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Ask Approved: The 12 Best Video Games of 2020
Editor’s Note: take a look at our list of 2022’s most anticipated video games.
Although the video game industry can carry on remotely, the COVID-19 pandemic still threw a wrench into game launches and studios’ plans. Nonetheless, huge, highly anticipated titles, from Final Fantasy VII Remake to Ghost of Tsushima , still managed to hit shelves. And, without a doubt, Nintendo’s latest Animal Crossing title proved to be a saving grace for folks needing an escape (not to mention, the cause of a worldwide Switch shortage). All of this to say, 2020 has been a shockingly solid year for games (and TV and literally nothing else), but despite the wealth of top-tier games, there are a few titles that tower above the rest. Here are our picks for the year’s best video games.
12. Paper Mario: The Origami King
Although most Switch owners have been sinking time into Animal Crossing: New Horizons , an escapist game that’s been giving players a sense of routine during a turbulent time, they should hit pause on the life sim and hang with gaming’s favorite plumber in Paper Mario: The Origami King . The sixth installment in Nintendo’s beloved Paper Mario series sees everyone’s favorite red-hatted plumber fighting off the Origami King and his evil army of Folded Soldiers in order to protect the Mushroom Kingdom.
Although he’s armed with a trusty hammer, a cast of supportive allies and a penchant for puzzle-solving in lieu of his renowned jumping skills, this flatter version of Mario is still the same character we all know and cherish. But what we love most about this one is the ingenuity and innovation — the stuff that makes this Mario stand out. The series has always leaned into its aesthetics, making them more than just fun gimmicks, and, for those wanting more variety in gameplay, Origami King is a decidedly cross-genre offering that features elements of RPGs, platformers, puzzlers and action-adventure games.
Available on: Nintendo Switch.
Developed by the aptly named Phobia Game Studio, Carrion is described by GameSpot as a “reverse-horror game.” Fire up Carrion and you’ll quickly learn why: An experiment goes awry and you assume control of that experiment — an amorphous, tentacled creature dead-set on wreaking havoc on the scientists (and soldiers) responsible for its imprisonment.
As you crawl through vents and consume all of the humans you come into contact with, be on the lookout for pieces of genetic code, which, when reabsorbed, allow you to gain new abilities. Although light on the story, Carrion does provide glimpses into the creature’s origins, adding an interesting narrative twist on what Destructoid calls “an unrelenting slaughterhouse.” This game earns a spot on our list for its impressive visuals, relentless action and fun twist on the horror genre.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux and macOS.
10. Half-Life: Alyx
One of gaming’s biggest “in jokes” — if you can even call it that — is that the highly acclaimed, groundbreaking Half-Life 2 (and Half-Life 2: Episode Two ) will never receive the sequel it deserves. After over a decade, Valve, the folks behind beloved series like Half-Life , Portal and Team Fortress , sort of gave fans what they’ve been wanting in the form of Half-Life: Alyx , a virtual reality (VR) first-person shooter.
Set before the events of Half-Life 2 , the game allows players to step into the shoes of fan-favorite character Alyx Vance. In order to fight the Combine, an alien empire set on taking over Earth, Alyx sets off on a mission to seize one of the invaders’ superweapons. The game really leans into the VR element, allowing players to use “gravity gloves” to interact with the environment and manipulate objects. By combining creative physics puzzles with exciting combat and exploration sequences and the heart-pounding intensity of the survival horror genre, Alyx has been touted as VR’s first “killer app” for good reason.
Available on: Microsoft Windows & Linux. (Works with most PC-compatible VR headsets.)
9. Streets of Rage 4
These days, nostalgia sells — and the latest entry in the Streets of Rage series proves that. For the unfamiliar, this side-scrolling beat ’em up franchise was first released as a trilogy of games for the Sega Genesis in the 1990s. Since then, those early installments have been ported countless times, but now, nearly three decades later, Streets of Rage finally has a completely new chapter.
Set a decade after Streets of Rage 3 , the fourth installment sees the children of criminal mastermind Mr. X forming a new crime syndicate that aims to brainwash the citizens of Wood Oak City with hypnotic music. In order to take down the evil syndicate, players once again take control of ex-police vigilante Blaze Fielding and her motley crew of fighters. The Sydney Morning Herald notes that “the balance between embracing nostalgia and reformulating the brawler for the current decade is struck wonderfully.” Best of all, Streets of Rage 4 ranks highly for replay value, thanks in part to its online multiplayer mode.
Available on: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
8. Doom: Eternal
A followup to the franchise’s soft reboot Doom (2016), first-person shooter Doom: Eternal follows the Doomguy (Doom Slayer) character who is, once again, tasked with stopping Hell’s consumption of Earth and taking down the extraterrestrial Maykrs. As with its predecessors, the no-holds-barred style of play will not only get you through the game but also see you collecting more ammo, health and armor.
While the emphasis is still placed on this “push-forward” combat style, Doom: Eternal also makes an effort to include some platformer sequences and invest more in its story. The reaction to these efforts was decidedly mixed: GameSpot called the game’s story “overly serious and confusing,” while other critics felt the puzzler sections were out of place. Nonetheless, with a catchy soundtrack and undeniably fun combat, the game still captures what long-time fans love most about the franchise.
Available on: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Stadia and Xbox One. Coming soon to: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S.
7. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
This platform-adventure game, which takes inspiration from old-school titles like Metroid and Castlevania , is a direct sequel to 2015’s highly acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest . Upon its launch, Will of the Wisps made waves for frame-rate issues and bugs, but after those were (quickly) patched, it was easy to fall in love with every aspect of the game.
Although this sequel trades Blind Forest ‘s two-dimensional artwork for a more multilayered level design, the immersive, fantastical visuals still carry the same spirit — and fashion a world you can’t help but want to disappear into for a few hours. In addition to changing up the look of the first game, Will of the Wisps expands the franchise’s imaginative world and refines the gameplay, encouraging reviewers at GamesRadar+ and Destructoid to call it “one of the best platformers ever made” and “a hallmark of excellence,” respectively.
Available on: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X and Series S.
6. Ghost of Tsushima
Sony’s highly anticipated action-adventure stealth game Ghost of Tsushima more than lives up to the massive expectations placed squarely on its (metaphorical) shoulders. This open-world game follows a samurai as he endeavors to protect the titular Tsushima Island from the Mongol invasion of Japan during the late 13th century. Ghost has become just the third western game to receive an ever-elusive perfect score from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu .
While the game has faced criticism for its side quests’ monotony, the fluid combat gameplay has been universally praised. IGN notes that, apart from combat, Ghost ‘s strong point is that it’s “an absolutely gorgeous adventure through one of history’s most strikingly beautiful landscapes.” Although clearly meant to be an homage to Akira Kurosawa films, Polygon writer Kazuma Hashimoto notes that Ghost “ultimately doesn’t deal with the politics of the country it uses as a backdrop.”
Available on: PlayStation 4.
5. Final Fantasy VII Remake
After what felt like a decade, Square Enix finally released its (beyond) highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake , an updated (and slightly retooled) version of its hit role-playing game from 1997. For the uninitiated, the game tells the story of Cloud Strife, a mercenary with a murky past who joins an eco-terrorist organization set on dismantling Shinra, the megacorporation that’s sucking the planet’s life essence dry for energy — and that’s just the first act.
As fans of the original will recall from the game’s jewel case, GameFan dubbed Final Fantasy VII “quite possibly the greatest game ever made.” The high-def, episodic PlayStation 4 remake had a lot to live up to — and live up it did. In addition to stellar early reviews, Final Fantasy VII Remake sold a whopping 3.5 million copies in just three days. GameSpot notes that it “presents fresh perspectives that feel both meaningful and essential” and we couldn’t agree more. Remake takes an epic tale (and characters we’ve loved for years) and tells a more personal story — and, you know, it’s satisfying as heck to play.
4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
You’re probably tired of hearing about it , but it’s true that the long-awaited Nintendo Switch installment of the acclaimed Animal Crossing series couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. As is the case with previous entries in the series, New Horizons is a nonlinear life simulation game that you play in real time. Translation: If you were sheltering in place in March, the game provided a fix of the “everyday,” the routine and mundane that we were all sorely missing.
For those who are (somehow still) unfamiliar with the series, here’s a quick rundown. In Animal Crossing , you play as a human character who moves to a new town — in the case of New Horizons , your character moves to a deserted island at the invitation of series regular Tom Nook, a raccoon “entrepreneur.” While exploring the island, you collect items, furnish your home and build a community alongside anthropomorphic animals. Ah, the simple life.
3. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
A follow up to Insomniac Games’ 2018 hit Marvel’s Spider-Man , Miles Morales puts you in the (stylish) shoes of its titular character, who must take up the Spidey mantle — “and own it,” as the game’s back-of-box copy states. In this version of Miles’ (Nadji Jeter) story, he’s a teenager adjusting to life in Harlem in the wake of his father’s untimely death. Meanwhile, his mother, Rio Morales, is campaigning for City Council, and his mentor, Peter Parker, is heading abroad for work, meaning Mile will be New York’s only webslinger for a bit.
