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GoVenture Small Business Simulator Game/Tutorial Video/Business Game/Business Simulation


Welcome to the Goventure Small Business tutorial video! Let’s learn how to pay. So about small business: you’re put in the role of an entrepreneur small business owner who starts and runs their own business. You make minute by minute, hour by hour decisions. Let’s go and have a look! So one of the things you’ll notice is that anything that’s colored orange is clickable. So we have sliders that we can change numbers with, drop-down selector text boxes that we can scroll and buttons that we can click. If this is your first time playing what we want to do is start a new simulation. If we’ve already been playing a simulation and we saved it previously, then we could resume where we left off by using the resume option. We’ll come back to this a little bit later. We can also adjust the sound on or off. You can also use your own computer speakers and settings for that. So let’s start a new simulation! So what we can do here is that we have two options: we can either dive into a Quick Start. Quick start is a pre-existing business that’s already set up in the system. It’s not one that you’ve created, it’s one that we the designers have created for you and you can dive into an existing business by choosing quick start. The other option is to start your own business by making all of the startup decisions yourself. So you can see here there are twelve startup decisions that you can make. You can do this by clicking on each of the twelve boxes. So let’s do that. So here we can enter our profile and so we can browse our computer drive to add a photo if we prefer and we can set what our expected salary is going ot be. Now, this is not the actual salary we will earn in the business, this is just what we would like it to be. You can look back later to see if you’re actually meeting your objectives.

Personal objectives are where we can write a brief summary of what our goals are. Our personal goals for starting and running a business. Is it because we want to make a lot of money? Is it because we want a nice type of lifestyle? Is it a combination of both? Whatever our objectives are we can find them here. The business plan area is where we can do a simple summary business plan. This is primarily an executive summary of a business plan because you’re not gonna do a fully detailed one here but it’s a nice place to start to determine what your business objectives are going to be and how you’re going to go about reaching them using your plan. You can work on your plan as you run your business.

Next is our business type. This is where we select the type of business we want to operate. We can operate an ice cream store sort of like a Baskin Robbins type store. Ice cream is actually the easiest business in the choices here. We can do a coffee shop sort of like a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donuts. We can have a sandwich shop similar to Subway or a music store like HMV. We can choose any of these to start our business. I’m gonna chose the sandwich shop.

Our legal structure is the legal entity that we’re gonna create for our business. We can either do a sole proprietorship partnership or corporation. You can read about the details by choose each one and reading a summary of what the differences are. I’m gonna choose a corporation. We can enter our business name. I’m gonna call mine Yum for Yummy sandwiches. We can also search through a search on the business to see if it already exists. It’s gonna cost us $50. The benefit of searching for a business name is to make sure that one is not already registered because if we try to register a name that has already been registered by someone else we could be infringing on their trademark and that could cost us money so you may want to consider doing a search first. I’m gonna use the name anyway! We can choose a logo for our business. We can either choose from the many options that are available to us or we can upload a logo from our own computer. Perhaps we created our own using Photoshop or Illustrator or some other graphic program and we can add it to the game here.

Location is where we want our business to be located, and location has a number of effects from how the weather affects the traffic patterns of the location, the time of day that you’ll see peak traffic times, and so on. So, location you want to select carefully and you can choose from different regions or different countries, different regions. The larger the region, the more competitors you might have and these are all virtual competitors, they're not other human players.

location is where we want our business to be located and location has a number of effects from how the weather affects the traffic patterns of the location the time of day that you'll see peak traffic times and and so on so location you want to select carefully and you can choose from different regions or different countries differ regions the larger the region the more competitors you might have and these are all virtual competitors they're not other human players there are computer run businesses that you can compete against.

You can also choose the location within the city/town whether it’s the shopping district or the entertainment district and so on. Again, this will affect a variety of variables in the simulation, you can read about them all here. So let’s choose and then we can move on to the site, and this is the size of the unit, the actual business. You can start in a small site but you might find there’s a lineup and you might lose customers because the venue is too small, while a bigger location you can serve all the customers. However, large venues cost more so if money is an issue, you might need to take a smaller one. Read the details carefully before you make a choice.

This is the equipment you need to operate your business. So I have a sandwich business, so I need refrigeration, perhaps some ovens and toasts, and this type of thing. So we can choose different types of equipment, some are under warranty, some are not. If they are under warranty, when they break down it will be replaced at no cost to you, but if it isn’t you will have to pay the repair or replacement cost out of pocket. You’ll be taking a risk with no warranty but you're also saving money at the beginning so you choose the one that makes the most sense for you.

