Setting Up Your Own SL Business

Want to open a store?  Run an event?  Run a sim?  Below is some helpful information to get you started.


GETTING STARTED

Steps To Get Your Business Started

Business Type

What type of business are you looking to create?  A store?  An event?  A roleplay?  What you are doing will affect what content you have access to legally use.

Any business that is for profit will require all of your images and fonts to have full legal licenscing, and be legal to use for commercial purposes.  These will require stricter rules and research.

Stores and Events are for profit businesses.

 

Any business that is non-profit still requires using the legal licensing above, however does not always require the commercial license.  There is more content you may have access to as you will not make money off of it.  However, NEVER assume you may use something just because you make no money off of it.  Artwork of any type is still someone’s property and needs to be respected as such.

A Charity Event is non-profit, as are most Roleplay sims.

 

Research is key and something you need to do right from the start, before you decide on any final choices.  Making sure you are doing things the legal and proper way from step 1 will protect you from issues later on.

The ONLY time you do not have to worry about licensing of any type is if you have 100% original artwork, be it images and/or fonts you make yourself, or commission to have made for you.  However, if you do this, be sure to copyright all the work in order to protect yourself from anyone who may try to may use it for themselves.

Naming Your Business

To begin, you need to make sure you not only have a name picked out, but that it is not Copyrighted, inappropriate (offensive, gross, etc.), or already taken.  You do not want to get all setup and find out you copied something someone else has already set up, be it a store or event with the same name, or even a non SL business that could cause issues.

You need to keep in mind that real life businesses are not going to let you use their name/trademark/logo, etc. to profit on in SL.  It is best to stear clear of using such.

Do your research by using the search tool in world with both groups, places, and even the events tab.  We also suggest looking on the SL Marketplace, and even the SL Destination Guide.

Why do we suggest these things?   Well everyone does things differently, and that includes how they list their business so it is best to check wherever you can just to be sure.  It never hurts to do a little extra at the beginning, especially if it will save you a lot of headache later.

 

Creating A Logo

Once you get your business name sorted, the next step is to get a logo created to represent that name.

Before you get started, just know that it is best to make a square logo for your brand.  While you can do any size, it is far more common to use a square, especially if you join events later.  If you make an alpha version of it, make sure to have one with a solid background as well.

Again, be mindful of any content, such as images and artwork, that you see outside SL, as not all are legal for you to use without permission.  Using Copyrighted material will get you in trouble, so stay away from it.

If you are able to create your own 100% original artwork, or have it commissioned for you, then we suggest to do that.

If you are unable to have custom artwork done for a logo, there are some websites that have free to use stock content.  DO NOT ever just use Google to find an image and assume you can use it.   Do your research and go about things the legal way.

The same goes for finding a font to use.  Just like artwork and photos, fonts have a license.  They are not just all free to use as you want.  There are tons of them out there, so research is key.  Every font is different, so just check the information about it and you should find the licensing.  Just as for images and art, it should have personal or commercial use on it.

Google fonts are free for all to use as they like, personal or commercial, but they are web based fonts, not necessarily used for logo or advertising work, however for a website they are really handy.

To help you find images, artwork and fonts you may legally use, we recommend the following website.  It is a great resource to keep around as you can search for photos, fonts, and more, all in one location.

The Stocks

 

Creating A Group

Next is to create a group for your business. You have several options for doing this, based on what you need, and how you will use your group. We have outlined each below so you can get an idea of which may be best for your use.

SL GROUP

One time $100L fee to set up, but uses a group spot
Has group chat
Can send out full notices with messages and objects
Can create roles for different group access
Can use for group only discounts on certain vendors
Can set a join fee, group rating, image, and description
Can turn off open joining and be invite only
Can use as a land group and land access

 

SUBSCRIBER SYSTEM

Have to buy a system, but no group spot used
No group chat
Can send messages, notices, and objects in most systems
Cannot create roles for different access
Cannot use for group discounts in stores
Cannot set a join fee, rating, image, or description in most systems
Cannot be invite only
Cannot use as a land group or land access

 

As you can see, there are some big differences.  Most people who have a store or event create a SL group so they may offer more perks to their members.  Some even have a subscriber system as well, just with less perks, but still allowing for notices and updates.

SL Marketplace

If your business is a store of any type, you will want to create a SL Marketplace store to use, as well as your in world.  Not everyone has one, but most do.

The Marketplace gives customers a different way to shop your store.  Many like to use the MP as a guide before going to an in world location.

Social Media/Marketing

Having social media can really help market your business.  You want to make sure you have all your media ready before hand.

