This guide helps beginners who just started playing Sim Companies grasp some key concepts of the game and its economy simulation. It's not necessary to read this guide to be able to play; many players may enjoy learning from their own mistakes, but it's useful for those who want a head start.
This guide focuses on explaining the key dynamics for which we'll use a company's starting period as an example. But this will not be a step-by-step guide. A step-by-step guide would be difficult to make, as the market conditions change with time and what made sense a month or week ago may not apply now.
There's also a much shorter set of pointers, which can give you a quick insight, brought to you by one of the players, Simia.
We want to maximize the company's cash available for the company using the resources and buildings available. Since we start with a plantation and grocery store, we need to stay in the grocery business.
Check out what you can sell in the grocery store and which of the products have the highest demand. You don't need to pay too much attention to the average price - that's just information about what others are selling at. The demand is important because it determines how fast you sell and, essentially, what will be your per-unit profit. Let's assume that apples are high in demand right now.
Companies at lower levels cannot put in long, over-night orders. Our first goal should be to level up, so we can put in long orders before signing off for the night. You gain experience points while buildings are working, so let's put orders - both production and sales - in and keep them busy.
Wondering about the Personal Assistant? ? Be adventurous - say yes to everything.
Put in a production order for a bunch of apples; while they are in production, head to the market and try to buy some apples - doing so will keep your grocery store occupied while the apples are being produced.
Achievements are by far the easiest way to earn cash at the beginning. You should familiarize yourself with them by clicking here. You will get to some of the achievements eventually, and there's not much you can do to speed it up. But, some can be faked easily.
For example, The Buyer Achievement. You can just purchase something that has high turnover on the market, like water. Buy 5,000 units, and then post them back on the market at the lowest price. You can max out both Buyer and Supplier achievements this way while losing just 3% on market fees for the transactions. It's very profitable. Think outside the box.
At this point, you should have nice cash reserves resulting from the achievements, production, and sales. It's time to invest in more buildings. Let's stick with grocery market for now, as it's cheaper to build these buildings. You should decide if you want to focus on production, retail, or both.
Choosing both retail and production is the most difficult option, as you need to manage 2 streams and carefully balance your resources. The easiest approach is to do retail. You can always get the cheapest stuff with the highest demand from the market and sell it in your stores.
It is recommend getting another grocery store, and if the cash allows, also upgrade your existing store to level 2. But here, you really need to read the current situation. If there's more influx of grocery products on the market, go for retail; if not, go for production.
Most players do the mistake of trying to maximize the per-unit profit when selling in the retail. Yes, you are reading it right. You don't want to maximize you per-unit profit. The higher the selling price, the longer it takes to sell. Let me ask you this: would you rather earn $20 every day, or $5 every hour? Suddenly, $5 is more than $20. You have invested hard earned cash into your stores, so make sure they return you more money back quickly, rather than squeezing every last cent from the apples for hours. And by the way, the supply of apples is virtually unlimited on the market.
Whatever basic mechanism you decided to go with, keep at it - just optimize the flows. You need heavy cash to be able to experiment and explore other industries. If you are a manufacturer, you can try to find somebody who will take your goods using contracts, so you save on the market fees. It's also good to have stability. Find a good water supplier.
Similarly, if you are a retailer, find a stable supplier with prices better than the market's.
Most players try to get a water reservoir as soon as possible. While cheaper water sounds appealing and your per-unit profit would go up, you likely have just one or two plantations whereas the reservoir supports a lot more than that. Therefore, you will end up investing a lot of cash into something working at about 15% capacity. You will end up trying to find somebody who will buy your extra water which adds inefficiency.
On the other hand, if the water is scarce, you definitely want to build one, and you may get more profit selling water than from growing apples. Your cash is the most important resource; you want to apply it where it can bring return.
By this time, you should be at level 12-15 and have a stable cash flowing in and you can decide on how you want to shape your company further. You should ideally have $50,000 to $100,000 extra cash for experimenting.
Don't be afraid to build any building you like. Buildings at level 1 and level 2 can be demolished and refunds retrieved at the construction price, so there's no cash loss. At the same time, don't be afraid to take your buildings down, if they are not fruitful. You can experiment and exploit anything you consider as a gap in the market at that time.
