procedures in place prior to hiring your team
  • Decisive and self-confident: Over the course of your career, you will need decisions that could impact your business significantly. It's important you are able to think clearly and rationally about these decisions.
  • Ability to understand the financials : You don't need to be an accountant, but it is important that you are able to clearly understand and define metrics such as expenses, revenue, profit, margins, COGS, etc.
  • Strategic Thinking : Setting clear goals and benchmarks, identifying opportunities, risks. Ability to effectively communicate these insights to your team.

These are a few of many business savvy skills you should have (or work on) when starting a video games center.

For a full list, check out this article here .

Self Motivation Skills

Self motivation and discipline skills are critical in order to become successful in this field.

It's likely that you will find yourself starting and running your video games center from home, which could mean there are more distractions for you.

Here are the basic skills needed for self motivation & discipline:

  • Becoming a self starter: It's important that you are capable of independently completing a task without the help or direction of anyone else
  • Listening and following directions : When you are given direction by others, it's critical that you are able to follow directions and ask the right questions in order to get your job done
  • Taking the initiative in problem solving: Instead of taking the easy route, you'll need to learn to troubleshoot issues on your own as much as possible.

Customer Service Skills

Friendly communication with customers and the ability to address service issues is a critical part of the job.

Here are some customer service skills you may want to consider prior to starting a video games center:

  • Professionalism: The way you act, present yourself, and respond to situations all leave an impression on your customer. It's important to stay professional at all times when handling customer requests or issues.
  • Problem-solving: When issues arise, it's important that you are able to think quick on your feet and address the situation with a calm and clear solution
  • Friendly-manner: This is an obvious one, but customers truly appreciate someone that can respond in a quick, efficient, and friendly manner.
  • Proficient in writing: These skills include the ability to write well-crafted emails, service tickets, and any other programs used by the business (ie. chat functions, SMS texting)

Advice For Starting A Video Games Center

We've interviewed thousands of successful founders at Starter Story and asked what advice they would give to entrepreneurs who are just getting started.

Here's the best advice we discovered for starting a video games center:

Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your video games center.

Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.

For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.

You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary : Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
  • Overviews and Objectives : Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
  • Products and Services : Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
  • Market Opportunities : Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
  • Marketing : Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
  • Competitive analysis : Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
  • Operations : Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
  • Leadership Team : Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
  • Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.

Learn more about how to write a business plan here

Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need

There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.

Here are some factors you may want to consider:

  • Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
  • Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
  • Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
  • Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
  • Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.

Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.

Setting Up Your Video Games Center (Formation and Legal)

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC : All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp : Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp : C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness .

How Do I Pay Myself As A Small Business Owner?

Most entrepreneurs start a business to do something they love- but at the end of the day, you still have bills to pay (maybe now more than ever).

But it's important to strike the right balance - if you pay yourself too much, you could be putting your business at risk.

There are two common ways to pay yourself as a business owner:

1. Owner's Draw

Many entrepreneurs pay themselves through an owner's draw. This means that you are technically sean as "self-employed" through the eyes of the IRS and are not paid through regular wages.

At the point that you collect money from the draw, taxes typically are not taken out - so make sure you are prepared to pay these taxes once you file your individual return.

As an owner who takes a draw, you can legally take out as much as you want from your equity.

This type of compensation is suited for Sole props, LLCs, and partnerships. If you’re an S corp, you can pay yourself through both a salary and draw if you choose.

If you decide to pay yourself a salary, you will receive a set and recurring amount. This will be taxed by the federal government and the state you reside in.

The reality is that it can be really complicated to set your own salary, so we have some tips for you to consider:

  • Take out a reasonable amount that allows you to live comfortably but also sets your business up for success
  • Consider the number of hours you are working weekly + the type of duties you are performing.
  • Set your salary based on your industry-standard, location, and profits (or projected profits)
  • Look at your P&L statement : Deduct your own pay from that amount. This is important so you can first tackle important business expenses, and then pay yourself from the amount leftover.
  • Pick a payroll schedule (and stick to it)! In the US, it's most common to pay yourself and employees twice a month.

To learn more about how to pay yourself and what is a reasonable amount, check out this article .

How To Price Your Video Games Center

One of the most challenging aspects to starting a video games center is determining how much to charge for your video games center .

When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.

Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.

On the other hand, when businesses over-price , this tends to be just as damaging to the business.

When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:

Understand your customer

It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:

  • Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
  • Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
  • Level of price sensitivity with your customer

All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.

Understand your costs

When pricing your video games center , it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your video games center so you can factor in a profit.

The actual cost of your video games center may include things like:

  • The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
  • Shipping + overhead fees
  • Operating costs to run your business

You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.

Create revenue goals

When determining the price of your video games center , you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your video games center to make.

This process is simpler than you may think:

  • Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
  • Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
  • Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
  • Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell

This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.

Evaluate your competition

The last piece in determining how to price your video games center is by simply looking at your competition.

The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your video games center fits best in the marketplace.

All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your video games center , so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.

Understanding Your Costs

Example from Ishan, founder of Ugly Duckling

First objective: profitability

Our profitability is OK at this point but definitely not where it should be yet. To this day I have not paid myself a regular salary yet...and it’s been 4 years!

The problem is not the cost of goods which are well under 20% of sales, which is good by any standard. The problem is fulfillment costs. In 2018 we transitioned from our first fulfillment company to a much bigger company. We did this because we wanted to provide faster shipment speeds and a better quality of packaging. In hindsight, we chose a company which would have been more suitable for a larger company with bigger volumes. We ended up being tied in with some pretty large minimum monthly payments. So currently fulfillment costs are currently around 45% of sales...way too high.

We are now looking to transit to another fulfillment center. Our target is to get our fulfillment costs down to around 30% of sales which I believe from what I have researched, is possible.

Just to be clear, when I say fulfillment that includes transportation costs also - FedEx, USPS, etc. Not just storage, picking, and packing. I am pretty sure that it is possible to get fulfillment costs down even lower, and I suspect that some large pro sellers on amazon.com work with around 20-25% of sales.

So our target P+L for 2020 looks something like this:

  • Cost of goods, including inbound freight and clearance - around 22% of sales.
  • Fulfillment - around 30% of sales.
  • Digital Advertising & Promotion - around 15% of sales.
  • Other marketing and office costs, including salary costs - around 10% of sales.
  • That would leave us around 23% of sales - enough to pay me a liveable salary and for the company to make a profit and finance future growth.
That's the first objective for 2020: to right-size the P+L so that we are profitable at our current sales level

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Gross Margin Calculator: How to Calculate The Gross Margin For Your Video Games Center

Our calculator is designed to be simple and easy to use.

The goal is to help you set realistic expectations and understand what is considered a healthy gross margin for your video games center.

Calculate your gross margin and profit margin here .

Design A Prototype

Turning your idea into a reality can feel like a daunting task - but it's critical that you have an idea of what your product will look like (even if it's just a sketch) prior to finding a manufacturer.

Here are some common ways you can design your prototype:

  • Draw Your Initial Design on Paper
  • Form pieces of fabric together
  • Consider Taking A Generic Product And Putting Your Own Brand On It
  • Try Making the Product Yourself
  • Consider Building A Prototype With A 3D Printer

To learn more about how to design and prototype a product, check out our latest guide here .

How To Find A Supplier For Your Video Games Center

Here are the steps to consider when finding a supplier/manufacturer:

Know your design

One very critical step to finding the right supplier is having an initial idea of what your design/product will look like.

Sketching is one of the most simple ways to get started in the design phase.

What's great about sketching is that you can practically do this anytime, anywhere - even on the back of a napkin.

To get started, all you need to do is pick up a pen and paper and start drawing - or if you are working on a virtual/software product this can be a diagram that outlines the user interface or experience.

Decide your supplier type

You'll want to identify the type of supplier you are looking for.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself prior to searching for a supplier

  • Are you looking for a manufacturer to produce your product idea ?
  • Do you want to find a supplier that can simply purchase existing products for you ?
  • Do you want a drop-shipper to supply and fulfill orders?
  • Do you want a domestic supplier or an overseas supplier? Read more about the pros and cons of each here

Where to start your search

Once you have an understanding of what type of manufacturer/supplier will be best to bring your idea to life, there are several areas you can start your search:

Domestic Suppliers

Overseas Suppliers

Manufacturing Your Product In House

It's also very common to manufacture your video games center on your own - either from your home or in a commercial space.

In order to get the product right, you may want to consider experimenting with different designs and recipes until you find the perfect one.

Some founders choose to manufacture their product in-house so that they can control quality, manage costs, and easily handle production/logistics.

Down the road, you can always choose to outsource your video games center .

Leslie Eisen, founder of AlmondClear discusses how to manufacture products in house

If you want to start a line of unique products, then you have two basic options: you can make them yourself, or you can find a manufacturer to work with that creates custom formulations for their clients.

I knew that I was trying to build a larger-scale business and that the home-made model wasn’t right for me, so I had to find the right manufacturing partner. It took a lot of research, phone calls, and emails before I found the laboratory that met my needs.

I wanted to create unique products (as opposed to private label), so I worked with the manufacturer’s chemist who specializes in skin care formulations. This process takes some time!

First, you have to tell the chemist what kind of product you’re looking for , the ingredients that you want to include or leave out, and what you want the final product to look like/feel like/smell like, etc.

Then, the manufacturer sends you the first sample , you try it out or give it to others to try, and then provide feedback for revisions. In my case, the first two products came together fairly easily because I only needed to make small changes to stock formulations.

There are many, many rules and regulations around cosmetics and skin care products. If you want to sell products that contain FDA regulated ingredients then you have to register and get a permit.

My products aren’t FDA regulated, so I didn’t have to go through this step, but I did have to be aware of the many guidelines and standards around labeling and safety warnings. Some people hire a lawyer to help them through this process, but my manufacturer was able to guide me through the regulatory process.

The entire process, from researching labs to work with to having the first finished products shipped out to me, took around six months.

Purchasing Inventory For Your Video Games Center

When first starting out, it's important to start small with your overhead to get a gauge for what people want.

Just remember - if you order a line of items that don't sell, it's nearly impossible to recoup the money lost.

Buying the right inventory takes research and planning in order to get it right.

  • Identify your target audience : Identify the age, gender, annual income that you will be selling to. This is a defining factor in ordering the right inventory that will sell.
  • Research your competition : Conduct market research and identify the different types of styles, price points, and materials being used. This will help you see what's trending and ways that you can improve/stay ahead of the competition.
  • Create an inventory wishlist : Identify what you need for the launch of your business and create a budget that you will stay within. Remember, it's okay to start small.
  • Find a supplier Make sure to first compare prices and analyze different options.
  • Delivery timing : Schedule the inventory delivery to match with seasonality and trending buying seasons

Pro-tip: It's easy to become biased based on your own fashion preferences on what types of shoes/apparel to purchase. This is where a lot of fashion businesses go wrong. It's important to base purchase decisions on current buyer behavior, trends in the market, and specific to your niche.

Erin Hooley, founder of Bailey's Blossoms tells us how poor inventory projections led her to lose over $2M

When we first launched Peyton Bre we did so in a social or direct sales model.

Through poor inventory projections we were forced to change models but only after losing $2 million dollars.

It was a devastating time for us and one we were not sure we could survive.

I have since become very intentional about the way that we project our inventory needs and we continue to refine that quarterly and even monthly. We have created a KPI for the cost of goods sold to help us hold ourselves accountable.

Ultimately, the better we manage our inventory the less we have need to discount and the healthier our profit margin becomes.

This is, of course, a very high-level overview of the importance of inventory control.

To see the full breakdown on how to manage inventory, check out my guide over on my blog. .

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🚀 How To Launch Your Video Games Center

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Build A Website

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).

  • Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
  • Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
  • Make sure you choose the right theme and design
  • Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)

To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide .

Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.

Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.

One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.

If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.

Launch Strategies For Your Video Games Center

There are various different ways you can launch your video games center successfully.

Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your video games center.

  • Build hype with a landing page : you can effectively do this through waiting lists, discounts, countdown timer etc
  • Create a teaser video : even just a 30 second video is a great way to exposure for your video games center, and possibly even go viral
  • Reach out to influencers : The right influencer for your product has the ability to reach your audience with just one post, and because of their loyal following, this could lead to a big return for you.
  • Get Press : Whether you plan a PR stunt or get exposure through a popular news outlet, this is a great way to attract initial customers
  • Launch on popular sites : A great way to get buzz about your video games center is to submit your launch to popular startup sites.

Here are a few popular sites to launch on:

  • ProductHunt
  • Hacker News

Learn more about how to launch your business successfully ➜ here

Make Sure You Get The Package Design Right

The way you package your video games center is often the first impression your customer has - so it's important to get it right.

You may want to ask yourself these questions:

If my product is on a shelf next to hundreds of other similar products:

  • Will my video games center stand out?
  • Will the branding/packaging create a connection with my customer, and hence, lead them to buy?

There are hundreds of tools you can use to help with packaging and design:

  • Canva - Allows non-designers to create beautiful Instagram/Pinterest posts, flyers, business cards, etc.
  • Stickermule - High quality custom stickers you can include on or in your packaging.
  • Noissue - Custom tissue paper and compostable mailers
  • Rollo Label Printer - A great tool to print all shipping labels at home

Sheets & Giggles explains the motive behind their "Premium Unboxing Experience"

I had a particular vision for our packaging centered around one goal: because we were a DTC company and wouldn’t do physical retail in year 1, we needed to focus entirely on an incredible unboxing experience that made the product feel as premium as possible.

Outside: a white box, nice wax coating, logo front and center with no other copy, easy to open, nice and sturdy.

Inside: make people smile from the get-go, have a social call-to-action, include free extra surprises (a knapsack that wraps the sheets and an eye mask), put funny copy all over the place, and add a donation bag that people could use to donate their now-defunct cotton sheets (sheets & blankets are the #2-most-requested item at shelters behind socks).

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🌱 How To Grow Your Video Games Center

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Consider Selling On Amazon

In addition to selling your products directly on your site, you may want to consider selling on Amazon to reach a wider audience and attract new customers.

Here are some pros and cons of selling on amazon:

  • Easy and seamless process to get your product listed on Amazon
  • There are roughly 100 million thoroughly committed prime customers, so you're bound to tap into new business
  • Can help grow your business exponentially and reach new audiences
  • You may encounter some "copycats" and counterfeit products
  • Amazon owns the relationship with the customer (you lose control over product reviews + customer service)
  • If you already have a low-markup, amazon may not wrth your while and you could end up losing money
  • Commissions and listing fees are high - it's easy to lose control of your offering

Follow these instructions to get your product listed on Amazon or check out the video below on how to get started:

Cory Stout, founder of Woodies ($250K/mo) provides us with specifics on how to rank better on amazon:

Our main product is walnut wood sunglasses that I sell for $25 on Amazon and Woodies.com.

I dedicated myself to becoming an Amazon expert. I listened to all the podcasts and read all the blog posts I could find. Shoutout EcomCrew I took the basic fundamentals that are out there and I added a couple of my own twists.

Amazon brings me, 100 brand new customers, every day for very little acquisition cost. If I tried that on my own, it would take a TON of work and it wouldn’t be nearly as effective as Amazon, so I took the easy road on this one.

Here's an article I wrote on how to rank better on amazon (30+ Tips):

5/5: ESSENTIAL

  • Beautiful images (minimum 5 images) especially lifestyle images I use UpgradedImages.com for product photography (hey Ken!)
  • Keywords in your title (but it still needs to sound human)
  • Competitive price (contributes to high conversion rate)
  • NOT having 1-star reviews
  • DON'T STOCKOUT: it's such a killer and if you DO stockout, definitely DON'T raise your price right before you do, if anything LOWER your price for the last 10-20 units before you stockout, each ASIN has a 'memory' for when you do get back in stock so that will help you regain ranking quickly
  • DON'T VIOLATE AMAZON TOS: just don't
  • Perform QC on your stock before you send it in (I sent in a wrong box once and I had to 'remove' over 3,000 pieces so I could sift through them and remove the 150 contaminated pieces 0/7 would not recommend

4/5: Pretty Friggin Important

  • Minimum 10 5-star reviews (do this before you do anything below this)
  • Well optimized PPC campaigns (could do a whole post on this, keep ACOS under 40%) here's a screenshot of some of my campaigns I use a combination of manual campaigns with exact phrases and high bids...and auto campaigns with a broad range of products and very low bids
  • Turning on FeedbackGenius for auto review requests (it's not as good as it used to be, but it's still worth it)
  • Get a trademark and get Brand Registry, this protects you from hijackers and other unscrupulous sellers
  • Quick response to customer messages (under 12 hours) here are my stats my mom does all my customer service "Employee of the Year" status
  • Drive outside traffic (amazon loves outside traffic because they don't have to spend so much to acquire customers) Facebook, Instagram, and Google Adwords are the usual suspects
  • Use ocean shipping to save mucho $$$ on unit costs (use flexport)

Read more about amazon tips here .

🏃🏼‍♀️ How To Run Your Video Games Center

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How To Retain Customers For Your Video Games Center

Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your video games center.

Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.

Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer than you are a new customer.

That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.

Here are some ways you can retain customers for your video games center:

  • Responding to comments on social media
  • Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
  • Provide valuable content, for free
  • Write a hand written thank you note
  • Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers

To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here

Diversify Your Product Line

Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.

It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.

Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product

  • Meeting the needs of your customers
  • Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
  • Resistance to downturns/trends fading
  • Create new revenue streams

We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your video games center.

  • Push Start: The Art Of Video Games (English and German Edition): Stephan Guenzel
  • Business & Legal Primer For Game Development: S. Gregory Boyd

Web Resources

  • Starting A Video Game Center – Sample Business Plan Template
  • Starting A Game Center/Lounge – A Profitable Business Plan
  • How To Start Your Game Parlor Business
  • How To Start A Gaming Lounge Business

Case Studies

  • 5 Video Games Center Success Stories [2024] 1 of 4
  • How Much Does It Cost To Start A Video Games Center? (In 2024) 2 of 4
  • 24 Pros & Cons Of Starting A Video Games Center (2024) 3 of 4
  • 13 Trending Video Games Center Businesses [2024] 4 of 4

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video game center business plan

In-Depth Guide to Create a Business Plan for Video Game Studio

  • Last Modified: February 24, 2023

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This article will first discuss the motivations and advantages of having a business plan. If you’re launching your first game, then a business plan might not be necessary now. Then, the main sections of a business plan will be detailed and examples of a fictitious studio will be given (in green).

Throughout this guide we cite a fictional video game studio for ease of reading, but all of the entrepreneurial and management mechanics explained are just as relevant and useful for a self-employed person, for an informal group of devs or for any industry organization that does not necessarily see itself as a studio yet. Each plan business is different. This guide is an example of a structure and should be modified based on the reality of your studio and projects.

Table of Contents

You might not need a business plan  now.

Before starting, I must warn you. A well-crafted business plan can be a valuable tool for your video game studio as you navigate the growth of your business, but it is not always essential, especially for indie game developers launching their first game. Most of the time, I recommend to start building a pitch instead of full-fledged business plan. This article will help you to do so: Mastering the Art of a Successful Video Game Pitch: A Guide for Indie Game Developers .

(If you are still not sure, my contact info are at the very bottom of this page.)

What is a Business Plan in a Video Game Studio Context

A business plan is an essential tool for setting goals and outlining a clear path to achieve them in the context of your video game studio. As the owner or founder of a video game studio that has already launched a first video game, I understand that you are looking for advice on how to create a comprehensive and compelling business plan. The plan not only showcases your game(s) but provides a comprehensive overview of your company, team, resources, finances, marketing strategies, player community, operations, and development processes.

The purpose of a business plan is to present a clear and concise picture of your studio, from its past and current operations to its future plans. It’s an opportunity for you to showcase your vision and drive to potential investors, partners, and stakeholders, demonstrating that you have a solid understanding of your industry and market, as well as the skills and resources necessary to achieve your goals.

Why  and When a Video Game Business Plan

As the owner/founder of a video game studio, you may find yourself considering the creation of a business plan at various stages of your business journey. Whether you’re just starting out or have already launched your first game, a well-crafted business plan can help bring clarity and focus to your future plans and projects. Here are some benefits you can expect to gain by creating a business plan:

  • Ensure a strong start for your business
  • Clearly define your short, medium, and long-term goals
  • Attract investors or launch a successful crowdfunding campaign
  • Build credibility with partners and employees
  • Streamline your development process and manage operations efficiently
  • Secure publishing partnerships
  • Hire top talent, like an executive director or key employees
  • Explore opportunities for acquiring or merging with other businesses

Executive Summary

The executive summary is an important section of your business plan. It provides a condensed overview of the entire plan, including the financial appendices, in a one-page format. This section is usually written last, after all other sections are complete.

