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Wyoming Business Tips for July 31-Aug. 6

July 22, 2016

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By James Drever, WSBDC regional director

“What is this Pokémon Go thing, and how can I use it for my business?” Adam, Saratoga

Pokémon Go is a location-based game that blends Pokémon game features with the real world.

Players, now in the millions, travel to different locations looking for game objects. If you have seen people wandering around town staring into their phones almost bumping into people and things, they probably are hunting for these objects. How can your business take advantage of this craze?

First, what I will describe will make very little sense, and my advice will be of little value, unless you download the game and run it on your own device. You will need to either log in through a Google account or sign up via the game. Due to the popularity, I couldn’t access the game server for a free account, because it was overwhelmed; instead, I used my Google account to log in.

Once on, you will immediately see the potential for brick-and-mortar businesses. This game gets people walking around and has created a new sense of community.

First, see what is near your business in the game. Are there nearby characters, especially rare ones? People will be around, but if you put up a sign in your window alerting people to these special objects, you will see a lot more traffic.

Another thing to look for is if your business is near a “poke stop.” This, too, will let you know that gamers are coming. To attract more users to your business, place a “lure,” which will bring a lot more traffic. An example of this is that a restaurant in New York has seen food and drink sales go up 30 percent after placing lures. Lures can be purchased within the game.

Another way to attract business is to bring team activity into the real world if you don’t have attractive objects near your business. Online players will often join teams as part of gameplay. Offering a nominal discount to teams gives them real-world recognition and can bring your business recognition for acknowledging them.

Another idea to consider is players going to places where poke stops or gyms are located if there is not much nearby in the Pokémon world. What can your business do in other locations? Advertise, hand out coupons? As you can imagine, using the GPS, camera and running the game drains batteries fast. Offer customers a chance to charge their devices while they shop or enjoy a drink or snack.

I am eagerly waiting for the first Wyoming businesses to take advantage of the play on words with “Go Pokes.” Please share what you come up with on our Facebook page.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at www.wyen.biz/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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