This Post is the 1st part of the 30 Day Game Center Start Up Guide.
Before starting a Game Center, market research is a very important step. You don’t want to setup a 20 station Game Center in Billy Bob, Arkansas with a population of only 435 people and all of those people are between the ages of 72-85. I’m not saying that geriatric customers can’t be profitable but I don’t think if your not selling heart medication and having seniors early bird buffets that’s going to be a reality using the Game Center Business Model.
That’s where market and demographic research come in. You want to get a good idea of the following points:
- Demographic Age
- Demographic Income
- Demographic Gender Ratio (Yes, we need more males then females)
- Demographic Trending
Ideally your Market’s age needs to be 40-60% between the ages of 14 – 35 years, usually developing communities are at these numbers, and have a middle to upper income status. Broke people don’t buy time on Computers/Consoles. Hopefully they have more important things to spend their assets on.
Now you would wonder why I picked 14 – 35 years of age as the market I’m shooting for. Cause this is the market of “Males” that have a higher ratio of Video Game playing. (Reason you want your Males vs. Female Ratio, sorry ladies you just don’t play video games as much as us) I could get younger and aim for 12 as my low end (And indeed I’ve had a lot of regular customers at that age group) but they usually don’t have their OWN disposable income. Males with extra money on their hands tend to use that money to entertain themselves. And now that video gaming is becoming a staple of entertainment in today’s society, we will be there to offer them that entertainment.
We are currently going through the 2010 census and this will be an extremely valuable asset to anyone looking to start a business once the information collect is available for public use. But for the moment sites like http://city-data.com will have to suffice. When using any sort of collected data you want to look for trending. We don’t want to setup a business that might do good this year but next year do really bad because of a foreseeable trend that led to a shift in our demographic, rending our business useless.
These are some basic guidelines for demographic research. And hopefully in the future I will expand more on each of the topics I’m discussing in this series. If there is information in this article that you would like expanded on visit this posts section in the forums located here.