For your convenience, I have included examples in this guide that use a fictional video game studio (Emperor’s Studio) and its first game (Empy). Y ou will find these examples written in this color.  If you want the .docx template, simply use the contact form at the bottom of this page to request it from me.

Business Overview

In this section, we give an overview of the current business and its past.

Introduction

Start with an introduction paragraph and explain how the studio was founded (if applicable). Describe your tasks, those of your partners and employees if you have any.

Emperor’s Studio is currently managed by two people. Founder 1 & Founder 2 are longtime partners in the game development industry who strive to keep the gameplay, fun and quality at the highest level in their games. The business is a small indie game studio based in [a city]. Founder 2 is the main programmer, developer, and designer while Founder 1 is the concept and pixel artist, scenario writer and community manager.

The company focuses on combining video games, comics with the interactivity and interconnectivity of an ever-expanding multimedia universe called the Empy’s World. The studio released its own previous game on Steam and have collaborated with many [other businesses and influencers] on projects such as [project’s names].

Management team / Our team

Take care to present your team from its best angle. Describe the professional experience of each member and the detailed responsibilities within the studio

Be consistent with the CV of each member and his Linkedin, because these are details that could be verified later by future investors or partners.

A photo of you, your group and your colleagues will make the document warmer. After all… other humans will read you!

A Word From Us

When possible, we suggest that entrepreneurs write a personal message (maximum 100 words) to further personalize the business plan. This is the kind of inspirational and public message that could be found in the “About us” section of your website.

Business Ownership & Structure 

Specify whether it is an incorporation, a general partnership, a single self-employed worker, etc. 

If applicable, what is the structure of the company’s shares? If you anticipate that the latter will be subject to change in the near future, you can indicate it.

If you don’t know yet, a good start to understand the best structure could start by reading the Wikipedia List of legal entity types by country or to do a quick Search on Google with “Business Structure + [your country]”. Most country have an article about this subject on their website (look for .gov website). 

Emperor’s Studio is registered as a limited liability company (LLC) and is 50% owned by Founder 1 and 50% by Founder 2.

Collaborations / partnerships

Have you collaborated with other companies, studios or artists? Whether it is a contract that you have awarded to others or work for which you have been commissioned, in both cases, it is relevant to explain it.

Collaborator 1 is a veteran book cover and sequential artist who has been working with us since 20xx on Project 1 to help develop our artistic vision. Collaborator 2 and 3 are experienced pixel artists that we have worked with on since 20yy. Collaborator 4 is a skilled and versatile musician that has been able to adapt and implement the audio vision that we wish to execute within our games.

Key planned hires

Explain the type of employee you will need to hire in the near future. Detail each profile sought.

Previous games and collaborations 

Showcase your already launched games. If you have collaborated on the development and release of a game, it is relevant to present it as well, without forgetting to explain how your studio was involved in it.

Current Development : Empy

( empy is the name of the fictional game).

Talk about the current development. If it is not started but you have plans or an idea of ​​the main aspects that will make it up, demonstrate them.

Some aspects that could be mentioned:

  • Progression
  • Preview Video (trailer)
  • Player Experience
  • Your future gaming community, but rather briefly, as this section will be scrutinized in much more detail in the sections that follow.
  • A website for this game

Other merchandise

If you are going to create and sell promotional merchandise, it would be a good idea to indicate so. For example:

If you have a visual elements, it’s perfect to show them.

Market Analysis

This section presents and analyzes the market. It is very useful if you plan to present it to potential investors or partners who are not in the same industry as us. It allows you to define trends that are specific to your game / studio, for example, a specific game category such as Survival RPGs .

Global Video Game Market

The global video game market value was estimated at xxx USD for the year yyyy. It is also estimated that the market will reach zzz gamers in yyyy and a market value of xxx USD.

Industry Trends

As the owner/founder of a video game studio, it’s important to keep a pulse on the industry trends that may impact your business. In the “Industry Trends” section of your business plan, you should aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the video game industry, including market size, key players, and any significant trends or shifts that are likely to affect your game(s) and target customers.

Make sure to provide data and research to support your claims, such as industry reports or data from trusted sources. This will demonstrate to potential investors and stakeholders that you have a deep understanding of the industry and that you have taken the time to thoughtfully consider the competitive landscape.

I recommend reading this article I wrote about tools that can help searching video game market data for market size and trends.

RPG & Survival RPG

Survival games encourage the exploration of an open world and keep the survival parts of these games a central aspect of the player’s experience, while in RPG, the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world .

Based on market research made from X games available on Steam, Y are tagged both as a RPG and a survival game. 

(Include all your sources)

Competition analysis

It’s important to understand the market environment you’ll be operating in, which includes not only supply and demand but also the competition. That’s why in your business plan, it’s crucial to analyze your direct competitors – studios that have already released or are planning to release a game similar to yours. This will give you a better understanding of the products and development studios in your market.

RPG + Survival Games

Among the best rated games having both RPG and Survival tags, we can find:

  •     Yuppie Psycho
  •     Darkwood
  •     Don’t Starve
  •     World of Horror
  •     Terraria
  •     FTL: Faster Than Light
  •     Starbound
  •     The Riftbreaker: Prologue
  •     Risk of Rain
  •     The Binding of Isaac
  •     Fallout Series
  •     STALKER: Call of Pripyat
  •     Dig or Die
  •     Foraging
  •     Craft In Abyss

Development Studios

The company anticipates moderate competition from development studios of all sizes specializing in Survival RPG game development.

The table below present notable studios that have released at least one game of this genre.

This is where we get into the nitty-gritty details of your plan. I believe that all of the following sections are critical to your success, as they will outline exactly how you plan to achieve your goals. These sections will likely be the focus of discussions and questions with your readers.

Development Schedule and Budget

In this section, you will want to detail the projects you are currently working on or plan to work on soon. Start with a high-level overview and then break down each project into smaller, more manageable parts, providing time estimates for each step.

Milestones (Tied to the Development Schedule)

This section is similar to the previous one, but focuses on milestones that are not directly related to the development process.

  • Create a detailed plan for communication, presence and visibility on the company’s social networks, but also through influencers.
  • Create a detailed budget explaining the allocation of funds for each of the projects and subprojects required for the development of the game.
  • Setup accounting ledgers
  • Plan the necessary hiring and projects (if required)
  • Create a detailed budget
  • Month 1: Start of development
  • Game Development / Project / Hiring Milestones
  • Half of year 2: game launch
  • Net sales of 270K$ during year 2 
  • First 1,000 positive reviews during year 3
  • Net sales of $ 2.6M$ during year 3

Technology, Software and Tools

This part allows you to list the software, technologies and tools that you use.

Location & Facilities

Indicate your offices and premises if applicable and if you think this would be relevant for the reader. For example, to explain a future business expansion, you can indicate the number of square feet as well as the price of the rent.

We plan to move into a room of approximately xxx square meters very soon, which will cost YYY $ per month. This new space will allow us to carry out the expansion we desire, to hire staff and for everyone to work and meet physically.

Distribution and Sales Plan

As the owner of a video game studio, it’s crucial to have a clear plan for distributing and selling your games. Whether you choose to sell your games exclusively through online distribution platforms like Steam or through physical merchandise, it’s important to outline the details in this section.

If your sales model is entirely digital, simply state that fact in this section. But if you also plan to sell physical products, such as collectibles, you can use this section to explain your approach.

Regardless of your distribution and sales channels, be sure to include the selling price of your game and any other products you offer in this section of your business plan.

Empy will be on sale exclusively through the Steam platform at a price of 19.99 US.

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Marketing Plan

marketing plan is a pillar for the success of your business, and in some cases, it may be wise to start with this section before moving on to the rest of your business plan.

The marketing plan section should answer the question, “How do I market my game?” by covering traditional marketing tactics and personalizing them to the video game industry. This section will summarize your marketing objectives, which will be detailed further below.

It’s worth noting that marketing is often the reason why many game developers fail to reach their goals. To ensure that your marketing plan is as comprehensive as possible, you may consider reading our guide “ Indie Video Game Marketing Plan: Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace ” in parallel with working on this section of your business plan.

Marketing Objectives

We summarize here the objectives of the marketing plan which will be detailed below.

Emperor’s Studio ‘marketing objectives are to:

  • Solidify brand identity as a notable studio in the specific genre of Survival-RPG
  • Secure sales of the games and products
  • Highlight the company’s commitment to continuous product improvements that meet the specific needs of its community and customers
  • Increase and maintain the number of players within the community of Emperor’s Studio
  • Start and increase the fan email list

Video Game Marketing Campaign Strategy

To effectively reach as many players as possible and achieve a successful return on investment, your marketing strategy should take into account multiple aspects.

A strong website will showcase your latest news, provide text content and articles that help you stand out in search engines for your games and products, and serve as a hub for press releases. By doing so, bloggers, journalists, and media outlets will have access to all the information they need to spread the word about your games.

To break down your marketing strategy into manageable parts, consider dividing it into three categories: pre-launch, launch day, and post-launch.

video game center business plan

Pre-release marketing tactics

Explain the marketing efforts you plan to make before the game launches. Ideas include:

Steam store page, tags and notification. 

  • Developer announcements. 
  • Steam Store Widget. 
  • Localization (Languages ​​and translation). 
  • ‘Coming soon’ Steam Page. 

Connect with Steam Curators

Valve published a 30 minute video about Building Your Store Page and Publishing Your Application.

This explain how to setup your store and game pages. Their graphical assets template can be found here .

For each studio’s game that will be released on Steam, including Empy, a page for the game will be created before the game is released. It will contain all the information that identifies the game, three screenshots and its characteristics so that it can be discovered by the gaming community, including thematic, gameplay, art style, and sub-genres. The potential customers can add it to their Wishlist and steam will notify them when it will be released and available to purchase. The potential customer will also be notified if the game is discounted and she / he has not purchased it yet at that moment.

Developer announcements

Announcements will be made from the website, but also through the Steam system, to share the progress that is gradually leading to the big day of the launch. It’s a way to create and maintain the “hype” before its release, and to be able to interact with the community that is interested in it.

Steam Store Widget

Steam provides a way for developers to integrate a widget into their website that displays a short description of the game and links to the Steam purchase page. When the latter has not yet been released, we can then see the “Add to Wishlist” options and this becomes a way of quickly creating a link when a potential player goes to the website with her / his Steam Wishlist, thus strengthening his commitment to the purchase.

Language and translation (localization)

All dialogues will be in json for easy translation. Thus, the game benefits from increased visibility towards players speaking one of the languages ​​into which the game will be translated. Thus, by considering all non-English speaking players who represent 58% of Steam users , Emperor’s Studio is strengthening its place in the market and securing market share that is impossible otherwise.

‘Coming soon’ Steam Page

A “Coming Soon” page will be created so that the game can appear in the steam search and that players can add the product to their Wishlist. Then they will be notified on the launch day.

Emperor’s Studio will contact Steam curators from the platform’s already integrated tools that allow 100 curators to be offered keys for their members to review the game. Therefore, the company will carefully choose the best 100 curators who have the best profile and audience aligned with Empy.

Release Day Marketing

Explain the marketing efforts you plan to deploy the day the game’s launch.

When the studio will launch its games, the official Emperor’s Studio Twitch channel will be live and broadcast a playthrough. In order to accentuate this hype, the company will sponsor influencers to play live on their own Twitch channel as well.

After Launch Marketing

Explain the marketing efforts you plan to deploy after launching the game. Here are some ideas:

Steam Organic Visibility

  • Influencers campaigns (read our Ultimate Indie Game Guide to Influencers)
  • Social media & Advertising
  • Game festivals (PAX)

Emperor’s Studio is aware that the launch of the game is not the finish line, but rather the start line. All the work and planning done previously will allow better visibility and launch of the game and will also facilitate the progress of the next marketing efforts below.

Steam wrote in its developer documentation that when a game is successful, it could be shared on the platform’s main page. We therefore speak of the principle of “organic visibility”. Concretely, the sections on Steam are as follows:

  • News and trends
  • Top Sellers
  • Promotions (when activated)
  • Friends news feeds when the purchase of the game is made, screenshots are shared and achievements earned
  • The discovery queue

In addition, for each major update, if there is any, the studio will create and share its patch note with the Steam community in order to benefit from increased visibility of the platform, which Steam sometimes calls “Update Visibility Rounds”.

Beyond all this, a “standard” visibility is offered through the Steam catalog based on the tags and style of each studio game.

Connect with Indie Games Influencers (on Youtube, Twitch, Facebook Gaming…)

The number of unique channels streaming on Twitch reached 10.6 million in 2020 (Q3) while 913,000 unique channels streamed to YouTube Gaming the same year  [1] , reaching 100 billion hours of video game content watched on the platform.  [2] Therefore, among the highest marketing priorities of the studio are the promotional campaigns that will be carried out by some of these influencers for the studio, in the form of contracts and sponsorships. Emperor’s Studio will carefully select the channels that are most likely to contain an audience interested in the company’s games in order to obtain the best return on investment.

A comprehensive tactical plan could be developed to effectively execute this marketing aspect. This will include among other things the communication strategy with influencers (what will be presented and “how”), an exhaustive list of interesting influencers with information on their channel (to get in touch in a personalized way) and the follow-up method.

Social Media & Advertising

Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Youtube and Discord, although they all have a slightly different function, are also a pillar of the marketing strategy at Emperor’s Studio. These social networks will serve to inform fans, interact with them through various means, promote products’ launch and consistently show presence to them over a long period of time, unlike live streaming with influencers whose goal will not be to give a long-term and multifaceted experience around the studio’s universe. Some social networks like Twitter, but also Facebook, can be used to communicate relevant information for the press and journalists in order to receive press coverage.

Again, a comprehensive tactical plan could be developed to effectively execute this particular marketing aspect. Marketing managers at Emperor’s Studio will use it to understand communication strategy, quantify objectives, perform analysis and control of various KPIs, and plan the release schedule.

Game Industry Events

Participating in industry events such as GDC, PAX and MomoCon Convention and many other is part of Emperor’s Studio ‘marketing strategy. This investment should help acquiring contacts, enhancing the brand reputation and increasing awareness among our audience (the gaming community).

A mailing list is one of the most intimate and solid ways to connect with fans in a studio. It also helps to get to know them better. With a good communication strategy in place, the studio will be able to use this powerful marketing tool in the long term. If you choose to adopt this strategy, indicate and explain it.

Intellectual Property

This section is often overlooked by business plan writers, but is sought after by readers, especially in a software development context. Future partners or investors want to know if you own the IP, and if so, what does it include in more detail.

Emperor’s Studio’s games are designed to ensure the protection of its revenue-generation potential and long-term sustainability of the business. The Company has developed an IP committee mandated to establish policy and guidelines surrounding IP application and access to confidential information. The IP strategy surrounds the software algorithm, networking and database design, game play and game design elements. Therefore, the storyline, characters, arts, music, and packaging design are copyrighted.

Key metrics (KPI)

In summary, Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are indicators that allow you to compare your studio’s results against set objectives or industry standards. KPIs can be marketing or operational in nature in order to measure performance, but they can also be associated with company finances.

Each KPI can be further developed in the plans concerning them and by the person responsible according to the strategies and objectives evolving over time, but while keeping a modest number of KPIs so that they remain effective, meaningful and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

In the case of Emperor’s Studio and its icming launch, the following KPIs would be the most important:

  • Steam Review score and number
  • Steam community and player engagement
  • Steam Wishlist, paid download
  • Influencers reviews and views
  • Google Analytic (website and Alexa)
  • Facebook likes, impressions and engagement
  • YouTube views, engagement and subscription
  • Backlinks from press coverage

Partnership with a publisher

Explain the business relationship you have with your publisher. If you don’t have one and / or are currently looking for one, it’s a good idea to indicate it here. The article Publishing Deal for Indie Video Game: how to research, find, negotiate and secure your partnership with a publisher could be useful.

Emperor’s Studio is currently working to identify video game publishers having a “fit” with the studio, its culture and its vision in order to pitch its future development projects and gather and analyze the best offers.

The company also considers the possibility of doing business with independent indie financing funds (sometimes called “syndicate”) for the advantages that this could provide in the longer term.

Financial Plan

Key assumptions.

The key assumptions summarize what must happen in order for the business plan to be carried out correctly. They can be taken from historical company data, industry benchmarks or smart guessing . These assumptions can be revised and evolve over time, just like the financial plan.

The following assumptions were made in order to build the financial planning:

  • An amount of 250,000 $ will be raised from a publisher or investors to develop and market Empy.
  • The number of copies sold by the end of Year 3 will be 73,940.
  • The sales distribution of these 73,940 sales has been based on the Product Life Cycle theory.
  • The sale price will be $ 20 US.
  • A Steam Commission of 30% of the sales is planned for each sale.
  • The proportion of games sold at a discount compared to the total number of copies sold is planned at 25%.
  • The average discount of the sale is forecasted at 30%
  • The portion of the revenue going to publisher is estimated at the full amount of the loan plus 25% of the sales during years 2 and 3.
  • The debt owed to the publisher will be totally cleared at the end of year 3. The total amount is planned at 250,000 $ (initial amount) plus 25% of the sales during year 2 and 3, for a total of 469,187 $
  • Once the game launched, an additional amount of 50,000 $ will be spend on marketing, 50% during the first 6 months and 50% for the following 12 months, mainly funded from the net profit of the sales.
  • At year 3, the amount of cash, before the corporate taxes and dividends, and after having paid the publisher loan, should be of $ 187,723.

Use of Funds

Explain how the funds will be used and the resulting financial plans. May be accompanied by financial models, data and tables.

As indicated in the financial forecasts below, 100% of the amount will be allocated to the development of the game Empy and its marketing. The studio will raise $ 250,000 US.

Sources of Funds

Explain where the funds come from if they have already been raised.

Currently, Emperor’s Studio is actively seeking the best editor or investor for its project.

Financial Forecasts

Financial forecasts provide an understanding of how a company’s finances will take shape in the future. It is important to remain realistic and consistent in order to be convincing with seasoned investors.

Financial forecasts are divided into three broad categories:

  • Income Statement: shows income versus expenses for a given period of time (usually 12 months).
  • Cash Flow Projection: It will show how the money will be used and prove that a positive cashflow will be generated in order to be able to repay debts.
  • Balance Sheet: This section is often compared to a “snapshot” of the business at a future date showing the net worth of the business with assets, liabilities and equity.

If you need a template, simply use the contact form above to request one from me.

The appendix consists of attaching any document that could be useful and complement the business plan. Sometimes it can be a pitch deck to present the game that is coming soon in a much more visual way. 

The details of the financial plan are shared as an appendix in Excel format. 

Additional Resources

  • Send me a message (below) so we can discuss your business plan, publisher research or any other project!
  • My lengthy guide on (Indie) Game Marketing Plan – Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace should help you understand, elaborate and write your marketing plan in much more details
  • The Ultimate Indie Game Guide to Influencers could be helpful if you plan to launch an influencer campaign for your game
  • If you think a crowfunding would be the right way to fund your development, I covered the topic in our Kickstarter for Indie Games: A Comprehensive How-to Guide with Examples, Tips and Templates
  • Liveplan : a platform that streamlines the drafting process of writing a business plan and automates many steps in the creation of financial forecasts.
  •  Valve’s article about Steam’s Features And Tools, Marketing

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to let me know in the form below.

video game center business plan

Mastering the Art of a Successful Video Game Pitch: A Guide for Indie Game Developers

video game center business plan

Creating a Winning Business Model and Competitive Analysis for Your Indie Game

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Lean Startup Principles for Indie Game Development: Planning, Prototyping and Launching Your Game

video game center business plan

Publishing Deal for Indie Video Game: how to research, find, negotiate and secure your partnership with a publisher

video game center business plan

How to Successfully Raise Funds for Your Video Game Studio

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How to Put The Right Price on a Video Game – A Guide for Indie Studio

Feel free to reach out to me via Discord  at   Galabyca#5789  (this is case sensitive). You can  share me your project and we’ll discuss how I can help you. Additionally, if you have any comments or questions about the last article, don’t hesitate to send them my way through Discord as well .

Start a Game Center Business

Turning Pixelated Dreams Into Profitable Reality

a city street at night with a lot of tall buildings

GAME CENTER BUSINESS

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How to Start a Video Game Company

Video game businesses design and program video games played on consoles, PCs, cell phones, and virtual reality devices. These games are purchased online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Video games often prove quite powerful in terms of providing joy, boosting confidence, improving hand-eye coordination, and connecting people (particularly with the advent of online gaming).

Learn how to start your own Video Game Company and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .

Video Game Company Image

Start a video game company by following these 10 steps:

  • Plan your Video Game Company
  • Form your Video Game Company into a Legal Entity
  • Register your Video Game Company for Taxes
  • Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  • Set up Accounting for your Video Game Company
  • Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Video Game Company
  • Get Video Game Company Insurance
  • Define your Video Game Company Brand
  • Create your Video Game Company Website
  • Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your video game company. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What will you name your business?

