In a previous article, we discussed using geo-location to promote offers to billions of visitors at airport hubs to promote businesses and services for a fee. There were other mentions of geo-location services that can be created such as a food truck finder services as well as selling product/services in a time/space continuum where large gatherings taking place. In this article we are going to talk about using location-based services to create a location-based game side hustle.
Keep in mind – this can be done on the same $5/month GoDaddy web site hosting program. And in the same manner as the airport demo, not only will I be creating a demo, I’m working on doing a location-based gaming test trial here in Atlanta where I plan to give away prizes. This will be part of our fall season when the young college kids come back to Atlanta for us to show that Dream and Hustle is about it and also let the next generation laugh and wave off these other phony Black tech cornballs just talking up something.
What is Location-Based Gaming?
Back in the days when GPS devices were first made handhelds, a bunch of cats decided to play games where they would meet up based on the GPS coordinates. Some of them actually played scavenger hunt type games where you would go find clues at locations to determine the next location – I believe the show Amazing Race does that but I don’t watch that show to know for sure.
Today, you can use location-based gaming by providing the GPS coordinate of locations where people can travel to the location to get clues that will eventually get them to the destination where the grand prize is located and the first one to reach the destination reach the prize. But even better is the incorporation of smart phones that can use GPS and read QR codes makes location-based gaming even more viable for a wider audience to participate.
Business Model of Location-Based Gaming
The business model of location-based gaming is that of a marketing company. You approach businesses such as new retailers and boutiques, car dealerships, shopping centers and so on and have them pay to participate in the location-based game. They all can pay for the prizes that will be awarded to draw people to the game. Then these businesses will hold the clues and pieces to give out to these people when they come into their place of business, bringing in potential customers.
But you charge customers to join the game and pay for expenses for you to run the game. Because you are going to have to monitor the progress of people doing the location-based game and verify the winner before giving out the prize. You also have to make sure the game is played fair and square and make it an enjoyable experience.
Keep in mind this is not a sweepstakes but a game of skill so I do not believe you need gaming licenses or crap like that. Also, it is possible to run this game virtually but I do not know if that would create trust and would definitely have people physically presence to make sure the game runs as expected.
So let’s do a run of the numbers. Let’s say I’m giving away a Nexus Tablet and two $75 gift cards as prizes. That is about $500 in prizes to give away. Now, if I’m paying for the prize, I need $500 to break even so I will probably need 50 people paying $10 or 100 people paying $5. Probably would be better to have more prizes so more people can win because 50-100 people running around town just for 1 to 3 people to win ain’t going to appreciate it and not going to come back to play again.
So if you have the business foot the $500 bill, then they all can pay $100 and you get at least 10 businesses involved to get about $1,000 to finance the location-based game. But you still charge cats to enter the game and I really see only about under 50 people as a manageable size even though it may be more. So charge the 50 people $10 a piece and get $500 in cash. So if you run this hustle on Saturday mornings, you get $500 and make about $2,000/month.
However, you can pay some college kids about $50 to help you run the program. That means you can branch this out to other cities where 25 people sign up and pay $2,000 and another city $2,000 and now that is the parallel multiplier that increase your income up to $10,000/month in 5 cities or $120,000 year. You can run this virtually from a remote location but keep in mind that you will need someone physical out there to be the face of your location game hustle.
The Technical Piece
Here is now the location-based game should be run and how I plan to run it. We can still use the same code base from the airport geo-location hustle and yeah, I know it’s funny that you are realizing we can run several hustles from the same code base which is why I keep telling you to have a solid foundation in the tech game. A lot of these fake tech cats are one-trick pony characters but if you know how to lay down base code, then you can run plenty of hustles from it, like we doing with this geo-location code base.
