Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Building of a Shopping Centre

What do you need to do in Second Life to build a shopping centre? That is the question that I have been asking myself recently and as I am now 42 days from my first Rezz Day in Second Life, I have finally figured out what I need to do to build a mall.

Over the last year, I have been learning to build, networking, reading, asking questions of residents who have been there and did that, successfully, I might add, and a light bulb came on this week and I am turning my old beach home in to a shopping centre.

The first and foremost is that you have to have land that either is yours, or you have the right to have commercial buildings on it and the Sim Owner's covenant supports business without too many restrictions.

Next you have to build the buildings or go into business with people who know how to build, or hire a builder. So what do you do? The high end builders who can erect a sim in one day commanding top Linden dollars and it is not logical for your first endeavor. That leaves finding a business partner. That can be tricky because I feel you have to get to know the person behind the Avie first and see if they are straight shooters. If you are fortunate enough to find someone who is and they happen to be builders ... all the better and if they aren't builders, ask around in Second Life there are builders who love mentoring and will take time to show you tricks of the trade, the more you build the better you become.

Then you have to find vendors. Again, this comes with networking. One business partner may know this person or that person and they are looking for a vending site for one reason or the other, however, you will definitely want to go out to the big merchants in Second Life and invite them to look at your property and invite them to vend with you.

Now comes the nitty gritty of business that remains the same either in Real Life or in my case Second Life, and that is paperwork, contracts must be drawn up laying out your rules and regulations regarding vendors, rent of your stalls, how many prim is available for rent, setting up payment boxes, and advertising.

As the owner of the shopping area, it is your responsibility to drive up traffic and bring visitors to your area!! How is this done? Advertising. In fact, this week should see Atlantis Jewell Creations launching a huge advertising campaign with the Edge Nightclub. Since I am a writer, I write advertorials for the Second Life Newspaper and some will be going out this week heralding a new shopping area with high quality vendors and vending stalls at a good reasonable price.

In addition to the advertising, you put your place of business in the Classified Ads and on your profiles and that of your business partner's profiles. Each business partner brings in certain qualities to the table, just as in Real Life, one person might have the Lindens to cover the endeavor, another might be fashion savvy and be brilliant in talking to vendors, and another might be a builder or have items they wish to sell!

Personally, I enjoy taking my Second Life and writing about it in Real Life, so you will find articles from almost all my blogs at and you may be featured in one of those articles. (For your convenience, I have put the links to the side of my blogs.)

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