"The Sims" series has a long history of expansion packs, with a total of seven. The sequel to the original that was released in 2000, "The Sims 2," is the road to having just as many expansions. This time around the expansion pack is "The Sims 2 Open for Business." As you can guess or probably already know, it's all about taking control of how a Sim earns money through their own businesses.
Opening a Business in "The Sims 2 Open for Business"
Maxis has set up a new extension of the main neighborhood, the default is called Bluewater Village. Like other new playing areas, you can create your own. The new area is populated with many community lots to show off all the types of business a Sim can own. Some of the families own businesses, others are prepared to open one. I was feeling adventurous so I went for starting a new business right away.
Starting and managing a business is not intuitive. Different parts of dealing with the business are not dealt with in all the same area. Sometimes you'll use the phone, open/close sign, and most of the time the new business control center. The learning curve isn't steep, you just have to have the patience to find what you're looking for. For this reason, it's better to play with the new families that already own businesses, instead of wasting money your Sims worked hard for.
Earning a Toy Making BadgeScreenshot Credit: © Electronic Arts.
You will need to help to run businesses. One Sim cannot manage to sell items, clean, run the register, and restock products. Family members can automatically help out the owner, just direct them to do whatever needs to be done. Free labor is always helpful when starting out a new business.
There will come a time when you need employees. You can hire anyone that comes to your business (you won't know their skills) or you can use the phone to hire employees for a small list of possible Sims. You have to be really careful here. If you hire a Sim that already has a job in a regular career track, they'll leave their current job to come work for you.
When employees show up for work, you assign them jobs. It could be cooking, crafting, sales, working the register, any jobs that need to be done. Overall, I found most to be efficient as long as they got regular breaks.
Badges & Business Perks
Too add to the challenge, Sims earn badges for certain skills involved in running a business. Badges come in three levels: bronze, silver, and gold. How a Sim performs their job will depend on their badge level. With each level, a Sim gains a new social or skill. For example, Sims will be able to make better and more expensive toys as they earn Toy Making badges. Sims who have a lot of badges will want to be paid more (sometimes a lot more) than Sims who have only one or none.
Business Perks are earned as your business earns rank. There are multiple paths of perks, you can choose from: connections, perceptions, cash, wholesale, and motivation. The perks make running your business easier and can be passed down to other Sims. It does get easier with the perks. By the time the business gets to the 3rd or 4th generation, it should be running smoothly and on a profit.
Types of Businesses
At the SalonScreenshot Credit: © Electronic Arts.
The businesses you can open are left to your imagination (as long as the game as the objects for it!). If you own "The Sims 2 Nightlife," you could open a car dealership. A library, gym, flower shop, bakery, restaurant, just about any type of store you can imagine, night clubs, salons, grocery stores, are a few ideas. Almost all objects can be marked for sale and a ticket machine where Sims buy tickets to spend time on the lot. With these two objects, almost anything is possible. A note about salons. Yes, you can makeover Townies and they keep their new hairstyle and makeup.