The key element here will be the smartphone that can read QR codes and GPS and HTML5 – if the customer doesn’t have this kind of smart phone, they cannot play the game, plain and simple. They can use Clear wireless or any other 4G modem and an iPad/Android Wi-Fi tablet or device as an alternative, which is what I’m doing. The reason why is you will be using an HTML5 web site that need to read geo-location script and the people will need to scan in a QR code to make sure they let us know when they found the piece. We are going to track who is winning and report the number of pieces other people have and alert if someone has all 5 pieces.
Once a person have all 5 pieces, they will be revealed the last location to redeem and we verify this is the same person who reported to us in real-time of their progress and we give them the prize. So as you see, people are going to be using the web site and reporting their location to know how far they are from the destinations to pick up pieces and visit businesses and learn more about the business.
So technically speaking, the code will basically have a locations database, what glyph image or pieces of the puzzle are located at each location and the participant information. The participant will have to log in and let us know their location and scan in a QR code on the back that tells us if they have the real piece. Now here is the kicker – all of the QR codes are unique. That is to prevent someone from SMS someone else the code once they discovered it.
Launching and Executing the Location-Based Game
The first thing I would do is find some existing businesses that will be willing to participate on a trial basis and you provide the prizes out of pocket. To be honest and especially in the Black community, it’s hard to find businesses that are cool like that. But the best businesses are those that are already advertising their services, especially on the radio and local newspaper. Because they are actively advertising, that means they already have key people and process in place to do marketing business with your side hustle.
I would promote the service on Facebook among my friends and connections and create it as a Facebook event that others can be invited to. Now keep in mind, anybody who participate have to sign waivers, including their photo will be taken and published on Facebook. That’s because you want to promote the winner and prizes and pictures as people are going into these businesses because that’s your marketing material to sell to other businesses and also sell in other locations.
Then you go to businesses and get them to pay for the prize and participate. They pay you a fee, you tell them where the money is going and you also let them know the number of expected participants expected for the event. Advise the business to give participants a store package and coupons to return at a later time to promote their business to the people coming to them. This way the businesses know they have potential customers approaching them and a potential customer is better than no customer.
Make sure you got some good prizes to get as many people to sign up and pay you a registration fee. In some cases, people may want to team up and carpool and you encourage that and may have prizes such as 4 movie tickets so that will get 4 people to pay $10 and you stack $40 on them.
Some Challenges You May Have to Deal With
The first thing a skeptical tech clown will say is someone can scan all of the latitude/longitude coordinates on the web site to find out which combination will produce a hit of all of the locations. Actually, this is garbage as anybody using the location-based game has to be a registered and logged in user. And let a registered logged in user try that and you will detect it very fast they are trying to game the system and you disqualify them in real time.
Second challenge is your web site go down while the game is running. If that is the case, you may need a backup plan such as free entry to the next event and probably raffle off the prize if the system is down and invite people by SMS text to the location. Have a backup plan because you never know when disaster hits.
Third challenge is you got people rushing in traffic and may cause an accident acting a fool. You want to get people to sign waivers stating they won’t act a fool trying to run to places as fast as they can or speeding or whatever. Liability insurance would probably help out for the business operation, just in case. Same goes for the business, just make them sign stuff releasing you from liability if one of the people want to act a fool. If people want to drive fast and speed, then maybe not having a timer or first to bring it should matter and that is why it is nice to have a bunch of prizes instead of probably 3 prizes.
How to Expand this Hustle
You can run this hustle on behalf of media firms like the Atlanta radio stations or newspapers and they pay you to promote this hustle. This helps these media firms connect with advertisers. Now remember when I said you want someone to be physical in every location and you probably can run it virtually? Well, you can run this service where the radio station in Chicago and radio station in Newark run this location-based program using your web site and paying you that same weekend. That’s how you expand the hustle.
You want to get this hustle to the point where you are doing it locally Saturday morning, having a meetup at Atlantic Station and get your weekend money, post it up on Facebook and meet new friends and come Saturday night, you got $500 to blow at the mall buying clothes and fashion accessories and eating good at the mall restaurants straight ballin on these other cats.