Virtual Business Challenges Hints

by Jeff Rutherford

Are you excited about this year’s Virtual Business Challenges? It’s fun to watch the many students compete every year in the DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, and BPA Virtual Business Challenges.

Every morning, we’ve been adding hints for this year’s Virtual Business Challenges on our Knowledge Matters’ Facebook page. We encourage you to check out our Facebook page.

Virtual Business Challenge

Here, we’ve collected all the Virtual Business Challenge hints in one place. Good luck competing in the Virtual Business Challenge.

Personal Finance Hints (FBLA & DECA)

• When you open the competition file, your person lives in an apartment and has $5,000. You don’t have any banking or credit card accounts. Your goal is to increase your person’s net worth as much as possible while managing his life for two simulated years.

• Use the name “John” when you apply for a job.

• If you apply for a job or decide to take a class, you will have to choose your mode of transportation to get to work or class. You will have to walk or take the bus. Buying or leasing a car within the competition file is not possible. Consult your schedule to see how long your commute will take.

• Some jobs require work experience and/or education. Check your resume which is found under the Reports menu. You are starting off with some education. If you don’t wish to apply for the jobs you are qualified for, you are always free to take additional courses in order to become qualified.

• Your apartment is not furnished. If you shop for certain goods, you may be able to decrease the time you have to spend on certain activities in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

• Don’t forget to pay your bills and taxes! Your bills will appear on your desk in your person’s apartment. You will be able to access your tax information on January 1.

• Don’t forget to set up your daily schedule. Review the Tutorial if you need help doing this.

• After completing the competition file, you may click the “Try Again” link from your account to work through the file again. We will always rank you based on your best score. Your team will not appear within the rankings until you have completed the competition file at least one time.

Personal Finance Hints (FCCLA)

• When you open the competition file, your person lives in an apartment and has $5,000. You don’t have any banking or credit card accounts. Your goal is to increase your person’s net worth as much as possible while managing her life for two simulated years.

• Use the name “Jane” when you apply for a job.

• If you apply for a job or decide to take a class, you will have to choose your mode of transportation to get to work or class. You will have to walk or take the bus. Buying or leasing a car within the competition file is not possible. Consult your schedule to see how long your commute will take.

• Some jobs require work experience and/or education. You are able to enroll in courses so that you may become qualified for some of the jobs.

• Your apartment is not furnished. If you shop for certain goods, you may be able to decrease the time you have to spend on certain activities in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

• Don’t forget to pay your bills and taxes! Your bills will appear on your desk in your person’s apartment. You will be able to access your tax information on January 1.

• Don’t forget to set up your daily schedule. Review the Tutorial if you need help doing this.

• After completing the competition file, you may click the “Try Again” link from your account to work through the file again. We will always rank you based on your best score. Your team will not appear within the rankings until you have completed the competition file at least one time.

DECA Virtual Business Challenge - Retailing Hints

• When you open the competition file, your purchasing is set to a fairly high level. Purchasing too much inventory may lead to products expiring before they can be purchased which causes unnecessary waste.

• Use your Sales & Margin and Inventory reports to assist you in setting your purchasing levels.

• When you open the competition file, your purchasing is set up so that you are purchasing the same amount of all of the products that you offer in your store. Setting custom product purchasing levels can help to reduce waste.

• When designing the product placement of the items you are selling on your store floor, keep in mind that you offer need, impulse and complementary products. Use the Product Info report to determine how each product is categorized.

• Remember, you control traffic flow with the way you position your products in your store.

• The Customer Vision tool is an extremely helpful merchandising tool.

• Utilize the Tutorial if you don’t understand how to manipulate a certain action, or interpret a report.

• Keep working through the file and submitting scores. We always rank you based on your best one. You won’t see your team listed within the rankings until you have completed the file at least once.

VBC Sports Hints

• You may include more than one item in your sponsorship offers.

• Click on the taller buildings in the city to see what their advertising budgets are. Bigger budgets often mean you will be more likely to sell more expensive sponsorship items to the companies.

• Your stadium seats 19,008 fans.

• Overstaffing can lead to unnecessary expenses. Understaffing can lead to expensive fines, bottlenecks and lost profits. Monitor your ticket sales under the Event report to assist you in determining your staffing needs.

• Monitor the customer comments on your Event reports to assist you with determining satellite and main lot pricing. Keep in mind you won’t be able to make everyone happy.

• Utilize the Tutorial if you don’t understand how to manipulate a certain action, or interpret a report.

• Keep working through the file and submitting scores. We always rank you based on your best one. You won’t see your team listed within the rankings until you have completed the file at least once.

VBC Hotel Hints

• Watch the guest traffic flow in the hotel lobby (and make note of the time of day when doing so) to assist you with staffing your front desk.

• If employees are overworked or underworked, this will affect your ESS in a negative way.

• The Messages, Tweeter and TripHelper reports will provide valuable feedback to assist you with your staff scheduling.

• When you open the competition file, your rooms are priced the same for each day of the week, and you are charging a low rate. Increasing your prices can help increase profit, and guests may be willing to pay higher rates on certain days of the week.

• Don’t forget to work on your prices for junior suites in addition to your pricing for general rooms.

• Keep an eye out for local events listed on the Revenue Management screen. Room availability may be scarce during the dates surrounding these events. Capitalize on this opportunity.

• When you open the competition file, you are doing some advertising, but not a lot. Use the Marketing option under the Actions menu to set up your advertising campaign and create awareness for your hotel.

• Use the marketing budget shown on your Marketing screen as a guideline of how much to spend on advertising for your hotel.

• Utilize the Tutorial if you don’t understand how to manipulate a certain action, or interpret a report.

• Keep working through the file and submitting scores. We always rank you based on your best one. You won’t see your team listed within the rankings until you have completed the file at least once.

VBC Restaurant Hints

• When you open the competition file, you are too heavily staffed on certain days of the week, but not adequately staffed during others. Use the Week-Part Sales report as well as the Dining view within the simulation to assist you in determining what your busiest days during the week are.

• When you open the competition file, you are purchasing inadequate quantities of some ingredients, but too much of others. Keep an eye on the purchasing screen while you work through the simulation file to monitor waste and stock outs.

• Address stock outs before you address waste.

• Keep in mind when purchasing ingredients that you are purchasing for two different periods of time during the week. Use your Week-Part Sales report to determine when your busier periods are.

• Utilize the Tutorial if you don’t understand how to manipulate a certain action, or interpret a report.

• Keep working through the file and submitting scores. We always rank you based on your best one. You won’t see your team listed within the rankings until you have completed the file at least once.

VBC Management Hints

• The bid opportunities will come in slowly when you first start working on the competition file, and they will increase as you progress through simulated time. Keep that in mind when setting up your work processes. Filling your production floor right away may not be beneficial.

• When you open the competition file, your production floor is poorly organized. Use the Process Diagram report to assist you with organizing your production floor layout.

• Pay attention to delivery dates for the bids you opt to bid on. If you fail to deliver on time, the customer will cease accepting orders from you for a period of time.

• Use the Daily Production report to help determine the quantities/deadlines of the bids you are capable of fulfilling.

• The Blocked Workers tool is very helpful in determining if there are any bottlenecks on your production floor (and your raw materials and office floors as well).

• Utilize the Tutorial if you don’t understand how to manipulate a certain action, or interpret a report.

• Keep working through the file and submitting scores. We always rank you based on your best one. You won’t see your team listed within the rankings until you have completed the file at least once.