A marketplace business simulator is a type of technology which will enable students to take a theoretical knowledge of business and apply it to a game. The business simulators are designed for university business courses and executive business programs. The students can make choices to test business ideas, and the virtual business environment provides them with a way to experience the consequences of their actions without real-world consequences.
How Does a Marketplace Game Work?
Different companies have created different simulators. The specifics of your business simulation game will depend on the company who created it and the type of business profile your instructor has selected. The similarities are that the students start a business and serve the company as executives. Their goal is to become profitable and perform better in the marketplace than the competitors in that field.
Although these marketplace games are simulated, they provide one essential element that helps students feel prepared for the business world: experience. The game responds to actual decisions that are made based on the business conditions in the simulator. Because of this, each student's situation and experience will be different.
The game strategy will depend somewhat on the marketplace game you choose. But in general, here are some business simulation game strategies that will serve you well as you develop your company profile.
Business Simulation Game Strategy
Analyze Market Data
The simulator is reality-based. Make your decisions based on a thorough understanding of the market research data provided.
Decide on a Strategy
There is no right or wrong way to run a business. You will have to decide many things, such as how you will market yourself, how you will be competitive, how you will handle customer service issues and many other facets of running a business. Come to an agreement with your team about what your overall strategy and business personality will be.
Plan for the Whole Business Experience
The business will run smoothly when the team understands that decisions in one area affect outcomes and decisions that need to be made in another area. Avoid “silo thinking," which is when one team member is making decisions without considering how it will impact the other team members.
Plan for Long-Term Growth
Yes, you’re trying to win the game, and the game lasts only one term. But in the real world, you will want your business to be profitable much longer than just a few weeks. Think of the choices you need to make to create and ensure long-term competitiveness beyond the confines of the game ending in a few weeks.
Utilize Predictive Technologies
The global business market and much of economic theory are based on predicting behaviors and outcomes. Keep yourself aware of trends. Utilize predictive theories and tools that analyze the marketplace in which your business competes. In business, you have to make decisions now, based on analyzing what may happen in the future, so arm yourself with as much information as possible.
Have a Flexible Mindset
In business, you must make decisions and stick with them. A successful business doesn’t change its strategy from month-to-month. On the other hand, a successful business is flexible enough to respond to changes in the market that are unpredictable or out of your control. For instance, if your product is manufactured in another country and the simulator indicates that a natural disaster or civil strife in that area is impacting production, your business will have to be flexible enough to respond to that. You may also find that your competitors are taking the lead with their strategy and you will need to decide whether to change your strategy in order to stay competitive.
In the marketplace business simulator and in real-world business, you can’t necessarily have a backup plan for every possible scenario, but you can instill in your team an ability to be responsive when change is needed. Having a flexible mindset and being able to adapt to change quickly is another benefit to planning for long-term growth. A long-term strategy is less dependent on the occasional blips in the business environment.
Since 2006, Vanessa has written for a variety of website development agencies and private clients on topics related to growth for new and underperforming businesses. Her work can be found in print publications and on websites such as Palo Alto Software and business accelerators and Chambers of Commerce in her state.