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?

How much can you charge customers?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Video Game Company Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability .

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your video game company?

Business name generator, what are the costs involved in opening a video game company.

The business requires numerous computers, computer monitors, specialized computer software, printers, video game consoles, employees, insurance, and a facility to create the games. Plan on investing tens of thousands of dollars in the initial equipment and facility. However, if you plan on launching a video game business from your home, apartment or other space without the assistance of a staff, it is possible to create a game with a high-powered computer and specialized software. Though this approach will save plenty of money, it will prove to be a Herculean effort unless you have extensive experience making video games.

What are the ongoing expenses for a video game company?

Hardware and software must be replaced and updated. Budget at least $200 to 500 per month for hardware replacements and software upgrades. Plan on spending several hundred dollars per month on utilities, office sundries, and high-speed internet. Employees who work on various parts of the game will command a salary between $40,000 and $100,000 or more per year. A manager, marketing expert and accountant will command a yearly salary of $30,000 to $60,000. A receptionist and beta testers will earn $8 to $15 per hour.

Who is the target market?

The target market is avid gamers. Everyone from kids to middle-aged adults play video games. Millennials are especially passionate about video games. It makes sense to target these young adults as they have enough discretionary income to purchase video games on a regular basis.

How does a video game company make money?

This business makes money by creating fun and intriguing video games for video game consoles, PCs and arcades. These games are sold to the masses. There is also the possibility of generating money through merchandising, like creating statuettes, T-shirts, etc.

Video games typically cost between $19.99 and $69.99. In general, high-quality video games are sold for $49.99 to $59.99 when brand new.

How much profit can a video game company make?

This type of business has the potential to make hundreds of millions of dollars. Video games have never been more popular. The rise of online gaming has made video games that much more appealing to the masses. The profit potential is unlimited.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Give gamers the option of purchasing in-game upgrades. As an example, Activision Blizzard has made millions through in-game upgrades without investing a considerable amount of money in developing additional games or extensive programming for existing games. It is also possible to establish agreements with console providers to secure a portion of the proceeds stemming from fees paid for online play.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your video game company is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website . If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history , which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a video game company. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits .

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses .

Trademark & Copyright Protection

If you are developing a unique product, concept, brand, or design, it is prudent to protect your rights by registering for the appropriate trademarks and copyrights.

Learn more about trademark and copyright protection

The nature of legal requirements in distance education is ever changing, especially in regards to copyright laws. Here is a frequently updated resource, which can help keep you aware of the legal requirements .

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Video Game Company needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Video Game Company.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a video game company

Connect to prospective game buyers through the channels they are most frequently exposed to. Most gamers are active on the web including social media, YouTube, and game streaming sites. Advertise on these sites and services. Some video game companies have also found success advertising with TV commercials and magazine ads. The promotional method your company settles on will ultimately hinge on the type of game you are attempting to sell. Perform market research to determine the appropriate mediums to best connect with video game players who are most likely to be interested in the particular video game(s) your company creates.

How to keep customers coming back

The best way to attract and retain customers is to create a high-quality video game that proves enjoyable for a long period of time. Plenty of video game players develop an allegiance to specific game-making companies based on their enjoyment of the company's initial games. Strive to develop a deep and meaningful connection with gamers by providing them with enjoyable content and they will become loyal customers. Also, consider offering a free download of one of your game's stages or levels to whet consumers' appetites.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .

Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com

Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

TRUiC's Startup Podcast

Welcome to the Startup Savant podcast , where we interview real startup founders at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from launch to scale.

Is this Business Right For You?

If you are looking for a way to entertain and provide people with an opportunity to enjoy a shared experience, starting a video game business will prove quite rewarding. Video games bring people together in-person for fun and exciting gaming experiences. They also connect people by way of online gaming experiences. It will certainly help to have a background in electrical engineering, design and/or computer science if you decide to start a video game business.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a video game company?

Each group of specialists works on its unique portion of the game(s). Designers focus on generating aesthetically pleasing game graphics. Programmers write the game's code. Writers create the game's storylines. Testers play the game in-depth to ensure it doesn't have bugs (flaws). The video game company owner often serves as the overarching manager, delegating work and making executive decisions. Meetings are quite common to ensure each group of specialists is on the same page as the game progresses.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful video game company?

Making video games is a complicated endeavor. It is not enough to simply enjoy video games. The best video game company entrepreneurs have a genuine interest in computer programming, electrical engineering, design, and script writing. Ideally, the business owner will have experience in each of these realms. It will also help to have a business background in which the entrepreneur has established and nurtured relationships with other professionals. The relationships you form in this business will go a long way in determining your company's success.

What is the growth potential for a video game company?

The video game industry is growing at quite the rapid pace. Video games are incredibly popular due to recent improvements in graphics, the rise of online gaming, and the arrival of virtual reality technology. Build a successful game and your company will have the potential to grow quite rapidly. The key is to make a name for your company with one hit game that builds a fan base and generates momentum toward additional titles.

TRUiC's YouTube Channel

For fun informative videos about starting a business visit the TRUiC YouTube Channel or subscribe to view later.

Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor.

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a video game company?

Network with video game industry experts before launching your business. Find out the exact software and hardware necessary to make state-of-the-art video games. Ideally, you will not attempt to wear numerous "hats". Hire true professionals who have an educational and professional background in various aspects of video game creation, from designing game graphics to programming, physics, script writing and beyond.

Do not assume your first game will be a hit. Oftentimes, it takes years to develop a high-quality video game that reaches a mainstream tipping point. Stick with the business, give your team time to perfect their craft and you will eventually succeed in this competitive business. Above all, the games your company creates should be highly unique. If they are similar to other offerings, generating sales will likely prove difficult.

How and when to build a team

A team is essential to your video game company's success. Even if you are a “jack of all trades” in the context of game-making, creating a game will prove much easier if you add specialists. Hire game designers, programmers and writers to get the company off the ground. You can add beta testers, a manager, an accountant, a marketing expert, a receptionist and other professionals as time progresses.

Useful Links

Industry opportunities.

  • International Game Developers Association
  • Entertainment Software Association
  • Higher Education Video Game Alliance

Real World Examples

  • Avalanche Studios

Further Reading

  • Five Realistic Steps To Starting A Game Development Company
  • Advice From a Successful Video Game Company Owners
  • Profile on a Successful Company
  • Guide to Entering the Industry

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

Financial Model, Business Plan and Dashboard Templates - FinModelsLab

How To Create a VR Game Center Business Plan: Checklist

By alex ryzhkov, resources on virtual reality game center.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan
  • SWOT Analysis

Welcome to our blog post on how to write a business plan for a virtual reality game center! The virtual reality (VR) industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with a projected market value of $44.7 billion by 2027. As more and more people seek immersive gaming experiences, now is the perfect time to enter this exciting industry. In this article, we will guide you through nine essential steps to help you create a comprehensive business plan for your VR game center. Let's dive in!

1. Conduct market research: Start by understanding the current state of the VR gaming market. Analyze consumer trends, market size, and growth potential to gain insights into the demand for your services.

2. Identify target market: Determine who your ideal customers are and tailor your offerings to their preferences. Consider demographics, interests, and purchasing power to create a targeted marketing strategy.

3. Analyze competition: Research existing VR game centers in your area and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Differentiate your business by offering unique experiences or catering to specific niches.

4. Determine location and facilities: Choose a strategic location with sufficient space to accommodate VR gaming setups. Ensure that you have the necessary equipment, such as VR headsets, gaming PCs, and comfortable gaming areas.

5. Calculate startup costs and financial projections: Create a detailed budget for your VR game center, accounting for equipment, licensing fees, marketing expenses, and staffing costs. Project your revenue based on market demand and pricing models.

6. Develop a unique selling proposition: Differentiate your VR game center by offering unique features or services. This could include exclusive game titles, themed gaming rooms, or partnerships with popular gaming brands.

7. Create a marketing and advertising strategy: Develop a comprehensive marketing plan to target your identified customer base. Utilize social media, online advertising, and local partnerships to generate awareness of your VR game center.

8. Identify key partnerships and suppliers: Establish relationships with suppliers of VR equipment and games to ensure a steady supply of the latest gaming experiences. Explore partnerships with local businesses for joint marketing initiatives.

9. Outline operational and staffing requirements: Determine the operational processes and procedures required to run your VR game center smoothly. Develop a staffing plan that includes hiring experienced VR technicians and customer service representatives.

By following these nine steps, you will be well on your way to creating a compelling business plan for your virtual reality game center. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts, where we will delve deeper into each step to provide you with actionable insights and tips. Get ready to embark on an exciting journey in the world of immersive gaming!

Conduct Market Research

Market research is a crucial step in the process of developing a business plan for a virtual reality game center. It involves gathering and analyzing information about the target market, industry trends, and potential customers to make informed decisions and develop effective strategies. Here are some important factors to consider when conducting market research:

  • Identify the target market: Determine the demographics and characteristics of the potential customers for your virtual reality game center. Are they predominantly young adults, families, or a specific niche audience? Understanding your target market will help you tailor your offerings to meet their needs and preferences.
  • Analyze the demand for virtual reality gaming: Assess the popularity and growth potential of virtual reality gaming in your local region or target market. Look for data on market size, industry trends, and customer preferences to gauge the demand for immersive gaming experiences.
  • Evaluate the competition: Identify existing virtual reality game centers or gaming venues in your area and analyze their offerings, pricing strategies, and customer experiences. Understanding the competitive landscape will help you position your business and identify unique selling points to stand out from the competition.
  • Study customer preferences: Conduct surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather feedback from potential customers about their gaming preferences, interests, and expectations. This will help you identify popular game genres, desired features, and factors that can enhance the overall customer experience.
  • Assess market potential and growth opportunities: Consider factors such as population density, disposable income, and cultural preferences to determine the market potential for your virtual reality game center. Additionally, look for untapped opportunities or emerging trends that can contribute to the growth and success of your business.

Tips for conducting market research:

  • Utilize online resources: Explore industry reports, gaming forums, and social media platforms to gather insights and stay updated on the latest trends in virtual reality gaming.
  • Attend gaming conventions and events: Participate in industry-specific gatherings to connect with experts, gain knowledge, and network with potential customers and partners.
  • Utilize online surveys and questionnaires: Design online surveys or questionnaires to collect quantitative and qualitative data from a wider audience. Platforms like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms can assist in creating and analyzing surveys.

Identify Target Market

Identifying and understanding your target market is essential for the success of your virtual reality game center. By defining your target market, you can tailor your offerings and marketing strategies to effectively reach and engage your potential customers. Here are some key steps to help you identify your target market:

  • Research demographics: Begin by researching the demographics of your local area to gain insights into the age groups, gender distribution, and income levels that are most likely to be interested in virtual reality gaming. This information will help you narrow down your target market.
  • Consider interests and gaming preferences: Understand the interests, preferences, and gaming habits of your potential customers. Determine whether there is a specific age group or gaming niche that your center can cater to, such as casual gamers, hardcore gamers, or families looking for a fun entertainment option.
  • Assess market demand: Evaluate the demand for virtual reality gaming in your region. Look for indicators such as the popularity of existing gaming centers, the presence of virtual reality arcades, and the level of interest shown in VR gaming events or exhibitions. This will help you gauge the market potential for your business.
  • Identify target customer personas: Create detailed profiles of your ideal customers, known as customer personas. These personas should include information such as age, interests, income, gaming preferences, and motivations for using virtual reality gaming. This exercise will help you visualize and understand your target market better.
  • Consider conducting surveys or focus groups to gather direct feedback and insights from potential customers.
  • Stay updated with industry trends and advancements in virtual reality gaming to anticipate changing interests and preferences of your target market.
  • Collaborate with local gaming communities, online forums, and social media groups to understand the needs and wants of your target market.

By identifying your target market, you can tailor your services, marketing efforts, and overall business strategy to effectively attract and retain customers. This focused approach will not only help you maximize your chances of success but also allow you to deliver an exceptional virtual reality gaming experience that resonates with your target audience.

Analyze Competition

When starting a virtual reality game center, it is crucial to analyze the competition in your local market. Understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies of your competitors will help you position your center effectively and differentiate yourself from others in the industry.

Identify Competitors: Begin by identifying the existing virtual reality game centers in your area. Look for centers that offer similar immersive gaming experiences and target a similar customer demographic. Take note of their locations, facilities, pricing, and services.

Evaluate Competitive Advantages: Assess the unique features and advantages that your competitors offer. This could include exclusive partnerships with game developers, high-quality gaming equipment, or a strong online presence. Identify areas where your center can offer something different and appealing to customers.

  • Visit competitor game centers to experience their offerings firsthand and observe their customer service standards.
  • Engage with online communities and forums to learn about the reputation and customer feedback of your competitors.
  • Consider conducting surveys or focus groups to gain insights into what customers appreciate or find lacking in existing game centers.

Study Pricing Strategies: Analyze the pricing structures of your competitors. Determine whether they charge hourly rates, offer package deals, or have membership options. Assess the value they provide for the price and consider how your pricing strategy can be competitive while ensuring profitability.

Identify Target Market Overlaps: Look for potential overlaps in your target market with your competitors. Identify any gaps or underserved segments that you can cater to. This could include specific age groups, gaming preferences, or additional services that others are not providing.

Monitor Marketing and Advertising Strategies: Observe the marketing and advertising tactics used by your competitors. Study their online presence, social media engagement, and promotional campaigns. Identify effective strategies that you can adopt for your virtual reality game center while also brainstorming unique approaches to stand out.

By thoroughly analyzing the competition, you can gain valuable insights that will inform the development of your virtual reality game center's business plan. This knowledge will help you forge a competitive edge and position your center as a top choice for immersive gaming experiences in your local market.

Determine Location And Facilities

When it comes to establishing a virtual reality game center, choosing the right location and setting up appropriate facilities are crucial to the success of your business. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Accessibility: Look for a location that is easily accessible to your target market, whether it's a bustling mall, a popular entertainment district, or a high-traffic area. The proximity to public transportation and parking facilities should also be taken into account.
  • Space Requirements: VR gaming requires ample space for players to move around freely without any obstructions. Calculate the square footage needed for gaming areas, lounges, and other amenities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for your customers.
  • Infrastructure: Ensure that the location has the necessary infrastructure to support your virtual reality game center. This includes reliable and high-speed internet connectivity, electrical outlets, and proper ventilation to prevent overheating of gaming equipment.
  • Gaming Stations: Equip your center with top-of-the-line gaming PCs and VR headsets to offer the best possible experience to your customers. Consider the number of gaming stations you'll need based on your target market size and peak hours of operation.
  • Lounge Area: A comfortable and inviting lounge area is essential for customers to relax, socialize, and recharge between gaming sessions. Provide comfortable seating, refreshments, and entertainment options to enhance the overall experience.
  • Accessibility for Differently-Abled Individuals: Consider making your center accessible for differently-abled individuals by providing ramps, wider doorways, and wheelchair-accessible gaming stations.

Tip 1: Location is Key

  • Choose a location that is visible and attracts foot traffic.
  • Consider leasing a space in a popular entertainment or shopping complex.

Tip 2: Prioritize Comfort

  • Invest in comfortable seating in the lounge area to encourage longer stays.
  • Ensure proper lighting and an overall pleasant atmosphere.

By carefully considering the location and facilities of your virtual reality game center, you can create an immersive and enjoyable gaming environment that will attract customers and keep them coming back for more.

Calculate Startup Costs And Financial Projections

One of the crucial steps in setting up a virtual reality game center is calculating the startup costs and creating financial projections. A detailed and accurate financial plan will help you understand the initial investment required and forecast the profitability of your business.

To calculate the startup costs, you need to consider various factors such as the cost of acquiring VR equipment, gaming PCs, and other necessary hardware and software. Additionally, include expenses related to setting up the gaming area, purchasing furniture and furnishings, and obtaining necessary licenses and permits. It is essential to conduct thorough research and obtain quotes from reliable suppliers to ensure your budget is comprehensive.

Creating financial projections involves estimating the revenue your virtual reality game center will generate and the expenses it will incur. Start by determining the average hourly rate you will charge customers and estimate the number of customers you expect to serve each day, week, or month. This will give you an idea of the revenue potential of your business.

Next, consider the operating expenses you will incur, including rent, utilities, staff salaries, and marketing costs. It is essential to factor in all recurring expenses to have a clear understanding of your financial commitments.

  • Tip 1: Consider potential fluctuation in customer demand and revenue during different seasons. Plan accordingly to manage cash flow effectively.
  • Tip 2: Allocate a budget for ongoing maintenance and upgrades of VR equipment to ensure a seamless gaming experience for your customers.
  • Tip 3: Research and track industry trends and developments to adjust your financial projections and stay ahead in the competitive market.

By conducting comprehensive research, accurately estimating costs, and creating realistic financial projections, you will be well-prepared to secure funding, make informed business decisions, and steer your virtual reality game center towards success.

Develop A Unique Selling Proposition

A unique selling proposition (USP) is a crucial element in differentiating your virtual reality game center from the competition and attracting your target market. It is a concise statement that highlights the unique benefits and value proposition of your business. Here are some key steps to develop an effective USP for your virtual reality game center:

  • Narrow down your target market: Understand the demographics and preferences of your target audience. This will help you tailor your USP to their specific needs and desires.
  • Analyze the competition: Study your competitors and identify what sets your virtual reality game center apart from them. Consider the quality of the VR equipment, the range of games and simulations offered, and the overall experience provided.
  • Identify your unique features: Determine the distinctive features that make your game center stand out. Is it the cutting-edge technology, the diverse range of game genres, the spacious gaming areas, or the comfortable lounge area for socializing?
  • Highlight customer benefits: Focus on the benefits that your customers will experience by choosing your virtual reality game center. Emphasize the immersive and lifelike gaming experience, the ability to compete with friends or participate in virtual tournaments, and the vibrant community atmosphere.

Tips for Developing a Compelling USP:

  • Keep it concise: Your USP should be short and memorable, capturing the essence of what sets your business apart in a few words.
  • Focus on the customer: Address the unique needs and desires of your target market, highlighting how your virtual reality game center fulfills those desires and provides unmatched value.
  • Emphasize the experiential aspect: VR gaming offers a one-of-a-kind experience, so make sure to highlight the immersive and lifelike elements that your center provides.
  • Create a sense of community: Showcase how your game center fosters a vibrant community where VR enthusiasts can socialize, connect, and share their passion for gaming.
  • Be authentic: Your USP should reflect the true essence of your business and align with your values, ensuring credibility and trust from your potential customers.

Create A Marketing And Advertising Strategy

Once you have determined your target market and have a clear understanding of the competitive landscape, it is essential to develop a comprehensive marketing and advertising strategy. This strategy will not only help you attract customers to your virtual reality game center but also establish your brand presence and position your business as the go-to destination for immersive gaming experiences.

1. Define Your Brand Identity: Start by defining your brand identity, including your business's mission, values, and unique selling proposition. This will guide your marketing efforts and create a cohesive and consistent message across all marketing channels.

2. Understand Your Target Audience: Dive deeper into understanding your target audience's preferences, behavior, and interests. This insight will ensure that your marketing messages resonate with your audience and increase the chances of attracting and retaining customers.

  • Conduct surveys or interviews with existing customers or potential target audience to gather valuable feedback and insights.
  • Utilize social media analytics and tracking tools to understand your audience's demographics and online behavior.

3. Utilize a Multichannel Approach: Design your marketing strategy with a multichannel approach to maximize your reach and visibility. Consider using a combination of online and offline marketing channels such as social media platforms, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, influencers, print ads, and local community events.

4. Engage with Social Media: Leverage the power of social media to connect with your target audience and build brand awareness. Create engaging content, share updates about new games or promotions, run contests, and encourage user-generated content to foster a sense of community and excitement around your virtual reality game center.

  • Identify popular social media platforms among your target audience and prioritize your efforts accordingly.
  • Incorporate visually appealing graphics and videos in your social media posts to capture attention and generate interest.

5. Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with influential gamers or virtual reality enthusiasts who have a significant following on social media platforms. These influencers can showcase their experiences at your game center, create engaging content, and generate buzz among their followers, ultimately attracting new customers to your business.

6. Leverage Local Partnerships: Establish partnerships with local businesses, event organizers, or community organizations to promote your virtual reality game center. Cross-promotions, joint events, or sponsorships can help you tap into their existing customer base and expand your reach in the local market.

7. Monitor and Optimize: Continuously monitor the performance of your marketing and advertising efforts. Track key metrics, such as website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, and customer feedback. Based on this data, optimize your strategies and make necessary adjustments to ensure maximum effectiveness.

By developing a well-thought-out marketing and advertising strategy, you can effectively position your virtual reality game center and attract a wide range of customers, establishing your business as a leader in the immersive gaming industry.

