Well, lately some of my friends (hello, Aquela, Eve, Kyz and Juliet ^^) either bought a club or are thinking about opening their own club. Since I am a frequent visitor of different clubs, some asked them on my advice how to get it running. Well, there are some insights I've got to share with this world about opening a club in Second Life.
So, here we go:
- Don't. That's right, don't do it all, don't waste your time on it at all. Why? Clubs and also malls come a dozen on a penny in SL. They come and go, it's one of the most frequent business types opening up and closing their doors very soon to be forgotten again and leaving their former owners with a big loss. They can be happy to have their expenses covered at all.
- Having said that, if you're not already scared off on opening your own club, don't expect to make big profits with it. Running a club is a hobby for most of the people, so if you want to make real big bucks with a club, you're on the wrong business model. Better sell clothes, start building, scripting or other high paying stuff!
- Ok, so you're still convinced to open your club? Good. That's rule number three: be sure of yourself and your goal. Opening up your business is a hurdlesome task in SL and expect it to take quite many hours before you can open your club at all.
- Be observant. If you want to have success, first take a good look at the established club scene, visit them, especially some of the bigger clubs, find out where their strengths are, where they are weak and for which kind of club there could be still a chance. For example, if 80s music is popular and there's no such big club in SL covering this topic or you think you can do it better, this might be your chance. Go for it then.
- Be unique. This can cover many topics: music wise, design wise, people wise. My opinion is people come most for the in crowd hanging around the place and the music. So cook up your own in crowd, your own special staff, your own live djs and keep it running. Some of the best running clubs in SL don't have fancy architecture at all. It's the people who keep a place running!
- Hire staff. Yes, that's right, to have a good crowd hanging around setup a schedule of hosts, who are there around the clock. Peak usage in SL happens at North American evenings and European evenings, if you want to cover both areas, hire them from those countries/continents.
- Make events on a regular base, perhaps with some contests. It helps you to spread the word around and people are more likely to come when there are special events and they can win something.
- Create something like a corporate identity on your venture. This means getting a club logo for your own, that you can use on freebie give aways, in the ads and so on.
- Get your own stream. Nothing is more boring like the 42nd club running on the same music stream coming from an established web radio. If you are not willing or unable to hire a dj, at least get your own stream running with music that's being in good vibes with your place.
- Do you want to make money or just make it as a hobby? Some bigger clubs have attached malls or vendor places to get some of the money back. But not all places/clubs go well with them.
- Make yourself a limit of how much money you're willing to pay per month for the club. This should be pretty clear.
- Some clubs have escorts, dancers and in former times games. Be sure before opening a club, if you want such hanging around or not. Normally not worth the money, they also come for a dozen per penny.
- This also means: be sure, if you want to go into a mature or PG rated region
- And at last: make your mind up, if you want to open at the mainland or a private sim. Mainland is cheaper in the beginning, but you've got normally the avatar limit of 40 on most places and when you club is good running, expect complaints from your neighbors. Private sim is better on that aspect, but normally you've got to pay it then for yourself, so that's only an option if you've got enough money or already a big club making much money.
That's all, folks. Could be, that some would make other main focuses on their own pet club, but those are my experiences so far.