Written by Mike Deroche (roachofdeath)
So, you know you've made the game you will be able to sell right? Your going to be rich someday, right? Well, you probably won't be, but here's a start. Thsi guide will show you how to market and sell your games, to get at least some money for the hours you loggen programming your game.
First you need to figure some things out for yourself.
1.) Who is my target market?
Is your game meant for kids? Adults? Teens?
2.) Where am I going to sell it?
Once you've figured out your target market, it's easier to chose where you are going to sell your product. For example, if your game is for children, ages 5 and lower, are you going to sell your game at a teen rap concert? No, of course not. You would sell it probably around a daycare center, or in the Kid's section of a department store.
3.) What's your price?
This also depends on your target market. Different age groups probably would pay more for a certain game then another age group would. Make sure the game costs more than your Individual Start-Up cost for a single unit. (see below in "Investing")
4.) What is your unit of time?
Are you going to be keeping your records in Monthy or Weekly format? This is importnant when calculating the end of the week (or month) loss, profit, and costs.
5.) How much do you estimate you will sell?
Before you go out and buy 300 CDRs, just take a guess on how much you will sell each month or week, whatever you chose in the steop above. Chose a number a little lower than you think. After all, you can always buy more, but you cant return them.
Start-Up Investment / Operating Costs
Ok, now that you know what you are planning to do, it's time to start doing it! This of course, is going to take some money. Money to make money, in otherwords.
1.) Standard Start-Up Investments
--- CDRs (Don't buy to many!)
--- CD Labeler (If wanted)
--- Jewel Cases for CDRs (if they didn't come with them)
2.) Standard Operating Costs
--- Rent (Where you are selling your product)
--- Website (for customer support)
--- Loans (did your parents loan you a few dollars here and there? Pay them back in peices, a percent at the end of every month/week (whatever you chose in your plan)
Ok, say you make a sale, and you make $10! Good for you! However, that entire $10 is not for you to keep. Remember the investments! You need to pay off the Start-Up Costs and the Operating Costs before you start making a profit. At the end of the week, calculate the money you spent with startup-costs and operating costs, and how much merchandise you sold, and how much money you received for the merchandise. Subtract the money you received from the costs, and see if you're at a loss or a profit! Now, after the first few days you can probably get an idea on how many people are going to buy your game, so now you know about how many CDRs to buy, so you're not wasting your money.
Is business slow? Maybe it's time for some marketing. Of course, TV and Radio ads would be too much of an expense, so stick with flyers and posters, and hang them up at local stores, post offices, churches, and other buildings. If your'e posting it in a non-local area, make sure you have a website and the website address is on the flyer, so customers can purchase a product online. A flyer should include your company name, address, telephone number, (fax if availible), website (if availible) and a slogan. If you don't have a slogan, get one, because it's what triggers brand recognition, as well as the logo does. So, be sure to have yoru company name, logo, and slogan. Brocures are also a great tool to use, but flyers will have a much better chance of visibility. Also, the best advertising there can be is completely free. It's called talking. Get people to talk about your games, and it can spread like wildfire... like a rumor in a highschool. If your customer service is great, and/or the game is great people will be more likely to reffer or talk about you, and spread the word about your company. Contests are also a good thing. A good advertising contest to hold is a refferal contest. Basicly, whoever reffers the most people to buy your product can win something. Possible one of the best contests I have seen was when CocaCola launched a contest in which you were spotted drinking CocaCola in public, you would have a chance to win somthing. Not only did CocaCola get tons of visibility with people walking all over the place with their product, but they had a base contest that made people buy more. This should give you a good idea on how to market and advertise.
Where to Sell?
Try to sell your game in somewhere that is free, unless of course nobody is ever there. The mall is a great population place, but it comes at a major price. Local stores, or flea markets are great places to sell (as said by Cynical). You can also sell games through your website. Be sure to charge Shipping and Hadleing, and keep a record of all of your sales.
Record Your Sales!
Recording your sales is a key point in making your selling successful. Use something with some catagories below. It is called double entry book-keeping.
Date, Customer Name, Sale Price, Game Sold, Cutomer E-Mail
You can of course, add your own catagories. These are just suggestions.
Well, I think I covered most of it, if I haven't just contact me and i'll add it in.
(I have a feeling I forgot somthing)
Edited by roachofdeath, 19 August 2005 - 01:01 PM.