How to Play

Business is a big game so what better way to learn the basics of business financial management then by playing a game!

The point of the game is to complete a profitable year in business on your own or with a team. The result of playing the game is an enhanced understanding of the basic reporting tools that are commonly used in business. The participants make up a team of executives for a fictitious company. Some companies will be franchised and others will not. The franchise vs. non-franchise designation and other factors, affect the success or failure of the players fictitious business venture. It is best if teams are made up of 2 or more people and include a CEO and CFO as well as other positions as defined by the team or host.

The point of the game is to secretly learn about financial reports but the fun reason is to finish the game with the most amount of profit!


A representative from each team rolls one die. An even number result means the team plays on the “Non Franchise” forms. An odd number result means the team plays on the Franchise” forms. Ensure each team is uniformly using the Franchise vs. Non-Franchise forms.


Each team needs to have the following:

  • Access to for Play References
  • Large Income Statement Game Board
  • Statement of Cash Flows
  • Balance Sheet
  • Two Dice
  • Company Card Deck
  • Sales Card Deck
  • Red/Black Economic Health Indicator Card
  • Pencil, eraser & calculator for each player (not provided)
  • Passion to WIN in business!

Shuffle the two decks of cards (Company & Sales) separately and set each stack face down on the table. If a team runs out of either of the cards, they will reshuffle, then place the deck face down and resume the game.


Determine roles for your team. Each team needs a CEO and a CFO but may also have other players. The CEO will complete the income statement each month or may delegate that responsibility to others. The CFO or another player will complete the Statement of Cash Flows and/or the Balance Sheet.


Each team needs to determine their region , their business type and associated economic health status. To do that, roll one or two dice and either add or multiply and use the results to determine the region setting from the Regional Assignment Sheet. Next, transfer the information to your region in the upper right corner of the Large Game Board.

The default starting point for the economic health in April is “stable”. Each team purchases a vehicle at the beginning of April. Use the vehicle value and payment from your region selection to determine your vehicle payment, vehicle asset and vehicle loan amount.

Click here for the regions

Refer to the instructions on the P&L (the Large Game Board) and the details below for each turn.
Profit and Loss Turns

Each team takes one turn per round. If playing with multiple teams, the CEO’s should attempt to remain on the same month. Clustered teams, for example if they are at the same table as other teams, will have an affect on the economic health of the other teams. If a team does get ahead then they may apply the change in economic health from that point forward. Each round indicates a month in business has passed.

On the first turn, the CEO’s will take a SALES card and follow the instructions. On subsequent turns, a player will roll only one die. If it is a 1 or 2, the team will take a COMPANY card. If the team rolls a 3, 4, 5, or 6, then they will take a SALES card. Put the cards in a discard pile rather than back under the deck. If you run out of cards, shuffle them before resuming play.

Follow the instructions on the card and begin with completing the Income section of your P&L (large game board).

Play the simple game first

Next complete The Statement of Cash Flows and The Balance Sheet forms.

At the close of each month in business, the economic health of the business must be evaluated for your business and for the community of teams to determine if the economic health has shifted for the community of teams.


Begin with making the income calculations at the top of the P&L (large game board). Calculating the number of customers you have first and multiplying that by the current revenue per contract. Complete the non-recurring and other income sections before moving on to Expenses. Always round to the nearest whole number.


After the income calculations are complete, another team member may begin completing the Balance Sheet while the expense calculations on the P&L are completed. Another player (if you are playing with more than 2 per team) may also begin completing the Statement of Cash Flows. To complete the Balance Sheet, begin by filling in the Owners Equity section The Balance sheet should be checked for balance at the end of each month. To check for balance, sum the Liabilities with the Owners Equity and if the month is in balance then the resulting amount will equal the Assets.

The player working on the P&L needs to calculate the expenses for the month. To do this, use the % of Total Revenue shown for each expense line. The player working on the P&L needs to calculate the expenses for the month. To do this, use the % of Total Revenue shown for each expense line. Each member of the team must complete the monthly calculations and all forms before proceeding to the next month.


Cash at the bank can never go below zero. If a team finds themselves in a situation where cash at the bank will fall below zero then the team is required to immediately take a long-term loan. The company is required to take a loan equal to the need to cover the negative cash flow for the month. See “Loan” section for more details on recording loans.


Long Term Loans: Loans may be taken with the approval of the CEO. If a loan is taken for cash flow shortages then the loan must equal the cash shortage for the month cash at the bank goes negative. During that same month, an entry must be made on the Balance Sheet under Liabilities, Long Term Loans in an amount equal to the cash shortage. When this entry is made, the cash at the bank changes from negative to zero. Circle the negative amount in red indicating it was covered by a loan and write $0 next to it indicating the cash at the bank is now zero. Payments are not made on long-term loans unless a Company Card indicates such action. Long-term loan amounts may affect the game-winner depending upon the method used to calculate the winner.

Vehicle Loans: Each team is required to acquire a vehicle in April. The price and payments of the vehicle are set by the regional assignments made at the start of the game and those values are found in the “Regional Assignment Sheet.”

Vehicle payments are recorded monthly on the P&L (large game board) under the Expense category. Vehicle values are recorded on the Balance Sheet under Assets and Liabilities. Under Assets, the full value of the vehicle less the first payment entered in April. This entry represents the value of the asset to the company. Under Liabilities, the full value, less the amount of the first payment, is entered in April as a Long Term Loan. This entry represents the amount owed on the vehicle.

For the purposes of this game, we will not require a down-payment or interest and we will depreciate the full value of the monthly payments on the Asset value and the Liability or loan amount. Therefore, both of the entries related to the vehicle on the Balance Sheet reduce monthly by an amount equal to the vehicle payment.

NOTE: The first car payment is made in April.

As the game progresses, you will often get busy with doing your own calculations. But you should listen to each team as they read the cards they draw aloud as you will learn from the possibilities and discussion around the card requirements.

If you have questions as the game progresses, refer to the instructions, ask for help from the teams around you or the game host.

After the game is complete (at year end), each team should have completed each month of calculations on the P&L (large game board) and on the Balance Sheet and the Statement of Cash Flows.

The game winning criteria is the team with the highest TOTAL PROFIT! The game winner may also be determined by the hosts’ criteria. The game winner may be determined by the bottom line total in the income statement, the total owners equity on the last month of the balance sheet, a combination of these or another method.

The team should then discuss the key points that were observed through the game play that could be applicable in a real life and be prepared to share those with the group.