As important as a business plan is for your indie studio, we unfortunately have not talked about it a lot here at Game Academy. It’s worth discussing, and luckily I was reminded of this whenever I came across Jovan Johnson’s post regarding how a business plan can help your mobile game business posted over at Gamasutra. His post can be applied to any type of indie studio as well – no matter if you only develop mobile games, only develop PC games, or you develop for multiple platforms simultaneously.
Johnson makes a great case for how an indie studio business plan can actually help your indie studio. Take a look at a few of them below, and begin making plans to start your own business plan today!
Know your priorities
This tip is at the top of Johnson’s list, and for good reason. An indie studio business plan is essentially a game design document for the business side of your studio. It is the best way to not only prioritize the business side of your indie studio, but is the best approach to letting your team members know what their priorities should be as well. It is the best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page!
Nobody likes a boss that tries to micromanage everything. Johnson brings up a great point: with a business plan, you will no longer have the tendency to be so controlling! You see, one of the culprits of a controlling boss is that they are not as organized as they need to be; and a business plan solves this. As Johnson puts it:
“Without a comprehensive plan, your team may need constant direction and ask questions that they would not otherwise. A plan lays out who is responsible for what and when, so every contributor to the project will know his or her place, which makes delegating much easier and allows you to step back and refrain from micromanaging.”
Understand your business better
It seems obvious, but by creating a business plan you will have a better understanding as to how your business works and how it should work. It all goes back to the first topic in this list: knowing your priorities. An indie studio business plan will help you to think like a business owner and less like a novice that is trying to ‘play business.’ Believe me, there is a vast difference between the two.
Stay on track
Finally – and arguably most important in this list – a business plan will help you to stay on track. No longer will you miss deadlines, get behind on tasks, and have to deal with team members failing to work on certain tasks/having no idea what to work on the first place. By staying on track, everything else will fall into place and your indie studio – or rather, your business – will operate better than ever before. Productivity will be at an all-time high, there will be no reason to micromanage anything, you will have a better understanding of the goals that your indie studio needs to have in order to grow, and so much more.
An indie studio business plan is crucial to your success. Look for a more in-depth discussion on the business plan in a future post (likely this week). Once again, thank you Jovan Johnson for the fantastic article – it’s a great resource for all indie developers!