Permits. This is where we have to apply for various permits in our town/municipality or city that we’re required to have with the government to make sure that we’re meeting the obligations and guidelines for that location.

I can either purchase insurance, and I can see the cost there if I need some environmental impact permits I have to do that as well. You can see that these permits are automatically selected because I do require those permits and I have no choice in buying them whereas insurance and environmental are optional. Finally we have seed financing. Seed financing is the money that you need to get started in your business and you can see a list of your startup cost. So I can see my total up here is $74,000 so quite a bit of money and startup costs. But in addition to the start-up cost which is the money I pay out for my equipment and my location and my permits and so on I also need working capital. Working capital is money you have in the bank that you used on a daily basis to buy your inventory and pay your employees and do some marketing and so on. You can have a lot of working capital or very little working capital, of course more is better and gives yo more flexibility but it almost might cost a little bit more money depending how you’re going to get that money whether you’re going to take out a loan and so on. You can also identify your sources of financing love money. That is essentially money from friends and relatives. Your own personal savings debt is a loan from a bank or other organization and so on or you can do a combination of equity which is selling a percentage ownership in your business. So you can adjust the sliders to see what’s the best options for you and that’s it! So the good news now is that we’ve set up all our business decisions now normally, it’ll take you a little longer to do this because you’re gonna want to take time to read through all the options that are available so you want to allocate a fair bit of time to do that and make the right choices and once you see all the green question marks you’re ready to go! Now if you want to change anything you can still do that, along with going into your business plan to work on it a little bit more for example or you can still change your business type so you can change these options before you begin. But once you begin you won’t be able to change some things, like your logo, your name, your legal structure but you can continue to work on your business plan and personal objectives. So let's begin the simulation! So we’ve just launched our new business! Congratulations! The first thing we can do is go through this quick tour by clicking the next button and we’d recommend that you do it, as it only takes a few minutes but let's quit that for now. We’re ready to go. It's telling us that our business has been set up to operate from Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:00, which may be good or maybe you want to change that. Perhaps you want to work later in the evenings or also work on Saturdays and Sundays. That’s completely up to us, and here’s a step-by-step guide of what we should consider doing every day and we should take a moment to review that now. One thing you’ll notice is there’s a flashing banner at the top that says click here, when you’re ready to start so essentially even though we’ve launched our business the simulation clock has not started. You can see there’s a clock right here its 9:00 a.m. year 1 day 1 so the simulation will run minute by minute, hour by hour, it goes faster than the real world clock but everything runs based on this time but time is stopped right now, and it’s stopped so we can set up our business. We need to take some time and order our inventory, plan our pricing, hire some employees, you know, do all the things that we need to do to plan properly. Once we start the simulation we cannot stop it, though it will pause at certain times and we can pause it by clicking the time button. But when you go home, time pauses but otherwise the clock will always be running. I’m gonna start the clock anyway even though I have not actually set up all the decisions that I need to set up so we can see how it operates. So, let’s go ahead and click that. It’s 9:00 a.m., you can see customers are actually coming into the business and every once in a while we’ll see them walking up to a counter and placing an order. We can monitor the weather, and I see it’s actually cloudy and that affects the traffic patterns to my business and the types of products that people might buy as well. I can see what my menu of products are, so there’s my salad and my soda as I roll over each item it pops up describing what it is. Underneath is the number of products that I’m selling right now, everything is zero and everything’s red. The reason we’re seeing red bars is because I’m actually out of inventory. I have not purchased inventory to have these products in stock or to make these products. For example, sandwiches require bread, meat, and vegetables but I don’t have any of that so I can’t actually sell anything. Zero is the number of products that are selling again and I have not sold anything. Under that are the prices that I have set for my products and we can change these things as we run our business. In this column here we can see the number of customers that we’re serving and losing, and you can actually see we haven’t served any customers because we don’t have any products and how many we’re losing because they’re walking in and placing an order but we have to tell them we have no products today which is not very good. So again, this is why it’s important to plan before you actually click that banner to start the business. You can see the clock has been moving as we’ve been watching, it’s already noon so it started at 9:00 a.m. and now it’s noon. If you need to take a breath we can click the time button and it will pause, and you can actually control the speed of time as well, you can make it move very slow or very fast. Now, why would you change this? Well, if you’re finding things are moving too fast for you you may want to slow it down, though the negative aspect of slowing down the clock is you can’t get through as many days as you can with a faster clock and the fewer days you play the less opportunity you have to generate revenue and profit. The faster the game plays the more opportunity you have to generate more profit, but if it moves too fast you can’t make decisions as quickly so you have to be very careful about speeding up the clock too fast because you may not have enough time to plan. So normally you should stick with the normal time setting.

