Monopoly: The risky game entrepreneurs play

Entrepreneurs often undertake a risky journey with luck as a shield and skill as a sword. Although getting finance could be hard, what you do from there on is the tricky part. In the same sense, the economy is like a monopoly board and the entrepreneur a piece waiting its turn after passing go.

Imagine that you’ve obtained your funding of £1,550 for a real-estate business. Although your industry is in the line of housing, four stations and a few utility companies are on the top of the list – they will eventually rake in a ton of money. Long-term planning is essential to moving your company forward. First of all, you need a logo or mascot to represent your business’ image. We’ll pick the top hat, something that business men used to wear in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Go!

As the founder, it’s key to remember that your idea might not be the only one of its kind, so move fast. What you seek is the first move advantage. Players who go first have a higher probability of landing on available property. Like in business, the long term value of this advantage is nominal.

It’s a fairly simple game, or so you think. Don’t start off your business with the thought: ‘others have done it with ease, so can I’. It’s a deceptive game that relies heavily on the luck of the draw. Some companies will start off with huge success while others will struggle with ‘chance’.

If you’re not satisfied with the luck you’ve been given, why not try and increase your odds of success? By forming alliances, you can create mutually advantageous deals that could suit both players.

Once you have a grip of the game, it’s time to think logically and learn from your experience.

Be vigilant

Never remove your eyes from the board or you’ll risk the chance of a player landing on your property and not paying rent. As an entrepreneur you strive to deliver a certain value and, in turn, you should be paid for delivering that value.

Government tax

Chance cards require you to pay a percentage of your net worth in taxes.

Location

The location of your property is incredibly important! Some properties have a higher rental charge while others have an increased probability of being landed on. Think about which approach would be best for you.

Managing cash flow

This is your chance to learn how to prioritise and plan financial concepts such as mortgaging properties, paying tax and interest, and unforeseen expenditures.

Strategy is key! Don’t buy up as many houses as you can. You’ll end up loosing money on the small-fry locations at the start and by the time the other players strike the jackpot you’ll be making a small income and paying big fines.

Similarly, don’t tighten your purse strings to only secure Boardwalk. You could be lucky and get what you want off the bat, the funds you’ll reel in from that one property will surely rake in a ton of cash. While you whittle away the hours waiting for someone to get there, however, what about your bills? You’ll be counting every move your opponents make in the hope that consumers visit your property before you end in jail.

Ultimately, like in real life, some will do better than others. There will be those that will loose early on, some will give up when they think they stand no chance, others will desperately try to cling on by selling houses and some will rise above the rest. Entrepreneurship is, after all, a risky game where you play with money in the hopes you make something prosper. It depends on the dice throw, the card draw and the players choices that influence the winner of the game.

Monopoly, like entrepreneurship, takes an incredible amount of time and patience and, more often than not, there will only be one winner. In a strange twist of fate, the game you play on a rainy day is already guiding you towards having certain entrepreneurial skills. Board games can teach negotiating and risk-taking skills and Monopoly proves to be an inexpensive yet effective hands-on-course in entrepreneurship.

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