Along with an in world group, many use the following:  Facebook, Flickr, Plurk, Discord, Instagram, Twitter, SocialVR, Avatlife, Blogs, and Websites.

 

Business Information

This is a step that most forget to do before hand.  Make sure all of your information is well documented in notecards, and on any external media you may use.

Make sure you have any needed signs, posters, or kiosks ready for your business.  Items such as a group join, redelivery, media links, marketplace link, etc..  Having easy access to any important links in world is important.

If you have a store, it is best to have your policies, media, and any other relevant information done up well before hand.  You can add location at any time, as well as update any information easily later on, if you are well organized from the start.

If you have an event, it is best to have all of your notecards and posters ready.  We suggest making things such as acceptance kits well ahead of time so you have the needed information all ready and do not miss anything later.  Another thing to do is have a notecard and/or document you can easily reference about media outlets and/or groups you may use for advertising.

If you have a roleplay, make sure any signs, posters, and rules are done up.  Another thing to do is have any needed kits for IC or OOC ready to go, including titlers and any needed materials.  If you do not supply such things, having a list of where to find them is good practice.

We recommend to have a folder dedicated just to information like above, so it is easy for you to find and update as needed.

Content

Here is hoping you have begun to create, or have already created, some content.  Before you go and find a place to set your business up, it is best to make sure you have your content ready ahead of time.

If you have a store:

Have some items ready to set out at opening
Have some items made to release later
Have all your build and decor ready to go

 

If you are doing an event:

Have all acceptance kits ready
Have your build planned out
Have your build and decor ready to go

 

If you are doing a roleplay:

Have all IC and OCC information written out
Have all your media updated
Have your build and decor ready to go

 

While most who have a roleplay do not make custom items for it, some do. If you do create your own content to sell, then follow the rules for a store for it.

Remember, the more prepared you are, the more time and money you save.

Finding Your In World Location

You have all your basics ready, so now you need to find a location in world.  There are some crucial things to keep in mind when searching for land.

How much land do you need?  Do you need to have a full sim, or just a parcel? While most events and roleplays are on a full sim, stores tend to be on a parcel. It all depends on how much space and how many prims you need to start with, and to grow into. Be mindful of this as you want to pace yourself so you do not spend all your money on land before you get started, but leave some room for your business to grow for some time yet as well.

What rating is your business content?  Is it Adult, Mature, or General? Any sim you rent on needs to work with this rating. While you can have different rated content on different rated sims (depending on rules), it is best just to match the rating and have no questionable issues.

What is the sim type?  It is residential, commercial, light commercial, or a mix? It does make a big difference, so read all Covenants for any sim you look to rent on. We suggest to stay with a commercial sim for a business so there are no issues, but do research to find what best suits your needs.

ALWAYS read the sim Covenant.  Even with rating and type, there may be specific rules set by the sim owner that must be followed. Some sims require specific rules on decor, skybox placement, and more.

Is the sim mainland or private?  This is another big factor. While mainland may be cheaper and more accessible in ways, it is also much busier and laggier. We suggest trying to find land on a private sim, however we know it is not always possible, so as always, do your research.

What all do you want to do on your land?  Not everywhere you rent will allow you to have full control over your land, so be mindful of that. If you want rights to such things as changing the music stream, banning people, tracking objects, and more, you need to make sure you are able to “Buy” your land, not just set up a general rental.

If you use a full sim, then the rating, type, and Covenant will be up to you.  Just do your research so you find the best deal to suit your needs.

Setting Up

It is time to set your business set up!   Make sure you have everything ready that was listed above before moving on.

We have some tips to keep in mind before and during setting up.

Have an idea of your build before starting
Have all of your decor ready
Keep track of prim usage
Keep scripts minimal when possible

 

If you have a full sim, we recommend regular restarts on it to keep the lag down. Frequency will vary depending on the amount of items on sim, and traffic. If your sim is busy and full, you want to do it more often, where as if it is not, you can do it less often, etc..

If you find yourself in need of a business bot of some sort, we recommend using Smart Bots. You can do group invites, notices, chat management, models, and more with a bot. Check their website for more information and options.

Smart Bots

Updating Your Profile

A few things to know to help your business are below.  The best ways to do any of the below is either in your main description and/or as one of your profile pics.  There is also a link on Web tab of your profile to add a website, blog, etc..

Add your business location to your SL profile with an updated slurl.

Link your business media, such as Website, Facebook, Flickr, etc..

Link your business SL group.

List any staff/manager(s)/partner(s) you have.

Add the best way to contact you.  You can also add an FAQ in your profile pics, which is very common.

 

 

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