Identify Key Partnerships And Suppliers

When establishing a virtual reality game center, it is crucial to identify key partnerships and suppliers that can contribute to the success and smooth operation of your business. These partnerships and suppliers can provide essential resources, expertise, and support to enhance your offerings and ensure customer satisfaction.

1. VR Equipment Suppliers: Look for established suppliers of virtual reality equipment who can provide high-quality headsets, gaming PCs, controllers, and other necessary hardware. Ensure that they offer reliable customer support and can meet your specific requirements regarding quantity and technical specifications.

2. Game Developers and Publishers: Forge partnerships with game developers and publishers who create and distribute immersive VR games. Collaborating with reputable developers can ensure a steady supply of engaging content for your customers. Negotiate licensing agreements to legally offer popular and sought-after VR game titles.

3. Snack and Beverage Suppliers: To create a comfortable and enjoyable environment for your customers, identify suppliers for snacks, beverages, and refreshments. Consider partnering with local vendors or distributors who can provide a diverse range of options to cater to varying tastes and preferences.

4. Furniture and Interior Design Services: Collaborate with furniture suppliers or interior design services to create a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing lounge area for your customers. Choose comfortable seating options, gaming stations, and decoration that aligns with the theme of your virtual reality game center.

  • Research and compare prices among different suppliers to secure the best deals.
  • Consider maintaining relationships with multiple suppliers to ensure a continuous supply of equipment and resources.
  • Attend industry trade shows and conferences to network with potential partners and stay updated on the latest advancements in virtual reality technology.
  • Seek recommendations or testimonials from other virtual reality game centers to find reliable suppliers and partners.

By identifying and establishing key partnerships and suppliers, you can strengthen the foundation of your virtual reality game center and enhance its offerings. Remember to collaborate with reliable and reputable entities who share your commitment to delivering exceptional and immersive gaming experiences to your customers.

Outline Operational And Staffing Requirements

Operating a virtual reality game center requires careful planning and organization to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for customers. Below are the key operational and staffing requirements to consider when setting up your center:

  • 1. Equipment and maintenance: Ensure you have a reliable supply of VR headsets, gaming PCs, and other necessary equipment. Regular maintenance and software updates are essential to keep the technology running smoothly.
  • 2. Gaming area setup: Create a spacious and comfortable gaming environment that allows for free movement and adequate ventilation. Arrange gaming stations with enough distance between them to ensure privacy for players.
  • 3. Game library and licenses: Curate a diverse and exciting collection of VR games and simulations. Acquire the necessary licenses to legally operate and offer these games to customers.
  • 4. Reservation and scheduling system: Implement a user-friendly online reservation system to allow customers to book gaming sessions in advance. This helps manage customer flow and prevents long waiting times.
  • 5. Safety protocols: Establish clear safety guidelines and protocols. Ensure all players understand these rules to avoid accidents or injuries during gaming sessions.
  • 6. Staff training: Train your staff on how to assist customers with setting up and using the VR equipment. They should also be knowledgeable about the various games and be able to recommend suitable options based on customer preferences.
  • 7. Customer service: Provide excellent customer service to enhance the overall experience. Be prompt in addressing any technical issues or concerns raised by customers, ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty.
  • 8. Cleaning and maintenance: Establish a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule to keep the gaming area and equipment in top condition.
  • 9. Hiring and staffing: Recruit skilled and enthusiastic staff members who have a passion for virtual reality gaming. Consider their technical expertise, customer service skills, and ability to handle high-pressure situations.

Tips for operational and staffing requirements:

  • Train your staff regularly on new games and updates to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the virtual reality gaming industry.
  • Consider offering special promotions or loyalty programs to encourage repeat visits and customer engagement.
  • Invest in a reliable internet connection to ensure smooth online multiplayer experiences.
  • Take customer feedback into account and continually improve your services based on their suggestions.

In conclusion, writing a business plan for a virtual reality game center involves conducting thorough market research, identifying the target market, analyzing the competition, determining the location and facilities, calculating startup costs and financial projections, developing a unique selling proposition, creating a marketing and advertising strategy, identifying key partnerships and suppliers, and outlining operational and staffing requirements.

By following this 9-step checklist, you can ensure that your virtual reality game center is well-planned and positioned for success. With a diverse range of immersive VR games, top-of-the-line equipment, and a comfortable lounge area, your center can become the go-to destination for gamers of all ages and skill levels in your local region.

Providing an accessible and thrilling escape into virtual worlds, your center will create a vibrant community of VR enthusiasts. By offering attractive hourly rates and bundled packages, you can make this cutting-edge technology accessible to a broader market.

Remember to continuously monitor market trends, adapt your offerings to evolving customer preferences, and consistently deliver exceptional experiences to ensure the long-term success of your virtual reality game center.

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business plan for game parlour

The gaming industry is burgeoning, and now more than ever, there’s a demand for offline spaces where gamers can gather, compete, and socialize. If you’re a video game enthusiast, starting a Game Center or Lounge can be a lucrative venture, turning your passion into profit. Here’s a detailed plan to help you set the stage for a successful Game Lounge.

Business Plan for Starting a Game Center/Lounge :

1. market research :.

Understand the local demand. Is there a sizable youth population? Do colleges exist nearby? The target audience will dictate your gaming selection and pricing.

2. Location :

Choose a location frequented by the youth – near educational institutions or popular hangout spots. Ensure it’s easily accessible and safe, especially during late hours.

3. Game Selection :

Start with 10 high-end gaming machines. Keep a mix of popular genres – action, strategy, sports, and racing. Regularly update the games based on the latest trends and customer preferences.

Popular Game Selection for UK and USA Game Lounges :

When it comes to game selection, staying updated with the latest trends and customer favorites is essential. Here’s a list of games that have been popular in the UK and USA, making them potential hits for your Game Lounge:

1. Console Games :

  • FIFA Series : A favorite among football/soccer fans. With annual updates, it remains a must-have for any game lounge.
  • Call of Duty Series : This first-person shooter game has a massive fan following. With multiple editions like “Call of Duty: Warzone” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops”, it offers various modes for players.
  • NBA 2K Series : Basketball enthusiasts flock to play this game. The realistic gameplay and graphics make it a favorite.
  • Madden NFL : An American Football video game series with a vast audience in the USA.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 : An action-adventure game set in the Wild West. Its intriguing storyline and multiplayer mode make it a hit.

2. PC Games :

  • League of Legends : A multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) that has tournaments held worldwide.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive : This first-person shooter game has a competitive scene and is a staple in most game lounges.
  • Fortnite : A battle royale game that has taken the world by storm with its fun graphics and gameplay.
  • Valorant : A team-based tactical shooter that’s gaining momentum.
  • Minecraft : This sandbox game allows players to build and explore virtual worlds.

3. Virtual Reality (VR) Games :

  • Beat Saber : A VR rhythm game where players slash beats of adrenaline-pumping music.
  • Half-Life: Alyx : This game offers an immersive first-person shooter experience in VR.
  • Superhot VR : A unique first-person shooter where time moves only when the player moves.

Remember, while these games are popular now, the gaming industry evolves rapidly. Keeping your game lounge updated with the latest releases and customer preferences will ensure a steady flow of gamers eager to experience the newest games on the market.

You can integrate this section after the initial “Game Selection” in the business plan to provide a comprehensive list of popular games to consider for the lounge.

4. Additional Entertainment :

Apart from video games, invest in a pool table, air hockey, or even a foosball table to diversify the entertainment quotient.

5. Comfort & Ambiance :

The interior design should resonate with a modern and vibrant theme. Ensure comfortable seating, perhaps gaming chairs or bean bags. The lighting should be adequate but not glaring.

6. Refreshments :

Offer a range of snacks and beverages. Consider partnering with local eateries for food deliveries. Remember, well-fed gamers stay longer!

7. Licenses & Permissions :

Ensure you have all necessary permissions, especially for copyrighted games. Also, consider noise regulations and licenses for food and beverages.

8. Safety & Security :

Ensure that the premises are safe with CCTV surveillance. The machines should also have anti-theft measures.

Marketing the Business :

  • Social Media Buzz : Use platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Share behind-the-scenes, updates, and host virtual tournaments.
  • Membership Deals : Offer discounts or packages for members to build a loyal customer base.
  • Collaborate with Streamers : Partner with local game streamers or influencers for shoutouts.
  • Host Tournaments : Regularly organize gaming tournaments with attractive prizes.
  • Local Advertisements : Use local newspapers, radio, and college notice boards for promotions.

Engaging the Customers :

  • Leaderboards : Showcase top players and their scores to invoke a competitive spirit.
  • Theme Nights : Organize events like ‘Retro Game Night’ or ‘FPS Fridays’.
  • Rewards System : Offer loyalty points or rewards for regular customers.
  • Feedback Loop : Encourage feedback and suggestions, and act upon them.
  • Regular Updates : Keep updating the game library, keeping in sync with the latest trends.

Managing Day-to-Day Operations :

  • Trained Staff : Hire staff who understand games and can assist or guide the gamers.
  • Maintenance Schedule : Regularly service the machines and keep them in top-notch condition.
  • Inventory Checks : Regularly update the snacks and beverages section, ensuring freshness.
  • Accounting : Maintain a daily log of earnings, expenses, and memberships. Consider using accounting software.
  • Customer Service : Address grievances promptly. Happy customers are repeat customers.

Conclusion :

Starting a Game Lounge requires passion, dedication, and a keen understanding of the gaming community’s preferences. With the right mix of games, ambiance, and customer engagement, your game center can become the go-to spot for game enthusiasts in your city. All the best on your venture into the gaming world!

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I would like to know more information on the subject “Starting A Game Center/Lounge – A Profitable Business Plan For Video Games Lover”

Hi Friend, I m planning a game cafe in hyd and i need advise is that workable business? I read lot of articles in web and its throwing me in confusion. planning console gaming with ps4 along with food lounge. budget 10L max. Could you plz help me on this.

Thankyou, Chandrasekhar

sure email me i would be interested to start a buissness with you 50 50

Hi Friend, I m planning a game cafe in bellary and i need advises regarding that workable business? I read lot of articles in web and its throwing me in confusion. planning console gaming with ps4.

Hi Chandrasekhar, I am currently working in Hyderabad and looking to open a gaming Cafe.. I just wanted to know whether have you already opened one? If so, could you please let me know how is the business and revenue turning up? As expected or low?

Another thing, if you haven’t set up a gaming cafe yet, then can you let me know the reasons which held you back from opening one?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Please suggest some games

I would like to know the statutory, Registration and GST related for a Gaming Lounge.

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Video Game Business Plan Sample

DEC.05, 2014

video game business plan

Introduction

Starting and running a video game company smoothly is not everyone’s cup of tea. Gaming is a multi-billion dollar business in the US alone. Video games seem to be the products made only for children. In reality, most of the video games are developed by considering the needs of adult gamers. According to the data provided by the Entertainment Software Association, around 81% people from 18 to 29 years of age play video games. Therefore, it is vital to prepare a well-written gaming business plan to lure investors .

Frequently asked questions of game company business plan

To draft a video game development business plan , you need to consider the following questions –

  • Do you have proper financial planning?
  • What business model you have to sell your game software, i.e. DVD, downloadable software, mobile gaming, distributor etc.?
  • Who are in your competition, like resellers, local game store, etc?
  • Do you have brick-and-mortar enterprise, online business, or both?
  • What are the production resources you have to meet market demand?

Executive Summary

You may have definitely heard the popular saying, “The first impression is the last impression.” Therefore, the executive summary of your  video games business plan  is the first impression towards your investors. It serves as an overview of your plan as a whole. Be sure to limit your executive summary to one page only and also explain your products, your target players, and why you want to sell your product.

Company Overview

It is where most startups make mistake. A poorly written punch line can severely weaken the insight of your company. Therefore, you should answer the following strongly in your mission statement –

  • What do you do?
  • How do you do your business?
  • What value do you provide?
  • Whom do you serve to?

In your  video game startup business plan , you will also need to discuss your staff, what they do, and your company’s legal structure like a corporation, LLC, or partnership firm.

Market Research

Market research is not a child’s play in gaming. You might have been running the game company most efficiently in the world, but your efforts are worthless if your users do not understand what your game is. In your  business plan for a video game company , explain the type of your game like RPG, shooter, multiplayer, adventure, etc. Find out the games like yours. Find out what kind of players would like your game (and even buy). Here, you need to dig deeper.

In this section of your  video game developer business plan , you need to discuss what you want to sell, projected life/life cycle of the product, how you want to distribute, price it and who wants to buy it. Give a detailed overview of your game product, while being straight to the point. It will help you attract investors.

Marketing plan

Well, it is the most complex part of the game development business plan . You should split it into three parts – communication, growth strategy, and prospects.

Growth strategy includes how you want to grow your business. You might be making more products for your target audience. There are certain ways in your mind to beat your competition.

Explain how you will talk to your target players through communication. You should present a specific plan and explain where your players are, how you will get on board, and how your software is appealing to them.

In prospects, you will need to explain opportunities, which could play a vital role in your marketing. Are you doing something unique? Is it something talked about but has never been done before?

Financial Projections

Typically, standard financial plans show income statements or balance sheets. Well, not every game developer knows how to interpret or create financial statements. You may have conducted research on how similar games are developed. It is also vital to add in capitalization table, which shows the amount of equity owned by the founders.

In your  video game business plan sample , also explain the budget you need to allow to your marketing. You need to do proper research in this aspect because marketing is the hardest part of game development. The marketing budget is necessary for your game development business plan or it will seem a huge red flag.

How to order writing business plan game company?

If you are looking for the best  video game business plan template , OGS Capital is the best choice. We have experienced business consultants and network with investors to turn your business idea into reality.

Download Video Game Business Plan Sample in pdf

Professional OGS capital writers specialized also in themes such as online shopping site business plan , cyber security business ideas , business plans for graphic design , internet radio business plan , online dating business plan , business plan for a video game company and many others.

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Simple Gaming Business Plan - Page 1

Simple Gaming Business Plan

Breakdown a basic gaming business plan and more by editing this simple gaming business plan template.

  • Design Style : modern
  • Colors : vibrant
  • Size : Letter
  • Plan : business

Create a vibrant gaming business plan and other processes with this editable Simple Gaming Business Plan Template. You can easily customize it within minutes for an eye-catching design. This business plan template features a bright gradient color scheme, icons, and bold headings. Start by incorporating a bright color palette and choose a gradient style for a cool effect. Venngage has a wide selection of bright color palettes to pick from and a variety of style options. Choose the one that works for your business plan for the perfect design. Next, apply icons that relate to your business and help visualize the content. There are thousands of icons available in the Venngage gallery, so don't hesitate to try different icons until you find the right ones. Make sure the content pops off the page by integrating bold headings. This will ensure that the Simple Gaming Business Plan Template is more noticeable. You can also utilize italics or underlines to enhance the content. Get started on your design now!

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ProfitableVenture

Video Game Lounge Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business ideas » Entertainment Industry » Gaming Industry

Video Game Lounge Business

Are you about starting a video game lounge? If YES, here is a complete sample video game lounge business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE .

Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a video game lounge. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample video game lounge business marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for video game lounges. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

If you are passionate about keeping people busy and happy, you should think towards starting your own video game lounge. A video game lounge is one of the easiest businesses to start especially if your aim of starting the business is to take the stress off people and make them happy.

Since the invention of the first video game, tons of interesting video games have been produced and more would still be produced.

You might claim that people prefer playing the games in their houses, and you might be right, but the truth remains that most people cannot afford to keep buying new editions of video games every time they are released; hence the need for video game lounges.

Remember, people visit gaming centres not just for playing games, but to rent latest game cartridges that they do not have or can’t afford. You can also walk up to a gaming centre to exchange your old game box for a newer version at a very minimal fee.

Whether you like it or not, gamers would always come to a point where the games they have no longer look interesting to them, so the need to get a new one. Lastly, it can’t be overemphasized that opening a video game lounge is not an easy task, but nevertheless, you still need to be creative if you intend making money from your business.

One of the ways you can make money from your video game lounge is to ensure that you make your location a complete entertainment spot. Here is a sample video game lounge business plan that can give you the needed guide to write yours.

A Sample Video Game Lounge Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

A video game lounge or center is a facility where people go to play video games. According to a report published by IBISWorld, the Video Games industry has experienced strong returns on industry products during the latter half of the five-year period to 2018.

While the emergence of low-cost games for mobile devices has slowed demand for other games and may continue to temper growth opportunities in the foreseeable future, industry revenue has picked up amid stronger sales in games, downloadable content (DLC), consoles and their corresponding products.

Over the five years to 2018, industry revenue increased at an annualized rate of 7.2 percent. In 2018, revenue is expected to total $43.7 billion. This growth was assisted by growing consumer incomes and the releases of the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as well as the Nintendo Switch, throughout the five-year period.

The report shows that over the past five years, the video games industry in the US has grown by 7.2 percent to reach revenue of $44bn in 2018. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses grew by 11.3 percent and the number of employees grew by 5.2 percent.

Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 144,152 licensed and registered video game lounges responsible for employing about 230,914 employees and the industry rakes in a whopping sum of $44 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 7.2 percent between 2013 and 2018. It is important to state that no establishment has a lion share of the available market in this industry.

Lastly, the need for you to equip your gaming centre can’t possibly be overemphasized because you need to make your business point as attractive as ever.

You would need between 5 to 20 computers, Xbox stations, comfortable chairs, tables, air conditioner, shelve for stocking video games amongst others. You might also want to ask people who are already in the business about the gadgets you might need.

2. Executive Summary

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is a licensed and well equipped video game center that will be located in one of the busiest streets in Santa Fe – New Mexico. We have been able to secure a standard facility in a central location in Santa Fe. We are equipped to service the whole of the community as well as visitors and tourists.

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is going to become the number one destination for gamers in the whole of Santa Fe – New Mexico.

We are well equipped to operate a licensed video game lounge with a wide range of video games from top flight video games companies like Microsoft Corporation, Nintendo Co. Ltd., Activision Blizzard Inc., GameStop Corp., Sony Corporation and Electronic Arts Inc.

We conducted a thorough market research and feasibility studies and we came to the conclusion that Santa Fe – New Mexico is the right place to start our video game lounge. Our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics.

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC will be open 24 hours in a day during weekends (Fridays to Sundays) and from 6:00 am to 12 midnight from Mondays to Thursdays in order for us to accommodate people with different time preferences. This is why we have made provision for effective floodlight system and also recruited enough staff to run shift.

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a business, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.

We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is owned by Olsen Hamilton and his immediate family members. The business will be managed by Olsen Hamilton and his son Jerry Hamilton. Olsen Hamilton has over 15 years’ experience in the industry working for some of the leading video game centers in Santa Fe – New Mexico.

3. Our Products and Services

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is in the Video games industry to provide standard video game lounges for residents of Santa Fe – New Mexico which is why we have been able to put up a facility that can help us achieve this goal.

We are optimistic that everyone who makes use of our video game lounge will definitely derive huge value for their money. These are the services and amenities that will be made available to our clients;

  • A wide range of video games from top flight video games companies like Microsoft Corporation, Nintendo Co. Ltd., Activision Blizzard Inc., GameStop Corp., Sony Corporation and Electronic Arts Inc.
  • Video games renting
  • Sale of Video games and accessories
  • Sale of food and beverages

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our Vision of starting Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is to build a world – class video game lounge that can compete with leading brands in the industry.
  • Our mission for establishing Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is to contribute our quota in promoting video game activities in Santa Fe – New Mexico and also to make profits from the Industry; we want to become the leading video game lounge in the country.

Our Business Structure

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC intends to become the leading video game lounge in the whole of Santa Fe – New Mexico and we are fully aware that it will take the right facility, management and organizational structure to achieve our goal.

The kind of the video game lounge we intend building and the business goals we want to achieve is what informed the amount we are ready to pay for the best hands available in the industry as long as they are willing and ready to work with us.

Our business will not be built only for the purpose of giving our customers value for their money, but also we will ensure that we make our video game lounge highly conducive for all our employees. We will provide them with facilities that will help them stay motivated.

In view of that, we have made provisions for the following positions to be occupied by highly qualified and experienced staff;

  • Chief Executive Office – CEO
  • Accountant/Cashier
  • Marketing and Sales Officer
  • Video Games Instructor/Assistant (5)
  • Customer Care Executive / Front Desk Officer

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Creates, communicates, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of video games and other equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily activities in the video game lounge.

Video Game Instructors/Assistant (5)

  • Responsible for operating a licensed video game lounge
  • Responsible for teaching newbies how to play various video games available in our lounge
  • Responsible for selling food, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages
  • Ensures that the video game machines are properly arranged
  • Responsible for recommending the replacement of worn out or damaged video games, pads, consoles and other video game accessories

Marketing and Sales Officer (2)

  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new clients, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing for the business especially as it relates to expansion
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC.