As if things weren’t hard enough for the young hero, he’s soon tasked with saving New York City from a building war between the Roxxon Energy Corporation and a high-tech criminal army dubbed the “Underground.” Needless to say, the game is action-packed — and it pulls off all that action with real finesse. In addition to astonishing swinging, web-slinging and other combat mechanics (like Miles’ signature bioelectric powers and invisibility ), the game serves as a gorgeous introduction to the new PlayStation 5 gold standard in terms of graphics and frame rate. All of this to say, whether you’re beating up bad guys or just taking a tour of New York City from above, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales reaches new gaming heights.
Available on: PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
The “roguelike” video game genre gets its name from 1980’s Rogue , a roleplaying dungeon crawler that essentially invented that style of gameplay, all while drawing inspiration from text-based computer games like Colossal Cave Adventure and fantasy tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons . The latest game to do right by the roguelike genre is Hades , in which you play as Zagreus, the son of Hades, who is attempting to escape the Underworld and reach Mount Olympus.
Each “run” the player makes — a.k.a. attempts to reach Olympus — features randomly generated rooms, and those rooms are also populated with random enemies and rewards. Needless to say, Zagreus will die a lot, but that doesn’t mean this one’s a Greek tragedy. In fact, players can use treasures from previous attempts to unlock better attributes and weapons, thus improving their odds on subsequent run-throughs. In addition to an immensely high replay value and engaging combat, Hades also boasts a top-notch, engrossing narrative — all of which add up to hours upon hours of unique gameplay.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems.
1. The Last of Us Part II
Picking up several years after Naughty Dog’s survival-horror masterpiece The Last of Us left off, this sequel centers on Ellie (Ashley Johnson) — the “mature beyond her years” teen whom smuggler Joel (Troy Baker), the player character, must escort out of Boston (and across a post-apocalyptic wasteland) in the first game. In Part II , Ellie must still outgun the (zombie-like) creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus, but she’s also out for revenge.
And, yes, this time it’s personal — very personal. Survival horror doesn’t even begin to describe it: In Last of Us , it truly feels like no one is safe, so prepare for your heartbeat to go wild, whether you’re being stealthy or engaging in frantic gunplay. Naughty Dog has written both a harrowing apocalyptic epic about the nature of violence and revenge as well as a nuanced queer love story — and wrapped it all up in heart-pounding gameplay and a surprising, but thoughtful, narrative structure. Needless to say, The Last of Us Part II is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Honorable Mention: Among Us
Writing for Wired about the resurgence of narrative-free games , M.J. Lewis points out that, “In the midst of a pandemic, we’re all suffering from narrative exhaustion right now” — and we couldn’t agree more. While we love this year’s engrossing epics and blockbuster titles, we also can’t get enough of Among Us , the free-to-play (in some cases) hit that changed the gaming landscape for Twitch streamers and casual players alike in the second half of 2020. Even though it initially came out 2018 — hence its honorable mention status.
For the uninitiated, Among Us is a multiplayer game (4-10 players) — one that you can play online with friends or randomly selected players, or locally with your shelter-in-place housemates. When you fire up the game, players are dropped on a spaceship, with the aim of completing a certain number of mundane tasks to get the ship in tip-top shape. The only problem? Some of the “crew” are privately told at the game’s onset that they are imposters, and their aim is to sabotage the ship or kill off the genuine crewmates before all those mundane tasks are completed.
If you’ve ever played party games like Mafia or Werewolf , this is quite like that: When a body is discovered, crewmates will have the chance to vote someone off the ship — hopefully the imposter(s) — so winning takes some good negotiation and pokerface skills in addition to a mastery of the gameplay. There’s a reason this game has become 2020’s latest viral trend, so who are we to deny it a much-deserved shoutout?
Free to play on: iOS and Android. Available on: Microsoft Windows.
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Game stores are highly specialized shops selling entertainment products to a targeted niche. Spanning a range of niches, from video games to living room games to role playing games, well-managed game stores can attract a very loyal customer base. Starting a game store business can be an exciting way to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams while doing something that you love.
Register your business in your state and obtain any business permits requires at the local level. Contact your secretary of state to begin the registration process, and contact your county clerk to inquire about permit requirements in your community.
Create a business plan and seek funding for your business. A game store generally requires a large upfront investment in inventory, especially in the video game segment, so startup financing is likely an essential component of getting your store in order. Place emphasis on your marketing and financial plans in your business plan, showing that you fully understand your target market, including their evolving preferences and the best ways to reach them with advertising messages, and that you understand where your profit will come from.
Purchase a suitable storefront in a high-traffic area. Game stores can establish themselves as a landmark in the community over time; a place that all gamers in the area are familiar with. Make sure your storefront and signage are highly visible from the road, and use your storefront to announce promotions and sales.
Stock your game store. Acquire video games for all popular consoles and PCs if you choose to open a video game store, for example. Stock card games, board games, interactive television games and trivia games if you choose to open a family games store.
Set up a way of valuing products for trade. Offering trade credit or cash for used games has become a common practice in video game stores, although the same is not so of other types of game retailers. Determine a method of valuing games based on their physical condition, their age and the popularity of the particular title in your store. Consider offering a consignment sales option for your customers as well, wherein you do not pay for used games, but rather stock them on your shelves for your customers, taking a percentage of the price for the store and giving the rest to the seller.
Promote your store in innovative ways. Host live tournaments in your store for popular games. Host midnight release events for new games with a great deal of hype. Take your customer loyalty programs to the next level by offering valuable prizes and freebies to your frequent shoppers.
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David Ingram has written for multiple publications since 2009, including "The Houston Chronicle" and online at Business.com. As a small-business owner, Ingram regularly confronts modern issues in management, marketing, finance and business law. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts in management from Walsh University.
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Video Store Business Plan Template
Video store business plan for starting your own business
Video games are becoming more and more popular among youth, teens, as well as adults. Setting up an arena where your customers could play video games, as an individual as well as in groups, can be immensely profitable. To enter this business, making a business plan for a video game store is the first step you have to take. Since each aspect of your business will get affected by your plan, therefore, it is necessary to write a business plan for video game store effectively. If you are looking for an easy yet cost-effective business startup, the video game store business can be a great choice.
Although this venture is relatively easy, you still need professional business plan experts to make the best business plan. The Game Garage video game store will provide a thrilling and real gaming experience mainly for the youth and adults accustomed to games. You can use the following document for help or refer to a business plan for farmers market or a related business to get the ball rolling.
2.1 the business.
The Game Garage video game store will be a video game store located in an emergent community in Los Angeles, California. After conducting a market survey and feasibility studies, we concluded that Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, is the right location to launch our video game store business plan. According to our video games store business plan, we will equip our gaming outlet with numerous facilities. Furthermore, apart from providing video games and related products at affordable prices, we will ensure that our customer care services are second to none in the whole of Los Angeles.
2.2 Management of Video Store Business
The owner of The Game Garage will be Mr. Helery. He has extensive experience working in managerial positions in various video game stores. Being an experienced person, he will soon be able to drive his business towards success.
In this business plan to start your own video rental store , we’re providing all the details of ecommerce startup business plan to help you devise a plan for your startup.
2.3 Customers of Video Store Business
Our potential and recurring customers are identified as follows:
- Young Professionals
- College Students
- Other Video Game Stores
2.4 Business Target
The target of The Game Garage is to offer a unique and unforgettable gaming experience to our customers. We will deliver our best-expected services to our game players by providing them with the best possible gaming devices, a comfortable environment, and a fair pricing model.
Our financial targets to meet for the first three years of our launch are demonstrated below:
3.1 company owner.
Mr. Helery will be the owner of this video store business. Mr.Helery completed his Master’s degree in Business Administration. Previously he served in managerial positions at various games stores. However, he wished to start a video rental business of his own, and therefore, the Game Garage came into being.
3.2 Why the video store business is being started
Mr. Helery knew well that a video game shop business has an evergreen and blossoming market. Therefore, the video store business will be based on giving people, an opportunity to choose from a wide range of video games and other related products.
3.3 How the video store business will be started
Step1: Plan Everything
The main objective of any video game shop business plan is to help develop the business. And this is achieved through thorough planning. To help you plan your business, we are providing this business plan free of cost. You can use this document or a business plan for retail clothing to plan your startup.
Step2: Define the Brand
The next step in setting up the video game business is to define its brand. The business plan of this video game store will be aimed at making a brand that people can trust.
Step3: Establish Your Corporate Office
To start the video game store, Mr. Helery decided to rent out a three-room shop and procure the equipment and furniture.
Step4: Establish a Web Presence
Nowadays, most people search for a service online to read reviews and get a basic overview. Thus, to attract a wider audience, Mr. Helery has decided to make a page on social media platforms and develop a website.
Step5: Promote and Market
Even before the physical establishment of a business, the most important thing is its marketing. It is important to tell people that you exist. Marketing promotes aspects that make you different from your competitors. Thus, the store will utilize promotional streams such as social media to make its presence known to a greater community.
Services of Video Store Business
Enlisting the store services is necessary to complete a business plan. For video store business plan sample , it is important to define the services provided by the store. To decide which services you should offer, it is helpful to read the services provided by your competitors via available business plans. Reading blogs on how to start a video rental business can also help you make this decision.
For video store business plan sample , it is important to define the services provided by the store.
Our video store will offer the following services:
The selling of new video games to the customers is the primary revenue stream for the business. The video games that the general public will demand will be provided to the video game store with details of authorized dealers and wholesalers. It has been anticipated by the management of the video store business that approximately 50% of the company’s revenue will come from selling new video games.
