“Find a job you love doing, and you will never work another day in your life,” said Mark Twain. The sentiment is often repeated as sage advice for young professionals in search of a career. However, following your passion as a career has more than emotional benefits. Happy people tend to earn higher salaries, according to a study by Princeton University. A good example of that is in the gaming industry. The average salary in the gaming industry is now $79,480 – more than double the national average. With the gaming industry thriving this year, there has never been a better time to turn your gaming passion into an income source. From selling the hottest gaming accessories to opening your own virtual gaming community, the opportunities are endless. However, like any other business, running a successful gaming venture requires forethought and preparation – starting with your ideas and your finances.
Perhaps you have decided to become a professional video gaming reviewer or opted to open your own gaming supplies store. One of the first considerations that come to mind is: how will you fund it? The best place to start is by drawing up a financial plan and budget to estimate how much you will need. If you plan on seeking financing for your small business, creditors will also ask to see a business plan. Alternatively, you can choose to self-fund or borrow money from friends, family, or private investors. Other elements of your business’ financial plan should include financial projections, itemized funding needs, and details of your personal credit history and its impact. If you find the projections, spreadsheets or tax details to be too intense, it is always helpful to speak to a financial accountant or planner for advice.
You also need to think and plan ahead as a business owner. Take steps to protect your new business, your brand, and your assets from the first day as a gaming business owner. One way to do this is by securing insurance policies like cyber insurance, workers compensation, and small business insurance. While cyber insurance protects your business from online threats like hackers and data loss, small business insurance protects in the event of business interruption (unplanned business closure or a halt in trading) and property damage/theft. According to a recent report by Akamai, the video gaming industry has seen a rise in persistent cyber attacks since 2018, and more video gamers are becoming more conscious of security when making a purchase or playing online.
The gaming industry is becoming more social, and so is the business within it. As the years and gaming releases go by, gaming is relying more on social media and networking. For instance, achieving success as a video game reviewer on video platforms like Youtube centers heavily on generating traffic to your channel. Similarly, more gamers are interacting online, which means it is a prime communication and sales channel for a gaming business.
Because of this, new business owners in the gaming industry need to start building their online presence as soon as possible. To network in the gaming industry, make a list of anyone you already know that is connected to the industry in some way. For instance, fellow gaming buddies could translate into potential customers or part of your gaming business’ staff. You also want to set up your business’ social media accounts early. Content marketing is great for gaming businesses since players are always seeking new content on popular gaming technology releases or trends like a blog and how-to articles or video demos.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy it. Getting the balance right between your gaming hobby and using it as a business is a delicate task, but it is completely possible. Set clear business boundaries and targets while leaving space to remember why you developed a passion for gaming in the first place.