We recently had the joy of attending UKIE’s first 2021 virtual hub crawl. The hub crawl is an annual event in which UKIE trek across the UK to various gaming hubs and put on a talk with industry experts. However due to the threat of literal death due to a global pandemic, UKIE have chosen to make the events virtual this year.
This week the focus was on starting up a business. A good range of topics were covered, from legal pitfalls to how to seek funding. If you are looking for a specific segment, UKIE posted all the videos up on their website.
But we decided to round up our top 5 tips from the webinar.
Legal Framework Is a Pain But Is Necessary
It’s entirely plausible that you and a bunch of mates have set up a company. And it is also entirely possible that you have all done so on a civilised handshake agreement.
But friends, like family, can fall out. If you fall out, and your friend created a bunch of assets for you, they may well own those assets even if you have paid for them.
As annoying as contracts are, and as impolite as it can feel asking people you like and care about to sign things they are important. Consider hiring some help with them, because if you are successful then paying someone to sort your contracts will be a lot cheaper than paying someone in court.
Insurance Is Not a Bad Idea
Since we launched our first game, Double Pug Switch we have had a constant stream of emails and LinkedIn messages, which is great! But filing through email after email, message after message and figuring out which is a scam and which is offering a legitimate business proposition can be tiring and frustrating.
It can get to the stage where you make a slip of judgement, and it happens to most of us. Good Insurance covers this, and often lots of other things; perhaps most notably is this little gem: “Loss caused by player replicating elements of your game and causing injury”.
The image of someone complaining that they hurt themselves attempting to replicate DOOM with a chainsaw will stick with me forever.
Working 24/7 Is Not Actually Always Good
Pretty much anyone who works for a small business, or has started one will know it takes a lot to get off the ground. The majority of people will work all day every day, dropping socialising, hobbies and self care.
But this can lead to burnout, and one speaker mentioned that this is something he happens to see a lot. You can undo a lot of work by working yourself to a burnout, so make sure you give yourself that important you time. And don’t feel guilty about it.
Check Your VGTR
Apparently only around 20% of studios in the UK claim Video Game Tax Relief, this is where the folks who helped with your legal framework might be helpful again. Or if you have an accountant, even better. But if you want to get your head around the basics then Gamesindustry.Biz wrote an excellent article you can read here.
Consider Your Investors Carefully
So you found an investor! Great, but are they right for you and your company? If one investor is keen on your work, then it stands to reason that others are. It can be super exciting to see any investor show an interest, but you have to consider the offer carefully.
Strategic investors offer an investment, but come with an extra little perk. This can be anything from having a big network, to maybe them having an accountancy firm. Your success is in their interest, so they will want to help you. Do your research and think carefully before you snap offers up.
Hopefully those have given you something to think about. Next week’s webinar is all about branding! If you are interested in attending any of UKIE’s events check out their events page here.