- Used games
Additionally, the video game store will also deal in old games that customers can trade and purchase. The store will use a comprehensive used game return policy that allows sellers to receive a good value for each of their used games or game consoles. For more on this, you may consult the used video game store business plan.
- Vintage video games
There has been an increase in the demand for vintage video games from the industry ‘s early days. Our video games store will also sell vintage video games following the trending demand.
- Gaming Lounge
Not only can our customers buy video games from the store, but they will also be able to play video games in our gaming lounge.
Marketing Analysis of Video Store Business
Before you start your own video store , it is important to explore the trends that are going on. The market analysis done by you should investigate the relationship between the supply and demand of the products. In this video store business plan we will provide some segments from the marketing analysis of Game Garage. This video game store business plan template will help you understand your target market thoroughly. For a better understanding of how pricing trends and customer expectations are measured, you can also visit gift shop business plan .
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5.1 Market Trends
Due to the increasing trend of video games, the industry has a market share of around $86 billion. If the video rental store business plans are written after carefully analyzing the financial and marketing information, then the video stores can turn into big success stories. Therefore, it is good to invest in an industry with more than 2.7 million users worldwide.
5.2 Marketing Segmentation
As per the industry business plan, the potential customers of The Game Garage Video store are divided into the following groups:
5.2.1 Young Professionals
Young professional players spend their maximum time playing games to get rid of the stress of their working routines. These young professional gamers have a great interest in up-to-date video games, so they are expected to have a considerable presence in our store.
Children prove to be avid gamers. And considering that trend, we expect to receive regular visits from children as well, especially from those who are between the ages of 10 and 15.
5.2.3 College students
College and high school students also contribute to increasing video gaming stores’ revenue. Their spending power may be less than our first group but they are still expected to make a significant portion of our revenues. It is because they are not tightly bound with their routines and can visit us more frequently than all other customer groups.
5.2.4 Other Video Game Stores
The final set of our customers will be the video game stores that want to procure inventory from us. As we will store new games in high demand, we expect to often receive these customers.
5.3 Business Target
We will try to focus our efforts to achieve the following targets:
- To gain and sustain a CSAT score of more than 95%.
- To generate enough revenue from the company to earn a profit of more than $40.4k a month on average by the end of the third year.
- To extend our services to at least three states within the first three years.
5.4 Product Pricing
To capture the market at the start, we will keep our charges the lowest possible. In addition, our video game store will ensure that the prices of all the video games and accessories available in our store are competitive with those that are obtainable from other video game stores.
Marketing Strategy of video store business
Now that you are familiar with how to build a video game store business, the next step is to develop practical marketing strategies for your store. This is one of the essential parts of a video store business marketing plan. The video game business plan template for Game Garage will help you understand the marketing trends and targeted customers.
Though this video store sample business plan provides the competitive analysis and sales strategy in detail, it is still advisable to study a few more business plans such as a butcher shop business plan to have even greater insight.
6.1 Competitive Analysis
- Our store will aim to hire the most competent and top-ranking professionals with extensive experience in their respective fields.
- Our video store believes in a combined effort. Our experts will have in-depth conversations with the customers/ clients to provide their desired video game products and provide top-class services.
- Under our particular training program, we will provide special training to our executives and employees.
6.2 Sales Strategy
- We will use online channels like Facebook ads, YouTube, and Google to boost our sales.
- We will create a strong presence on all online channels.
- We will offer a 20% discount on all our services for the first three months.
6.3 Sales Monthly
6.4 Sales Yearly
6.5 Sales Forecast
Personnel plan of video game store
The list of people needed to start a video game store business must be included in your business plan video store. When you search for how to open a movie rental store you should identify the major task and personnel required to perform those tasks. If you want to know how to keep your staff motivated and productive throughout the year, you can see some tips in this bridal store business plan . The list of required employees to start Game Garage is given below.
7.1 Company Staff
- 1 General Manager to help direct the business
- 1 Sale and Marketing Manager to increase sales of the store
- 2 Merchandise Managers to manage market visits and vendor relations
- 2 Store Managers to manage the daily activities of the store
- 1 Accountant/ Cashier to manage the monetary activities of the store
- 1 Receptionist to receive calls for video game purchasing
7.2 Average Salary of Employees
Financial plan of video store business.
A financial plan should entail cash in-flows and outflows of your business for at least three years. In this sample business plan for video store, we are providing the financial plan of Game Garage. Through this financial plan, you can learn how to turn every cent of your investment into huge revenue. Only by following an accurate financial plan can you ensure that your business doesn’t go into a loss and ends up as a video rental store for sale.
For a greater and in-depth knowledge of financial statements, you should also study a few more business plans like a business plan for jewelry business . If you lack the knowledge and expertise in the field, then it is advisable to hire a financial analyst to do the job for you.
8.1 Important Assumptions
8.2 break-even analysis.
8.3 Projected Profit and Loss
8.3.1 profit monthly.
8.3.2 Profit Yearly
8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly
8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly
8.4 Projected Cash Flow
8.5 Projected Balance Sheet
8.6 business ratios.
- How to start a video store business?
Starting a video rental store involves developing a business plan to define the brand, establish your store, establish a web presence, and promote and market your brand.
- How to open a video rental store?
Opening a movie rental store involves the following steps: determine your niche, assess your competitors and finances, build marketing plans and strategies, set up your business goals, and invest in your company.
Download Video Store Business Plan Template in pdf
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Video Game Store Business Plan [Sample Template]
By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero
Home » Business Plans » Wholesale & Retail
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.
A Sample Video Game Store Business Plan Template
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
Sales and Marketing Manager
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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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How to write a business plan for a video games shop?
Writing a business plan for a video games shop can be an intimidating task, especially for those just starting.
This in-depth guide is designed to help entrepreneurs like you understand how to create a comprehensive business plan so that you can approach the exercise with method and confidence.
We'll cover: why writing a video games shop business plan is so important - both when starting up, and when running and growing the business - what information you need to include in your plan, how it should be structured, and what tools you can use to get the job done efficiently.
Let's get started!
In this guide:
Why write a business plan for a video games shop?
What information is needed to create a business plan for a video games shop.
- What goes in the financial forecast for a video games shop?
- What goes in the written part of a video games shop business plan?
- What tool can I use to write my video games shop business plan?
Understanding the document's scope and goals will help you easily grasp its structure and content. Before diving into the specifics of the plan, let's take a moment to explore the key reasons why having a video games shop business plan is so crucial.
To have a clear roadmap to grow the business
Small businesses rarely experience a constant and predictable environment. Economic cycles go up and down, while the business landscape is mutating constantly with new regulations, technologies, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging when we least expect it.
In this dynamic context, it's essential to have a clear roadmap for your video games shop. Otherwise, you are navigating in the dark which is dangerous given that - as a business owner - your capital is at risk.
That's why crafting a well-thought-out business plan is crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your venture.
To create an effective business plan, you'll need to take a step-by-step approach. First, you'll have to assess your current position (if you're already in business), and then identify where you'd like your video games shop to be in the next three to five years.
Once you have a clear destination for your video games shop, you'll focus on three key areas:
- Resources: you'll determine the human, equipment, and capital resources needed to reach your goals successfully.
- Speed: you'll establish the optimal pace at which your business needs to grow if it is to meet its objectives within the desired timeframe.
- Risks: you'll identify and address potential risks you might encounter along the way.
By going through this process regularly, you'll be able to make informed decisions about resource allocation, paving the way for the long-term success of your business.
To anticipate future cash flows
Regularly comparing your actual financial performance to the projections in the financial forecast of your video games shop's business plan gives you the ability to monitor your business's financial health and make necessary adjustments as needed.
This practice allows you to detect potential financial issues, such as unexpected cash shortfalls before they escalate into major problems. Giving you time to find additional financing or put in place corrective measures.
Additionally, it helps you identify growth opportunities, like excess cash flow that could be allocated to launch new products and services or expand into new markets.
Staying on track with these regular comparisons enables you to make well-informed decisions about the amount of financing your business might require, or the excess cash flow you can expect to generate from your main business activities.
To secure financing
Crafting a comprehensive business plan for your video games shop, whether you're starting up or already established, is paramount when you're seeking financing from banks or investors.
Given how fragile small businesses are, financiers will want to ensure that you have a clear roadmap in place as well as command and control of your future cash flows before entertaining the idea of funding you.
For banks, the information in your business plan will be used to assess your borrowing capacity - which is defined as the maximum amount of debt your business can afford alongside your ability to repay the loan. This evaluation helps them decide whether to extend credit to your business and under what terms (interest rate, duration, repayment options, collateral, etc.).
Similarly, investors will thoroughly review your plan to determine if their investment can yield an attractive return. They'll be looking for evidence that your video games shop has the potential for healthy growth, profitability, and consistent cash flow generation over time.
Now that you understand the importance of creating a business plan for your video games shop, let's delve into the necessary information needed to craft an effective plan.
Create your business plan online!
Think your business idea could be profitable? Find out how with a business plan
Writing a video games shop business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast.
In this section, we cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your business plan!
Carrying out market research for a video games shop
Carrying out market research before writing a business plan for a video games shop is essential to ensure that the financial projections are accurate and realistic.
Market research helps you gain insight into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies and other key factors which can have an impact on the commercial success of your business.
In particular, it is useful in forecasting revenue as it provides valuable data regarding potential customers’ spending habits and preferences.
