Losing Money To Be A Tycoon Chapter 176
Chapter 176: Almost Laughed Out Loud
Li Shi silently finished his cigarette outside Fish-Catching Internet Cafe.
After hearing his subordinate's report, Li Shi started to really question his judgment.
Although Fu Hui Investments wasn't considered an exceptionally top-notch investment firm in the countryin a place like Jingzhou, everyone should have at least heard of it, right?
Now, even though he had proactively reached out, this Boss Pei was still not moved and had speedily rejected his offer?
This did not seem logical.
After all, within this circle, similar investments were rather common.
If any venture capitalist came knocking, most targeted companies would choose to hear them out first, to see what the terms of the offer were.
If they really weren't pleased and a deal could not be struck, at most both parties could go their separate ways and perhaps find future opportunities to collaborate; no one would lose out from this experience.
Incidents like this where a flat-out rejection had occurred were really rare.
Li Shi was after all a seasoned investor, and he wasn't that shaken by such a small setback. He tried to shake off the smell of smoke on him as he returned to Fish-Catching Internet Cafe again.
Li Shi noticed that Pei Qian had already stopped scribbling and drawing on his notebook. However, he continued to look seriously at it as if still thinking.
If he didn't have complete trust in his subordinate, Li Shi might even have suspected whether Boss Pei had indeed received the olive branch he had extended or not.
"This is strange; he was actually indifferent to my offer to invest. Could it be I had made a mistake in judgment?
"Although Boss Pei was now in a tough spot and the internet cafe kept on losing money, could it be he was still adamant and hard-headed that he could turn this business around?
"While I could provide him with a huge amount of funds and opportunities to collaborate, could it be that this Boss Pei still preferred to have absolute control?
"Regardless, he seemed like a person with a strong desire to exert control, someone who would not easily allow anyone else to interfere.
"Ah, youngsters are indeed youngsters. They want to reap all the benefits on their own; this is not the thinking a good entrepreneur should have."
Analyzing from every aspect, Li Shi found it hard to explain why Boss Pei would have so decisively rejected his offer to invest. The crux was the rejection had been so clean-cut; Boss Pei had not even bothered to hear the specifics.
Li Shi could only think of one explanation. Boss Pei was an impetuous person who was very stubborn. He had a strong desire to exert control over his businesses and did not want anyone butting in.
Of course, looking at this from another perspective, this meant that Boss Pei still firmly believed that this internet cafe was on the right track. He believed that it would definitely make money in the future and hence did not want to share these profits with anyone else.
Although Li Shi could directly approach Pei Qian to clarify this, Li Shi did not intend to do so.
He was after all a boss of an investment firm; how could he do something like that?
If he handed over his name card and Boss Pei spoke some niceties and rejected Li Shi again, wouldn't that be embarrassing?
Furthermore, based on what had happened, the chances of him being rejected again were very high.
"Hmph, youngster, no one can reject an investment from me; you will not be an exception. Even though investments were the same thing, some companies would fawn over it while others would gladly accept it. Others, however, needed just a little push"
Li Shi quietly observed Pei Qian as a confident smile appeared on his face.
In Fish-Catching Internet Cafe's flagship store
A rented car stopped outside as Ma Yang immediately alighted and entered the internet cafe.
"Boss Ma, is the exam over? How did it go?" Zhang Yuan saw Ma Yang entering as he warmly greeted and asked.
Ma Yang found a spot and sat down casually as he stretched. His huge face was pulled even longer by his yawn. "It isn't a very important class; it shouldn't be hard to pass."
"I had even lent my take-home assignments for Brother Qian to copy so that he could at least get ten marks for them. I feel that in the upcoming one or two months, he wouldn't hound us regarding the internet cafe and take-out businesses' losses."
Zhang Yuan was filled with much respect and admiration. Indeed, this is what it meant by 'things went easy as long as one had an insider', right?
Previously, Zhang Yuan couldn't figure out why someone like Ma Yang could have taken on such an important position as General Manager of Fish-Catching Internet Cafe. Now, everything made sense.
He even felt that this was natural and rightfully so.
Although some might say that Ma Yang had gotten this key position because of some inappropriate connections, for Zhang Yuan, following a boss like Ma Yang was very comfortable for him.
At least he didn't have to worry about any scolding or questioning from Boss Pei!
One of the servers had already handed over a cold drink. Ma Yang drank as he sighed and said, "Having said that, let's continue to work hard.
"We had hoped that doing take-outs would help us turn our losses into profits. However, our take-out business is now making losses as well"
Zhang Yuan heard Ma Yang's words and grew worried. "Indeed. Two days ago, Boss Pei had taken out his notebook here and scribbled in it, looking very stern and serious; I wasn't sure what he was writing about."
Ever since Chen Lei had been sent away, Ma Yang hadn't been able to recover from that setback. As Pei Qian wanted to find Ma Yang something to do, he had especially given the important task of Fish-Catching Take-Out to Ma Yang.