Accountant/Cashier:

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for the organization
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC
  • Serves as internal auditor for Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC.

Client Service Executive

  • Welcomes members/clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the organization’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the management in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries

Cleaners (3):

  • Responsible for cleaning in and around the video game lounge
  • Cleanses up after customers
  • Clears ashtrays when required.
  • Washes glassware and utensils after each use.
  • Maintains a clean working area by sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning of glass doors and windows, etc. if required.
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager.

6. SWOT Analysis

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is in business to provide video game facility for gamers in Santa Fe – New Mexico and at the same time to make profits. We are aware that there are competitions in the industry which is why we took out time to conduct an effective SWOT Analysis before investing our hard earned money into the business.

We know that if we get things right before starting our video game lounge, we will not have to struggle before attracting loyal clients and building our customer base to a level where we can easily breakeven. We hired the services of a HR and Business consultant with bias in business structuring to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our organization and he did a pretty good job for us.

Here is a of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC;

One of the obvious strength that will definitely stand as a plus for Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is the fact that our facility is centrally located in a densely populated – residential area in Santa Fe – New Mexico; our location is in fact one of our major strengths coupled with the support from stakeholders in the industry.

We equally have a team of highly qualified professionals who will work with our clients and lastly our wide range of video games are amongst the best that anybody living in Santa Fe – New Mexico can get.

We looked into our Business model and we were able to identify two major weakness. One is the fact that we are a new business and the second is the fact that we may not have the financial resources required to match up with existing video games centers and even casinos and gaming centers in New Mexico when it comes to employing experts in the industry and generating the needed hypes that can drive traffic towards our video game lounge.

  • Opportunities:

We are centrally located in one of the densely populated areas in Santa Fe – New Mexico and we are open to all the available opportunities that the city has to offer. We will be open 24 hours in a day during weekends (Fridays to Sundays) and from 6:00 am to 12 midnight from Mondays to Thursdays, thus giving us the advantage to leverage on any available opportunity.

Some of the threats that are likely going to confront Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC are unfavorable government policies , demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumers spending and lastly, the emergence of new competitors within the same location where our video game lounge is located.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

If you are conversant with the video games industry, you will realize that it was worst hit by economic slowdown and it has still been unable to reach the pre-recession levels. But with creativity, they are bouncing back gradually.

By tradition, individuals with abundant leisure time, such as children and students, represent the primary demographic for video games. However, as more individuals choose outdoor recreational activities and sports, they are less likely to spend time playing video games.

In 2018, the number of individuals participating in sports is forecast to increase, representing a potential threat to the industry.

Video games commonly feature enhanced content for players with broadband internet connection. These features include multiplayer modes, downloadable content and in-game chat functions, which can be free or provided on a fee or subscription basis.

Consumers are expected to increasingly use these online features. The percentage of services conducted online is expected to increase in 2018, representing a potential opportunity for the industry.

Lastly, it is a common trend that as video game lounges grow, it becomes necessary for them to develop new service offerings or install new facilities that will help them attract more people.

Little wonder some video game lounges now have juice and smoothie bars, retail food, alcoholic and non – alcoholic drinks et al within their facility to encourage people to relax and socialize. In order words, it is very important for video game lounges to continue to improvise if they want to grow their business.

8. Our Target Market

Aside from teenagers and children, the target market for video game lounges cuts across people of different walks of life. The fact that people visit video games centers for various reasons makes marketing the business interesting. These are the category of people that we intend marketing our business to;

  • High school students
  • Applicants/School Leavers
  • Sports Men and Women
  • College Students

Our competitive advantage

The Video games industry is indeed a highly competitive industry. Clients will only patronize your video game lounge if they are comfortable with the games you have or if you can provide the enabling environment and facility for them to socialize.

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is centrally located in a densely populated residential area in Santa Fe – New Mexico; this is obviously going to give us an edge amongst our competitors. We equally have a team of highly qualified professionals that will work with all our clients and make it easier and comfortable when they patronize our video game lounge.

So also, our video game machines are amongst the best that anybody living in Santa Fe – New Mexico can get; it is easy to use and highly reliable.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Video games industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC will generate income by offering the following services;

  • Video games renting services
  • Sale of games and accessories

10. Sales Forecast

We are well positioned to take on the available market in Santa Fe – New Mexico and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income/profits from the first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base.

We have been able to examine the Video games industry – market and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projection for Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC, it is based on the location of our video game lounge facility and the wide range of video games that we will be offering;

  • First Fiscal Year:  $180,000
  • Second Fiscal Year:  $350,000
  • Third Fiscal Year:  $450,000

N.B : This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and natural disasters within the period stated above. There won’t be any major competitor (video game lounge) offering same services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Our marketing strategies will be directed towards achieving specific objectives that support the strategic goals of the organization.

The truth is that all that we do will be geared towards creating new market channels, increasing sales and our market share. We will leverage on improving on our services and facility to ensure that we win new clients and retain old clients as well.

As part of our sales and marketing strategies, we will pay attention to the promotion of our video game lounge so as to attract people to make use of our facility. Our unique selling proposition is that we are well positioned and people can easily access our facility, our payment platforms are highly reliable. Part of the marketing and sales strategies that we will adopt are;

  • Open our video game lounge with a big party in other to attract residents who are our first target
  • Advertise our video game lounge on national dailies, local TV and radio stations
  • Promote our video game lounge online via our official website and all available social media platforms
  • Introduce our video game lounge by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to sports clubs, schools, households and key stakeholders in Santa Fe – New Mexico
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
  • Deliver consistent customer experiences to all our customers; making our first impression count positively to those making use of our video game lounge for the first time
  • Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to our video game lounge
  • Adopt direct mailing coupon marketing approach
  • Position our signage / flexi banners at strategic places in and around Santa Fe – New Mexico
  • Create a loyalty plan that will enable us reward our consistent clients especially those that registered as a family or as a group
  • Engage on roadshows within our neighborhood to create awareness for our video game lounge.

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our branding and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market.

We are set to become the number one choice for in the whole of Santa Fe – New Mexico which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our video game lounge. Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based gaming or sport events and competitions
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our brand
  • Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Santa Fe – New Mexico
  • Engage in roadshow from time to time in targeted neighborhoods all around Santa Fe – New Mexico
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas all around Santa Fe – New Mexico
  • List Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC on local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise our video game lounges in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are branded with our corporate logo et al.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Since the bulk of our customers come from the middle class, it is advisable to set the prices for playing our video games on the moderate side. We will not allow the drive to recoup our money fast tempt us to set prices that can scare our customers away.

In view of that, our pricing system is going to be based on what is obtainable in the industry, we don’t intend to charge more (except for premium and customized services) and we don’t intend to charge less than what our competitors are charging their clients in Santa Fe – New Mexico.

Be that as it may, we have put plans in place to offer discount services once in a while and also to reward our loyal customers especially when they refer clients to us or when they register as a family or a group. The prices of our services will be same as what is obtainable in the United States’ video game lounge market.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via mobile money
  • Payment via Point of Sales Machines (POS Machines)
  • Payment via check

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payment for playing our video games and purchase of food and beverages without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

From our market survey and feasibility studies, we have been able to come up with a detailed budget for establishing a standard video game lounge in Santa Fe – New Mexico and here are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
  • Marketing promotion expenses (8,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $10,000.
  • The total cost for hiring Business Consultant – $5,000.
  • The amount needed for the purchase of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $15,800.
  • The total cost for the purchase of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
  • The total cost for leasing facility for the video game lounge – $80,000.
  • The total cost for facility remodeling – $50,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
  • Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • The cost for Start-up inventory – $15,000
  • The cost for acquiring LED TVs, computers, Xbox stations, comfortable chairs, tables, Air Conditions, Shelve for stocking video games and video games accessories amongst others. – $50,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, snooker board, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
  • The cost of Launching a Website – $600
  • The cost for our grand opening party – $15,000
  • Miscellaneous – $5,000

We would need an estimate of $300,000 to successfully launch a medium but standard and well-equipped video game lounge in the United States of America.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC will be owned and managed by Mr. Olsen Hamilton and his immediate family members. They are the sole financiers of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
  • Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $70,000 and soft loan from family members $30,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $200,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over in our video game lounge is to equip our facility with state of the art videogames and to make our facility highly secured.

Fast Track® Video Game Lounge, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check : Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Acquiring facility and remodeling the facility to fit into a standard video game lounge: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed video games and accessories, electronic appliances, office appliances: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: Completed
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and in the neighborhood: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party/launching party planning: In Progress

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Home » Sample Business Plans » Wholesale & Retail

A Sample Video Game Store Business Plan Template

Are you about starting a video game store? If YES, here is a complete sample video game store business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE . Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a video game store. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample video game store business marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for video game stores. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

Why Start a Video Game Store?

Starting a video game store business is just like starting any other retail business, and it will require startup capital, planning (feasibility studies, market survey, budgeting), and of course time.

A video game store retails different types of video games and accessories. If you are considering starting this type of business, then you must hunt for the right location, a location with the right demographic composition. With the right location, items in stock, and good pricing structure, you can start making profit as soon as possible after opening your business.

If you are sure this type of business is what you truly want to do after you must have conducted your feasibility studies and market research, then the next step to follow is to write a good business plan; a detailed blue print of how you intend raising your seed capital, setting up the business, managing the flow of the business, sorting out tax and marketing your products .

The truth is that it is one thing to have a fantastic idea cum business plan, it is another thing for the business plan to translate to money, which is why it is important to assemble a team of dedicated workers to work with if you want to be successful with your video game store business.

Below is a sample video game store business plan template that will help you successfully write yours without much stress.

1. Industry Overview

Video game store business is categorized under the video game retail store industry and businesses in this industry retail a wide range of toy and hobby goods, such as traditional dolls and toys, electronic toys (including video and electronic games), board games, hobby kits and craft supplies et al. These goods are retailed to the general public after they are purchased from local and international manufacturers and wholesalers.

In recent time, the video game retail store industry has done brilliantly, growing in line with economic recovery. On the other hand, competition from discount department stores and e-commerce channels has absorbed much of the demand for industry products by offering low prices and one-stop-shop convenience. In view of that, discount stores have become the leading hobby and toy retailers in the united states.

IBISWorld projected that despite an extremely competitive environment both internally and externally, hobby and toy retailers are expected to experience growth over the five years to 2022.

The Video game retail stores industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in all the parts of the world. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 21,563 legally registered video game retail stores responsible for employing about 158,296 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $20bn annually.

It is important to state that; the industry experienced a 1.1 percent growth between 2013 and 2018. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Michaels Stores have the lion shares in the USA market.

A recent research conducted by IBISWorld shows that the Video game retail stores industry has crafted moderate revenue growth over the past five years. Operators in this industry retail a variety of toys and hobby goods, including dolls, electronic toys, games, hobby kits and craft supplies.

The research also shows that over the five years to 2018, industry operators steadily recovered from recessionary lows, in line with improving economic conditions. As consumer income rose during the period, competition intensified and operators both within and external to the industry fought to win over consumers.

Increased competition from discount department stores and online retailers stifled industry sales and profitability, as lower-priced comparable products increasingly lured customers away from traditional industry operators.

In summary, video game store business is evergreen and thriving. In response to the ever-growing demand for video games and accessories, players in the industry are now opening additional stores thereby creating chains of stores across different cities. They are always ready to expanded into new markets and of course adapt to the changing trend in consumer tastes and increase sales.

2. Executive Summary

Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. is a neighborhood video game retail store that will be located in a growing community in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan. We conducted our feasibility studies and market survey and we came to the conclusion that Lake Street, Petoskey is the right location for us to launch our video game retail store.

We are in the video game store line of business to make profits at the same time to give our customers value for their money. We want to give people who patronize our video games the opportunity to choose from a wide range of video games and other related products. We will leverage on all major retail channels, including specialty stores, merchandisers and online store.

We are aware that there are several video game stores and even toy and hobby chains of stores that also retail video games and accessories all around Petoskey – Michigan, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey so as to enable us locate the business in an area that will support the growth of the business

We ensured that our facility is easy to locate and our outlet is equipped with the various payment of options available in the United States of America Much more than retailing quality and affordable video games and related products, we will ensure that our customer care is second to none in the whole of Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan.

We know that our customers are the reason why we are in business which is why we will go the extra mile to get them satisfied whenever they visit our store. Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. will ensure that all our customers are given first class treatment whenever they visit our store.

We have a CRM software that will enable us manage a one on one relationship with our customers no matter how large they may grow to. We will ensure that we get our customers involved in the selection of brands that will be on our racks and also when making some business decisions that will directly or indirectly affect them.

Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. is owned by Joel Anderson and his immediate family members. Joel Anderson has successfully managed several video game retail stores both in Petoskey and Dallas – Texas prior to opening his own video game store. Joel Anderson has a Degree in Business Administration and he will run the business alongside his immediate family members.

3. Our Products and Services

Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. is going to operate a registered neighborhood video game store that will retail a wide range of video games and video games accessories. We are in the video game retail industry to make profits and give our customers value for their money.

These are some of the products that we will retail in our video game retail store;

  • A wide range of video games from top flight video games companies like Microsoft Corporation, Nintendo Co. Ltd., Activision Blizzard Inc., GameStop Corp., Sony Corporation and Electronic Arts Inc.
  • Video games renting services
  • Sale of Video games and accessories

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish a one stop video game store business in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan.
  • Our mission is to establish a video game retail store that will make available a wide range of video games and accessories from top brands at affordable prices to the residents of Lake Street, Petoskey.

Our Business Structure

Our intention of starting a video game store is to build a standard video game retail store that will be a one – stop shop, which is why we will ensure that we put the right structures in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business.

We will ensure that we only hire people that are qualified, honest, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all our stake holders. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more especially when we start selling our franchise or running chains of video game retail stores.

In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Store Manager

Merchandize Manager

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Accountants/Cashiers
  • Store Attendant/Customer Services Executive

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO (Owner) :

Grows management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinion

Accountable for fixing prices and signing business deals

Responsible for providing direction for the business

Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.

Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company

Assesses the success of the organization

Store Manager:

  • Responsible for managing the daily activities in the store
  • Ensures that the store facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Ensures that goods and products are properly arranged
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the CEO
  • Manages vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of the organizations’ buying teams
  • Helps to ensure consistent quality of video games and video games accessories on our rack
  • Responsible for the purchase of video games and video games accessories for the organization
  • Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors
  • Manages external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents the company in strategic meetings
  • Helps increase sales and growth for the company

Accountant/Cashier

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization

Store Attendant/Client Service Executive

  • Ensures that all contacts with customer (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with customers on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the store manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to our customers when they make enquiries
  • Provides information about warranties, manufacturing specifications, care and maintenance of merchandise and delivery options
  • Bags or packages purchases
  • Responsible for cleaning the store facility at all times
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Handle any other duty as assigned by the store manager.

6. SWOT Analysis

Our plan of starting just one outlet of our video game retail store is to test run the business for a period of 3 to 5 years to know if we will invest more money, expand the business and then open other video games and accessories stores all over Michigan.

We are quite aware that there are several video game retail stores all over Petoskey – Michigan and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business. We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be welled equipped to confront our threats.

Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in retailing to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.

This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc.

Our location, the business model we will be operating, varieties of payment options, wide range of video games and video games accessories from local and international manufacturing brands and our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc.

A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new video game retail store in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan and we don’t have the financial capacity to engage in the kind of publicity that we intend giving the business.

  • Opportunities:

The fact that we are going to be operating our video games and accessories store in one of the huge residential estates with the right demographic composition in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan provides us with unlimited opportunities to sell our video games to a large number of people.

We have been able to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey and we know what our potential customers will be looking for when they visit our retail store. We are well positioned to take on the opportunities that will come our way.

We are quite aware that the rising popularity of e-commerce poses a significant threat to the video games business, as consumers may substitute goods purchased online for goods purchased at video game stores due to the affordability and convenience of e-commerce and the wider range of goods that are available online.

E-commerce sales are expected to rise in 2018, posing a potential threat to the industry. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new video games and video games accessories are retailed.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

If you are close observer of the toys and hobby goods industry, you will agree that during the last five years, the intensely competitive environment has driven many small players to exit the industry. Due to their size, large companies are able to offer competitively priced goods and the number of children under the age of nine is projected to grow.

Please note that spending on hobby goods and toys is generally discretionary; therefore, a rise in household disposable income would increase the propensity for customers to purchase more industry goods, leading to growth in demand. Per capita disposable income is expected to increase in 2018, creating a potential opportunity for the industry.

Although these trends are forecast to continue over the next 5 years, some video game retail stores will benefit from increasing demand for new technologies, such as video games. Beyond every reasonable doubt, the video game retail store that can successfully flow with the trend and keep up with consumer and technology trends will definitely fare well in the coming years

It is now a common phenomenon for video game retail stores to leverage on technology to effectively predict consumer demand patterns and to strategically position their store to meet their needs; in essence, the use of technology helps retailers to maximize supply chain efficiencies. No doubt data collected from customers goes a long way to help retail stores serve them better.

8. Our Target Market

When it comes to selling items that are found in video game retail stores, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, our target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who reside in the locations where we intend opening our video game retail store. One thing is certain, we will ensure that we only retail quality and affordable items in our video game retail store.

In view of that, we have positioned our video game retail store to service residents of Petoskey – Michigan and every other location where our video game retail store will be located in the United States of America. We are in business to retail video games and video games accessories to the following groups of people;

  • Schools and Students
  • Households (parents)
  • Video game lounge owners
  • Video game rental business owners

Our competitive advantage

The competitive advantages that will help us standout from our competitors is not restricted to having an exclusive sales contract, stocking seasonal products and access to highly skilled workforce. Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. is launching a standard video game retail store that will indeed become the preferred choice in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan.

Our video game retail store is located in a corner piece property on a busy road directly opposite one of the largest residential estates in Petoskey – Michigan. One thing is certain, we will ensure that we have a wide range of quality and affordable items in our store at all times. It will be difficult for customers to visit our store and not see the items that they are looking for.

Our highly experienced and qualified management, customer service culture, online store, various payment options and highly secured facility with enough packing space will also serve as a competitive advantage for us.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the industry and we are going to go ensure that we do all it takes to sell a wide range of video games to a wide range of customers. Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. will generate income by;

  • Retailing a wide range of video games from top flight video games companies like Microsoft Corporation, Nintendo Co. Ltd., Activision Blizzard Inc., GameStop Corp., Sony Corporation and Electronic Arts Inc.
  • Sale of video games accessories
  • Retailing traditional entertainment and learning games

10. Sales Forecast

It is important to state that our sales forecast is based on the data gathered during our feasibility studies, market survey and also some of the assumptions readily available on the field.

One thing is common with video game retail store, the larger the store, the larger the number of customers that will patronize them. Although we may not be as large as Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.and Michaels Stores, but we will ensure that within our capacity we make available a wide range of items from different brands in our store.

Below are the sales projections that we were able to come up with for the first three years of operations;

  • First Fiscal Year: $120,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $250,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $450,000

N.B : This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and the arrival of a competitor in same location as ours within the period stated above. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Prior to choosing a location for Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. we conduct a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to penetrate the available market and become the preferred choice in Petoskey – Michigan.

We hired experts who have good understanding of the video game retail stores industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan.

In summary, Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over;

  • Introduce our video game retail store by sending introductory letters to schools, residence, and other key stake holders in and around Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan
  • Open our video game retail store with an open house party for children in the community
  • Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List our business on yellow pages’ ads (local directories)
  • Attend trade fairs and relevant exhibitions to sell our video game and video game accessories
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage in direct marketing
  • Encourage word of mouth marketing (referrals) from satisfied and loyal customers

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Despite the fact that our video game retail store is well located, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for the business. We are going to explore all available means to promote our video game retail store.

Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. has a long-term plan of opening chains of video game retail stores in various locations, which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan before venturing out.

Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc.;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas in the community where our video game retail store is located
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where our video game retail store is located.
  • Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our organization’s logo et al.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Pricing is one of the key factors that gives leverage to video game retail stores, it is normal for consumers to go to places where they can get items at cheaper price which is why big players in the industry attract loads of consumers.

We know we don’t have the capacity to compete with other video game retail stores, but we will ensure that the prices of all the video games and accessories that are available in our store are competitive with what is obtainable amongst video game retail stores within our level and in our location.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payment for our video games and video game accessories without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

When it comes to starting a video game retail store business, the major areas that you will spend the bulk of your cash is in renting or leasing a standard store facility. Aside from that, you are not expected to spend much except for paying of your employees and the stocking of your store with a wide range of video games and accessories.

