Three Tips on How to Succeed in a Business Simulation

Young people winning a business simulation thanks to teamwork and good tips.

You’re about to play a business simulation, you’ve read the participant’s manual and now you need more information on how to best proceed in the game? Then you’ve come to the right place, because we’re going to tell you a few tips and tricks to help you succeed in our simulations!

One important piece of information in advance: There is no 100% correct solution. That is not how our business simulations are designed. Rather, it’s about having fun, trying things out and learning a lot in the business simulation with the help of our tips.

Tip #1: Strategy Is Key

The be-all and end-all of a successful participation in a business simulation is a clear game plan: Even before you start the simulation, you should be aware of the strategy with which your company will be active on the market. Try to follow this common thread continuously. If you change your entire business course at every small hurdle, the future of your company will quickly become unpredictable.

This does not mean, however, that you should take away all leeway for decision-making. On the contrary, if you are too rigid in all details right from the start, you will not be able to react well to changes in the market. So, stay flexible for minor adjustments, while always keeping an eye on the big picture. Also pay attention to what your competitors are doing, and possibly adapt your approach to their actions. Don’t panic if you’re unsure, because so are the other teams!

But be careful: Even with a well-thought-out strategy, you may sometimes hit a dead end. So, if you realize that a plan isn’t working at all, be brave and dare to scrap your ideas to start over. There is no perfect solution and mistakes are part of the process. You’ll learn from them the fastest!

Tip #2: Only Fools Don’t Use Their Tools

Even if you’re itching to jump right in and start the game unprepared, we recommend that you take your time. The surest way to win your simulation is to carefully review all available sources of information beforehand.

Read the manual, analyze the data from the reports and follow the business news to place yourself cleverly on the market. You can also always find useful tips for your business simulation in our blog and on our website. You have a lot of tools at your disposal that can make your decisions in the game immensely easier. Use them!

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your seminar leader won’t tell you what numbers to put into the TOPSIM – Cloud. But they can give helpful advice and nudge you in the right direction. A targeted internet search from time to time can also give you good tips to answer your questions about the business simulation.

The goal of the simulation is that you learn to use strategies, planning and selected calculations to make rational decisions in each simulation period. However, you won’t manage to base every small decision on a calculation. You won’t have time to do that. So, trust your intuition and gut feeling as well. Over time, you will become more confident in your actions and recognize which calculations are really worthwhile!


Info graphic: Strategy, tools and teamwork as tips for a sucessful business simulation.


Tip #3: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Not everyone can be good at everything. But everyone is good at something. Find out where the strengths and weaknesses of your team members lie and distribute the tasks accordingly. One person may prefer to do personnel planning, while the other prefers to deal with product management. In the best case, your interests and skills complement each other. You can use this to your advantage to make efficient progress.

But even with all that labor division, make sure to not work past each other. Communication is key here: stay in constant contact and schedule regular meetings to keep all members up to date. To avoid chaos, it is also advisable to appoint one person to enter all values into the TOPSIM – Cloud – in consultation with the rest of the group, of course. It’s best to always allow for enough buffer time to check your decisions and to make changes if necessary. Discussion is important, but a change two minutes before the deadline can, in the worst case, throw you off your plan again without giving you time to adjust the rest of your decisions.

On another note, don’t miss the opportunity to take on tasks that you are not yet completely comfortable with. You will only get better with practice!

Finally, the Most Important Thing

Even though we are giving you the best tips for winning a business simulation, “winning” is not actually the main goal. It is not about having the most possible success in the game. That’s why many lecturers put more emphasis on final reflections and learning successes than on the actual simulation result when grading.    

Rather, when participating in a simulation, you should have the opportunity to try different things and experience the effects of your decisions. That way, you will learn what you must pay attention to and develop a feeling for complex business relations. So, take advantage of this opportunity and take some risks. After all, nothing bad can happen in a simulation! 

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