Get your best game on | News | Small Business Connect

Thabani Zulu is the creator of the Risk and Reward board game.

Completing a business course is not always fun and games. But, thanks to a new board game designed by entrepreneur Thabani Zulu, it can very well be.

Just ask Thulisile Galelekile who once felt so demotivated after doing a formal business course that she almost did not start her business.

However, thanks to the Risk and Reward board game, her business Orchida Florist has blossomed and she now feels confident when making crucial business decisions.

“We have already secured two events which we did in August and September.

Furthermore, we have also been actively approaching people for business and this resulted in us acquiring four clients whom we supply with floral arrangements on a weekly basis,” says Gelekile.

She initially bought the board game in July prior to starting her business to help her with her business plan, but discovered that there was more to the game than she originally assumed.

The game, she believes not only taught her to draw up a plan of action to use to help her create a successful business, but it also helped impart upon her the basics of business such as financial planning and simple bookkeeping principles.

“I like the fact that the game teaches valuable skills in a fun and interactive way. I have been on business courses before that intimidated me so much that

I was actually put off from starting my business,” she adds.

Galelekile also encourages her two full-time employees and her temporary staff to play the game to help them also improve their business acumen and accounting skills.

The game’s creator, Zulu – a qualified chartered accountant – says the inspiration for the board game came while he was doing bookkeeping for small businesses.

“I discovered that most start-up companies fail because they do not manage their finances properly or make the correct decisions with their money,” he says.

The game was launched in May and Zulu has already sold 250 units.

It aims to teach business acumen by forcing players to make crucial decisions that will decide the fate of the business.

These decisions include how much stock to buy, whether to purchase assets on credit or with cash, whether or not to insure assets and how many people to employ.

The game’s objective is for players to make a profit and improve the value of the business. Players can do this by improving their revenue and limiting their costs. The winner is the player that ends with the healthiest balance sheet. The game is played over 12 rounds, with each round denoting a month.

At the end of each month, the players review their decisions that were made at the start of the month and try to improve on them.

“The more the player plays the game, the more he or she gets a chance to practice and review decisions and improve on (them),” explains Zulu.

The game is played by four teams (each team can have up to three players) or four individual players at a time. The fifth players, also called the referee, assumes the role of a banker, the government, supplier and customer.

He says the game is easy to play and only requires a player to have some knowledge of accounting at Grade 10, 11 and 12 levels.

“This game is for the business owner who is serious about growing their business, not the one who wishes to stay in the small, medium and micro enterprise space forever,” stresses Zulu.