Yesterday, I wrote a post mentioning that at every indie studio, there needs to be that one guy/gal that handles the business side of things. In other words: one person needs to have a strong mind for business. That needs to be their strongest skill, and because of this, finding a proper business developer isn’t as easy as hiring an artist, musician, etc. for another project at your indie studio. It’s tough to know who is worth hiring and who to pass on by, but today, we’re going to try and get to the bottom of this.
There is a great article over at Inc describing how to hire a business developer that gives better insight than I could ever give (thus why I linked to the post). Without further ado, here’s what you need to know.
First: what is a business developer?
We touched on this a little bit yesterday, but here’s a recap: a business developer is a professional that can fill various roles at your indie studio: marketing your indie games, finding press to cover your game, keeping tabs on the financials, promoting the studio on social media – essentially, their job is to get people to know more about your indie game while ensuring the entire studio is on track to success. The article sums it up best:
“…they tend to very good at evaluating your business from a large-scale perspective and then determining what the best approaches are in terms of marketing, customer service, management and sales.”
When is it time to hire?
If you have noticed that either you or your time has taken on the role of conducting the ‘business side’ of your indie studio, then it’s time. However, you need to consider exactly what the hired professional will be doing full-time. What exactly do you need the business-minded professional to do? Is there enough work for them to do this on a full-time basis?
Essentially, ensure that the position you are hiring for is actually needed, and you don’t need a gopher to do a bunch of tasks that you could do on your own. But if you need a business developer, you’ll know Having to stay up late at night every evening just to market and other business-related tasks is the obvious sign that it’s time to hire.
Most importantly: making the relationship work for you.
If you have no idea what a business developer is or what exactly they do, then it can be hard to know if they are doing a great job or not.
“This person absolutely needs to be an entrepreneur and have entrepreneurial spirit,” says Karen Mattonen, founder of HireCentrix. “Perhaps they’ve jumped around to some different companies, or they seem to get bored easily. But it’s those types of people who don’t take no for an answer and are the real go-getters”
The person you hire needs to be able to think ‘outside the box,’ as the saying goes.
Once hired, it is crucial that you tell them the situation of the moment. Tell them everything about your indie studio, the goals you have, the problems you are facing, etc. Their success depends heavily on you! Communication is key, so be an open book. After all, before they can make your indie studio succeed, they need to know how everything works. A business developer that has no clue how the business they are promoting works is worthless, so again, bring them up to speed.
Once they have the knowledge, that entrepreneurial spirit mentioned above will kick in, and they will begin making strides to bring newfound success to your indie studio.
Need help actually finding a business developer? Check out this week’s guide to hiring dependable outsourced professionals – chock-full of tips on how to hire the best person for the job. You can also use these tips to hire a business developer in-house as well, so give it a read before you start the hiring process.
Have any tips/comments about hiring a business developer? Let us know in the comments below!