4 Business Lessons from Grand Theft Auto 5

GTA5 LessonsGTA5 came out this month, and it is an incredible game. Aside from the guns, strippers, drug dealers, fast cars, explosions, and other wholesome American fun activities, the game is full of great lessons for small business owners. Here are a few that I found.

 

Businesses Create Residual Income

Once you make it into the desert north of San Andreas, you are prompted to buy your first business. There are many businesses you can buy throughout the game, and each one has different income possibilities, costs, and difficulties surrounding them.

What you will notice, however, is that each business gives you a residual income. The first business I bought was the airport for $150,000. This gave me $5,000 in weekly income. That is a 30 week payback period. I wish I could get something like that in real life!

As you progress, you can get more businesses that generate more income. Whether you want to buy the taxi company or the country club, you can invest big for even bigger returns.

 

A Good Manager Is Important, So Is an Involved Owner

When I bought the airport, I was introduced to a staff member who takes care of day-to-day operations. I never have to visit the airport in person to make my $5,000 per week, but if I visit more I can make exponentially more.

As any GTA player knows, every business has its dark side. In GTA5, the airport is a cover for an illegal gun running operation. Each mission earns the owner $5,000. More involvement can mean a lot more money if you are not happy with the status quo.

 

Sometimes a Good Team is Worth the Cost

When getting a crew together for a jewelry store heist, I had to choose between a handful of potential individuals with different skills. The better skilled hackers and gunmen cost more than the less experienced counterparts.

I went with the best gunners possible, but went with the new guy to hack the security system and fend off the cops. While he cost less than the experienced hacker, he took a much smaller portion of the loot. It turned out my decision was a bad one, as the window before the police were notified was only 90 seconds. An extra minute may have paid for a better hacker and then some.

When hiring new staff, web developers, or vendors, keep it in mind that sometimes you get what you pay for.

 

Use Your Capital Wisely

Not all businesses are equal. Michael can buy the golf club for $150 million for a $246,500 per week payoff, or he could buy the Ten Cent Theater for $20 million and earn $246,000 per week. The payoff per dollar invested is very different.

The same goes for your business. Expanding costs money, but not every dollar spent is equal. In some situations, you can spend less for the same result or spend the same for a better result if you plan ahead correctly.

 

Your Best Lessons?

What have you learned about business from Grand Theft Auto? Share your thoughts in the comments.

About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

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