These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The total fee for registering the Business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $1,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring business consultant – $2,500.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $55,240.
  • The cost for shop remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $20,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits – ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • The cost for Start-up inventory (stocking with a wide range of both locally and imported quality video games and video game accessories from different manufacturing brands) – $70,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs – $5,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
  • The cost of Launching a Website – $600
  • The cost for our opening party – $7,000
  • Miscellaneous – $10,000

We would need an estimate of $200,000 to successfully set up our video game retail store in Lake Street, Petoskey – Michigan.

Generating Fund/Startup Capital for Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc.

Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. is owned and financed by Joel Anderson and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partners which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from my Bank

N.B : We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $75,000 and soft loan from family members $25,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.

One of our major goals of starting Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to sell our video games and video game accessories a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Planet Excel™ Video Game Store, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our organizations’ corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check : Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of facility and remodeling the store: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
  • Stocking our store with a wide range of video games and video game accessories: In Progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party/launching party planning: In Progress
  • Compilation of our list of products (video games and video game accessories) that will be available in our store: Completed
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers of various brands of products (video games and video game accessories) that we intend retailing: In Progress

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Laser Tag Gaming Center Business Plan

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Executive Summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. It describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">

Laser Tag will be located in the Big Mall shopping center, which serves many of the 115,000 people who live in the MyTown metropolitan area. Big Mall shopping center is well located at 415 North West Birch Road, a road that carries well over 30,000 vehicles per day.

Laser Tag is a state-of-the-art “laser” tag game played in a darkened 4,500 square foot arena in which the players seek to capture the opponents’ base. Smoke swirls around your feet. Lights flash. Music pounds. You fire your “laser” through the din to strike your opponents and capture their base while trying to avoid being shot. Laser Tag is a heart-pounding, adrenalin-pumping game, in which strategy and luck are joined to defeat your opponents.

After playing, the players collect their score sheets in the lobby that is elaborately decorated with a theme that will create a “WOW” effect. While in the lobby, they can also choose, for two tokens (50 cents) each, among the 20 leading video games. If they are members of corporate groups recognizing achievements, or individuals celebrating birthday parties, they may be renting one of three party rooms, at 90 minutes for $119.

The Zone Systems Company will provide the laser tag gaming equipment that has been featured on one of MTV’s Battle of The Sexes TV episodes, and by Walt Disney World. Zone Systems provides 24-hour operational assistance for the state-of-the-art laser tag equipment, and software system that Zone Systems manufactures and is used by facilities centers around the world. Zone Systems has been in business for over 16 years and is the leading manufacturer of laser tag equipment worldwide. Zone Systems provides the turn-key Zone Systems software, along with a companion point-of-sale system; these will be used to manage all aspects of the facilities operation.

Laser Tag will be an Ohio subchapter S corporation. John Smith will own 100% of the Corporation and will be the manager. John Smith is a self-employed entrepreneur who has previously opened two successful businesses. John Smith is a successful 20-year business veteran with experience in marketing, accountability, management, training, and supervision.

There is a demand in this area for high-quality, state-of-the-art, electronic entertainment. The principals will have the necessary skills and training in order to operate the laser tag complex. At this point in time, the necessary start-up costs have been identified. They are either exact figures or estimates based on preliminary conversations with potential suppliers.

Having put this plan together, the principals have every reason to believe the business will be successful. It is a proven franchise operation. The management team has a proven record of business skills and an ability to work with people. The principals are confident that the loan will be repaid back in a timely manner, within 7 years, at an assumed annual interest rate of 11%.

The Highlights chart below is based on a worst case projections – 35% of full capacity.

1.1 Objectives

Laser Tag will create a “stand-alone” Laser Tag facility that will provide a unique form of entertainment to Prosperous County/MyTown, Ohio and other surrounding communities. Laser tag games will generate the majority of the revenue with the remaining revenue coming from video games and other peripherial devices. Within one year, the company will reinvest 60% of its anticipated Return on Investment to make state-of-the-art improvements, enabling Laser Tag to “lead from the front” in an ever-changing and enticing laser tag market. In the second year, Laser Tag will expand its food and beverage capability and build upon the top-quality video games, while also providing souvenir shirts, sweats, caps, mugs, and posters to its members and patrons.

Laser tag gaming center business plan, executive summary chart image

1.2 Mission

Laser tag players will enjoy playing the exciting game in a safe, low-light, 4,500 square feet arena that is enhanced with flashing lights, theatrical haze, pounding music, and surprising special effects. Laser Tag will offer an enjoyable, pleasant atmosphere while being committed to maintaining an environment enticing to not only teens and young adults, but also to the entire family. Our trained staff will welcome our patrons as special guests and assist with various group functions such as birthday parties or scout recognition and achievement events, ensuring that everyone has a fun, enjoyable experience.

1.3 Keys to Success

The key success factors are themed environments, staff training, customer satisfaction, marketing and the equipment.

Themed Environments include the WOW! factor in a facility. Zone Systems is a company that truly understands the WOW! factor. The concepts that Zone Systems promotes tend to be visually stimulating and on-the-edge, topics which today’s teen males relate to very easily.

Staff Training is critical to the goal of excellent customer service. An improperly trained staff member can destroy the chances of booking a several hundred dollar corporate event or a $150 birthday party.

Customer Satisfaction is critical for the long-term success of the facility. The ability to be polite, ensure the guests’ safety and satisfaction, and take pride in providing a pleasant experience are all vital to achieving long-term profit and converting this from a fad into a business.

Marketing is one of the greatest issues in the industry. Too many people think that they are Kevin Costner in the “Field of Dreams:” Build It And They Will Come! People spend thousands of dollars on their facility and not a dime on marketing and wonder why they are closing down.

Equipment is the touchy, feely part of this business. Your customers will be handling and wearing the gear for 10 minutes and longer. Their entire experience will rely on the gear’s ability to enhance their enjoyment of the event.

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Laser Tag is a start-up company that will be located in the Big Mall shopping center, which serves many of the 115,000 people who live in the MyTown metropolitan area.

Laser Tag will purchase laser tag equipment from Zone System, and become a member of the North American branch of the “Zone” group; a fast-growing, international network of laser game companies utilizing the futuristic technology designed by P&C Micros of Melbourne, Australia. Pioneers of arena laser games, P&C principals, Patrick and Catherine Holms, have maintained a relentless focus on technical innovation. They are avid laser game players and their immersion in the game has given them insight into what keeps players coming back for more. As a result, they have developed dozens of game enhancements and a menu of practically thousands of customizing options, making Zone hardware and software the most reliable and advanced in the industry.

P&C Micros currently licenses and operates Zone 3 laser arena sites in every major city in Australia. In just over six years, with 29 sites, Zone 3 has captured over 95% of the Australian marketplace. In fact, several of Zone 3’s current sites have converted from other game systems in order to take advantage of the superior “Zone” technology, equipment and game features. In addition, new “Zone” sites are either planned or are currently under construction in Singapore, China, the Philippines, South Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America. MEGAZONE, the company holding the master license for “Zone” products in Europe, is the fastest growing Laser Company in Europe. Megazone now has 18 sites operating throughout the United Kingdom, as well as Italy, Norway, Holland, Finland, Sweden and Spain.

Zone System is now in position to take the U.S. market by storm. As a member of the international group of Zone companies, Zone System draws on a history of success in Europe and Australia, as well as truly outstanding entry in the U.S. market.

Zone System’s focus is on technology, because innovation and flexibility are the cornerstones of tomorrow’s success. Superior technology provides it with staying power. It keeps the game interesting and challenging no matter how many times a “Zonehead” has played. Software upgrades can be installed in minutes and are often available over the phone by modem. Thousands of game enhancements and options can be activated through a simple menu selection. Zone System provides its members with a full set of manuals detailing everything necessary to operate the franchise successfully. The manuals include:

  • Pre-Opening Manual
  • Personnel Manual
  • Game Operations Manual
  • Business Operations Manual
  • Marketing Manual Accounting Manual

The manuals cover all aspects of operations from site selection, facility design, ordering equipment, staffing, Grand Opening planning, game operations, equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, bookkeeping, monthly accounting reports, customer service, merchandising, promotional events . . . These manuals are the result of years of compilation from existing site locations throughout the world.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Zone System’s support for its members is in the area of technical support. Electronics and computers make the game real. They must be durable. The game pack is made of polycarbonate (bullet proof glass). Hand pieces are designed to military specifications. Over five years of experience with the hardware has shown it has the ability to endure abuse. In the event of an equipment problem, the unique game system and its modular components, with built-in diagnostic testing routines, minimize down time. Failed components can be replaced without special tools. Zone System’s software experience indicates that it is extremely reliable and operates virtually trouble-free. In the event a problem arises, Zone System’s corporate headquarters provides technical support by modem. Corrections can be downloaded in a matter of minutes in most situations, thereby minimizing any downtime in the “Zone”. Zone System has addressed obsolescence. The game is software driven. Enhancements to the game can be implemented with software updates. The hardware operates off of the software. This assures a long life for the equipment.

A capable management team has been assembled. Mr. Smith has the necessary entrepreneurship skills to make the project successful. Mr. Smith’s philosophy includes the belief that the complex should provide cutting-edge family entertainment at an attractive price. His objective is to have the finest facility of its kind.

2.1 Start-up Summary

Our start-up costs will be $138,844, of which the owner plans to invest $27,000 . The funds will be used for:

  • General Expenses (Insurance, rent during renovations, etc.): $12,097
  • Initial Renovation: $38,000
  • Furnishings and Fixtures (Assets): $51,747
  • Cash for Start-up: $10,000

The start-up funding will be financed by loans arranged through a lending agency that Small Business Administration has qualified as a guarantor. Start-up assumptions are shown in the following table and chart.

Laser tag gaming center business plan, company summary chart image

2.2 Company Ownership

Laser Tag will be an Ohio subchapter S corporation that will incorporate in this year of 2004. John Smith will own 100% of the corporation.

Products and Services

This chapter describes Zone System’s laser tag game. The description cannot properly instill an appreciation of the adrenalin-pumping thrill a participant gets from the game. This can only be understood by playing the game. Consistent with the principals’ philosophy and objective, the complex will also offer the area’s finest selection of video games to its customers for their amusement before and after they play laser tag. Modest food and beverage offerings are also planned. Another important feature of the complex will be its party room, available for rent. Finally, some thought has been given to offering a “Makoto,” a unique new form of interactive technology, which challenges participants physically and mentally! Today’s consumer is always looking for the newest, hottest product and by combining challenge with entertainment “Makoto” exceeds the desires of consumers! That customers can also use for their enjoyment. “Makoto” is not anticipated to be part of the initial complex.

LASER TAG A qualified staff member will give a briefing to the players in a ready room prior to donning the game’s gear. After the players have been briefed about the game, they will enter into the arena.

Stepping into the laser tag arena is like walking through a life-size video screen into a futuristic labyrinth filled with unfriendly forces. Your senses are bombarded by pulsating music, sirens and intermittent flashes of light and color breaking through the foggy darkness. Enemies crouch in shadows, intent on your destruction. For an instant you consider retreat — then you remind yourself this is just a game. The object of the game is to score points while defending yourself and your team’s base from attack. Players are grouped into three teams of up to 10 members, identified by the color of the flashing lights on their electronic vests–green, red or yellow. A typical play experience is 30 minutes, including a briefing on rules and strategy, a stop in the vesting room to pick up a laser and vest displaying targets on the shoulders, chest and back, and 15 minutes of intense competition in the arena. Points are scored by hitting the opposing teams’ targets and deactivating their base stations, while avoiding being hit by an opponent or a beam from an electronic sentinel, programmed to shoot randomly. Reload stations for replenishing ammunition make it possible for all players to stay in the game for the entire session. The Zone Systems lasers and vests are the most technologically advanced equipment available in the industry. Players always know if they’ve been hit or scored points because, when a target is hit, the chest pack in the vest vibrates, sounds a “power down” alarm and emits a flash of white light. The scoring player’s ID number and team are displayed on the chest pack, and scores are stored instantly for automatic downloading to the main computer. When the game is over, players receive personalized score sheets detailing all aspects of their performance.

PERIPHERALS Peripheral entertainment and services include video games, vending machines and souvenir shirts, sweats, caps and mugs. One upcoming innovative entertainment venue machine is called “Makoto.” Constructed of three arena towers with 10 square lighted panels, which illuminate various colors and emit audible tones, “Makoto” is sure to engage and thrill while bringing physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Armed with a staff and a desire to dominate, participants tap the panels as they light up randomly around them. As one becomes more proficient, they can choose different levels and degrees of difficulty, making the machine move faster, which shortens the players’ response time between taps. Engaging all the senses, “Makoto” promises to deliver a rounded and rewarding opportunity for the whole being: body, mind and spirit.

PARTY ROOM Part of the exceptional success that a Zone systems laser tag center has had worldwide is attributed to its party room. The room is available for groups. Typical groups include birthday parties, office parties and activities such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts outings. The room will normally be rented for two hours at a time. It will include snacks (pizza and soft-drinks) and a game in the “Zone.” This has proven to be exceptionally successful in Family Entertainment Centers. The management team believes it will be instrumental in achieving the target revenues projected in this plan.

Laser Tag will be located in Big Mall shopping center, in a space between Reaction Fitness center and Big Mall. The address is 4415 Suite B, North West Birch Road, MyTown, Ohio.

This is an excellent location to serve our target market. The shopping center is centrally located and easy to reach from anywhere in the metropolitan area. Traffic at this location is one of the highest in the MyTown area, with a count of over 37,000 cars passing by east and over 34,000 passing by west daily. Laser Tag will have over 3,300 potential patrons between the age of 10-24, and a total population of 55,302 within only 3 square miles. The Big Mall shopping center is centrally located on Birch Road between the few entertainment venues available and within less than 2 miles of MyTown ’s premier restaurant facilities, such as Applebee’s and Chili’s. The Big Mall shopping center is well known to our market and will be easy to identify in our advertisements. The shopping center is located at the corner of Birch Road and 44 th Street, both of which are high-traffic thoroughfares. Locating on these streets makes it easy for our customers to reach us by car. There are over 5 entrances to the shopping center parking lot from these streets. Parking is ample around the shopping center and more than 30 spaces are available immediately in front of the Laser Tag entrance. The MyTown Area Transit bus line also serves the Big Mall Shopping center.

4.1 Space and Access

11,080 square feet is available for development. Access to the main lobby is from the main entrance at the front of the building, with a separate entrance to the party room venue from the front parking area for event patrons.

4.2 Facility Design and Development

The concept of the laser tag arena is that players are inside a starship of the future, engaged in combat with alien invaders.

To enhance its entertainment value, the entire facility will be laid out and decorated in a manner consistent with this concept. Similar to a Disney amusement park theme, such as Tomorrowland, everything in the facility will present visitors with a look and feel that is consistent with the starship concept. The entertainment goal is to invite patrons to suspend belief and imagine that while in the facility they are actually inside a starship.

The design for the facility’s layout is provided by Zone Systems, the supplier of the turnkey laser tag game system.

Patrons first enter the spacious starship-themed lobby that is populated with the video games and filled with the sounds of teen music and games. The lobby also contains the counter, computer, cash register, and an overhead video screen.

Three rooms are dedicated to the laser tag experience. The first room (briefing room) is where the customers get a dramatic briefing on their preparations to do battle with the invading aliens. The second room (armory) is where players put on their Zone Systems gear (vests and phasers). The third room is the combat zone (arena). When the game ends, customers return to the armory to hang up their gear, and then return to the lobby. As they pass through the armory, the next group of players is being briefed. Three additional rooms are for special events, such as birthday parties.

3,500 square feet of the 11,080 available will be used for the lobby, ticket counter (“Mission Control Center”), and arcade (video games). 219 square feet will be used for the briefing room. The armory will be a 275 square feet room. 4,600 square feet will be used for the combat zone arena.

The 3 special event rooms will total approximately 1,080 square feet each and another 1,406 square feet will be used for employee, business use, and restrooms.

4.3 Renovation

After consulting with 3 local firms, the Dan Schwartz Construction Company was selected to remodel the interior. For $38,000, the walls and doors will be built to create the rooms needed. The construction includes preparing the walls and ceilings for their final covering, laying carpeting throughout, and installing the counter and restrooms.

Zone Systems, the leading laser tag equipment and services firm provided the basic design for the facility and arena. That company is also supplying its internationally-recognized game system and equipment. The walls, ceilings, and doors will be decorated with the Hollywood-quality special effects; the ideas for the effects come from Zone Systems and other Laser Tag companies observed. These special effects give game players the feeling that they are on a futuristic starship.

The counter and display area will be built large enough to house the “Mission Control Center” of the laser tag on one side and have the same capacity for soft drink fountains, pizza menu’s, and condiments for dine-in-only delivery by a local pizza company on the other. A portion of the pizza menu side of the counter will also be built to display ticket redemption items for the young party patrons as they receive tickets from the machines.

Frontier Music of MyTown will provide the sound and light systems for the arena and a separated system for the arcade and party rooms.

MyTown Novelty will provide the Arcade machines and will ensure that electrical supply by the contractor is adequate.

Renovation will commence one week from approval of the loan and will finish within 30 days. The special effects and game system will then be installed, with a planned finish date of 1 weeks of remodeling. Games will be run daily for the first week to confirm that all systems are operational, and to train employees. The grand opening is scheduled for no more than 60 days from the beginning.

The hours of operation during the months of September to May will be from 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday, 4:30 PM to 12:00 PM Friday, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Saturday, and 12:00PM to 7:00 PM on Sunday. In the months of June through August, the hours will change to 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM from Monday through Thursday, and 2:00 to 12:00 on Friday. The president or day manager will enter the business one hour before opening to begin the startup procedures. Daily operating procedures and cash handling will conform to the checklists identified in Appendix D – Operations. The prime hours of operation will be 6:00 PM to midnight on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, about 156 hours a month.

5.1 Board of Directors

Establishing policies, directing the company, and approving budgets is the role of the board of directors. Submitting the budget at the first board meeting, the president will use the financial projections contained in this document as the basis for the budget.

The board of directors will meet every quarter, following the closing of the quarter’s books. The president will make a report to the board about the accomplishments of the previous quarter and propose any changes in budget or direction. Board members will be paid $250 for attending each meeting. The president will be responsible for arranging the meetings.

5.2 President’s Duties

The president will supervise daily operations and is expected to reach the financial objectives set by the board. The president will recruit, hire and train all employees necessary to operate the business.

Each month, the president will establish marketing objectives and assure that appropriate steps are taken to reach those objectives. Opportunities to incorporate seasonal and holiday promotions, such as Halloween, will be sought. Local news reports will be monitored to discover promotional tie-in opportunities or to offer special event packages, such as winning season party packages for sports teams.

Each quarter, the president will review the status of agreements with vendors, suppliers, and insurers.

5.3 Employee Relations

Laser Tag will be an equal employment employer. Solicitations for employees will not refer to any prohibited categories and copies of all ads will be kept on file. Even though we expect that most employees will be young, between the ages of 16 and 22, no recruiting advertising or information will express a preference for younger people. All responses to employment ads will receive a reply. Applications must be completed by all prospective employees on forms approved by the Company’s attorney. Interviews will be fully documented and interviewer notes will be kept. Offers of employment must be in writing in an approved format. The employment contract will contain non-compete and non-disclosure provisions and will make no reference to probationary periods or suggest that employment is anything but “at will.” The company will develop and maintain an employees’ guide that will describe the company’s employment policies and practices. The guide, which will include all employment forms, will describe the Company’s sexual harassment prohibitions and complaint handling procedure.

Recruiting for employees will begin at the same time as construction. The president will use a word-of-mouth campaign among his network of friends and associates to solicit applicants. A more mature employee will be selected to serve as a shift manager, to help manage the operation with, or in substitution of, the president. This individual will help with such tasks as opening, closing, operations, and supervision of part-time workers.

Most of the part-time workers will be “on call.” This means that they will agree to respond within an hour to a call to report for duty. This gives the business the flexibility to staff-up in real-time so, as more patrons appear, more workers will be on duty. Operators of other video games centers report that this approach works well.

Finding employees for a video games business is relatively easy because so many of the people who are enamored of the game want to work in this environment. This means that the business usually will have a good number of applicants from which to choose. This also means that wages can be kept low and, due to their part-time status, few employee benefits are required. Most of the workers will be pleased to have the opportunity to play the video games as a supplement to their compensation.

5.4 Equipment Repair

Any equipment failures will be recorded on the Work Order Form. Authorized employees can attempt repairs if the failure appears to be routine. The manager will be trained in basic level repairs. If the manager cannot complete the repair, the designated repair service for the failed equipment will be notified. The form will be kept in the pending Work Order Form file until repairs are completed and approved by the authorized manager. Upon approval, payment to the repair service will be made. Spare equipment will be kept on-hand for quick substitution if needed.