You may find that customers are increasingly looking for games with high-definition graphics, as console technology improves. Similarly, you might uncover that customers are interested in games that offer an immersive, interactive experience, which could indicate a surge in virtual reality games.
This information can then be used to create more accurate financial projections which will help investors make informed decisions about investing in your video games shop.
Developing the marketing plan for a video games shop
Before delving into your video games shop business plan, it's imperative to budget for sales and marketing expenses.
To achieve this, a comprehensive sales and marketing plan is essential. This plan should provide an accurate projection of the necessary actions to acquire and retain customers.
Additionally, it will outline the required workforce to carry out these initiatives and the corresponding budget for promotions, advertising, and other marketing endeavours.
By budgeting accordingly, you can ensure that the right resources are allocated to these vital activities, aligning them with the sales and growth objectives outlined in your business plan.
The staffing and equipment needs of a video games shop
Whether you are at the beginning stages of your video games shop or expanding its horizons, having a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) is vital to ensure your business's success.
To achieve this, both the recruitment and investment plans must align coherently with the projected timing and level of growth in your forecast. It is essential to secure appropriate funding for these plans.
A video games shop might incur staffing costs such as salaries for employees, as well as costs for equipment like computers and gaming consoles. They might also need to pay for internet access, furniture, and other supplies. Additionally, they might need to cover costs for marketing and advertising to reach potential customers.
To create a financial forecast that accurately represents your business's outlook, remember to factor in other day-to-day operating expenses.
Now that you have all the necessary information, it's time to dive in and start creating your business plan and developing the financial forecast for your video games shop.
What goes into your video games shop's financial forecast?
The objective of the financial forecast of your video games shop's business plan is to show the growth, profitability, funding requirements, and cash generation potential of your business over the next 3 to 5 years.
The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a video games shop are:
- The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
- The projected balance sheet ,
- The cash flow forecast ,
- And the sources and uses table .
Let's look at each of these in a bit more detail.
The projected P&L statement
The projected P&L statement for a video games shop shows how much revenue and profits your business is expected to generate in the future.
Ideally, your video games shop's P&L statement should show:
- Healthy growth - above inflation level
- Improving or stable profit margins
- Positive net profit
Expectations will vary based on the stage of your business. A startup will be expected to grow faster than an established video games shop. And similarly, an established company should showcase a higher level of profitability than a new venture.
The projected balance sheet of your video games shop
The balance sheet for a video games shop is a financial document that provides a snapshot of your business’s financial health at a given point in time.
It shows three main components: assets, liabilities and equity:
- Assets: are resources owned by the business, such as cash, equipment, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
- Liabilities: are debts owed to creditors and other entities, such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers) and loans.
- Equity: includes the sums invested by the shareholders or business owners and the cumulative profits and losses of the business to date (called retained earnings). It is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.
Examining the balance sheet is important for lenders, investors, or other stakeholders who are interested in assessing your video games shop's liquidity and solvency:
- Liquidity: assesses whether or not your business has sufficient cash and short-term assets to honour its liabilities due over the next 12 months. It is a short-term focus.
- Solvency: assesses whether or not your business has the capacity to repay its debt over the medium-term.
Looking at the balance sheet can also provide insights into your video games shop's investment and financing policies.
In particular, stakeholders can compare the value of equity to the value of the outstanding financial debt to assess how the business is funded and what level of financial risk has been taken by the owners (financial debt is riskier because it has to be repaid, while equity doesn't need to be repaid).
The projected cash flow statement
A cash flow forecast for a video games shop shows how much cash the business is projected to generate or consume.
The cash flow statement is divided into 3 main areas:
- The operating cash flow shows how much cash is generated or consumed by the operations (running the business)
- The investing cash flow shows how much cash is being invested in capital expenditure (equipment, real estate, etc.)
- The financing cash flow shows how much cash is raised or distributed to investors and lenders
Looking at the cash flow forecast helps you to ensure that your business has enough cash to keep running, and can help you anticipate potential cash shortfalls.
It is also a best practice to include a monthly cash flow statement in the appendices of your video games shop business plan so that the readers can view the impact of seasonality on your business cash position and generation.
The initial financing plan
The initial financing plan - also called a sources and uses table - is an important tool when starting a video games shop.
It shows where the money needed to set up the business will come from (sources) and how it will be allocated (uses).
Having this table helps understand what costs are involved in setting up the video games shop, how the risks are distributed between the shareholders and the lenders, and what will be the starting cash position (which needs to be sufficient to sustain operations until the business breaks even).
Now that the financial forecast of a video games shop business plan is understood, let's focus on what goes into the written part of the plan.
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The written part of a video games shop business plan
The written part of a video games shop business plan plays a key role: it lays out the plan of action you intend to execute to seize the commercial opportunity you've identified on the market and provides the context needed for the reader to decide if they believe your plan to be achievable and your financial forecast to be realistic.
The written part of a video games shop business plan is composed of 7 main sections:
- The executive summary
- The presentation of the company
- The products and services
- The market analysis
- The strategy
- The operations
- The financial plan
Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!
1. The executive summary
The first section of your video games shop's business plan is the executive summary which provides, as its name suggests, an enticing summary of your plan which should hook the reader and make them want to know more about your business.
When writing the executive summary, it is important to provide an overview of the business, the market, the key financials, and what you are asking from the reader.
Start with a brief introduction of the business, its name, concept, location, how long it has been in operation, and what makes it unique. Mention any services or products you plan to offer and who you sell to.
Then you should follow with an overview of the addressable market for your video games shop, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.
You should then include a summary of your key financial figures such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.
Finally, you should detail any funding requirements in the ask section.
2. The presentation of the company
As you build your video games shop business plan, the second section deserves attention as it delves into the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.
In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide valuable insights into the legal structure of the business, the identities of the owners, and their respective investments and ownership stakes. This level of transparency is vital, particularly if you're seeking financing, as it clarifies which legal entity will receive the funds and who holds the reins of the business.
Moving to the location part, you'll offer a comprehensive view of the company's premises and articulate why this specific location is strategic for the business, emphasizing factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.
When describing the location of your video games shop, you may focus on the potential for growth and success. You could talk about the area's population size and its proximity to larger cities, which could make it easier to draw in customers. You might also mention the demographics of the area and its potential for attracting video game enthusiasts, such as its access to transportation and the presence of other businesses that could increase foot traffic. Ultimately, the goal is to demonstrate the potential for a successful and profitable video games shop in the area.
Lastly, you should introduce your esteemed management team. Provide a thorough explanation of each member's role, background, and extensive experience.
It's equally important to highlight any past successes the management team has achieved and underscore the duration they've been working together. This information will instil trust in potential lenders or investors, showcasing the strength and expertise of your leadership team and their ability to deliver the business plan.
3. The products and services section
The products and services section of your business plan should include a detailed description of what your company offers, who are the target customers, and what distribution channels are part of your go-to-market.
For example, your video games shop might offer customers the latest video game consoles and games, pre-owned games and consoles, and accessories such as headsets, controllers and charging docks. All of these products provide customers with the opportunity to choose and purchase the best gaming options for their needs, allowing them to get the most out of their gaming experience. Additionally, your shop could offer repair services, allowing customers to get their damaged devices fixed and back in tip-top shape.
4. The market analysis
When outlining your market analysis in the video games shop business plan, it's essential to include comprehensive details about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and relevant regulations.
The primary aim of this section is to give the reader an understanding of the market size and appeal while demonstrating your expertise in the industry.
To begin, delve into the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your video games shop, key marketplace trends, and introducing various customer segments and their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.
Next, shift your focus to the target market subsection, where you can zoom in on the specific customer segments your video games shop targets. Explain how your products and services are tailored to meet the unique needs of these customers.
For example, your target market might include young adults aged 18-24. This demographic typically has disposable income and enjoys playing video games. As such, they are likely to be interested in the latest gaming releases, hardware, and gaming accessories.
In the competition subsection, introduce your main competitors and explain what sets your video games shop apart from them.
Finally, round off your market analysis by providing an overview of the main regulations that apply to your video games shop.
5. The strategy section
When you write the strategy section of your video games shop business plan, remember to cover key elements such as your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.
In the competitive edge subsection, elaborate on what makes your company stand out from competitors. This becomes especially important if you're a startup, aiming to carve a place for yourself amidst established players in the marketplace.
The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you plan to maintain profitability while offering competitive prices to attract customers.
Outline your sales & marketing plan, detailing how you'll reach out to new customers and retain existing ones through loyalty programs or special offers.
For the milestones subsection, outline your company's achievements to date and your main objectives for the future, complete with specific dates to set clear expectations for progress.
Lastly, the risks and mitigants subsection should address the main risks that could affect your plan's execution. Explain the measures you've put in place to minimize these risks, assuring potential investors or lenders.
Your video games shop may face the risk of theft. You could experience a break-in and have your inventory stolen, or shoplifting from inside the store. Additionally, your shop might face the risk of a cyber attack. Hackers could gain access to your website or online store, which could lead to the theft of customer data and financial information.
6. The operations section
The operations of your video games shop must be presented in detail in your business plan.
The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).
You should then state the operating hours of your video games shop - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.
The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.
You may have key assets such as physical video game discs and consoles. These could be valuable items to the shop, and likely have been acquired at cost and can be sold on for a profit. Additionally, the shop might have digital intellectual property such as access to game codes or downloadable content that customers could purchase to enhance their gaming experience. These could bring in additional revenue and provide an extra service to customers.
Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).
7. The presentation of the financial plan
The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we discussed earlier in this guide.
Now that you have a clear idea of what goes into a video games shop business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours efficiently.
What tool should I use to write my video games shop's business plan?
There are two main ways of creating your video games shop business plan:
- Using specialized business planning software,
- Hiring a business plan writer.
Using an online business plan software for your video games shop's business plan
Using online business planning software is the most efficient and modern way to write a video games shop business plan.
There are several advantages to using specialized software:
- You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
- You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
- You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
- You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
- You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
- You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
- You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
- You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck
If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .
Hiring a business plan writer to write your video games shop's business plan
Outsourcing your video games shop business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.
Business plan writers are skilled in creating error-free business plans and accurate financial forecasts. Moreover, hiring a consultant can save you valuable time, allowing you to focus on day-to-day business operations.
However, it's essential to be aware that hiring business plan writers will be expensive, as you're not only paying for their time but also the software they use and their profit margin.
Based on experience, you should budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a comprehensive business plan, and more if you require changes after initial discussions with lenders or investors.
Also, exercise caution when seeking investment. Investors prefer their funds to be directed towards business growth rather than spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services and other consulting services should be insignificant compared to the amount raised.
Keep in mind that one drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself; you only receive the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business planning software. This can make it challenging to update the document without retaining the consultant's services.
For these reasons, carefully consider outsourcing your video games shop business plan to a business plan writer, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of seeking outside assistance.
Why not create your video games shop's business plan using Word or Excel?
Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write a video games shop business plan is a terrible idea.
For starters, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel (or any spreadsheet) is very technical and requires both a strong grasp of accounting principles and solid skills in financial modelling.
As a result, it is unlikely anyone will trust your numbers unless - like us at The Business Plan Shop - you hold a degree in finance and accounting and have significant financial modelling experience in your past.
The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the 1990s and early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.
And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.
Also, using software makes it easy to compare actuals vs. forecasts and maintain our forecasts up to date to maintain visibility on future cash flows - as we discussed earlier in this guide - whereas this is a pain to do with a spreadsheet.
That's for the forecast, but what about the written part of my video games shop business plan?
This part is less error-prone, but here also software brings tremendous gains in productivity:
- Word processors don't include instructions and examples for each part of your business plan
- Word processors don't update your numbers automatically when they change in your forecast
- Word processors don't handle the formatting for you
Overall, while Word or Excel may be viable options for creating a video games shop business plan for some entrepreneurs, it is by far not the best or most efficient solution.
- Using business plan software is a modern and cost-effective way of writing and maintaining business plans.
- A business plan is not a one-shot exercise as maintaining it current is the only way to keep visibility on your future cash flows.
- A business plan has 2 main parts: a financial forecast outlining the funding requirements of your video games shop and the expected growth, profits and cash flows for the next 3 to 5 years; and a written part which gives the reader the information needed to decide if they believe the forecast is achievable.
We hope that this in-depth guide met your expectations and that you now have a clear understanding of how to write your video games shop business plan. Do not hesitate to contact our friendly team if you have questions additional questions we haven't addressed here.
Also on The Business Plan Shop
- How to write a business plan to secure a bank loan?
- Key steps to write a business plan?
- Top mistakes to avoid in your business plan
Do you know entrepreneurs interested in starting or growing a video games shop? Share this article with them!
Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd
Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.
Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.
Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.
Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.
Published on 29 Sep 2023 , last update on 30 Sep 2023 , as per our editorial standards .
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How To Write a Business Plan for Game Store in 9 Steps: Checklist
By alex ryzhkov, resources on game store.
- Financial Model
- Business Plan
- Value Proposition
- One-Page Business Plan
Are you passionate about games and dreaming of opening your own game store? With the growing popularity of gaming, now is a great time to enter the industry. According to recent statistics , the global gaming market is expected to reach a value of $159.3 billion by 2020, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate of 9.3%. This presents a golden opportunity for aspiring game store owners to tap into this profitable market. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of writing a comprehensive business plan for your game store in nine simple steps.
Before diving headfirst into starting your game store, it is crucial to conduct market research to understand the current state of the gaming industry and identify potential opportunities. This will help you make informed decisions about the products you offer and the target audience you want to cater to.
Next, it is essential to analyze your competitors – other game stores in your area or online platforms that sell games. Evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and unique selling points. This will enable you to differentiate your store and offer something that sets you apart.
Defining your target audience is another critical step in creating a successful business plan for your game store. Determine the demographics, gaming preferences, and purchasing power of your potential customers. This insight will guide your product selection and marketing strategies.
Establishing a unique selling proposition (USP) is crucial for the long-term success of your game store. Your USP is what sets you apart from your competitors and gives customers a reason to choose your store. It could be a specific focus on a particular game genre, exceptional customer service, or exclusive product offerings.
Knowing the start-up costs is vital for effective financial planning. Research the expenses associated with renting a physical space, purchasing inventory, marketing, staffing, and any other necessary investments. This will help you determine how much capital you need to get started.
A financial plan is essential for securing funding and ensuring the financial sustainability of your game store. It should include your revenue projections, expense breakdown, and cash flow analysis. This plan will help you make informed decisions about pricing, promotions, and inventory management.
Determining the legal structure of your game store is crucial for compliance with local laws and regulations. Consult with an attorney or legal professional to choose the most appropriate legal structure for your business.
An operational plan outlines the day-to-day activities and processes required to run your game store smoothly. This includes staffing, inventory management, customer service protocols, and marketing strategies. Having a well-defined operational plan will ensure efficient operations and customer satisfaction.
Finally, gather all the necessary resources required to launch your game store successfully. This includes finding suppliers for physical and digital games, consoles, and accessories, as well as building relationships with distributors and manufacturers. It also involves hiring knowledgeable staff who can provide expert recommendations and personalized advice to customers.
By following these nine steps and creating a comprehensive business plan, you are on your way to opening a thriving game store. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts, where we will delve deeper into each step, providing you with the knowledge and guidance you need to succeed in the competitive gaming industry.
Conduct Market Research
Before starting a game store, conducting thorough market research is crucial for understanding the industry, identifying potential opportunities, and making informed decisions. Market research involves gathering and analyzing data about the gaming market, target audience, and competitors. Here are some important steps to consider when conducting market research:
- Identify the Gaming Market: Dive deep into the gaming industry and understand the current trends, popular game genres, and emerging platforms. Look for statistics and reports that provide insights into the growth of the gaming market and its projected future.
- Analyze Target Audience: Determine who your potential customers are – from casual gamers to competitive gamers, from children to adults. Research their gaming preferences, gaming habits, and purchasing behaviors. This will help you tailor your products and services to meet their needs.
- Study the Local Market: Examine the market conditions in your local area. Identify the demand for game stores, the presence of competitors, and the preferences of the local gaming community. Visit existing game stores, speak with gamers, and observe their preferences and shopping patterns.
- Analyze Competitors: Research and analyze the game stores that operate in your target market. Identify their strengths, weaknesses, pricing strategies, customer service, and product offerings. This analysis will help you identify opportunities for differentiation and improvement.
Tips for Conducting Market Research:
- Utilize online resources such as industry reports, gaming forums, and social media to gather insights about the gaming market.
- Consider conducting surveys or interviews with gamers to gain firsthand information about their preferences and needs.
- Visit gaming conventions or events to connect with industry experts and gather information about the latest trends and innovations.
- Regularly update your market research to stay informed about the evolving gaming industry and market trends.
When starting a game store, it is crucial to analyze your competitors to gain a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape. By studying your competitors, you can identify their strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and develop strategies to differentiate your game store.
1. Identify competitors: Begin by identifying your direct and indirect competitors. Direct competitors are those game stores that offer similar products and services, while indirect competitors are businesses that offer alternative gaming options or entertainment activities. Research both local and online competitors to get a complete picture of the market.
2. Evaluate offerings: Study the products and services offered by your competitors. Look at their game selection, pricing strategy, loyalty programs, promotions, and in-store experiences. Identify any gaps or opportunities where you can differentiate your game store.
3. Assess customer experience: Evaluate the customer experience provided by your competitors. Consider factors such as store layout, ambiance, customer service, and staff expertise. Look for areas where you can improve upon their shortcomings to offer a superior experience to your target audience.
4. Analyze marketing and branding: Examine your competitors' marketing and branding strategies. Look at their online presence, social media engagement, advertising campaigns, and brand messaging. This analysis can help you identify effective marketing tactics and develop a unique brand identity.
5. Research pricing: Study your competitors' pricing strategies to understand the market standard. Take note of any discounts or special promotions they offer and analyze how they impact customer perception and sales. This information will help you determine your own pricing strategy and competitive positioning.
- Visit competitors' stores or websites to experience their offerings firsthand.
- Talk to customers and read online reviews to gain insights into their experiences and preferences.
- Stay updated on industry news and trends to anticipate any new entrants or shifts in the market.
Define Target Audience
Defining your target audience is an essential step in creating a successful business plan for your game store. It helps you understand who your ideal customers are and how to tailor your products, marketing, and overall strategy to meet their needs. Here are some important considerations when defining your target audience:
- Demographics: Start by identifying the demographics of your target audience, such as age, gender, income level, and location. This information will help you understand their preferences and purchasing power.
- Gaming Preferences: Determine the gaming preferences of your target audience. Are they casual gamers looking for popular titles, or hardcore gamers interested in niche games? Research their preferred gaming platforms, genres, and game modes to align your product selection.
