THE ONLINE BUSINESS SIMULATION GAME THAT MAKES LEARNING FUN! Teacher manual

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1 Teacher manual Contents Introduction 2 Getting started Using the Teacher Reporting Console 3 Logging in Console tools 5 1 Inventory 2 The impact of price 3 Building a promotional plan 4 Raising finance/cash flow 5 Work life balance 6 Building an online store 7 Employing staff 8 Security issues 9 Leasing vs buying equipment

2 Introduction The Small Business Game is designed as a learning tool for school students and includes curriculum linked teacher resources. Getting started To access the game, your school must be registered and your teachers and students need to be enrolled. Students are registered by either the school administration person using the School Management Console or their teacher using the Teacher Reporting Console. The game features these self management features. Not registered? Visit the game website for details on how to register your school. For help Contact details are provided on the game website. 1: The School Management Console One administrative contact for your school will have access to the School Management Console. (This could be a teacher or office person for example) The School Management Console is used to: y Register teachers y Add students and assign them to teachers 2: The Teacher Reporting Console The Teacher Reporting Console provides teachers with data on student performance and is used to manage and monitor student information. When a teacher is provided with access by the School Administration (via the School Management Console), they will receive an with access details for the Teacher Reporting Console. This also gives access to the Teacher Resources and to play the game. Teachers use the Teacher Reporting Console to: y Provide access for their own students y Edit student details y Monitor student game activity and scores y Monitor class and student performance on quizzes (Primary edition) page 2

3 Using the Teacher Reporting Console Logging in Your school administration person will set up your registration details using the School Management Console. This will give you access to play the game, access teacher resources on the game website and access the Teacher Reporting Console. You may want to let them know your preference for a user name and password as well as your preferred team. We use your team selection to brand your store with logos and colours. Once your school administrative contact has registerd you as a teacher, you will receive an with your login details. To log in: y Go to the Teacher Reporting Console (link will be in the you receive) y Enter your user name provided y Enter the password provided Tip To go directly to the Teacher Reporting Console, visit the game site home page and type in /TeacherAdmin at the end of the URL. page 3 The will include a link to the Teacher Reporting Console.

4 Using the Teacher Reporting Console Console tools Links to each of the Teacher Reporting Console tools are at the top of the screen. page 4 Data is displayed in table form. You can sort information in the tables by clicking on the column headings. Students Use this screen to add students and view a summary of students you have registered. Information includes: y Name y User name y Year To access additional details on each student such as passwords and teams, click on the view link next to each student s name. Click on the Add a New Student link to add your students names. Before entering student details it will be helpful to prepare a summary list of preferred usernames and passwords as well as preferred teams. The team selected for each student will brand their store in the team colours and logos. Game This screen presents a summary of games played by your students. It includes: y Date last played y Number of games played y High score Quiz (Primary Edition only) This screen presents a summary of activity for the Primary Edition Quizzes. It shows: y Number of quizzes completed by student name and topic y Visual scores using colour coding y Detailed information on each quiz For more information on Primary Edition Quizzes and Quiz reporting, see the Quiz section of this manual.

5 These scenarios are embedded in the game each week and are part of normal game play so you can start a game and find these scenarios without playing for extended periods. For example, pricing and costing. Students can decide on different prices for different products any time. This raises curriculum based activities around calculating margins, the impact of discounting, price elasticity etc. Teachers can play the game in class, or ask students to play the game and find out the results of their actions. 1 Inventory In the store room with Angus. Students can buy product at any time in the game, and the price is always the same. On this basis the inventory value never changes. Challenge the students to consider what happens if inventory is bought at different prices over the year and when a stock take is completed at the year end, which price should be used? y What happens if you buy too much inventory? y What happens if you buy too little inventory? Discussion sheet on LIFO, FIFO, Weighted Average. Value inventory at different prices Calculation sheet for handing in. How do you deal with stock being stolen? Discuss inventory shrinkage how does inventory go missing? Students to buy too much inventory Students buy too little inventory Role play disciplining a staff member caught stealing. Correct firing procedures. Show how inventory on hand is cash tied up. You cannot spend it on other parts of the business The business stagnates. You cannot make money if you do not sell. What can you do to reduce inventory levels quickly? page 5 What can you do to make sure you don t run out of inventory?