You should have a feel for the game and the market at this point, and you can decide which industry you want to enter, whether it is farming, electronics or energy. You can read a brief discussion about the pipeline to find out more about the variousl resources. Also, here's an interview with V.G.V CO that discusses entering the electronics industry. Also, James wrote a helpful guide that talks about diving into the energy industry, and also has few good general tips.
Whatever industry you decide to go for, here are few pointers on how to do it. You most likely do not have cash to go full throttle and build complex manufacturing pipelines and retail at the beginning. Therefore, you need to start at one of the ends first. Fortunately, the game is geared up for this being easy.
Larger companies have higher labor cost than when you are starting as a small company. This means they sell with lower per-unit profit and also manufacture with higher per-unit cost. You can sell their petrol, diesel more efficiently and, thus, make profit while they make some money as well. If energy (petrol and diesel) is what you are after, you can find a contract supplier, most likely a larger company and build your energy retail infrastructure first. You can follow that up with building out production.
Similarly, you may see that power is expensive on the market and decide to start with production. Your per-unit power production price will be around $0.17 or $0.18, while the largest companies will be producing at $0.23 per unit. This may not seem like a big difference, but it's huge. You need 25 units for one barrel of oil, so the difference on a barrel is more than $2.50. Also, a power plant produces thousands of units quickly, each unit adding up to your profit.
Smart larger companies, and they are all smart otherwise they would not be at those high ranks, are constantly looking for suppliers and retailers to offset their expensive parts of the pipeline and increase profit. A larger company will have specialized buildings in which labor cost is not a big factor and heavy investments in research. At some point, rising further makes less sense but investment in research and quality keeps the company size in check while increasing the profit.
You want to get there as well, and you will!
If you are impatient about the time it takes in becoming big, you can choose to raise money for your company (like any real start-up does). You can do this by issuing bonds. Bonds are available from level 10 and you can read more about them here. The short story is, that you borrow money to make money.
There are 2 buildings in the game that have random efficiency: the oil rigs and mines. These end up having random resource abundance when they are built, and the abundance can vary greatly. Per-unit production price of minerals can vary between $6 and $10 depending on the abundance. With these buildings, you want repeatedly to construct and demolish them until you get a good one.
Anything over 75% should generate profit for you, but one with over 90% abundance will generate greater profit.
Mining is a good example of labor intensive activity where you can, with little effort, produce resources a lot more cheaply than larger companies and, therefore, be able to sell these resources easily to other players.
Wondering what those nice, golden, stars next to some resources on the market are? It represents higher quality version of the resources, which you can achieve by investing in research. End products with higher quality sell better through retail, allowing companies to sell such products faster and for higher prices, thus making larger profit.
While the research is available for your company early on, you should not invest heavily in it until you have around $1,500,000 company value. Returns are greater when you invest your cash into buildings at the beginning.
There are some exceptions though. Since research units are pure labor, you can create them at much cheaper per-unit cost than companies that need to use them. I am talking 30% cheaper. You guess it right: this is a good resource for selling to larger players.
An exception is when your business partner consumes your water but pushes you for higher quality. He may need at least quality 1 (Q1) to produce his quality 2 (Q2) apples. In such a case, you would want to produce quality 1 (Q1) water to keep him as a customer. You should expect to need about 50-60 research units to achieve a quality level 1 (Q1).
Learn more about research in the research guide.
Thinking outside the box, right? New companies get substantial start up boost, to make the game fun to play at the beginning and, sadly, some players try to abuse this to gain an unfair advantage against honest players.
This is why having more than one account is strictly prohibited.
Also, small companies are more restricted regarding what prices they can sell resources at, or send contracts.
There are monitoring mechanisms in place. It's very easy to check if the contracts, or market orders a company is receiving are substantially low-priced than the average price in the game for the concerned goods. Same, if a company sells to other players at much higher prices than the average.
If you try this approach you will get caught.
Do you have what it takes to build a successful company? Try Sim Companies business simulation game now!