- Psychographics: Understand the psychographics of your target audience, including their interests, motivations, and lifestyle. This information will help you determine how to position your store and create marketing messages that resonate with your audience.
- Technological Savvy: Assess the technological savviness of your target audience. Are they early adopters who embrace the latest gaming trends, or are they more traditional gamers who prefer classic games and consoles?
- Conduct surveys or interviews with potential customers to gather valuable insights and validate your target audience assumptions.
- Research gaming communities and forums to understand their preferences, pain points, and desires.
- Consider partnering with influencers or gaming content creators who align with your target audience to increase brand visibility and credibility.
By defining your target audience, you can tailor your game store's offerings, marketing efforts, and overall business strategies to effectively meet the needs of your ideal customers. This will ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and profitability for your game store.
Establish Unique Selling Proposition
In order to stand out from competitors and attract customers to your game store, it is important to establish a unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is what sets your store apart from others and gives customers a reason to choose you over the competition. Here are some key steps to help you establish your USP:
- Identify your core strengths: Determine what makes your game store special and focus on those unique qualities. This could be anything from a wide selection of rare games, exclusive partnerships with game developers, or exceptional customer service.
- Understand your target audience: Research and analyze the preferences and needs of your target audience. This will allow you to tailor your USP to meet their specific desires and interests.
- Highlight your competitive advantage: Emphasize what makes your game store different and better than the competition. This could be offering a wider variety of games, offering competitive pricing, superior customer service, or an exceptional in-store experience.
- Communicate your USP effectively: Once you have established your USP, it is crucial to effectively communicate it through your marketing materials, website, and customer interactions. Make sure your USP is clear, concise, and easy for customers to understand.
- Continuously evaluate and evolve: Keep an eye on the evolving gaming industry and the needs of your target audience. Your USP may need to adapt and evolve over time to maintain its relevancy and effectiveness.
- Conduct market research to identify gaps or opportunities in the gaming industry that your USP can address.
- Consider conducting surveys or interviews with potential customers to gather insights and validate your USP.
- Regularly review customer feedback and adjust your USP accordingly to address any pain points or areas for improvement.
- Stay updated on industry trends and new game releases to ensure your USP remains relevant.
Determine Start-Up Costs
Calculating the start-up costs for your game store is a crucial step in creating a solid business plan. By estimating these costs accurately, you can ensure that you have enough capital to launch your store successfully.
Here are some important considerations when determining your start-up costs:
- Inventory: Determine the cost of acquiring an initial inventory of games, consoles, accessories, and other related products. Research suppliers and distributors to get accurate pricing.
- Store Space: Consider the rent for a suitable location that can accommodate your game store. Factor in any renovations or customization needed to create an inviting and functional space.
- Fixtures and Equipment: Calculate the cost of essential fixtures and equipment such as shelving units, displays, counters, cash registers, security systems, and gaming consoles for in-store demonstrations and tournaments.
- Technology and Infrastructure: Determine the cost of purchasing and setting up the necessary technology and infrastructure, including computers, point-of-sale systems, inventory management software, and a robust internet connection.
- Marketing and Advertising: Allocate funds for marketing and advertising efforts to create awareness of your game store. This includes developing a website, signage, promotional materials, and online advertising campaigns.
- Employee Wages: Consider the wages and benefits you plan to offer to your employees. This includes hiring knowledgeable staff who can provide expert recommendations and personalized advice to customers.
- Licenses and Permits: Research the cost of obtaining any necessary licenses and permits, such as a business license, sales tax license, or entertainment license, required to operate a game store in your location.
- Provide a buffer for unexpected expenses. It's always a good idea to have some extra funds set aside for any unforeseen circumstances.
- Seek quotes and compare prices from multiple suppliers and contractors to get the best possible deals.
- Consider leasing or renting some equipment and fixtures instead of purchasing them outright to reduce initial costs.
- Factor in ongoing expenses such as utilities, insurance, and maintenance costs in your financial plan.
- Review your start-up costs regularly to ensure accuracy and adjust your financial plan accordingly.
Create a Financial Plan
The financial plan is a crucial step in preparing to open a game store. It involves assessing the costs and expenses associated with starting and running the business, and projecting the potential revenue and profitability. A comprehensive financial plan helps you determine the viability of your business idea and enables you to secure funding if needed.
Here are some key steps to consider when creating a financial plan for your game store:
- Estimate Start-up Costs: Calculate the expenses required to launch your game store. This includes costs such as securing a retail space, purchasing inventory, setting up the point-of-sale system, hiring staff, marketing, and obtaining necessary licenses or permits.
- Project Revenue Sources: Identify the various revenue streams your game store will have. This may include sales of physical and digital games, accessories, consoles, and potential additional income from gaming tournaments or memberships.
- Forecast Expenses: Estimate your ongoing expenses such as rent, utilities, inventory replenishment, employee salaries, marketing efforts, and any other operational costs. Be sure to account for seasonal fluctuations or potential economic changes.
- Calculate Profit and Loss: Use your projected revenue and expense figures to determine your expected profit or loss on a quarterly or annual basis. This will give you an understanding of your financial health and help you make informed decisions.
- Consider Funding Options: If you require additional capital to start or expand your game store, explore funding options such as loans, investors, crowdfunding, or personal savings. Be prepared with a solid financial plan to convince lenders or potential investors of the profitability and sustainability of your business.
- Regularly review and update your financial plan to adapt to changing market conditions.
- Consult with an accountant or financial advisor to ensure accuracy and professionalism in your financial projections.
- Consider incorporating contingency funds into your financial plan for unpredicted expenses or emergencies.
- Research industry benchmarks and financial ratios to evaluate your game store's performance against competitors and industry standards.
Determine Legal Structure
Determining the legal structure of your game store is a crucial step in establishing your business. The legal structure you choose will impact various aspects of your operations, including your liabilities, taxation, and legal obligations. Here are some important considerations when determining the legal structure for your game store:
- Research different legal structures: Familiarize yourself with various legal structures such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to understand which one aligns best with your goals and circumstances.
- Consult with a legal professional: Seek advice from a business attorney who specializes in intellectual property and retail laws. They can provide guidance on the legal aspects of your game store and help you make informed decisions.
- Consider liability protection: Protecting your personal assets from potential business liabilities is crucial. Structures such as an LLC or corporation can provide limited liability protection, shielding your personal assets from business debts or lawsuits.
- Assess tax implications: Different legal structures have varying tax implications. Consult with a tax professional to understand the tax obligations and advantages associated with each structure.
- Understand ongoing compliance requirements: Research the ongoing obligations and compliance requirements for maintaining your chosen legal structure. This may include filing annual reports, maintaining proper records, and adhering to specific regulations.
Tips for determining the legal structure:
- Consider seeking professional advice to ensure you choose the most suitable legal structure for your game store.
- Review the potential risks and liabilities associated with each structure before making a decision.
- Keep in mind that legal structures can be changed or modified as your business grows and evolves.
Outline Operational Plan
Once you have conducted market research, analyzed your competitors, defined your target audience, established your unique selling proposition, determined your start-up costs, created a financial plan, and determined your legal structure, it is time to outline your operational plan. This plan will serve as a roadmap for how your game store will run on a day-to-day basis.
1. Location and Store Design: Decide on a suitable location for your game store that is easily accessible for your target audience. Consider factors such as foot traffic, parking availability, and proximity to other complementary businesses. Create a store layout that is both visually appealing and functional, making it easy for customers to navigate and find the games and accessories they are looking for.
2. Inventory Management: Develop a comprehensive inventory management system that allows you to track and monitor your stock levels. This system should ensure that you have a diverse selection of games for different platforms and demographics, as well as the necessary accessories and consoles. Regularly evaluate your inventory to identify popular games and adjust your stock accordingly.
3. Staffing: Hire knowledgeable and passionate staff who are well-versed in the gaming industry. These individuals should be able to provide expert recommendations and personalized advice to customers. Establish clear roles and responsibilities for each staff member and provide ongoing training to keep their knowledge up to date.
4. Customer Service: Develop a customer service plan that prioritizes exceptional service. Train your staff to provide prompt and friendly assistance to customers, whether it is helping them find a specific game or addressing any concerns they may have. Implement feedback mechanisms to continuously improve your customer service experience.
5. Marketing and Advertising: Create a comprehensive marketing and advertising strategy to attract customers to your game store. Utilize both online and offline channels to reach your target audience, including social media platforms, gaming forums, local events, and traditional advertising mediums. Implement promotions, loyalty programs, and referral incentives to encourage repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
- Utilize digital platforms to advertise your game store, such as creating a visually appealing website and engaging social media presence.
- Consider partnering with popular gaming influencers or local gaming communities to increase brand visibility and reach.
- Host in-store gaming tournaments or demos to create a sense of community and attract new customers.
- Regularly evaluate and adjust your operational plan as needed to adapt to changing market trends and customer preferences.
By outlining your operational plan, you will be better prepared to effectively run your game store and provide an exceptional gaming experience for your customers. This plan will help ensure that your store runs smoothly on a daily basis and sets a strong foundation for future growth and success.
Gather Necessary Resources
Gathering the necessary resources is a crucial step in establishing a successful game store. By ensuring that you have the essential tools, equipment, and materials, you can provide excellent service to your customers and create a positive brand image. Here are some important resources you need to consider:
- Physical Space: Find a suitable location for your game store that offers enough space to display your products and accommodate customers comfortably. Consider factors such as foot traffic, parking facilities, and proximity to potential customers.
