Using virtual reality in your business can be an excellent idea. If you do it right, you can open your company up to a broader audience and show off how cutting edge your team is. With all of the cool ways to use virtual reality available, it can be a pretty tempting business option. But how much will it cost? After all, the technology is new(ish) and with that comes some development costs that you will need to consider. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you decide to start using virtual reality content for your business.


What do you want to achieve?

Ask yourself, what is your ultimate goal for this content? Do you want to dazzle your customers and clients or are you looking for monetary returns? Figure out what your motivation for creating virtual reality content really is and how you think the content will get you closer to that goal. This is critical, because often when you are trying to develop the project you will need to refer back to your original reasoning. Why you are delving into the world of virtual reality (beyond the fact that it is just really cool) is an important thing to figure out at the outset.


Does your target audience use the tech?

This is a good thing to figure out early on in the process. If no one you want to reach has access to virtual reality headsets (even the cardboard kind) then your content might never be seen. You are going to need to assess how tech savvy your audience is, and you might possibly need to procure a headset to demonstrate the content. This can be a great workaround, and a fun addition to your waiting room or office lobby. If they do not already use virtual reality tech, then you can get them introduced to it in no time by giving them access to the technology. It also gives people an incentive to stop by your business!


What is your budget and how long do you have?

Don’t just think in terms of buying virtual reality technology, you are going to have to think a lot broader. Building great virtual reality content takes money and time. The important thing to remember is that in many cases, these things will both be worth it once you get an impressive finished product.

Take the time to really evaluate how much you want to spend. It is also good to go back and review your achievement goals at this point. Was one of those to increase sales or get more conversions? Whatever your goals, you should weigh them against the monetary output to figure out what exactly you are comfortable spending. Also, since you will either need to spend time guiding the project, or you will need to have one of your employees spearhead the efforts, time is a factor. How many man hours are you willing to spend on creating, modifying, and approving this content? Get together a solid idea of what you would be willing to spend to make the project feel worth it. Then add some padding because there can sometimes be unforeseen roadblocks.


How do you want to present your content?

One of the simplest ways to reach a lot of customers at once is by creating a virtual reality application for their smartphones. ThinkMobiles has a great overview of the process of creating these apps. They remind us that you need a solid idea of what your app will do, “Don’t forget the user story, specify which problems your potential user has and how your VR application is going to solve them.”[1] As with any good project plan, you need to get pretty detailed when you start thinking about creating your virtual reality project.

You also need to think about the content within the app or video you will be creating. AppReal reminds us that the type of virtual environment you build for this content can impact the price you pay for it, “Whether you want to create a simple 3D environment, an interactive VR app, or a highly-interactive VR game, the decision of content will affect your interface, and both will affect your VR software development cost.”[2] As you probably expected, a more complex environment is going to be more difficult to build and will take longer to get right.


Find an expert that can help you make the best content possible.

We hate to brag, but we have some pretty great experts on here. They are aware of the ins and outs of virtual reality content. They can also help you to figure out if your budget estimations are correct, or if you need to do some recalculating or refining of your project plan. Getting to work with a virtual reality expert can easily take your project from initial concept to stunning final project.

Whatever your budget is, be ready to get creative with the content and realistic with your expectations. The world of virtual reality content in business is just starting to open up to the public, and with that comes a learning curve for some business owners. The tech giants typically used to dominate this field, but this is starting to shift. Smaller businesses are catching on to how amazing the content can be, and how much they stand to gain from developing virtual reality content. Start figuring out your financial situation and see if you can work virtual reality into your upcoming budget.