In case you've been living under a rock for the past week (or maybe just enjoying a nice summer vacation), PokemonGo has taken the country (and the world) by a storm in just a few short days. The augmented reality mobile app and game has launched and grown at phenomenal rates, it's already on more than twice as many phones as Tinder, has twice the engagement rates of Snapchat, and unbelievably, already has a higher percentage of daily active users than Twitter! Nintendo's stock price is up over 50% now in the last week!

Is it a fad? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But in the meantime, it doesn't really matter: Smart small business owners with a physical location can stand to make real money leveraging this virtual game that has hordes of people outside playing every day and night.

Here are 3 simple ways your business can benefit from PokemonGo:

1) "Lure" Your Customers Through The Door
If your business is near a PokeStop, you can actually create something called a "Lure" to attract more Pokemon for 30 minutes. This will in turn drive lots more traffic through your doors for the next 30 minutes! Luring is an incredibly powerful tool, as long as your business is near a PokeStop. This direct quote is just one of many from business owners talking about this on Reddit:

"As a manager of a store, PoGo is f-king amazing. SO. MUCH. FOOT TRAFFIC. Time to invest in some Lures."

Here's the best part: A Lure will cost you less than $1!

All you need to do, inside the app, is tap the red Pokeball, Tap "Shop", scroll down and tap the purple Lure icon to purchase.

Remember to make sure you're near a PokeStop 1st - but as long as you are, you will find this to be the best $1 you've ever spent. Trust me.

2) Pick a Team (or all 3 Teams)
There are three main "teams" that people compete from in PokemonGo: Instinct (Yellow), Mystic (Blue) and Valor (Red). Why not create a special offer for people who are out playing the game? You could do something like "Team Yellow, 10% off tonight only!" and then switch up the offer the next day. Put a sign on your door, or better yet, post the offer through social media.


3) Use Social Media Content and Ads to Incite Pokemon Excitement As you know, social media content is all about being relevant and engaging with people. Even if your business isn't near a PokeStop and even if you don't want to pick a team, you can still create and share relevant content to drive people through your doors. For example, maybe you want to have nothing to do with the game yourself. You could still post something like "Out playing Pokemon Go? Take a break a stop by for a treat." Of course, you can also advertise that content to extremely hyper-targeted audiences in your zip codes using FB ads.

Whether you like, love, or hate PokemonGo, and whether this craze is here to stay or a passing fad, the bottom line is that you have a huge opportunity to capitalize on this and make serious money for your business, if you move fast. Now go turn PokemonGo into some real dough for your business!

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Now it's your turn. Are you playing PokemonGo? Think it's here to stay or a passing fad? What do you think of the implications for business that PokemonGo and other augmented reality apps represent? I'd love to hear your Comments, below.

Published on: Jul 14, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.