- Inventory: Stock your game store with a diverse selection of games for different platforms and demographics. Research the latest releases and popular titles to ensure that you have a well-rounded collection that appeals to your target audience.
- Equipment and Fixtures: Invest in high-quality fixtures, shelving units, and display cases to showcase your products in an organized and visually appealing manner. Additionally, ensure you have the necessary equipment such as point-of-sale systems, computers, and security systems.
- Staff: Hire knowledgeable and passionate staff members who can provide expert recommendations and personalized advice to customers. Your staff should have a deep understanding of various gaming platforms and genres to assist customers in making informed purchasing decisions.
- Consider conducting employee training programs to keep your staff updated on the latest trends and developments in the gaming industry.
- Networking and building connections with game distributors and manufacturers can help you access exclusive deals and discounts on inventory.
- Create a comfortable and inviting gaming area within your store, equipped with gaming consoles and demo stations, to offer customers an immersive experience.
Gathering the necessary resources for your game store will set the foundation for your business operations. Take the time to research and procure the right tools, inventory, and staff members who align with your vision and goals. With a well-equipped and knowledgeable team, you can provide an exceptional gaming experience to your customers, building a loyal customer base and thriving in the competitive market.
In conclusion, writing a business plan for a game store can be a crucial step in ensuring the success and growth of your business. By following the 9-step checklist outlined in this blog post, you can effectively analyze the market, understand your competitors, define your target audience, establish your unique selling proposition, determine your start-up costs, create a financial plan, determine the legal structure, outline your operational plan, and gather the necessary resources.
By implementing these steps, you can set a solid foundation for your game store, differentiate yourself from competitors, and attract and retain customers. Additionally, by offering personalized advice and engaging in-store experiences, you can build a strong brand identity and establish a loyal community of customers.
Remember, a well-written business plan acts as a roadmap for your game store, guiding you through the various aspects of starting and running a successful business. It provides clarity, helps you stay focused, and increases your chances of achieving your goals and objectives.
So, take the time to thoroughly research and plan for your game store, and watch your business thrive in this exciting and competitive industry.
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It should be noted that there is no special software required to use these templates. All business plans come in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel format. Each business plan features:
- Excecutive Summary
- Company and Financing Summary
- Products and Services Overview
- Strategic Analysis with current research!
- Marketing Plan
- Personnel Plan
- 3 Year Advanced Financial Plan
- Expanded Financial Plan with Monthly Financials
- Loan Amortization and ROI Tools
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1.0 Executive Summary
The purpose of this business plan is to raise $125,000 for the development of a video game retailing store while showcasing the expected financials and operations over the next three years. The Video Game Store, Inc. (“the Company”) is a New York based corporation that will provide an expansive inventory of video game consoles and sales of new/used video games to customers in its targeted market. The Company was founded in 2009 by John Doe.
1.1 Products and Services
The primary revenue stream for the business will come from the sale of new and used video games. In regards to new video game sales, the Company will work with authorized distributors to obtain its inventories. Used video games will be purchased directly from customers that want to divest old inventories of video games. The Company anticipates that it will be able to purchase used video game inventories at 30% of the value of which it will resell the game. The Company’s secondary revenue stream will come from the sale of video game consoles including PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii. The third section of the business plan will further describe the services offered by the Video Game Store.
1.2 The Financing
Mr. Doe is seeking to raise $125,000 from as a bank loan. The interest rate and loan agreement are to be further discussed during negotiation. This business plan assumes that the business will receive a 10 year loan with a 9% fixed interest rate.
1.3 Mission Statement
The Video Game Store’s mission is to become the recognized local leader in its targeted market for its expansive inventory of video games and video game consoles.
1.4 Mangement Team
The Company was founded by John Doe. Mr. Doe has more than 10 years of experience in the retail management industry. Through his expertise, he will be able to bring the operations of the business to profitability within its first year of operations.
1.5 Sales Forecasts
Mr. Doe expects a strong rate of growth at the start of operations. Below are the expected financials over the next three years.
1.6 Expansion Plan
The Founder expects that the business will aggressively expand during the first three years of operation. Mr. Doe intends to implement marketing campaigns that will effectively target individuals and game enthusiasts within the target market.
2.0 Company and Financing Summary
2.1 Registered Name and Corporate Structure
Video Game Store, Inc. The Company is registered as a corporation in the State of New York.
2.2 Required Funds
At this time, the Video Game Store requires $125,000 of debt funds. Below is a breakdown of how these funds will be used:
2.3 Investor Equity
Mr. Doe is not seeking an investment from a third party at this time.
2.4 Management Equity
John Doe owns 100% of the Video Game Store, Inc.
2.5 Exit Strategy
If the business is very successful, Mr. Doe may seek to sell the business to a third party for a significant earnings multiple. Most likely, the Company will hire a qualified business broker to sell the business on behalf of the Video Game Store. Based on historical numbers, the business could fetch a sales premium of up to 4 times earnings.
3.0 Products and Services
Below is a description of the products offered by the Video Game Store.
3.1 Sales of New Games
This is the primary revenue stream for the business, and as stated in the executive summary, the business will acquire its inventories from authorized dealers and wholesalers that will provide the business with the latest video games demanded by the general public. Management anticipates that approximately 50% of its aggregate revenues will come from the sale of new video games.
3.2 Used Game Sales
Additionally, the Company will deal in used games that customers can trade in and purchase from the Video Game Store. The Company will use an expansive used game acquisition policy that allows sellers to receive a good value for each of their used games or game consoles. Approximately 25% of the Company’s retail revenues from the sale of used games. The Company generates margins in excess of 70% for each used game and game console sold.
4.0 Strategic and Market Analysis
4.1 Economic Outlook
This section of the analysis will detail the economic climate, the video game retailing industry, the customer profile, and the competition that the business will face as it progresses through its business operations. Currently, the economic market condition in the United States is in recession. This slowdown in the economy has also greatly impacted real estate sales, which has halted to historical lows. Many economists expect that this recession will continue until mid-2010, at which point the economy will begin a prolonged recovery period.
4.2 Industry Analysis
Analysts from Forrester Research show that the video game industry has surpassed the growth rate of the film industry. According to market research firm NPD Group, 2007 sales of video game hardware, software and accessories in the U.S. were $12.5 billion, the industry’s highest-ever returns. Within the United States, there are approximately 19,000 retailers of video games (new and used) and video game consoles. This is a mature industry, and the future expected growth rate is expected to equal that of the general economy.
4.3 Customer Profile
In this section of the analysis, you should describe the type of customer you are seeking to acquire. These traits include income size, type of business/occupation; how far away from your business is to your customer, and what the customer is looking for. In this section, you can also put demographic information about your target market including population size, income demographics, level of education, etc.
4.4 Competitive Analysis
This is one of the sections of the business plan that you must write completely on your own. The key to writing a strong competitive analysis is that you do your research on the local competition. Find out who your competitors are by searching online directories and searching in your local Yellow Pages. If there are a number of competitors in the same industry (meaning that it is not feasible to describe each one) then showcase the number of businesses that compete with you, and why your business will provide customers with service/products that are of better quality or less expensive than your competition.
5.0 Marketing Plan
The Video Game Store intends to maintain an extensive marketing campaign that will ensure maximum visibility for the business in its targeted market. Below is an overview of the marketing strategies and objectives of the Company.
5.1 Marketing Objectives
• Establish relationships with local arcades within the targeted market for referral to the Video Game Store among frequent gaming enthusiasts.
• Implement a local campaign with the Company’s targeted market via the use of flyers, local newspaper advertisements, and word of mouth advertising.
• Develop an online presence by developing a website and placing the Company’s name and contact information with online directories.
5.2 Marketing Strategies
Mr. Doe intends on using a number of marketing strategies that will allow Video Game Store to easily target gaming enthusiasts within the target market. These strategies include traditional print advertisements and ads placed on search engines on the Internet. Below is a description of how the business intends to market its services to the general public. The Video Game Store will also use an internet based strategy. This is very important as many people seeking local retailers, such as video game stores, now the Internet to conduct their preliminary searches. Mr. Doe will register the Video Game Store with online portals so that potential customers can easily reach the business. The Company will also develop its own online website, which will showcase the Company’s location, its hours of operation, and current inventory. The Company will maintain a sizable amount of print and traditional advertising methods within local markets to promote the video games and video game consoles that the Company is selling.
In this section, describe the pricing of your services and products. You should provide as much information as possible about your pricing as possible in this section. However, if you have hundreds of items, condense your product list categorically. This section of the business plan should not span more than 1 page.
6.0 Organizational Plan and Personnel Summary
6.1 Corporate Organization
6.2 Organizational Budget
6.3 Management Biographies
In this section of the business plan, you should write a two to four paragraph biography about your work experience, your education, and your skill set. For each owner or key employee, you should provide a brief biography in this section.
7.0 Financial Plan
7.1 Underlying Assumptions
• The Video Game Store will have an annual revenue growth rate of 10% per year.
• The Owner will acquire $125,000 of debt funds to develop the business.
• The loan will have a 10 year term with a 9% interest rate.