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Laser Tag will be well located on Birch Road, a road that carries well over 30,000 vehicles per day. The College’s average student between the ages of 18-20 will provide Laser Tag with one of its prime customers.  These students have a steady income and are lacking in entertainment venues in the MyTown area.

Size of Market

According to the MyTown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 114,996 people reside within 58 square miles of the Big Mall shopping center. Based on the 2000 Census averages, 25,000 of these residents are ages 10 to 25, the age range for the typical individual customers. The typical laser tag customer is a 15-year-old boy who visits the video games center twice a month. Spending $20 during each visit, this teenager, who serves as the primary target market, accounts for about 60% of the center’s video games income and 50% of its video game income. Other customers include: young male video game players spending $20 a month and accounting for about 10% of the center’s video game revenue; corporate event coordinators who will generate 10% of total video games and video game revenue in their team building visits; mothers of the 6,682 area youths who celebrate their 9 th through 14 th birthday each month, who contribute 20% of the center’s laser tag revenue and 10% of its video game revenue; and the 6,459 18 to 21-year-old male walk-in customer who will spend enough to account for 10% of the center’s video games revenue and 20% of its video game revenue. Drawing on a base of 25,000 residents aged 10 to 25, the center needs fewer than 4% of these potential patrons in order to produce excellent profits.

Target Market

Laser tag Patron. While this plan identifies the laser tag customer as a typical 15-year-old, we know that younger people are the primary consumers of sports activities, including video games. There will be an aggressive plan to target the young adults between 16 to 20-years-old that are able to drive themselves to the facility. The MyTown community has an abundance of alcohol-related facilities that caters to the young students of the College. It is our belief that these young adults, and students would also become a typical laser tag patron.

6.1 Market Segmentation

Laser tag Patrons. Younger people are the primary consumers of sports activities, including laser tag. The typical customer is a 15-year-old boy who visits the laser tag center twice a month. This customer lives within 5 miles of the laser tag center, in a household with an income over $30,000 per year, and is driven to the site by his parents.

The teen spends $20 during each visit, which represents about 10% of the teen’s monthly disposable income. According to a survey conducted for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American teenagers receive an average of $50 a week from their parents.

When the 15-year-old visits, he plays 2 laser tag games (at $5.75 each) and 17 video games (at 50 cents each), spending his entire $20.

This teenager, who serves as the primary target market, accounts for about 60% of the center’s laser tag income and 50% of its video game income. The remaining revenue is generated by a combination of video game patrons, party attendees, group participants, and the public (walk-ins).

Video Game Patron. The average video game patron, also 15 years old, visits the center 2 times per month, spending a total of $20 on 40 video game plays. This customer accounts for about 10% of video game revenue.

Party Patron. The typical party customer is a mother who reserves a birthday party room for her 10 year old son and 9 of his friends. The party attendees generate about 50% of the center’s laser tag revenue and 40% of its video game revenue. Other party prospects to be approached are people who are celebrating anniversaries, winning seasons, personal achievements, and other accomplishments.

Group Patron . The representative group patron is an event coordinator for a sales organization involved in team building. The members of this group account for nearly 10% of the center’s laser tag revenue and 10% of its video game revenue. Activity directors who are always looking for a site that provides their members with a place to meet and have fun will be regularly contacted. One of the key objectives of marketing to groups is to arrange group business during non-peak hours.

Public Patron. The usual walk-in is a 19 year old, who lives in an apartment with 2 roommates, who is taking advantage of a promotional coupon. These walk-ins generate about 10% of the center’s laser tag revenue and 20% of its video game revenue.

Each of these typical customers can be reached through marketing targeted at them. There are enough members of these market segments in MyTown to support the laser tag center.

Laser tag gaming center business plan, market analysis summary chart image

6.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Laser Tag will be promoted in such a way as to maximize the efficiency of its advertising dollar. Laser Tag provides customer-tracking software to monitor key demographics. This enables a more efficient targeting of the local market. The computerized tracking will enable management to generate mailing lists to its customer base or any part — for example, customers who play an average of 6 or more times a month. Direct mail to these customers will prove to be extremely efficient revenue generators. Customer loyalty will be developed through Laser Tag’s unique Membership Programs. In addition to saving on daily rates, annual members get a membership card with a special coded button device containing a computer chip. The “button” gives them access to statistics on their personal performance history.

For hard-core “Zoneheads,” Laser Tag has the elite, Role-Playing Membership with programmable buttons. These buttons entitle the player to special game enhancements and records a code name of their choice such as Ultraman, Nemesis, etc… Laser Tag will be promoted as a facility to host birthday parties, office parties and events for groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. It is anticipated that groups will reserve the party room for two hours at a time. This will include snacks (pizza and soft-drinks, for example) and a game in the “Zone.” The management team has tentatively set the party room at a price of $ 10-15 per person, depending on the snacks and number of games to be played in the “Zone.” Other aspects of promotion, including Grand Opening strategies and league play are discussed in detail in Chapter V.

6.3 Service Business Analysis

There are few entertainment venues that will compete for the same target market as Laser Tag. Among the entertainment choices for youths are 1 roller-skating rink, 3 bowling centers, 5 movie theaters, a water park, and an outdoor paintball park.

6.4 Competition and Buying Patterns

The closest laser tag facility to MyTown is LaserTrek, a 45 minute one way drive. Other facilities closest to MyTown are LaserQuest and LazerXtreme, close to a 1 hour travel time one way. The laser tag centers charge $7.00 a game. There is little to no competition from these laser tag companies, due to the price and distance of their facilities from MyTown.

None of the bowling centers or the skating rink attempts to deliver an exciting entertainment experience to their youthful customers. The facilities and staff alike have a “here it is, take it or leave it” attitude. Laser Tag will easily compete with these businesses, with both competition and video games. Teens will find the Laser Tag environment more enticing and the staff trained to serve them as guests entitled to expect and enjoy a good entertainment value.

The movie theaters are likely the strongest competition for the youth dollar, throughout the year. Films are more popular than ever since Hollywood has become more capable of segmenting and serving its movie-going markets. The typical 15-year old male customer of Laser Tag is interested in action, sci-fi, comedies, high school, and coming of age movies, but avoids the dramas, love stories, and adult themes. The current film production schedule seems to be putting 3 movies a month onto the MyTown theater screens that appeal to the 15-year old males. Two of the theaters offer a video game arcade, one of which has old machines while the other is small in size.

One Water Park provides an alternative choice during the summer months, but it is little competition for the night-time entertainment.

The Arena Paintball Park could be a competitor for laser tag, but the focus by this business is on adult players. The owners’ market segments include present and former military personnel, along with avid gun enthusiasts. Few teens are seen at the Arena Paintball Park paintball events. It is an outdoor venue and business is dictated by the seasons. Another downfall to paintball is the fact that it stings when hit.

In the Hallowe’en season, a number of organizations offer haunted houses, as Laser Tag plans to do. Most of these facilities are temporary, makeshift presentations that appeal to a wide range of young people. The Laser Tag haunted house will incorporate the existing, professionally-built arena with its safe lighting, sound, fog, and special effects systems and continue to appeal to its primary male teen market. Parents can be assured that the Laser Tag “house” is safe and well maintained. The Big Mall shopping center location is also more convenient than most of the competing houses.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Customer service is paramount in the laser tag business. The starting point to accomplishing this is to have a trained and motivated staff that enjoys working directly with the public. It is always easier to please your customers when the facility is spotless and all of the equipment is in proper working order. The center will establish community involvement to demonstrate how the business will contribute to a better quality of life. Community projects using the Laser Tag facility will be developed to help civic groups obtain their financial goals. School, church, and other groups will be welcomed for tours of Laser Tag.

7.1 Competitive Edge

Our competitive edge is that Laser Tag will be the ONLY laser tag facility within 50 miles. Makoto will also offer the community a unique new form of entertainment that will also only be found at Laser Tag. The fact that there are no Family Entertainment Centers in MyTown will give us the unparalleled ability to draw on the overall family entertainment and not just birthday party events.

7.2 Marketing Strategy

Grand Opening

Prior to actually opening for business, the principals will invite the local media (print, radio and television) to assemble their own teams to enter a competition of King of Laser Tag. This competition will serve several purposes. The media will naturally cover the event. Their enthusiasm for the game will carry over into advertising done on radio, especially when tied to a live remote broadcast. In order to assure that the actual Grand Opening gathers the desired attention of the community, the plan calls for $5,000 to be spent on advertising for a two-week period before the Grand Opening. Laser Tag will work with the radio stations to be sure that it has live remotes going on during the Grand Opening. We will seek promotional trade consideration with the radio stations, whereby patrons will receive gifts for playing. For example, the first 25 players will receive tickets to see the movie of their choice. The next 25 will receive a free 6″ sub from Subway. These types of promotional trades are routinely done in the local market. Laser Tag will take advantage of these inexpensive ways to get its name out in the community.

Laser Tag will also take advantage of a marketing package that is provided by Zone Systems, the supplier of the laser tag equipment. This package describes the steps to take to assure that a well-executed grand opening program will leverage publicity to obtain extensive free advertising. The approach is to exploit the media’s interest in new and novel businesses. A key objective is arranging live coverage by a TV news show in which representative targeted customers are interviewed while they are enjoying the excitement.

Ongoing Marketing

Word of mouth (WOM) spreads fast in the youth market. The grand opening will launch WOM within this market. Managing the ongoing word-of-mouth advertising campaign will involve rewarding players for bringing in friends  (with coupons), but the most effective approach is to keep the game exciting and the staff responsive to the patrons. Keeping the games interesting requires that the arena be regularly rearranged so that players discover new features (and hiding places). Keeping the staff responsive requires ongoing staff reminder training that emphasizes their key role in the customer’s entertainment experience.

$5,000 a month is budgeted for ongoing marketing activities that are aimed at the target market. In addition to the dozens of various printing forms (coupons, passes, flyers) available on CD-ROM from Zone Systems, this equipment supplier also provides access to low-cost mail and e-mail lists than can be used to reach the identified target markets. Marketing Creations, Inc., of MyTown will assist with “guerrilla marketing” strategies provided by Zone Systems that are aimed at generating business such as –

  • Birthday and other parties in the planned party room followed by reserved playing times in the “Zone”.
  • Enlisting the support and cross promotion of popular fast food outlets.
  • Engaging the business community in endorsing competitive events.
  • Building leagues and growing tournament excitement.
  • Winning the cooperation of schools, charities, and other organizations.
  • Building Corporate sponsorships.
  • Donating games and time to special groups such as children with terminal illnesses and persons with disabilities.

By maintaining a constant presence in the community through league play and parties in the party room, the complex will assure itself of establishing a loyal following. Games and time donated to terminally ill children and others is part of the principals’ belief in their social responsibility. The donation of the party room and game time to disabled children and other worthy groups is not being done with any ulterior motive. The principals believe that people in the community will recognize their actions and be quick to tell others about the good deeds. The kind words said about Laser Tag will help establish itself as a positive force in the community.

Group Patron. Direct mail and broadcast faxes are the preferred means to reach the typical corporate event coordinator. The usual offer is to host team-building parties during which the attendees play laser tag games together. Sports, schools, and other organizations will join the corporate groups to participate with Laser Tag each month.

Public Patron. The “pizza pass” promotion works well to attract the walk-in patron. Arrangements are made with local pizza outlets to attach the Laser Tag coupon to the outside of pizza delivery boxes. When redeemed, a portion of the discounted price is shared with the pizza firm.

The advertising and promotional efforts are projected to draw over 750 people a month from outside the MyTown metropolitan area, drawing on the population of over 56,000 in the eight-county Retail Trade Area.

7.3 Web Plan Summary

Laser Tag’s website will be a resource/information-only area to help build our professional legitimacy.

7.4 Sales Strategy

Laser Tag will provide a venue in which the entire family can enjoy their leisure time, participating in a competitive sport that requires minimum strength and athletic ability. The light exercise will help improve their health, and they will experience a clean facility where the service is the best in the industry, at a fair price.

The management team has determined that the average price being charged for a game at existing laser tag locations is $6.30 per player. In addition, a day’s membership costs an additional $2.33, on average. We will initially set our game prices at $5.50 per player; the average price will be $5 a game, after coupons and specials. This will be a competitive price for the MyTown, Ohio community. Annual membership fees will be $48.00. A $1.00-off discount coupons will be offered through Laser Tag for player members. The average membership fee is the result of an anticipated repeat play by the customers on any given day. The basis for this number was the history of existing laser tag locations in the country.

Peripherals. Video game prices will be set so as to be consistent with the competition. Their range will generally be $0.50 per game. Soft drinks and snacks will be offered behind the counter. Their price will be consistent with area prices and will generally range from $0.50 to $0.75 per item. Laser Tag souvenirs will include t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, mugs . . . All will include the Laser Tag logo. These are expected to range in price from $7.95 to $29.95. Makoto will be $1.00 for a 2 minute period of play.

7.5 Sales Forecast

The chart and table below show Laser Tag’s projected Sales Forecast. Annual projections for five years are shown here, with first year monthly figures in the appendices.

Laser Tag Revenue Assumptions:   Each paid admission or price per game is $5.50. This amount will be occasionally reduced through the use of promotional coupons, quantity discounts, and party package offers. The average price of $5.00 is used in the forecast of sales and revenue.

20 players can plan in the arena at a time. The game, called a mission, lasts for 12 minutes. Allowing time for players to exit the arena, a new mission is possible every 15 minutes. This means that, ideally, maximum revenue per hour could reach $440.

We assume that on an average day, 14 missions will be run with an average of 12 players each. In fact, the weekends will produce the greatest activity and the number of games and players will regularly exceed this average.

Peripherial Revenue Assumptions:   20 video games and pinball machines will be obtained. An average of 10% of capacity at 2 plays an hour are used to estimate potential revenue. $.50 per play is used for sales forecasting, although some machines cost more than $.50 to play. Assuming that each game lasts 3 minutes, 20 games per hour could be played, generating $10.00 in revenue per machine. The maximum revenue for the 20 machines would be $200. A revenue-sharing arrangement will be worked out with a video game distributor who will provide the games. A typical arrangement of 50% for the laser tag center and 50% for the game owner is assumed for these projections. A 5% increase in sales is used for annual projections.

Makoto will generate a separate customer base interested in a new form of entertainment. We assume that Makoto will run at 30% capacity. At $1.00 for 2 minutes, this will average to 15 minutes of play time per day. Maximum potential for Makoto is $177 a day. A 20% increase in sales is used for annual projections due to the uniqueness of this venue.

Soft drinks and snacks were calculated at 10% of total laser tag sales with purchases at $0.75. A 5% increase in sales is used for annual projections.

The following laser tag industry statistics have been compiled by the International Laser Tag Association (ILTA). Laser tag games have been broken down to an overall average and reduced to single months.  Increases in sales by approximately 20% from the previous month generally occur for the months of March, August, and December.  Decreases in sales by approximately 20% from the previous month generally occur for the months of January, May, and September.

These averages were compiled based on various sources including hundreds of interviews with site operators, surveys by VCI, surveys by the ILTA, and information provided by the manufacturers.  All information is believed to be accurate and factual; however, there is no independent way to either confirm or deny the validity to the average plays provided.  All numbers should be valid for the purpose of this business plan though variations are quite probable.

On the Second Year Income Statement, all numbers are reduced by at least 10% based on an Industry Trend. The first year sales are always the best sales of the facility due in part to the higher percentage of casual non-discounted customers, the second year sales are “respectable,” and the third year sales drop to approximately 80% of the first year sales. 

The change in revenues can be attributed to a variety of factors including:

  • In the first year, a new facility enjoys a significantly higher customer base of non-discounted games. The customers are more willing to pay full price once just to try the event if there are no discounts available.
  • During the first year most operators have not developed or acquired a customer list for birthday parties, churches, or youth groups. Those groups often have a lower per game price.
  • By Year 2, the facility operator has started to market to the Core Market and the casual walk-in traffic slightly diminishes.  

The averages plays per month are as follows:

Based on this industry data, we assume that the first year will show higher than average laser tag plays due to the uniqueness of laser tag to the MyTown area, and will settle to normal levels once party patrons and members are established.

Laser tag gaming center business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Management Team

John Smith, who will serve as the chairman and president of the Laser Tag board of directors and will manage the company’s daily operations. Mr. Smith is also a member of the International Laser Tag Association, a nonprofit group developed by experienced industry personnel that is dedicated to assisting with the successful operations of separate facilities world wide.

Board of Directors

In addition to John Smith, one other person has agreed to serve on the Laser Tag board of directors: Barry Stir. Barry Stir is an Attorney at law and has a background in accounting. His office is located on “D” Ave in MyTown. He is also a co-owner in an Internet company in MyTown.

John Smith is a 20-year U.S. Army veteran with excellent management skills, who is well-qualified to run the Laser Tag. He has held a number of management positions and has been responsible for the professional development of numerous personnel and accountable for in excess of $11 million in military equipment. He served in the plans and operations section while in the military and has put together and executed various training and evaluation outlines. Mr. Smith has significant experience working with patrons and employees of entertainment businesses while opening and operating two low point beverage entertainment facilities in Small Town and Rural Town, Ohio. In addition to the entertainment experience, he has extensive experience with laser-based systems with the U.S. Army’s combat training, Military Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES). MILES is a system the Army uses for war games.

Laser Tag will employ 7 people. The president will be the only full-time employee and 6 others will be part-time. One part-time worker will serve as a shift manager. All employees will be selected on the basis of their ability to work with young patrons. All employees will be expected to sign a non-disclosure and non-compete agreement.

8.1 Personnel Plan

The personnel plan will be as follows:

  • One general manager to oversee shift manager and fill-in for all areas. The president of the corporation will fill the general manager position.
  • One shift manager/leader to conduct opening, closing, operations, greet customers, receive payments for services/products, event planning, equipment checks, and schedule arena events.

Five part time employees will attend to arena supervision, and keep area clean. All three will work part time to ensure the facility has a full staff in case of an unanticipated event.

The following professionals have agreed to help Laser Tag:

[Proprietary and confidential information removed.]

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

The premier element in our financial plan is initiating, maintaining, and improving the factors that create, stabilize, and increase our cash flow:

  • We must create visibility so as to create customer flow.
  • We must ensure the theme creates a “WOW” effect to bolster attendance.
  • We must maintain a dependable, cheerful employee force so as to minimize turnover.

9.1 Start-up Funding

Total start-up requirements come to $111,844. The start-up costs are to be financed partially by the direct owner investment of $27,000 and financing in the amount of $84,844. The details are included in the following table.

9.2 Important Assumptions

The key underlying assumptions of our financial plan shown in the following general assumption table are:

  • We assume access to equity capital and financing to support our financial plan.
  • We assume our financial progress based on realistic sales to minimum sales against highest expenses.
  • We assume there will not be an economic crash that would greatly hinder our target market’s access to their personal luxury finds.

9.3 Break-even Analysis

Our break-even analysis is shown below.

Laser tag gaming center business plan, financial plan chart image

9.4 Projected Profit and Loss

The company will make a profit early on. There are two important assumptions with our Projected Profit and Loss statement:

  • Our revenue is based on minimum estimated averages against highest expense expectations.
  • Our major expense of rent and utilities is fixed for the next five years.

The yearly analysis is indicated in the table below; monthly analyses can be found in the appendix.

Laser tag gaming center business plan, financial plan chart image

9.5 Projected Cash Flow

The company’s estimated cash flow analysis is outlined in the following table. Laser Tag’s popularity will instantly show profitability, which will ensure positive cash balance. The Cash Flow table also shows planned sales tax received and paid out, and the estimated repayment for the requested loan.

Laser tag gaming center business plan, financial plan chart image

9.6 Projected Balance Sheet

The table below presents the balance sheet for Laser Tag. This table reflects a positive cash position throughout the period of this financial plan and dramatic growth in net worth.

9.7 Business Ratios

The company’s projected business ratios are provided in the table below. The final column, Industry Profile, shows significant ratios for the Amusement and Recreation industry for comparison, as determined by the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code, 7999.

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video game center business plan

Video game startups could be a bright spot for VC in 2024

video game center business plan

The global video game industry makes more money each year than movies and music combined. But that doesn’t mean the sector was immune to the macroeconomic impacts of the last few years. Gaming companies have held sizable layoffs , and venture funding to the category hit a five-year low in 2023. But VCs are optimistic that things will turn around this year.

Gaming startups raised $2 billion last year, according to a report from video game-focused VC Konvoy Ventures. 2023’s total was down significantly from 2021, $9.9 billion, and 2022, $6.7 billion.

Many VCs think that 2024 could be a bloodbath for startups, generally, as exits aren’t likely to return to any kind of normalcy until 2025; many companies will run out of money and have to shut down. But video games might be an outlier, according to some VCs.