Now we’re back in the main interface which is the management screen and that’s what you can see at the bottom of the main areas of our business. We can navigate to them by clicking the button. Along the right is our smart phone, a virtual smartphone. We can see how much cash we have, revenue, our total revenue of all time, our market share in terms of us versus our competitors, our customer satisfaction. You can see our customers are not very happy and again, it’s because we’re not serving theme very well once we hire employees we’ll see an emoticon here as well for their employee morale. Morale means how happy employees are with their work and their job. We can also monitor our personal stress, which is impacted by how many hours we’re working and what kind of positive and negatives things are happening on a day to day basis. If we want to reduce our stress we can go home and spend time with our families and spend time sleeping, and that will help reduce our stress levels. Let’s start making some quick decisions, so as mentioned right now we’re on the management screen so there’s not much to do here. We can click on here, and visit GoVenture website as an example or we can look at some charts and graphs about our sales. The other thing on this screen I’ll mention as well is this orange box which will accelerate time temporarily so if you’re happy with your decisions and your prices and you want the clock to move a bit faster you can mouse over the box and then move the mouse when you want it to slow back down.

While I’ve been talking you can see on the clock that it’s 5pm and my business was actually scheduled to close now, and that’s what happened here. Okay, let’s start navigating and making some real decisions for the next day. Here’s where we can set our operating hours. I’m set to work 9am to 5pm every day but maybe on Mondays I want to open up a bit earlier and have the business open until the evening. I can do that. I can see I’m closed on weekends but maybe I want to open for breakfast on Saturdays and I can change that here as well. Employees schedules are here too when we actually have some, we can change their shifts here.

Here’s our startup details. This is where we can continue working on our business plan, and this is where we can see our name, logo, financing, and legal structure. These things you cannot change, but we can change the facilities and location, and we can upgrade our equipment and site and adjust our permits for a fair bit of money. If you want to change these things you’ll have to give it some thought so as not to spend too much.

Now let's go to our products in our inventory. Here we can access our various products. There’s a salad and a soda, and here we an adjust the price we’ve set. Now what we can do is look at a product by clicking on it. So there is our breakfast sandwich, we can see it’s made of eggs, peppers, cheese, bagel, butter, paper plate, and a napkin so there’s a lot of costs associated with selling this one sandwich. We can set the price of the sandwich, we can either use the plus and minus buttons or we can actually click right in there and put the price of $4 or whatever number we want using the keyboard. We can adjust the price for all our products and you can do this anytime while your business is open.

Now to make sure we have enough inventory to make these products we have to go into the inventory area, and here’s where we can see all our different types of inventory, from bagels and beef to bottled water and bread and so on. We can see how many we have remaining, the average cost, and the average quality. Better quality can attract better customers and they may be willing to pay more so that’s something we have to consider. There’s shelf-life as well. Shelf-life means how long a product will stay without spoiling, and of course since it’s a food product they spoil much faster so you really have to manage your shelf life and inventory. In other words, don’t order more than you can sell. So here’s our different suppliers, these are our suppliers that we can order inventory items from and you’ll notice that each one has different levels of quality, different average prices, different shippings options, and credit. Credit is how much product they will ship to us without us having to pay upfront. Now if we pay the suppliers on time they might increase our credit, but if we don’t pay them on time and we’re late paying them or we don’t pay them they’ll reduce our credit and make it difficult to buy from them so we may want to buy from one supplier or buy inventory from different supplies depending on the combination of price, quality, shipping, and all those factors that we need to consider.

To order more inventory we go here and we choose who we want to order it from. Then it brings up the list of products that we can order from that particular supplier. So we enter the quantity of what we want to order, and it calculates the price automatically. Once we choose the delivery time we can place the order, lets go ahead and do that. We can review the orders here that are scheduled to arrive, so I can see the order that I placed and it’s going to take five days to arrive so again you have to plan ahead of time to make sure that you have everything you need.

