Business Lessons from FarmVille
1. You should never use your working capital to expand your business. Never!
In a rush to reach level 35 in FarmVille (read : expand my business presence), I used up all my coins to buy some properties, which gave me enough XPs (experience) to reach the higher level. But what I did not foresee was that I was left with a large farm, larger presence, but absolutely no money (read: working capital) to buy seeds! No seeds meant no crops. No crops meant no harvesting. And disastrously, no harvesting meant no money! Solution? I had to sell some of my buildings and animals to get enough money to buy seeds or else, I would have had to file for bankruptcy.
2. Too many acquaintances can be harmful to your business
There can be times that in an effort to increase the count of your neighbors (read: popularity), you end up having so much of ‘bull shit’ in your friend list. This practice should be avoided at all costs. In businesses too, maintaining an unmanageable number of acquaintances (for the sake of networking & marketing) is not recommended. People come to associate you with the type of people you are visible with.
3. Business is cyclical by nature. Always!
While playing the game, after you have harvested your crops (read : have been paid for your services), you need to plough as well as sow the seeds again (read : find customers & deliver them your services). And even after you provide your services, there is a waiting time before you receive your payments. So, businesses need to keep going on and on in this cycle. As soon as they decide to stop after harvesting, they will lose value. There is no stagnation in business. It either goes up or down. Period.
4. Look for other sources of revenue
When you are not harvesting, plowing or sowing (read : finding customers, providing services or getting paid), look for other avenues of revenue generation like fertilizing crops of your neighbors, etc. which in turn give you fuel to harvest/seed/plough in a more efficient way. Though rare, helping can be profitable at times. 😉
5. You can’t have everything & your core competency should be known to you
There may be times in business when you might get some exciting ‘never-before’ kind of opportunities (read : you get a building/animal/tree as free gift in FarmVille). You would love to take a plunge. But on deeper analysis, you will understand that this is not your core competency (read : farming). So, if you do place a building on your plot of land, you will be stopping the future cash flows from the farm you could have harvested at regular intervals. So, as evident, sometimes freebies are not that free. 😉
And finally, as the old one goes – You reap as you sow. 🙂