Sunday, August 14, 2011

Starting Your Business

Let’s say that you’ve acquired some skill at making something, and you’ve decided it’s time to put your creations up for sale. How do you go about it?

If you have a lot of different things, you could open a store, or rent store space in a mall. But if you are just starting out, the expense of buying land and building a store, or even renting one, might be premature. There are two less expensive ways of offering your goods for sale.

The Marketplace. The SL website has a huge section that is like a big web shopping area for virtual goods. You can put items up for sale there for a very modest listing fee. You will need, however, some place in world to put the “Magic Box”.

The Magic Box is a scripted item that you can get for free from the Marketplace.  You rez the box in world and place the items you want to sell inside the box. This is actually what delivers your item when a customer orders it from the Marketplace. You can have many items inside one Magic Box.

There are some places that will rent you space for your box. If you have a friend with land, though, you can avoid even that expense. The Magic Box is only one prim; surely you have a friend willing to stick it in a corner somewhere.

A Kiosk. A lot of malls, or even other places, will rent you just a few prims to set out a small kiosk. This is a good way to display and sell small numbers of items. The multi-item vendors, where a customer scrolls through the offerings before choosing one, can save you a lot of prims.

Advertise! Talk with the owners of places that have some relation to what you sell. For example, you’ll find formal gowns and jewelry and tuxedos for sale outside a lot of the more popular ballrooms in SL. Negotiate a deal with people to put up a one prim vendor, or at least a landmark or notecard giver that will lead people to your wares. Announce your product in the appropriate forum. Contact bloggers who cover your product type and tell them about your new offering. If you do own or rent land for a store, take out a Classified ad for it. Never pass up an opportunity to tell friends, acquaintances, and strangers about your business.

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