This is the last time you will hear this Chinese phrase in this article series: 老人怕死，女人怕醜，男人好色，孩子貪玩 / 怕笨.
This translates to “The old are scared of death, the women are afraid of being ugly, the men are lustful, the children are playful / scared of being stupid.
Now that we have gone through the first 3, we are at the children’s segment. Why does children have 2 market segments while the rest only have 1? That is because the desires of the children themselves is one segment, while the desires of their parents is another segment. It relates to the previous article in which I said the target buyer is not the final consumer.
The desires of any child is to want to play. When they see something fun or interesting, they are attracted to it. Depending on the age, from toys to games, from cartoons to theme parks, the level of their desire to engage in such play are on a much higher level compared to adults. Not that adults are not interested in that, it is just that adults simply have more responsibilities and consequently lesser time and energy to be involved in them. The nature of any (decent) parent is simply wanting their children to do well, although of course we know that there are also parents who treat their children as an investment product and pushed for them to be academically successful. The most direct route for the children to do well is to ensure that they do not lose out in education. In fact, excelling in education paves the way for success. At least that is what they think and which we will explore in another article soon.
Given that parents have been more affluent over the years and their willingness to spend on their children has increased (although I know that differs from country to country), the ‘play’ market for the children segment has increased greatly. As long as it can make their children happy, they would be willing to spend just a little bit. Afterall, toys are not something unaffordable.
On the other hand, from the perspective of the parents, they are even more willing to spend on education, to ensure that their children can receive the best education within the scope of their financial abilities.
For those who do not understand, K-12 refers to the segment from kindergarten to grade 12, and it is an expression used by the US. While education encompasses all levels and ages of life, we can see from the figures above, a bulk of the education expenses is spent on children in their formative years when they still do not have the ability to earn an income by themselves. We can then deduce that whether it is in the Western or Asian world, parents do spend a lot on their children’s education during the time when their children still lives with them.
With the above background, we can now think of how we can capitalise on this.
Setting Up A Shop
Again, it is no surprise that you see this option in every article of this series, simply because again it is the most straightforward method. From setting up toy shops to game arcades, from opening a tuition centre to enrichment classes (eg ballet classes, piano classes, tennis classes), whether it is physical or online stores, they are the most straightforward way to capture this segment of the market. That being said, if we are targeting children directly, retail stores is a much more effective method. Afterall, in retail stores, children can see for themselves the product offerings the shop has to offer. Also, as of now, retail stores still definitely outdo online sales.
Do take note that opening a retail store comes with a much higher risk compared to an online one. Similarly, we will explore the risks of opening a physical retail store in an upcoming article.
Teaching Private Classes
As an extension to the above, there are some of us with no intention to set up shop. But it does not mean that we have to be out of the market. There are private tuition teachers, private tennis coaches, private piano teachers etc giving personalised and 1-to-1 coaching to the children who need it. Parents are willing to pay good money to ensure that their children catch up after their classes and not lose to their peers. As the competition gets stronger and stronger, the demand for private tuition has also been increasing.
With the above rates, there are even some university graduates who do this full time and are earning quite a decent sum as their reputation builds up over time. When I was a university student, I taught tuition in order to earn school fees, and have continued to do so on a part time basis after I have graduated and got a proper full time job. For tuition, the money is good if you just want an additional source of income without too much time being taken up. It serves as a good side income, but if you wish to work as a full time private tutor, you may wish to consider about the lack of welfare packages and employee benefits, bonuses, sick leave and so on.
Create A Mobile Game
By now you probably would have realised, when we say children in this article, we do not mean those little toddlers or primary school kids. It goes all the way up till before university, the whole range of age where most are still dependent on their parents and have nothing else to do except to study and act cool in school. Like adults, children play a lot of games on PC and mobile too. One suggestion is actually to create a mobile game. For one, the mobile games market is far greater than that of a PC games market. Probability wise, you have a higher chance of reaching more people on the mobile platform than on the PC or console platform.
Secondly, while there certainly are many good mobile games around, there are also many mindless or brain dead games that people play. In this sense, it is far easier and less demanding on your skill to develop a mobile game compared to a PC or console game. Those who play on PC and console are usually more demanding on the quality of the game. Create a few easy games and list it up on Google Play or the App Store. Of course, with so many low quality games around, competition is stiff. There are those companies who hire programmers to develop a range of mobile games too. You do not need to set up a company, but if you have IT skills or are interested in this, you can create a few games at your own time and list it up. There is no need to create too complicated of a game.
If you simply do not have the skill to develop a game but still thought of tapping into the games market, you may also wish to consider playing games. Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, also known as MMORPGs, are a type of game where players create an avatar and explore the game world. In the process they choose classes (eg dwarf, warriors, magicians) and do quests to level up and get raw materials for their equipment. They also have clans or guilds to help each other, do team quests or fight clan wars. To make things easier for the paying gamers, there are often cash shops selling things like double XP (experience), high level equipment or materials which would otherwise be very hard to get through the dungeon raids.
To put it simply, there is a whole lot of gamers who want to ‘make it in life’ in the games, and in the process spend lots of money. There are those who spend tens of thousands of dollars per month to buy in-game equipment, in-game accessories, in-game clothing, in-game pets etc. There are also many of them who set up guilds, and as guild masters they pay their members salary to have them participate in guild wars or team quests.
Back to the question, what can you do? Choose a game with a high population of players, play the game, level up as hard as you can, treat it like a part-time job where the objectives are clear: Level up, earn money, sell your services, equipment, in-game items or even in-game money for cold hard, real world cash. Have a proper full-time job yourself though.
Alternatively, you can set up a streaming channel where you actually guide new and/or young players on what to do in the games. Basically a social media channel to guide others on what to do, what classes to choose, what are the things to take note of as you raid a particular dungeon etc. You slowly build up a following on social media as you churn out content regarding the game, and you can also make use of the opportunity to sell whatever you need to sell in the game you are playing. There are Youtubers around whose channels are purely on playing MapleStory, Minecraft, Black Desert Online etc. They appeal to gamers who play that game and are looking for tips.
While the list above is non-exhaustive, with the concept of children wanting to have fun and parents not wanting their children to be stupid, there are a whole range of things you can do. Do not just constrain yourself to any particular scope of activity. Look at yourself and ask what you can and are willing to do, and be creative in exploring this target market with the consumers’ mentality in mind. The market is big, and there is a slice of cake for everyone to eat. And as usual, like any money making avenues, hard work and patience is necessary. There are no get rich quick schemes for you to tap on.