Posted in business in SL, day-to-day, rant

Failure to plan on your part…

A SL sim that I used to play with recently began sending out announcements (which I see in my email) stating that their sim–which allows people free shop and residence space–is in a state of financial emergency. The person who’s been paying for tier out of her pocket all along just can’t afford to do it again and if we don’t all dig deep and donate like mad, the sim is DOOMED!

OK, who can spot where things went wrong here?

When I first opened up shop there–when I did–there was a ridiculously low rental rate, which I paid right away (after all, I wanted to snap up the space before anyone could beat me to it). Then I remember it being odd that I was never updated on paying it again. The rental cube had been removed from the shopfront altogether. Perhaps the sim owner thought that they could get more people to come and play if they stopped charging rent. This of course was contradicted by the “NO NEW PEOPLE!” announcement which led to my pulling up stakes and vacating the shopfront there.

I think some people really believe that asking for money isn’t “nice.” I’ve seen it in builders, I’ve seen it in performers, I’ve now seen it in sim owners. It helps to perpetuate a false belief that asking for appropriate compensation is equal to greed, and this belief is what continues to add more and more examples to websites like Clients From Hell. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when you always give it away free, or grossly undervalue your work, it’s not just your work you’re devaluing. It’s everyone else who does similar work that gets devalued as well, because people think if yours is free/dirt cheap, then so should everyone else’s.

But I’m going off on a bit of a tangent. Back to the topic at hand, which is this sim. People really expect to pay rent to make their way in virtual worlds. If they come to expect shop space or houses for free, it’s the fault of those who give it away free for creating that expectation. And now, you’ve given away shop space and residence for free, and you are surprised to suddenly find yourself without the financial sustainability to keep your sims open? Now instead of a regular, moderate flow of money from tenants, you’re having to beg people to shell out larger lump sums to bail you out.

You will excuse me, but failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

It blows my mind how many people shell out huge amounts of very real money and yet fail to get the most elementary rule of business: Revenue must be greater than or equal to expenses. And before you protest and say your lovely RP sim isn’t a business, you’re mistaken. You pay for it regularly. You need income (badly enough now to beg for it) to continue to pay for it. It may not be a business first and foremost; but make no mistake, it is a business. And if you ran it in an intelligent manner, you wouldn’t be in this mess now.