This guide helps beginners who just started playing Sim Companies to grasp some key concepts of the game and its economy simulation. It's not necessary to read this to play; many players may enjoy learning on 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 start as an example. But this will not be a step-by-step guide. Such guide would be difficult to do, as the market conditions are different every time and what made sense a month go may not apply now.
There's also a much shorter set of pointers from Simia, which can give you a quick insight.
Check out what you can sell in the grocery store and which of the products are in 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 the apples are high in demand right now.
Companies at low level 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 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 occupy your grocery store while the apples are being produced.
Achievements are by far the easiest way to earn cash at the beginning. You should familiarize yourself with what they are here. You will get to some of the achievements essentially, and there's not much you can do to speed it up. But, some can be faked easily.
For example, Buyer. 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 5% market fees on the transactions. It's very profitable. Think outside the box.
At this point, you should have nice cash reserves from the achievements, production, and selling. 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 whether you want to focus on production, retail, or both.
Both being 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.
I 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 influx of grocery products on the market, go retail; if not, go 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 bring you the money back, rather than squeezing every last cent from the apples for hours. And by the way, the supply of apples is usually 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 retailer, find a stable supplier with prices better than the market's.
Most players try to get water reservoir as soon as possible. While the cheaper water sounds appealing and your per-unit profit will go up, you likely have just one or two plantations and the reservoir supports 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 profile your company further. You should 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 at the construction price, so there's no cash loss. At the same time, don't be afraid to bring your buildings down, if they are not fruitful. You can experiment with anything you consider a gap on 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 that's farming, electronics or energy. Here's an interview with V.G.V CO that discusses entering electronics industry. Also, James wrote a nice guide about diving into the energy industry that 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 on and build complex manufacturing pipeline and retail at the beginning. Therefore, you need to start on one of the sides first. Fortunately, the game is geared up for this being easy.
Larger companies have higher labor cost than you 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, making profit while they make money as well. If energy 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 that high 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 and investment in research and quality keeps the company size in check but increases profit.
You want to get there as well, and you will!
There are 2 buildings in the game that have random efficiency: the oil rig and mine. These get random resource abundance when they are built, and these 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 great profit.
Mining is a good example of labor intensive activity where you can with little issues produce resources lot more cheaply than largest companies and, therefore, be able to sell them easily to other players.
Wondering what those nice, golden, stars next to some resources on the market are? It determines higher quality of the resources, which you can achieve by investing in the research. End products with higher quality sell better in retail, allowing companies to sell them for more, making larger profit.
While the research becomes available to your company early on, you should not invest heavily in it until you have around $1,500,000 company value. It's faster return to invest your cash into buildings at the beginning.
There are some exceptions thou. Since research units are pure labor, you can create them at much cheaper per-unit costs then 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.
Another exception is when your business partner consumes your water pushes for higher quality. He may need at least quality 1 to produce he's quality 2 apples. In this case, you want to get quality 1 water to keep him as a customer. You should expect to need about 70-80 research units to achieve quality level 1 (Q1).
Learn more about research in 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 unfair advantage against honest players.
Be warned, that small companies are more restricted at what prices they can sell resources at, or send contracts.
There are also monitoring mechanisms in place. It's very easy to check if contracts, or market orders the company is receiving have substantially lower price than the game average. Or if the 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!