5 mistakes you need to avoid making when starting your own gaming lounge
Gaming is a very popular past-time, but you may be forgiven for thinking that the only way to get into gaming as a business is to work in game development. Whilst this is one avenue you could explore (and if you are, there are ways you can find finance for gaming in this way), there are more options open to you. If you’re thinking about starting or adding a gaming lounge to your business, you might believe that it will be pretty straightforward. However, this isn't the case. Like any business, it needs to be well maintained and carefully considered. Sure, millions of people in the UK play video games every day, so the potential for turning this avenue into a successful and profitable business venture is there. But in order to achieve that goal you need to develop a well-thought-out business plan, ensure access to all the necessary resources and know what to look out for. So if you’re looking to share your love of all things gaming with the wider public, whilst earning a tidy profit, these are just some of the mistakes you need to avoid.
Make certain you’ve got the room for enough gaming platforms
Gamers have a wide range of preferences when it comes to their choice of platform. From PC and consoles to Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, you need to ensure that you have sufficient space inside your premises to house at least 10 gaming platforms.
What you don’t want is to have gamers squashed together in cramped conditions or sitting on the floor whilst they’re playing. This doesn’t create a positive image for your business and is certain to be very uncomfortable, especially after a long gaming session. As well as installing air conditioning, you need to carefully consider your seating arrangements in order to make full use of any available space. If you’re unable to do so without affecting your customers, you have two options available. Either you extend your premises or move to a larger location. Although this may require access to a larger amount of capital, there are plenty of external funding opportunities available that can could help. By providing access to enough space, gamers will be able to comfortably play in groups and sit with their friends. It will also enable you to host special events such as tournaments, adding to the appeal of your lounge and will ensure that your customers return time and again.
Ensure that there is sufficient investment in your business
Next, you need to consider your hardware. In order to provide your customers with a high-quality service each time they visit, you need to invest. This means acquiring the latest consoles, suitably sized monitors and HDTV screens as well as devices with suitable RAM and processing capabilities. Although it’s tempting to try and make do with older generation devices, this could cause games to run slow or not appear straight away on-screen. For example, as well as pixel quality, unless you’re able to change aspect ratio in-game, the game may not appear correctly on older generation TVs which may crop away some of the images. However, if you’re having to operate to a tight budget, there are plenty of external funding opportunities available that could help, including those covered under Asset Finance.
Make sure you have a good and reliable internet connection
If there’s one thing that really upsets gamers more than anything else, it’s lag. This is why ensuring that your lounge is able to provide a strong high-speed internet connection is vital. If their gaming session keeps stalling or they lose connection entirely you’re going to lose customers and earn negatives reviews as a result. As well as upgrading to a higher quality package, request to speak with a sales representative or an engineer from your internet provider. You should make a point to quiz them on aspects such as bandwidth consumption and internet capping since these factors can easily hamper the service that you’re able to provide to your customers.
Carefully consider who you’re choosing to employ
Another factor to consider is who you’re hiring. Although you want to on bring people who are knowledgeable about games, you also want to hire people who you can trust to manage and maintain your business. You need people who are tech-savvy, courteous, able to resolve all manner of issues and actually care about their jobs. What you don’t want is someone who is going to mess around and start playing games whilst you’re not around. If you were to hire such a person it would have a negative effect on productivity, staff relations, customer service and make your business look unprofessional.
Make sure you’re able to constantly provide access to the latest and most popular game titles
New gaming titles are constantly being developed and, in order for your lounge to remain relevant, you need to make certain that you stock up with them as and when they’re released. With some of the most popular titles costing around £40-£50 per copy at the height of their release, keeping up with what the industry has to offer can be a costly endeavour. This only gets more expensive when you factor in digital downloadable content (DLC). Although the most cost-efficient way of acquiring DLC is through purchasing season passes, which also gives you access to new content as soon as it’s released, you may need to pay anything from £40 - £80 on top, possibly more. Nevertheless, you’re trying to entice gamers with a service that they won’t necessarily be able to get from home and, if you can’t live up to that, it may prove more costly for your business in the long-run.
Still looking to open your own gaming lounge?
Opening a gaming lounge in your local area can be an exciting and profitable business venture, providing it’s managed correctly. This is why you need to carefully consider every aspect of the proposal before moving forward. Plus, one of the biggest challenges you’ll need to overcome is the matter of funding. Although using your own funds may seem like a wise move, this can limit how much you can spend on developing your business and can lead to problems in the future. So why run the risk? By choosing to explore what the Alternative Finance industry has to offer you could gain access to a diverse range of business finance solutions that all work in different ways for your benefit. All you need to do is decide which product is suitable for your goals.
At Rangewell, we’re an Access to finance specialist working with over 350 lenders to offer you business owners and entrepreneurs like yourself an overview of more than 23,000 business finance products. Our services are free to use and we’ll also guide you through the application process. We’re with you every step of the way. So if you’re looking to set up or add a gaming lounge to your business but lack the necessary funds, apply for Business Finance today or find out more with Rangewell.