As a business owner, it is very important to realize that a presence in a virtual world is not likely to generate all of your sales, nor is it likely to be profitable enough in world that you will be able to close your real world location. However, it can certainly provide additional exposure for your business and there are a few things that you can do to even further promote these efforts for very little actual cost.
Your first step should be considering how you are going to tie the virtual world location into your main location. Some business owners opt to have an exact replica of their offices built inside of the virtual world, and others choose to do something entirely different. Regardless a few key items can help you to easily bridge that gap and start increasing your bottom line.
If you have a website, you should have a URL loader script with your logo loaded into a sign that people can click on and easily be taken to your website. This is absolutely critical if you have items actually for sale on the website. This will allow people to look at your site and do some shopping immediately if they choose to, rather than having to open a browser, go to a search engine and start searching for your business name. Clicking to load the page is much faster and will provide much better results for your sales.
Consider having some shirts made to give away with your logo on it. If you create a shirt that has your logo and give them away, you are not only helping to impart your business name around the grid, but you are also helping to generate some great advertisement. You could even have some complete outfits made to give away as well and since some basic clothes are very easy to make, this is something that can be done quite inexpensively.
Consider offering coupons at your virtual world location that are good at your physical real world locations. For example, offer a 20% coupon in the virtual world that includes a code that must be given at checkout to receive the discount. This would also be very effective in determining how useful and beneficial certain marketing techniques even are for your actual needs.
A final suggestion is to look into hosting some events at your virtual location that will tie into your customer base. Use this as an opportunity to promote your products as well as services to people that are quite likely to be interested. Grid wide hunts, classes, and even parties are all great ways to attract some attention, while still advertising for your business in the best way possible.