In the ever-changing technological world of today, it’s safe to say that most of the world’s population have played a video game in any way, shape, or form. Video games have taught us many different things (trust me), but what can they teach us about small business?
It sounds crazy, right? Videogames and small business? Well, I had your curiosity, but now I have your attention. Video games are a form of digital entertainment for leisure, and a small business is an economical entity functioning to provide goods and/or services to customers. The two seem so different, yet when we look at the fundamental elements of both concepts, they have so much in common!
Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right
Most video games revolve around having “lives” and this concept translates to owning a small business in a certain way. To avoid confusion, I don’t mean in the physical “lives” way, but metaphorically — sometimes, it just takes a few tries to actually run a hugely successful small business.
In Australia, there is almost the same rate of small business openings than small business exits. According to the 2014-15 Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Report, the rate of businesses starting up was at 13.4%, while exits were at 12.4%. Considering these statistics, it’s clear to see that not every small business works out, but you should never give up on your ideas — if you absolutely believe in them and continuously work at them, they will result in success.
It’s hard work, but you can only get better
Starting a small business is like taking up a new responsibility. It should not be considered a chore or job, but rather a responsibility, or maybe even a leisure activity. In saying this, your performance relies on the outcome of your effort — you put in little effort, you get a little success.
Just like any video game, you are the player; the most essential part of the game is you. Similar to running a small business: you are the player, you run the business, and initially, you are the most essential part of the business. After a while, although you’re still the player, you lose the title of becoming the most essential part of the game — it becomes the customer.
You, being the main player, need to start the adventure, and that comes with many quests and opportunities, as well as many problems and mistakes; but like any game, if you work at it, you end up succeeding. Sometimes it’s a bit of a hit-and-miss game, sometimes it’s an opportunistic game, but if you continuously work at it, you can only get better.
They can teach you many things
As a video game aficionado since I was a youngling, I can confidently say that video games have taught me a lot of things over the years — from names of objects, to my entire knowledge base of Greek mythology. Same thing applies to a small business. Well, you could probably learn the names of objects from running a small business, but that’s not the point.
The point is that, by opening a small business, you’ll be readying yourself for a butt load of new stuff to learn about. Internet marketing? Web hosting? Website design? And what are all these apps for? You’ll be learning hella loads and there’s no tutorial to babysit you through the process, you’ll have to get all this information from somewhere, and whether that’s from the Internet, books, educational courses, etc., is all up to you!
Commitment goes a long way
I have a couple of rules that I like to think work very well for small business owners — the 3 P’s: Passion, Patience, and Persistence. The important P to focus on here is Persistence, as, any gamer would know, persistence is the key to success. Whether it’s finishing a level of candy crush, or saving the princess from the right castle (damn Toad!), if you don’t keep trying, you’ll never succeed. For small business owners, the same rule applies. If you don’t stop working at making the business a successful organisation, it will become just that. Although, there are a number of external factors that could hinder the business’s success, which is unfortunate, but this leads me into another P — Passion.
In order to be fully committed to a something, you need to actually enjoy doing it, among other things. If you have no passion for what you’re small business is set out to achieve, it may not work at the utmost productivity and efficiency that it could be working at. I know, starting up a small business doesn’t hold the same excitement value as ducking away to play Fallout 4 all night, but finding something that you love or at least enjoy and commercialising it, turning it into a small business, can be a pretty exciting endeavour.