7.2 Sensitivity Analysis
In the event of an economic downturn, the business may have a decline in its revenues. Video games and video game consoles are not a necessity, and as such, the demand for these items may wane during deleterious economic conditions. However, the high gross margins generated by the business will ensure that the Company remains profitable and cash flow positive despite moderate declines in revenue.
7.3 Source of Funds
7.4 General Assumptions
7.5 Profit and Loss Statements
7.6 Cash Flow Analysis
7.7 Balance Sheet
7.8 General Assumptions
7.9 Business Ratios
Expanded Profit and Loss Statements
Expanded Cash Flow Analysis
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Video Game Business Plan
Start your own video game business plan
Pixel Frontier Studios
Pixel Frontier Studios creates immersive, narrative-driven video games that foster strong emotional connections with players and explore unique themes and settings.
The gaming industry is saturated with repetitive content and a lack of diversity in themes and storytelling. Gamers are looking for unique, captivating experiences that push the boundaries of conventional gaming.
Pixel Frontier Studios focuses on creating high-quality, innovative games with memorable characters, engaging storylines, and diverse settings. Our games provide an emotional experience that keeps players invested and craving more.
Our primary target market includes:
- Gamers aged 18-35 seeking narrative-driven experiences
- Individuals who enjoy indie games and unique concepts
- Gamers who appreciate games with diverse representation and themes
Competitors & Differentiation
- AAA game studios producing high-budget games
- Other indie game studios
- Mobile gaming companies
Pixel Frontier Studios’ commitment to diverse storytelling and innovative game mechanics sets us apart from competitors. Our team’s passion for creating unique experiences and our attention to detail ensure high-quality games that resonate with players.
- Office space and equipment: $150,000
- Software and licenses: $50,000
- Salaries and benefits for the first year: $600,000
- Marketing and advertising: $100,000
Initial game development: $500,000
- Total initial funding needed: $1,400,000
- Xbox Game Store
- PlayStation Store
- Nintendo eShop
- Direct website sales
- Social media campaigns
- Influencer partnerships
- Gaming conventions and expos
- Sponsored events and tournaments
- Press releases and PR
- 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 1, 2024
- Achieve 500,000 units sold for the first game — December 31, 2024
Team and Key Roles
Ceo and creative director, oversees company strategy, game development, and overall creative vision, lead game designer.
Responsible for designing and implementing game mechanics, levels, and gameplay experiences
Manages programming team and ensures all technical aspects of the game function as intended
Guides art direction and oversees production of all visual assets for the game
Develops and implements the game’s story, dialogue, and character interactions
Directs marketing efforts, including public relations, events, and social media campaigns
Partnerships & Resources
- Local game development associations and networks: Collaborate on events and initiatives, access to resources and support
- Game engine and software providers: Secure partnerships for cost-effective licenses and support
- Gaming influencers: Establish partnerships for promotion and feedback during game development
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Business Plan For Video Gaming
Home / Business Plan For Video Gaming
September 27, 2021 | Business | No Comments
Are you going to open a video game store? Starting a business in a video game store is like any other retail business. It requires seed capital, planning and, of course, time.
Why open a video game store?
If you are going to start this type of business then you must be looking for the right place. It should be a place with the right demographic. With the right location, the availability of goods in stock and a good pricing structure, you can start making a profit as soon as possible after opening your store.
If you are certain that this type of business is what you really want to do after doing a feasibility study and market research. The next step is to come up with a good business plan. A detailed preliminary report on how you will grow your seed capital and start a business. You must manage the flow of business, distribute taxes, and promote your products.
The truth is one thing is a fantastic idea, including a business plan. A business plan is another thing that needs to be turned into money. Therefore, if you are to succeed in a video game business, it is important to assemble a team of dedicated people to work with.
Example of a business plan template for a video game store
The video game store belongs to the category of video game retail stores . The industry is widely selling a wide range of toys and hobby items such as traditional dolls and toys, including video and electronic games. These products are sold to the general public after purchase from local and international manufacturers.
Video game retail is indeed a very large business that is thriving in all parts of the world. The video game store business continues to grow and prosper. In response to the ever-increasing demand for video games and accessories, the players in the industry are opening additional stores. They are establishing chain stores in various cities. They are always ready to enter new markets and of course, adapt to changing trends in consumer taste and increase sales.
- Business Type
- Business Plan for Video Game Store
Video Game Store Small Business Idea and Business Plan
Starting your own small business in the UK isn’t easy but having a properly developed business plan will help you achieve success.
To start a Video Game Store business in the UK, take the time and explain the idea via a business plan.
Understanding all of the aspects of the business idea will be the key to getting the Video Game Store business running like a well-oiled machine. The business plan you develop will help you organize the elements needed into a strategy that you can actually use to startup, by paving a clear road map as to what you need to follow for the lifespan of your business.
Starting a Video Game Store business isn’t easy, but when done right, it can lead to a lot of success.
To help you get started, you can use the free business plan builder tool to develop your own Video Game Store business plan.
The business plan template is very easy to use, is interactive and will quickly and easily help you create your business plan just by answering the needed questions about your small business idea.
Create your own Video Game Store business plan for free using the Business Plan Builder
The free business plan template builder is divided into a few easy to follow steps.
The free business plan builder template is provided by UKStartups.org to help you develop your own business plan. For step by step guidance, see the 5 steps below.
Once completed, the result will be a clean, professional plan that will help you start your own Video Game Store small business in the UK.
When you have completed your Video Game Store business plan, the next step will be to find available funding that will help, or to speak with a funding adviser who will assist you each step of the way to securing the needed funds to make your Video Game Store business startup.
If you are looking to limit your startup costs when starting up a Video Game Store small business in the UK, this free business plan builder tool will be it.
Starting a Video Game Store business is only one of the ways others have used this free business plan tool. There are hundreds of different ideas you can start, and if you need guidance, do reach out to a UKStartups expert to get the needed assistance and guidance.
Step 1. Your business information
To develop a proper Video Game Store business plan with the free business plan builder template, it is important to answer each of the questions about your business to the best of your abilities.
What is your business? What are the products/services you provide? Who are your customers? What are your goals…etc?
Having a clear explanation will help you create a in-depth business plan that you can actually use to start the Video Game Store business and to apply for needed funding to cover your startup costs.
Step 2. Projecting your revenues/income
The Video Game Store industry can have great results. Planning and projecting the financial figures to approximate what you will make each year is crucial to building a strong business plan.
What do you think your business will make from each of its products/services? Simply list your products/services, enter the appropriate financial figures (costs and expenses).
If you don’t have the figures, in many cases it is recommended to do a a bit more research on other Video Game Store businesses locally and within your own region to get an idea of potential revenue. You can do your best to estimate the figures and growth potential.
If you need assistance in projecting, you can always contact UK Startups funding experts for the help.
Step 3. Your business market
As a Video Game Store business, having a clear explanation of the market and industry that you are in will help you plan for the figure and will ensure you can take the business to the next level.
Explain your location of business, share specifics about your customers, showcase your competition and explain the advantages you have over your competition.
Step 4. The future plan
Starting your own Video Game Store business and getting it off the ground is important to you.
No matter if you’re planning on applying for government funding for your Video Game Store business or not, it is important to plan out the future and provide an explanation of how you will grow the business. This means explaining your marketing plan, your sales strategy and clearly outlining a growth plan for the next few years.
Be sure to break this down step by step to show how you intend on making sure your Video Game Store business can grow each year.
Keep in mind that often business plans are focused on key people. Be sure to discuss yourself, your role and any other key figures in the business as well.
Step 5. The financials
In the end, it all comes down to the financials. If you are seeking funding, or not – the business plan you develop needs to have clearly defined financials or projections. The business plan builder tool makes it easy to develop your financial charts by simply entering your expected revenues per month and year. If you don’t have the figures as it’s a new business be sure to project the figures based on your expectations. If you need help with this, ask the UK Startups experts .
A clear breakdown of your funding needs is also recommended in case you are seeking funding and this free business plan template will help you with exactly that. When developing your Video Game Store business plan using this free template, the above 5 steps are recommended in order to succeed. While there are other key points that will assist you in starting your business, finding funding...etc, the free template will help put you on the right path
Be sure to request a professional to review your business plan , to answer any questions you may have and to help you with the funding search once you’ve done the initial free template. You can request this directly via UKStartups.org and through the Small Business Startup Platform as a member.
If starting a Video Game Store business is just one of your ideas, perhaps considering other options, here are some popular small business’s others have chosen to startup
- Storage Facility
- Christian Book Store
- Plating Service
- Home Inspector
- Commercial Real Estate Agency
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
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.
In this section, we give an overview of the current business and its past.
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:
- 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
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.
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.
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)
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
- Don’t Starve
- World of Horror
- FTL: Faster Than Light
- The Riftbreaker: Prologue
- Risk of Rain
- The Binding of Isaac
- Fallout Series
- STALKER: Call of Pripyat
- Dig or Die
- Craft In Abyss
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.
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.
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.
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.
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  , reaching 100 billion hours of video game content watched on the platform.  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.
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.
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 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.
- 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.
Mastering the Art of a Successful Video Game Pitch: A Guide for Indie Game Developers
Creating a Winning Business Model and Competitive Analysis for Your Indie Game
Lean Startup Principles for Indie Game Development: Planning, Prototyping and Launching Your Game
Publishing Deal for Indie Video Game: how to research, find, negotiate and secure your partnership with a publisher
How to Successfully Raise Funds for Your Video Game Studio
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 .