Want to get a sense of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur before taking the plunge and starting your own business? There’s an app for that. Lots of them, in fact. While these games may not always be quite true to life — it’ll probably take more than a click to refinish your restaurant’s kitchen — they’ll help you gain an understanding of the juggling act that small business ownership requires. Here are seven of our iPhone favorites.
1) Cooking Dash – Ever wanted to run a restaurant? Here’s your chance. You’ll be responsible for everything from furnishing the place to prepping sushi to clearing demanding customers’ plates away. If you’re not quick enough, you’ll lose out on sales. If you need some help with time management, Cooking Dash will give you a virtual workout.
2) Jet Set Go – As the owner of a travel agency, you’ll be faced with a ton of challenges — especially cranky customers. Give your customer service skills a workout by giving 14 different types of customers everything they need: Once you’ve earned 24 service awards, you’ll be promoted to an elite agent.
3) The Sims 3 Ambitions – In the latest incarnation of The Sims, you can encourage your families to build careers, follow them to work, and even construct their workplaces. You’ll be rolling in Simoleans in no time — and may find the inspiration to focus on your own passions, too.
4) Pet Hotel – If you’ve ever fantasized about owning a pet resort, here’s an app that’ll get your paws wet. Turn your kennel into a world-class pet getaway by choosing from a wide assortment of room styles and pets, and hiring staff to care for the animals under your control.
5) Supermarket Mania – Try your luck as the manager of a supermarket chain, where you’ll open new stores in a variety of locations, and do everything from stocking shelves to making milkshakes to purchasing inventory and upgrades.
6) Success Story – Prepare for a future career as a fast-food restaurant owner with this burger-making app. The game will test your time management skills as you work to assemble burgers for hungry customers, but you’ll also have to work to create the dishes with the highest profit margins — always a smart skill to have.
7) Pucca’s Restaurant – This anime-style app lets you take control of a restaurant, where you’ll work your way up to master chef status if you’ve got the skills. You’ll learn recipes, hire famous chefs, decorate your interior, and even visit your real-life friends’ virtual restaurants.