The Sims 2: Open For BusinessEdit
In The Sims 2: Open for Business, Sims can use the phone or computer to either start a business at home or buy a community lot. If University is installed, businesses cannot be located in college sub-neighborhoods, though young adult can own community lots in other areas. A must have item for any business is the open/closed sign. In addition to allowing members of the owner's household to open and close the business, it allows them to call in employees and to send them home. When Sims choose which community lot to travel to, lots owned by a household member will be marked with a small green sign. While visiting a lot owned by a household member, Sims will be able to do things such as restock the shelves, purchase items at wholesale, hire employees, be the cashier, etc.
Players can send playable Sims to community lot businesses owned by other Sims. If this is done, autonomous versions of the owner, manager (if any), and employees (if any) will appear. This can only be done if no members of the owner's household were on that lot when it was last saved. If a player wants to use a community lot business in that way, and that business has a cash register, the player should assign an employee to be cashier, otherwise the register will be unstaffed when playable Sims are sent there.
Doors on a business lot will have an extra lock option, which is the ability to lock the door so that only household members and employees will be able to use it.
Selling or Transferring a businessEdit
The owner of a home business cannot transfer ownership to another Sim, even if that Sim is another household member. If the owner dies or moves out, ownership will automatically be transferred to an eligible household member, if there is one. If there isn't, the business will be dissolved.
The deed to a community lot business can be sold back to the community, or placed on sale. It can also be transferred to another household member. If Seasons or later is installed, the deed to a community lot can be given as a gift, as it is in the owner's inventory. However, transferring a deed in this way will not successfully transfer ownership of the lot.
If a community lot business is transferred in any way other than being sold back to the community, its employees, customer loyalty, and business rank go with it. However, business perks do not travel with the deed.
Types of businesses Edit
Businesses can be divided into three basic types. Most businesses are shops, which sell goods and services, but there are also venues, which give Sims the opportunity to fill various motives on a "pay-to-stay" basis. Sims can also own restaurants, which are considered a third type of business.
Shops can sell practically any object that is available in Buy mode. One of the tools available in the upper right hand corner of the screen is the Wholesale Mode Toggle, which allows the owner to buy at a discount. When this toggle is active, Buy mode objects which can be sold will have a bright yellow background, and the price shown will be the wholesale price. Objects bought in wholesale mode are automatically marked as being for sale. Some objects which will not normally appear in Buy mode while on an owned community lot can still be accessed and placed on sale by using the Wholesale Mode Toggle. Once an item has been sold, it can be restocked at its current wholesale price.
Shops can also sell Sim-made items, such as paintings. The most obvious examples of this are crafted items made on workbenches: flower arrangements, toys, and robots. If FreeTime is also installed, objects made on the pottery and sewing benches can be sold. With FreeTime, it's even possible to sell restored cars. If Apartment Life is installed, potions and other witch-made items can be sold as well.
Shops can sell things such as clothing, magazines, computer/video games, personal electronics, and groceries. If Seasons is also installed, fish and produce can be sold. If Pets is also installed, shops can sell pets. With Apartment Life installed, reagents and other items for witches can be sold as well. The various potions can be placed on sale, and once sold, can be restocked in the same way as Buy mode objects.
Deeds to other lots can also be sold in a business. If Bon Voyage is installed, deeds to vacation homes can also be marked for sale.
The Bluewater Village district has pre-made examples of many different types of shops, some of which are already owned.
Venues are places, such as clubs and arcades, which sell the opportunity to satisfy motives. This is done through the Electrono-Ticket Machine, which allows the owner to charge Sims for staying on the lot. Once the owner, or a member of the owner's household, has set a price and decided to start charging, potential customers will gather at the Electrono-Ticket Machine, and consider whether or not they want to come in. This works like making a sale in a shop, except that what is being sold is the idea of staying on the lot for a while. Once the sale is made, the customer will go to the ticket machine, take a ticket, and enter the venue. While there, they will periodically be charged the ticket price.
As with selling items in shops, setting the ticket price higher means that tickets will be harder to sell.
