Week 2: Business Plans (Firday)

In friday’s class, we spoke about constructing business plans for our businesses. In a shell, a business plan is the skeleton of how a company will approach regarding doing their business. This includes, what their product is?, Financial projections, manufacturing costs etc.. The plan can also be used for giving a clear vision of your products and future plans to your employees and partners.

Business plans can be very fruitful for businesses, if created well. They help not only project a future goal but it also prepares the companies for any potential problems that might occur in future with their products. The business then can prepare for the worst or the best situation possible. They also help avoid any fantasy like projections that the business owners might’ve had about the business. Most importantly, business plans can help anchor in investors. If a business have a professional looking business plans, then investors can see that they are serious about selling their product or making profit. This can be a huge financial boost for any starting business.

On contradictory, having a business plan that isn’t constructed well can have a negative effect and image of your business. Investors will not take your product and business seriously, and there is a good chance that your business will fail. A business plan can fail due to many reasons. One of them is, your business model is very myth like. It has numbers and projections that are unrealistic. Source of that problem can either be arrogance of the business owners or lack of knowledge. Other reasons can be ignoring problems attached to your business. This is not only bad for your investors but also bad for your business. Also, if a business plan involves too much risk with little payoff, this can cause it to fail. Overall, it’s very important to have a business plan, but it’s more important to have a functional business plan. A good business plan is often one that is tangible and shapes it self as situations arise.

The readings from Sahlman and Pirouz also speaks about similar problems & advantages with business plans. They go in a little more depth, also they provide an ideal advice on the way they think a business proposal should be written. They reason those thinkings well, and it will support me in writing a business plan in my own way. One thing i admired about Sahlman’s article especially was, he doesn’t give a solid model on how to write it, but more like suggestions. This gets the readers thinking, rather than making them blindly follow his instructions.

It’s hard deciding on one good & successful indie game, because there are so many amazing ones. But if I had to choose one, I would pick Bastion. First of all, this game is visually and musically stunning. It has game mechanics that flow incredibly well with it’s environment and story. This game sold mostly because of word of mouth, and it had a unique art style that set it apart from other games. The company working on this game was very new, this was their first game. And looking at their success of the game, it seems like they had a great business structure. Since the team was new, I’ve read that they have presented the Demo, in-progress version at certain events to gain some initial following. They had spread the word prior to release of the game, and most importantly they delivered the game and kept their word. Which is very important for an indie game developing company. Also one thing I noticed was, they had taken baby steps in terms of releasing the game to different platforms. They didn’t suddenly release the game to every single platform to maximize the profit, but instead they released to different platforms one by one depending on success of the game. Which is mark of a good business model.