For one, there were still a lot of positive milestones for the sector in 2023. There were multiple titles released last year that garnered huge audiences, including Baldur’s Gate 3 and Hogwarts Legacy , which each sold more than 22 million copies. Despite a flat year for growth in terms of the overall gaming industry, video games are still projected to grow into a $229 billion industry by the end of the decade.

The category is also changing, which opens the door for startups to launch alongside new trends. As drama around Apple’s App Store fees continues to persist, the industry is moving away from mobile games — which traditionally raised the most venture money — and toward cross-platform games, which are more expensive to make, but more lucrative, too. Unlike some categories, AI is just in its early innings in video games and will likely start to stake its place this year.

Josh Chapman, co-founder and managing partner at Konvoy, said the industry should return to normal growth in 2024. The increase in activity caused by tourist investors coming in due to pandemic-fueled gaming spikes and the crypto folks backing web3 gaming has all retreated. The industry can return to organic growth this year, he said.

“A lot of the web3 and crypto stuff in gaming sort of evaporated last year,” Chapman said. “The lack of web3 gaming companies pitching in the market led to an overall drop in deal flow. That’s one subsector of gaming, everything else stayed pretty strong.”

Ilya Eremeev, managing and general partner at The Games Fund, told TechCrunch that despite the industry coming off of a more challenging year for fundraising there is a lot to be excited about. One of the main things is the amount of developer talent available after the industry shed thousands in headcount through layoffs last year. Plus, compensation for these positions has gone down, which means startups might be able to land top talent in this market.

While some of the tourist investors have exited the space, corporates have remained active and have started to participate more at the early stages. It also goes against the trends in the broader venture space, where corporate VCs participated in the lowest percentage of U.S. deals in 2023 in nine years, according to PitchBook data.

“Strategics in Asia trying to run overseas operations in Europe and in the U.S., especially in Europe, they realized there is a growth opportunity in this region,” Eremeev said. “Sometimes they accumulated a lot of capital, they need to invest and are more open for high-risk deals and they invest in early stage.”

But the biggest trend to watch in video games this year is AI. While the AI frenzy in 2022 sparked a lot of existing companies to tout their AI prowess or a lot of companies to start building fast, it wasn’t as immediate of a jolt to the video game sector, Eremeev said. But companies are starting to launch, and they could have big implications — especially regarding the costs associated with game creation.

This gaming startup tries to show ‘AI + crypto’ is not a fad

Mobile ruled the gaming space for a long time, not just because the games were popular, but because they weren’t as expensive to produce as, say, an immersive data-heavy PC game. This made them more venture-backable. Sofia Dolfe, a partner at Index Ventures focused on gaming, said that watching AI unfold in the video game sector is one of the things she’s tracking the most this year.

“We are at the early innings of AI, it will lower the ability to create something, it will also lower the barrier for some areas of gaming that have been less VC investable,” Dolfe said. “Triple AAA quality games on PC that had really long-form creation cycles, it didn’t lend itself as much with the venture model as mobile games, bringing down those costs we will see a lot of studios being built that leverage that technology that I’m excited about.”

Generative AI embedded in games is another development to watch. There could be really interesting advancements where games can become more of a choose your own adventure in a way if AI allows users to fully control every aspect of the game, including NPCs (non-playable characters). This will of course have to have guardrails and guidelines, Eremeev said.

Interestingly, no investor mentioned AR or VR as an area of growth they are excited about this year. But with the current list of big video game releases set for 2024, and with Disney taking a 15% stake in Epic Games just last week, VC investors may have good reason to be optimistic about this year and video game startups in the long term.

“It’s going to be a very tricky and challenging year for the gaming industry but some amazing opportunities will emerge,” Chapman said. “If you look at Halo, Halo was built in 2001. League of Legends was built in 2009. Tough times produce incredible companies.”

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Some video game actors are letting AI clone their voices. They just don't want it to replace them

Matt O'Brien

Associated Press

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Voice actor Sarah Elmaleh poses for a photo in Los Angeles on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. Recent years marked a golden age for making an acting career in video games, but now some studios are looking to use artificial intelligence to clone actors' voices. Voice actors like Elmaleh, who played the Cube Queen in Fortnite, are taking a cautious approach to making sure such arrangements can help actors rather than replace them. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

If you are battling a video game goblin who speaks with a Cockney accent, or asking a gruff Scottish blacksmith to forge a virtual sword, you might be hearing the voice of actor Andy Magee.

Except it's not quite Magee's voice. It's a synthetic voice clone generated by artificial intelligence.

As video game worlds get more expansive, some game studios are experimenting with AI tools to give voice to a potentially unlimited number of characters and conversations. It also saves time and money on the “vocal scratch” recordings game developers use as placeholders to test scenes and scripts.

The response from professional actors has been mixed. Some fear that AI voices could replace all but the most famous human actors if big studios have their way. Others, like Magee, have been willing to give it a try if they're fairly compensated and their voices aren't misused.

“I hadn’t really anticipated AI voices to be my break into the industry, but, alas, I was offered paid voice work, and I was grateful for any experience I could get at the time,” said Magee, who grew up in Northern Ireland and has previously worked as a craft brewery manager, delivery driver and farmer.

He now specializes in voicing a diverse range of characters from the British Isles, turning what he used to consider a party trick into a rewarding career.

AI voice clones don't have the best reputation, in part because they've been misused to create convincing deepfakes of real people — from U.S. President Joe Biden to the late Anthony Bourdain — saying things they never said. Some early attempts by independent developers to add them to video games have also been poorly received, both by gamers and actors — not all of whom consented to having their voices used in that way.

Most of the big studios haven't yet employed AI voices in a noticeable way and are still in ongoing negotiations on how to use them with Hollywood’s actors union , which also represents game performers. Concerns about how movie studios will use AI helped fuel last year's strikes by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists but when it comes to game studios, the union is showing signs that a deal is likely.

Sarah Elmaleh, who has played the Cube Queen in Fortnite and numerous other high-profile roles in blockbuster and indie games, said she has “always been one of the more conservative voices” on AI-generated voices but now considers herself more agnostic.

“We’ve seen some uses where the (game developer's) interest was a shortcut that was exploitative and was not done in consultation with the actor,” said Elmaleh, who chairs SAG-AFTRA's negotiating committee for interactive media.

But in other cases, she said, the role of an AI voice is often invisible and used to clean up a recording in the later stages of production, or to make a character sound older or younger at a different stage of their virtual life.

“There are use cases that I would consider with the right developer, or that I simply feel that the developer should have the right to offer to an actor, and then an actor should have the right to consider that it can be done safely and fairly without exploiting them,” Elmaleh said.

SAG-AFTRA has already made a deal with one AI voice company, Replica Studios, announced last month at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas. The agreement — which SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher described as "a great example of AI being done right” — enables major studios to work with unionized actors to create and license a digital replica of their voice. It sets terms that also allow performers to opt out of having their voices used in perpetuity.

“Everyone says they’re doing it with ethics in mind,” but most are not and some are training their AI systems with voice data pulled off the internet without the speaker's permission, said Replica Studios CEO Shreyas Nivas.

Nivas said his company licenses characters for a period of time. To clone a voice, it will schedule a recording session and ask the actor to voice a script either in their regular voice or the voice of the character they are performing.

“They control whether they wish to go ahead with this,” he said. “It’s creating new revenue streams. We’re not replacing actors.”

It was Replica Studios that first reached out to Magee about a voice-over audio clip he had created demonstrating a Scottish accent. Working from his home studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, he's since created a number of AI replicas and pitched his own ideas for them. For each character he'll record lines with distinct emotions — some happy, some sad, some in battle duress. Each mood gets about 7,000 words, and the final audio dataset amounts to several hours covering all of a character's styles.

Once cloned, a paid subscriber of Replica's text-to-speech tool can make that voice say pretty much anything — within certain guidelines.

Magee said the experience has opened doors to a range of acting experiences that don't involve AI — including a role in the upcoming strategy game Godsworn.

Voice actor Zeke Alton, whose credits include more than a dozen roles in the Call of Duty military action franchise, hasn't yet agreed to lending his voice to an AI replica. But he understands why studios might want them as they try to scale up game franchises such as Baldur's Gate and Starfield where players can explore vast, open worlds and encounter elves, warlocks or aliens at every corner.

“How do you populate thousands of planets with walking, talking entities while paying every single actor for every single individual? That just becomes unreasonable at a point,” said Alton, who also sits on the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee for interactive media.

Alton is also open to AI tools that reduce some of the most physically straining work in creating game characters — the grunts, shouts and other sounds of characters in battle, as well as the movements of jumping, striking, falling and dying required in motion-capture scenes.

“I’m one of those people that is not interested so much in banning AI,” Alton said. “I think there’s a way forward for the developers to get their tools and make their games better, while bringing along the performers so that we maintain the human artistry.”

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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New Illusive Comics & Games

Photo of New Illusive Comics & Games - Santa Clara, CA, US. Tournaments mean shiny rewards

Services Offered

Verified by Business

Review Highlights

Michael C.

“ Considering the ridiculous heat in South Bay over the past few weekends, Isle of Gamers has been a refuge. ” in 7 reviews

Deborah T.

“ My son is newly into Pokémon cards and knowing nothing about the game, I took him in to buy new cards since my default store, Target, was completely sold out. ” in 3 reviews

Francis R.

“ Been here 4 times and and the environment and staff have always been consistent: friendly and welcoming . ” in 4 reviews

Location & Hours

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Map

5245 Stevens Creek Blvd

Santa Clara, CA 95051

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About the Business

Business owner information

Photo of Anna C.

Business Owner

We are a family friendly, well-lit, clean and organized shop with all the comics and tabletop games you need. We have an Event Area where people can reserve a table for 3 hours for $5. We also hold weekly Magic: the Gathering and Pokemon, the trading card game, events. …

Ask the Community

Ask a question

Do you guys sell the new set pokémon shining fates?

We have sold it at both our locations- Illusive Comics & Games and Isle of Gamers- but it was heavily allocated and sells out very quickly when we get more in. It's best to follow us on Facebook to see when we get more in to have a chance to buy any… more

Do you host a dungeons and dragons game?

Yes, several nights a week. You can see our full event calendar here- http://www.isleofgamers.com/calendar.html

Recommended Reviews

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  • 1 star rating Not good
  • 2 star rating Could’ve been better
  • 3 star rating OK
  • 4 star rating Good
  • 5 star rating Great

Select your rating

Overall rating

Photo of Cat W.

The energy here is IMMACULATE. Wonderful staff -- friendly, ridiculously knowledgeable, inclusive, and accommodating. Inventory is really thoughtful, they have a fantastic selection of anything a nerdy heart could desire. Definitely recommend. My fiance also comes here for MtG events, and he has nothing but glowing things to say about this place.

Photo of L S.

Best comic and game shop in the bay! The staff is very friendly and helpful and make everyone feel welcome. They have a ton of incredible dice and lots of options for miniature painters.

Photo of Katy Y.

Super friendly staff and a great selection of games, comics, figurines, and accessories! They have entire shelves of board games, comics, funko pops, and more. We came in to look for Magic The Gathering tokens which, ironically, they didn't have, but we left happy with some colorful dice. The two people who helped us were both really kind and went above and beyond.

Photo of Ben S.

Amazing service, plethora of books and games. Only sad part, no yugioh cards but they have everything else!

Photo of Andy K.

Came in with no knowledge of painting war hammer models and left with the basics and a plan. Great customer service and fantastic to see the employees able to explain the various brushes, paints, and techniques to paint the models. Has a great variety of stuff ranging from anime and manga to D&D, Warhammer, and comics.

Photo of Michaela D.

The game store we usually go to is closed for a little while longer, so we felt lucky when this place was still operating. Needed a bunch of card sleeves and some boxes, had a wide variety of colors to choose from, which was perfect for trying to separate decks. Fair pricing, great variety, greeted and asked if we needed help, everything we needed. Also, a shoutout to going to extra mile for safety measures. Reminders everywhere and even welcoming us along with reminding 6ft distancing, keep masks on and there was hand sanitizer right up front. A comfortable environment to get what we needed.

Photo of Mitali N.

Amazing collection of games. Anna was so great in explaining us the games, we ended up buying more than we intended :) They rent as well as sell games, so if you are looking to try some game this place is great too. They are following Covid protocols really well.

Photo of Virgil P.

Great place to shop! They have everything here! From Pokémon cards to D&D miniatures and books. Staff is nice and willing to help. Will be shopping here again very soon.

Photo of Wendy R.

Covid approved! Great selection, higher prices for to small business owner, but comparable to other stores. Great explanation from the staff and you can rent the games to try them out. The rental wall is to the right as you enter. Reserve the game on their website and they'll hand it right to you. The only thing that's tricky is that they really discourage you from touching anything which is hard when you want to just pick up the game and read the summary. (Post reply from Anna: Yes! They do have gloves and hand sanitizer, but we were also told to use our phone to look up game info. I do think during these times touching less items is super important.)

Photo of Anna W.

Feb 26, 2021

Hi Wendy, thank you for your review! We actually provide gloves by the front door for every customer who do want to peruse items. Please feel free to grab 'em if you need 'em.

Photo of Stephanie D.

I found this place when doing a search for my local gamer store in an effort to support small businesses when doing my holiday shopping. My brother is a major gamer and this place is right up his alley. You can shop in-person or online. I called to make sure they have the deck box he wanted in stock, which they did, and I was even able to pay for it over the phone. They offer offer delivery or curbside pickup, which is so awesome during these crappy covid times. I did curbside pickup and called when I was outside. They immediately brought it out and dropped in my trunk. I was out of there in seconds. Highly recommend!

3 other reviews that are not currently recommended

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Evolve Teen Mental Health Outpatient Programs

Evolve Teen Mental Health Outpatient Programs

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video game center business plan

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Teen Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Evolve San Jose

San Jose, CA 95126

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Evolve Teen Mental Health Outpatient Programs

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  • Verified by Psychology Today License: California / LCSW 15393
  • Certificate from CARF International 317172 / 2022
  • Certificate from The Joint Commission 588016 / 2023

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Top specialties.

  • Dual Diagnosis
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Client Focus

Participants, communities, programs and services, treatment programs.

  • Equine Therapy
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Out / Inpatient

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  1. How to Start a Game Center Business

    Start a game center business by following these 10 steps: Plan your Game Center Business Form your Game Center Business into a Legal Entity Register your Game Center Business for Taxes Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card Set up Accounting for your Game Center Business Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Game Center Business

  2. Starting a Video Game Center

    1. Choose a Suitable Location Let us get it straight here; starting a video gaming centre doesn't thrive in every area. The truth is that there are certain factors that must be considered before starting your gaming centre if indeed you want to get good returns on your investment.

  3. Launch a Successful Game Center Business with this 10-Step Checklist

    1. Conduct Industry Research Before opening a game center business, it's vital to conduct thorough research of the industry. Knowing the current market trends, competitors and customer preferences is key to creating a business that is financially stable and satisfies the target customer base.

  4. Gaming Lounge Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P's: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a gaming lounge business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following: Product: In the product section, you should reiterate the type of gaming lounge company that you documented in your company overview.

  5. How To Start A Video Games Center Business

    How To Start A Video Games Center Business Pat Walls • Updated: January 18th, 2023 If you ask any entrepreneur, starting a business comes with its fair share of challenges. Starting a video games center requires a great deal of effort, dedication and most importantly passion.

  6. How to Start a Profitable Gaming Lounge Business [11 Steps]

    Perform market analysis. Before diving into the gaming lounge business, it's crucial to understand the market dynamics and customer preferences. A comprehensive market analysis will aid in tailoring your services to meet the needs of your target audience and stay competitive. Here are some key steps to consider:

  7. Business Plan for Video Game Studio

    Last Modified: February 24, 2023 This article will first discuss the motivations and advantages of having a business plan. If you're launching your first game, then a business plan might not be necessary now. Then, the main sections of a business plan will be detailed and examples of a fictitious studio will be given (in green).

  8. Crafting a Winning Game Center Business Plan: 9 Essential Steps!

    In conclusion, writing a business plan for your game center business is an essential step to ensure its success. By following the 9 steps outlined in this checklist, you can establish a strong foundation for your business concept and ensure it is financially feasible, marketable, and has the necessary equipment and staff to run efficiently.

  9. Free Video Game Business Plan Example and Template

    Milestones. Secure funding — June 1, 2023. Establish office space and equipment — July 1, 2023. Complete hiring and onboarding — August 1, 2023. Begin development of the first game — September 1, 2023. Launch marketing campaign — January 1, 2024. Release first game — October 1, 2024. Begin development of the second game — November ...

  10. How to Start a Game Center Business

    Monthly Earnings: $12,000 - $24,000 Annual Earnings: $144,000 - $288,000 Actions to Hit Those Numbers: Equipment Purchase and Maintenance: Initial Investment: Approximately $50,000 - $100,000 for high quality gaming equipment, sound systems, consoles, and comfortable furnishings.

  11. How to Start a Video Game Company

    Start a video game company by following these 10 steps: Plan your Video Game Company. Form your Video Game Company into a Legal Entity. Register your Video Game Company for Taxes. Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card. Set up Accounting for your Video Game Company.

  12. How to Start a Video Game Company

    Step 1: Conduct Market Research. Before you go any further on your startup journey, you need to assess the market and determine if there is enough room to grow your business. You may have a great concept and design team, but if there is a paucity of demand, then it can be hard to break through the glass ceiling.

  13. How To Create a VR Game Center Business Plan: Checklist

    1. Conduct market research: Start by understanding the current state of the VR gaming market. Analyze consumer trends, market size, and growth potential to gain insights into the demand for your services. 2. Identify target market: Determine who your ideal customers are and tailor your offerings to their preferences.

  14. Starting A Game Center/Lounge

    Business Plan for Starting a Game Center/Lounge: 1. Market Research: Understand the local demand. Is there a sizable youth population? Do colleges exist nearby? The target audience will dictate your gaming selection and pricing. 2. Location: Choose a location frequented by the youth - near educational institutions or popular hangout spots.

  15. Video Game Business Plan Sample

    To draft a video game development business plan, you need to consider the following questions - Do you have proper financial planning? What business model you have to sell your game software, i.e. DVD, downloadable software, mobile gaming, distributor etc.? Who are in your competition, like resellers, local game store, etc?

  16. Simple Gaming Business Plan

    Create a vibrant gaming business plan and other processes with this editable Simple Gaming Business Plan Template. You can easily customize it within minutes for an eye-catching design. This business plan template features a bright gradient color scheme, icons, and bold headings. Start by incorporating a bright color palette and choose a gradient style for a cool effect.

  17. Video Game Lounge Business Plan [Sample Template]

    1. Industry Overview A video game lounge or center is a facility where people go to play video games. According to a report published by IBISWorld, the Video Games industry has experienced strong returns on industry products during the latter half of the five-year period to 2018.

  18. Video Game Store Business Plan [Sample Template for 2022]

    Industry Overview Video game store business is categorized under the video game retail store industry and businesses in this industry retail a wide range of toy and hobby goods, such as traditional dolls and toys, electronic toys (including video and electronic games), board games, hobby kits and craft supplies et al.

  19. Laser Tag Gaming Center Business Plan Example

    The remaining revenue is generated by a combination of video game patrons, party attendees, group participants, and the public (walk-ins). Video Game Patron. The average video game patron, also 15 years old, visits the center 2 times per month, spending a total of $20 on 40 video game plays. This customer accounts for about 10% of video game ...

  20. Video game startups could be a bright spot for VC in 2024

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    Nvidia Corporation (/ ɛ n ˈ v ɪ d i ə /, en-VID-ee-ə) is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and incorporated in Delaware. It is a software and fabless company which designs graphics processing units (GPUs), application programming interfaces (APIs) for data science and high-performance computing as well as system on a ...

  23. NVIDIA Corporation Company Profile

    The company's graphics processing units (GPUs) were initially used to simulate human imagination, enabling the virtual worlds of video games and films. NVIDIA has leveraged its GPU architecture to create platforms for scientific computing, artificial intelligence, data science, autonomous vehicles, robotics, metaverse, and 3D internet applications.

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    Voice actor Sarah Elmaleh poses for a photo in Los Angeles on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. Recent years marked a golden age for making an acting career in video games, but now some studios are looking ...

  25. NEW ILLUSIVE COMICS & GAMES

    Specialties: We are a family friendly, well-lit, clean and organized shop with all the comics and tabletop games you need. We have an Event Area where people can reserve a table for 3 hours for $5. We also hold weekly Magic: the Gathering and Pokemon, the trading card game, events. Established in 2015. Isle of Gamers was the expansion Game Shop born out of Illusive Comics & Games, when gaming ...

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    Teen Mental Health Treatment at Evolve San Jose, Treatment Center, San Jose, CA, 95126, (844) 330-5457, Evolve Treatment Centers support adolescents ages 12-17 struggling with mental health ...