6 2 The impact of price In the store room with Angus. Students can alter the price they want to charge their customers which have different game impacts. For example increasing price will increase profit per product, but customer demand may fall. Margins can be calculated by the students using the information about the cost of purchase and their selling price. Discussions can be had over; y The choice between increasing prices/making more profit and a possible decline in demand from customers y The choice between decreasing prices/more demand from customers and making a lower profit per unit, but possibly more profit overall y How prices are actually determined Calculating margin/mark ups Calculation sheets Comparing prices with the competition Break even analysis Price elasticity How shifting price shifts the break even point Increase price how sales can fall but the break even point remains the same Evaluation of different products being more or less elastic (eg. Adult kits may be more sensitive to price changes) Increase the price in the game on certain products and see what happens to demand. A calculation sheet outlining cost plus, process and services pricing methods Pricing Determining the difference between fixed costs and variable costs page 6 The impact on break even; high fixed and low variable compared to low fixed and high variable

7 3 Building a promotional plan In the retail merchandising area. Building an effective promotion plan revolves around a number of variables; targeting correctly, deciding what product matches the target, deciding on the most cost effective way of promoting and then building a campaign to ensure everything is ready (such as training staff and creating in store materials). The game has a detailed promotion plan format which students can experiment with to assess their actions. Designing Advertisements The impact of the promotional mix Budgeting how good design can impact on response rates get students to design their own adverts (using print, audio, web, video) Students to create a promotional plan for the store, including balancing the product, pricing, promotion, placement and people mix. Calculating the impact on promotional spending on break even. Over capitalising on marketing spend page 7

8 4 Raising finance/cash flow In the board room Students can raise funds during the game. This can have far wider consequences than just adding to the bank balance such as debt and equity issues, plus what happens if you cannot pay the funds back. Cash flow planning and budgeting are crucial financial literacy skills. Looking at debt/equity ratios Cash flow planning Calculations What happens to ownership in a business when you accept outside capital What happens when you accept debt the legal implications of not paying back debt A cash flow template so students can assess the impact on paying back debt Interest payments, fractions, decimals page 8

9 5 Work life balance In the office Students need to take time out. The danger is that they work too hard in the game and their health suffers. There is an inbuilt health deterioration in the game where health suffers each week. This can be remedied by taking time out and having a healthy lifestyle. Brain storming appropriate time out situations Case studies of corporate burn out Understanding work/life balance Seeing how far in the game you get without taking time out Spending too much time at work (60+ hours) Ethical/moral issues of ignoring family Where you can go for support and advice Taking advice Listing the most appropriate mentoring and coaching agencies How a board of advisers work who would your board be? Gaining a mentor page 9

10 6 Building an online store In the office Students have the option to build an online store. This creates opportunities for them to promote and build an online business. Most retail businesses have an internet presence, and driving digital sales is a key growth area. Sports stores and sports clubs use online tactics to build customer loyalty, to drive revenue, keep in touch and communicate with members and customers. Build an actual web site Building traffic New technologies Lessons on creating a store web site they can design themselves Design, editing, writing exercises for the web How search engines work, banner advertising and creating an internet strategy for the store How pod casts, blogs and the web 2.0 trends will impact on the store Building relationships with customers on a new level Look at other online sports stores how could they be improved? page 10

11 7 Employing staff In the staff room Employing, motivating and rewarding staff is often the hardest job any owner has. Being able to hire staff places a commitment for the owner to make sure they are managed correctly. Students can hire staff and then develop a mix of tactics to keep them working efficiently. Staff selection Wage negotiations Disciplining staff Rewarding staff Staff training Develop possible interview questions, and role play interviewing. Create role play cards for students (some being the owner, some being the employee). How to advertise for staff writing job descriptions and accurate job advertisements. Role play negotiating wages What happens when 1 employee gets a pay rise and others do not? What constitutes fair dismissal? How do you discipline staff? Legal implications What forms of reward are acceptable? Profit schemes calculating percentages of revenue as bonuses. Impact on service levels how motivation can diminish over time Assessing the cost vs the benefit Compliance Red tape page 11

12 8 Security issues In the office Security is a real issue for most businesses; keeping employees, inventory, cash and the premises secure. Shop lifting occurs in the game each week unless appropriate security is installed. Dealing with thieves (both inside and outside the business) is a real issue. Theft prevention The law Loss of profits The best ways to prevent theft What can you do if you catch a customer stealing Role playing Visit stores and assess their security systems, writing up a report on how easy/tough they are What can happen if you are caught Your rights as a business owner Calculating how much additional revenue you need to generate in sales, to recover stolen property page 12

13 9 Leasing vs buying equipment In the office Students have the choice to purchase new equipment. Mostly this comes from cash flow. However there are other options such as leasing or renting equipment. Set up a range of situations where they have to calculate the financial loss/gain. Matching method with purpose Lease or buy? Outlining short term debt (bank overdraft) with short term use (buy stock). Long term debt (leasing or bank loan) with long term use (equipment and vehicles) Calculate the cost of the equipment with leasing Calculate the cost of the equipment with buying outright (interest and opportunity cost) Calculating penalties for paying back loans early page 13

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