Setbacks are common 

What games are you playing as a woman in business? 
Snakes and ladders – Being a business owner is like playing a game of snakes and ladders sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. It’s completely a game of chance, you’re rolling the dice and seeing what happens. You could be making great progress one minute and then it all comes to an end as you aren’t in control. Sometimes in business you’ll make a decision that takes you to the top, and other times you’ll hit a “snake” and fall back.  Just like in the game, you have to keep moving forward and keep climbing towards the finish line. 
Frustration – A racing, chasing game that anyone can play as there’s no skill or strategy required. You click the pop-o-matic to roll the dice and that determines your next move. If a competitor lands on your piece you are back to the start. It’s a race to the finish line but you have no control or plan on how to get there. You are just popping the dice and hoping for the best, at best, adapting to unexpected challenges. In both situations, success is not guaranteed, and setbacks are common. 

Patience and flexibility 

Operation – You need to have good coordination to play Operation. You require a steady hand, focus, and the ability to navigate obstacles. This poor fella has got lots of issues and you collect money if you manage to fix any of them. It helps if you, as a surgeon, don’t specialise and can deal with all his problems but you might worry that you are spreading yourself thinly, becoming a jack of all trades and master of none. In Operation, the slightest wrong move can lead to failure, just as in business, small mistakes can have big consequences. Both require patience and the ability to learn from mistakes. 
Twister – In this game you can end up in tricky positions. You are trying to outmanoeuvre opponents and be the last man standing. However, you can’t really play strategically, it’s left to chance and then your ability to remain balanced despite the twists and turns you encounter. You might end up in complicated, awkward positions that feel tricky to get out of. Being self-employed can be like playing a game of twister because you have to twist yourself into different positions and juggle multiple responsibilities. Being self-employed requires flexibility and adaptability to navigate the challenges that come with running your own business. 


Pictionary – A game of observation and creative thinking. You know what you are trying to draw but unless you are extremely in tune and totally on the same wavelength as your teammates, or a highly skilled illustrator, it can be incredibly frustrating. You can change tack and start again or keep going over and over the same lines expecting them to keep guessing what you are trying to draw. Playing requires effective communication skills. Success requires teamwork and problem-solving abilities to win. 
Articulate – A game of expressing yourself clearly and effectively to your teammates. If they don’t get what you mean you keep trying different ways of saying the same thing until you get your message across. It helps if you use language they understand and don’t baffle them with jargon. Being self-employed is like a game of Articulate because you need to be able to express yourself and your skills to potential clients in your marketing message. You might also need to be able to articulate your business plan and goals to investors or lenders. Just like in the game, the better you can articulate yourself, the more successful you’ll probably be. 

One wrong move... 

Jenga – Running a small business is like playing a game of Jenga because it requires a careful balance of strategy, risk-taking, and decision-making. You start with solid foundations, taking calculated risks to build the tower without it all falling down around you. You need a steady hand and to stay focused. Just as in Jenga, each move in business can have a significant impact on the overall stability. One wrong move can cause the whole structure to come crashing down, but with the right approach and a steady hand, success is achievable. You can cut your losses and change directions if things don’t move as you expect. It’s not a team game though, be wary of your opponents playing dirty and leaving it unstable for your next turn. 
Kerplunk – The object of this game is to accumulate straws without dropping the marbles. The winner is the one with the fewest marbles at the end. Success requires a balance of risk-taking and caution, as well as the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. You are taking calculated risks based on what you can see, it requires skill, strategy, patience, and a steady hand. Similarly, being in business demands careful planning, resilience, and the ability to navigate through uncertainty. In both, a wrong move could lead to a domino effect of consequences. 
Skill, luck and perseverance 
Monopoly – A game of luck and strategy combined here. It all starts fair and square, but the savvy player will create opportunities to grow their assets. Players must make decisions on how to invest their money, acquire properties, and negotiate deals with other players.  It requires strategic thinking, planning, and risk-taking. The more money you have the more property you can invest in, and this gives you an advantage over your opponents as you aim to bankrupt them. There are the chance cards that often inflict misfortune or there’s the community chest that might reward you with money. The banker holds all the money. You can borrow on a mortgage if you don’t have enough cash to pay your debts but that’s a risk for you to weigh up. 
As a woman in business you have to make calculated decisions on how to invest your time, money, and resources to grow your business. It’s handy if you are willing to take risks and adapt to changing circumstances. In the game and in business, success requires a combination of skill, luck, and perseverance. 
Gather information to make informed decisions 
Cluedo – You have all the information, it’s just a case of asking the right questions, gathering clues and then a process of elimination. The clues you gather help you create the bigger picture . Ideally you want to outsmart your opponents and be the first one to find the solution. 
Ultimately, marketing your small business is like playing a game of Cluedo.  In both, you must make strategic decisions, gather information, and solve problems to succeed. Each turn in the game requires thought and planning, just as each day in business requires careful consideration of various factors. 
In Cluedo, players must determine who committed a murder, where it happened, and with what weapon. In business, the stakes may not be as high, but the challenges are similar. As small business owners we must determine what products or services to offer, who our target customers are, and how to market to them effectively. All of this as well as pricing strategies, managing finances, and even navigating legal requirements. (Who else is thinking I didn’t sign up for all this stuff!) 
We also have to gather information to make informed decisions. Possibly conducting market research, analysing financial data, or seeking advice from other professionals. It can sometimes be important to be aware of industry trends and changes in the market to stay competitive depending on what your line of business is. 
Like Cluedo, small business ownership requires problem-solving skills and the ability to think strategically. Success requires a combination of careful planning, attention to detail, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Just as in Cluedo, the small business owner who is able to solve problems effectively and make the right moves will come out a winner. 
Are you dabbling with Snakes and Ladders and Frustration, leaving things to chance or are you more a Monopoly mistress or Cluedo queen? 
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