Today’s post is the first of a series of interviews with true SL entrepreneurs, who, through creativity, hard work and good business practices have succeeded. In previous postings I’ve described many business techniques that can create success, but in this series we will interview people who use sound business principles in action.
I first bumped into ButterflyKiss Ophelia a year ago, and at the time (and probably now) she could be the largest business owner on my friends list. While I was quite proud of my 8192sm shop, she calmly noted that she owned six entire islands. Much later I learned she had over twenty! She must be doing something right; let’s find out what that might be.
Second Effects: What is your SL business? What do you sell, and to whom do you sell?
ButterflyKiss Ophelia: For the past six months I have been involved with my partner Nitrox Peel. Everything that we have done since March 1st has been a joint venture. I /We (Now partners with Nitrox Peel) are partners in:
- Paradise Properties - Purchase or own your own piece of Paradise whether it be a small piece of land or a full Island Estate. Residential only.
- Paradox Estates - Paradox Estates is our newest venture. A full sim dedicated to commercial activity. Shops of all kinds but we do not allow gambling of any kind.
- SiT - A furniture store featuring wonderful designs by us both. Dining, Kitchen, Living Room, Bedroom and Bath Suites are featured in SiT.
SE: How did you get involved in SL in the first place? How and when did you find out about it?
BKO: A few years back I was addicted to Sims Online. Played that for three years and met some warm caring friends. One of my friends left and started to play SL. Missed him a lot and all he did was talk about how the graphics were so much better in SL. So ... I checked it out and was Awed! The rest is history and now I am addicted to money making in SL.
SE: At what point did you realize you wanted a business? How did you get started?
BKO: I immediately wanted to make money. Well enough money that I wouldn't have to pay for me playing. I started out with building in Second Life. When I played Sims Online I did own a casino and a few money making projects, so it came naturally to me.I purchased my first 1/4 sim which by mistake for me was PG and mainland. I knew I wanted to rent out villas and needed a mature space for all those private moments, so PG was not a good investment. I immediately sold it and realized I paid quite a lot less for this property and upgraded to 1/2 a sim (Island Estate this time) and made sure it was Mature.
SE: What advice would you give to prospective business owners about to start up?
BKO: I believe it's all about your location. Ensure that you place ads and sell your product. Don't let others do your footwork, because it doesn't really sell you or your product. Do not get in over your head. Start small and work your way up. This may take time, but we all have "time" in Second Life. Market your product in SL Exchange or OnRez.
SE: Has your venture been successful over the long term? How large is your operation these days?
BKO: I have been in business for over two years and quite happy with everything I have done to bring me this far in Second Life. For the past six months I have expanded my business / our businesses at a slow but steady rate. We now have over 23 Estates between us and plan on steadily increasing over the winter season.
SE: How has business been lately? Many business owners report a downturn.
BKO: Our businesses are stable and running smoothly. Summers are always usually slow times. Winter months when there is less to do RL, will of course create a more stable economy.
SE: You’ve been expanding your business continually; what approach have you used that’s been so successful?
BKO: Rollover profits and never get over your head. We pretty much just rollover and purchase. Someone needs land and rather than constant purchasing we just purchase as we can afford. Rolling over profits.
SE: Where do you see your business going over the next few years?
BKO: We plan on taking over Second Life! *rubs hands together and laughs evilly*