If a venue has a kitchen with a stove, it is best to put it behind doors that only household members and employees can use. Otherwise, hungry customers will use the kitchen, and will sometimes leave food on the stove or in the oven. This can lead to burned food or even a fire. If a player wants to have a venue serve food, one way is to have a household member make it, then enter Buy mode and place the food outside of the kitchen area. When customers get hungry enough, they will serve themselves.
- Since a business will either be on a Sim's home lot, or on an owned community lot that has some aspects of a home lot, Sims will frequently want to fulfill their needs through free will actions. If the owners of a business take an active role in running it, one of the player's biggest challenges may be keeping them "on task".
- If a Sim owns a community lot business, when the employees arrive there is a glitch that may cause all their facial features to change to a random default face template, and no eyebrows. This also sometimes happens if the player sets a new uniform for the employees and they change into the work clothes.
The Sims 4Edit
With The Sims 4: Get to Work, Sims can once again have their own retail businesses. With The Sims 4: Dine Out Sims can have their own restaurants, which are run much like retail businesses. With The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs, Sims can become a veterinarian and run a vet clinic. Sims can buy community lots to have businesses. Magnolia Promenade, which is a new neighborhood provided in Get To Work has community lots which are pre-made as businesses. While on an owned lot, Sims can call for other NPC Sims to become employees.
Type of businessesEdit
With The Sims 4: Get to Work expansion pack installed, Sims can own retail businesses such as a photo gallery, bakery, book store, or clothing shop. Shops can sell practically any item.
With The Sims 4: Dine Out game pack installed, Sims can create a variety of restaurants, and can set what food and drinks are on the menu. Restaurants can be built around themes, or can be types such as diners, fast food, and fancy dining.
Managing a retail storeEdit
After a Sim purchases a residential or vacant lot for their retail business, they will travel to that lot. While they are on the retail lot, players have two options to manage the store.
Owned Business PanelEdit
The simplest way of managing the store is through the Owned Business Panel located in the bottom right of the UI, next to needs. From this panel, players can manage a Sim's retail store or restaurant as they would with a register. The business panel shows each lot's name, whether it is open or closed, and how many Sim-hours the business has stayed open for.
The primary button on the panel, located at the bottom left, is to open and close the store.When the store is closed, players can change the price markup (this adds a percentage of money added onto the normal objects price range), can see their total items sold, outgoing costs (this is if the Sim has bought advertisements) and net profit (overall profit from selling, restocking and employee wage). Players can also transfer retail funds from one household to the retail lot (this is helpful if Sims have multiple retail lots and which to supply a certain lot with certain amounts of money), and can access Retail Perks, manage employees (hiring, firing and seeing employees skills), manage employees outfits, and the final button on the retail panel is to sell the store. When the store is open most buttons appear on display except players cannot change the price markup while open as well as sell the store. Another button appears in the panel which is the view financial report which shows a more detailed window for the stores profits of income and expenditures. Players can also select options on what business they want to manage, they can only select one active business at a time between a retail business or a restaurant business. From the options Sims can purchase a restaurant or a retail store, as well as purchase more than one of each.
The other way of managing a store and is the more immersive way is to use the register which is the only required object to have a retail lot. This has most of the options that come with the retail panel but has the added features of purchasing advertising for short-term or long-term which can help bring in more customers. Another option with the register is that the player can select to have all objects on sale to display a red price tag icon. This is helpful to find out if the player missed out on an object to put up for sale.
Customers will enter the lot and will walk to a random object or mannequin of their liking, with a bar above their head that showcases their interest to buy. Getting it to the top is when the customer will decide to purchase the goods and an employee or the owner can ring them up.
Employees and the owner have special interactions towards their customer under the retail selection in the interaction pie menu.
Managing a restaurant is slightly different to how it is managing a retail business as there are certain jobs for the employees, food critiques, satisfying the customers and checking if the employees are doing okay.
Vet clinics work similarly to restaurants in terms of managing. Customers come in to get their pets to gain treatment, with the owner and the employees having the task to cure them through rough stages of examining and keeping the pets calm.
As in The Sims 2: Open For business, Sims can hire employees for their businesses, and can set their tasks as well as their work uniform. Employees can be promoted or demoted and have a satisfaction to their job.
A tweet from SimGuruGraham replied stating that Get To Work's business aspect will grow with added content packs, which means more shops to put up, new businesses such as restaurants, and objects for businesses.