So that’s our products inventory, where you set pries and manage your inventory. Hr is where we can see ourselves and adjust what our expected salary is and so on. Again, this is the expected salary, not what we’re actually making. We can review different resumes of people we want ot hire so we have all sorts of different employees and as you run your business you’ll see new potential

so that's our products inventory again that's where you set prices and you manage your inventory HR is where we can see ourselves and adjust what our expected salary is and so on again this is expected salary it's not the actual we can review resumes of different people we want to hire so we have all sorts of different employees and as you run your business you'll see new potential employees appear as well. So these people are not working for us yet so they’re not actual employees bu they’re candidates for employment. We can, for example, look up Annie. We can read Annie’s resume and then we can negotiate a salary offer. We can either try giving her a lot of money or negotiate a smaller amount of money. So lets try $9.45 an hour and see what she says. Well, she accepted our offer! Now, depending on their experience and how much money they expect, other people might not accept our offers if they aren’t high enough. Its up to you to read the resumes and make sure you’re hiring the right people. Now here’s Annie, she’s now our employee and we can change her salary at any time. Of course if we increase our salaries they would be really happy, but if we decrease them they won’t be very happy at all. We can invest money in training her, and we can read about the benefits of training. We can dismiss her which means fire her if she’s not working out so we can have complete control over our expenses and costs associated with employees. Having employees helps us serve more customers, and saves us time.

We can implement some benefits and incentives as well, if you want to increase the morale and loyalty of our employees. We can look at the HR reports to see how our employees are doing on a daily basis. You can see if they’re productive. Are they treating your customers well?

Now once we’ve hired someone we can go to the operations area, and we can fix schedules. Annie now appears on our list and we can schedule her to work. Currently Annie is scheduled to work Monday to Friday 9-5, but maybe we’ll just have her come in in the morning on Mondays as an example. That’s our HR area so now lets switch to Sales and Marketing. Here’s where we can develop our summary strategy. We place promotions here, we can conduct different types of advertising campaigns. For example, maybe we can do some radio ads and we can make our choices and see there is a cost associated with doing so. When we run our advertising campaigns our expectation is that it will increase the awareness of our business. In other words, more people will know about is and hopefully we’ll increase the traffic to our business. In other words more people will know about us and hopefully we’ll increase the traffic to our business. Of course, we will never know for sure what works best until we try and do some analysis. We can invest some money in sales and marketing programs and read about the various options here to see which ones we think might be the best for us. You can review various customer information here as well. We can see how many customers we served and lost at the bottom. There’s an actual summary that shows us why we’re losing customers, and it’s because our service is too slow and we don’t have any product. I can see we’ve lost 268 customers because I don’t have any employees, so I didn’t have enough people to serve those customers.

Here is where we can see some information about our quality and product prices and how they compare to the computer competitors that we are playing against.

Moving onto finance this is where we can see the bills that we have, the items we may have already paid and how much we’ve earned which is our cash received. And this is where we come to do our payroll so we have to pay our employees and every so often we have to pay ourselves. This is where we decide how much we’re going to pay each person and so on. Of course you have to make sure you have enough cash in order to pay everyone otherwise you run into cashflow problems. TO analyze our business we can go to our financial statements and we can read our balance sheet or income statement cash flow. These are all very useful financial and business reports that’ll help us make better decisions. We can print our reports and export some of them into .CSV format which allows us to import them into a spreadsheet like Excel for example. If we want to do more analysis we can raise money by going to the bank and asking for a loan or an equity investor will buy shares in our business and so by having more money we can do more things. Maybe we can do more advertising, maybe we can grow into larger facilities, and so on. WE cannot start other new businesses with our extra money for profit but we can invest in growing the same business that we’re already in and then finally because it’s an entrepreneurship simulation of small business we really have to understand work-life balance. In a small business, the owner is very much connected to the business and so at the end of the day you have to go home, you can see how many hours we’ve been working and you can allocate time for sleeping or with your family and this will determine what time you’ll get to work the next morning.

If we advance time to the next day we can see a summary of the end of day, what happened and how many sales we’ve made and our costs and so on. So the idea now is that the clock is always running as we mentioned, except for when we’re sleeping. You have to manage your time while reviewing your inventory or doing your financial statements since the clock is still running. You have to manage your employees' time as well, and so on. While you’re doing this we have an advisor here that gives you advice along the way. If you click on different areas of the business you’ll notice your adviser information changes and you can read a little bit more advice as to what’s happening.

There are a couple of other options to know about! We’ve got a help button here, where you can read a user guide for assistance. There’s a performance report that allows you to view a detailed report of your performance and see your score. Normally this is what your instructor is going to want ot see so you would either save it or you can click the send button here which will send the report to your instructor.

If you’ve been playing for a while and you want to step away, here is where you save your progress. So you click on setup and save. If you quit without saving you lose your progress, so don’t do that! It will save a file to your computer so it’s best to save it under a filename that has a current date so you can monitor the different days you’ve saved your simulation. So save it for today and then come back to it tomorrow or later, whenever you want! To make sure you don’t lose the file, make a backup as well and continue to save the two files as you play. That is it! This is GoVenture Small Business and now you have everything you need to know to get started.

Good luck!


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