Ma Yang had been rather motivated and energetic at the start. He had hired delivery men, bought dishwashing equipment, and found someone to develop an app. In the end, he realized that not many people actually ordered his take-outs.
He was paying yet another group of employees for nothing; that was another added expense.
Of course, it wasn't entirely true that no one bought from Fish-Catching Take-Out. Some customers actually liked this service. However, it was just hard to recoup his initial investments into it.
The problems were multifold:
Boss Pei disliked 'physical promotion' publicity methods like distributing flyers. Hence, not many people actually knew that Fish-Catching Take-Out existed. Fish-Catching Take-Out's app could only provide food from its own outlet; it did not collaborate with other vendors and hence was not attractive to normal customers. All items were all comfort food, and the dishes were rather simple while the prices were more expensive than ordinary.
All in all, as its visibility was low and it did not meet ordinary customers' expectations, Fish-Catching Take-Out was not operating at full capacity; and many employees didn't have anything to do.
Normally, one delivery man could deliver to many families at once while the collectors could collect the plates and cutlery from many families at once as well. However, as there were so few customers now, all delivery men and collectors all went on solo trips.
Although the cutlery and plates provided were rather good, it was unavoidable that there might be cases of damages or missing cookery. According to Pei Qian's demandseven if such matters occurred, they were not to pursue this with the customers unless it was a constant occurrence.
They haven't encountered customers like this yet, but to occasionally see damaged cutlery and plates made Ma Yang's heart ache.
It was basically impossible to make money under these conditions.
The two were a little down and kept quiet.
Ma Yang finished his drink as he looked around at the internet cafe. He frowned, "This is strange; why do I feel like there are exceptionally few people here today?"
Zhang Yuan was stunned, "Oh? Really?"
He had not noticed that. After all, Fish-Catching Internet Cafe never had many people during the day, and it was always ten-odd people surfing the net with a similar number drinking coffee.
As today was also the morning of a workday, it was normal that lesser people had come.
However, now that Ma Yang had mentioned it, Zhang Yuan indeed noticed that fewer people were here than usual!
Only two people were in the internet cafe while there was one lone customer in the coffee area.
"It might be a coincidence," Zhang Yuan said.
The two were a little puzzled as the door of the internet cafe opened. A Fish-Catching Take-Out delivery man took a few flyers as he hurriedly rushed in.
"Boss Ma, Boss Zhang, something has happened!"
"Quick, take a look at these flyers!"
Ma Yang and Zhang Yuan looked a little perplexed as they received the flyers and took a look.
Although Fish-Catching Take-Out's current state was not bad, there were still some customers that patronized it. Evidently, this delivery man had seen something on his way back from a delivery.
There were quite a few flyers. Some were promoting an internet cafe, a coffee house, and also a bar. A few of these flyers were duplicates, and this delivery man must have taken more than one of each in a hurry.
Ma Yang and Zhang Yuan spread these flyers out on the table as they checked them out one by one.
The internet cafe on promotion had a special top-up promotion of a time-limited discount!
As for the coffee house and the bar, there were discounts for drinks such as a second drink at half-price, etc.
Ma Yang still didn't understand. "What have these got to do with us?"
The delivery man was still huffing a little, "Boss Ma, these these shops are all around us!"
Zhang Yuan's brows furrowed as he instantly sensed that something was amiss!
After taking a closer look, these shops were indeed all located around Fish-Catching Internet Cafe's flagship store. They weren't far away at all.
Ma Yang pulled a long face as he realized how severe this problem was. "This could this be targeting us?"
He thought for a moment as he shook his head. "No, that can't be right. We haven't offended anyone, and we also haven't engaged in a price war with these shops; why are they doing this to us?"
Ma Yang was confused. Logically, if Fish-Catching Internet Cafe was doing very well and had taken others' business, this would still make sense.
The crux was Fish-Catching Internet Cafe was already doing so badly; was there a need to do this to Fish-Catching Internet Cafe now?
Zhang Yuan's face grew even darker. "That's hard to say."
"Although Fish-Catching Internet Cafe is making lossesas long as our shop is still open, we would still be an existing competitor to these shops. Perhaps they wish to hit us when we're down and won't rest until we go bust?
"Furthermore, internet cafes, bars, coffee houses for so many shops to do promotion activities at the same time? They seemed to be acting in concert. Perhaps someone is orchestrating this behind the scenes!"
Ma Yang looked as if he was facing a formidable enemy, "What should we do?"
Zhang Yuan's brows knotted as he thought for a long time. "This is rather sticky; our opponent seemed to have come well-prepared!
"These few shops have started the price war. The internet cafes, bars, and coffee houses are all reducing their prices and desperately sending out flyers. If I haven't guessed wrongly, the few street entrances near our internet cafe have already been taken over by them."
"This way, all consumers that wish to come to our internet cafe will definitely see their flyers and promotion activities. As there isn't that much customer flow in this area to start withif even the few that came were lured away, we would become even worse off."
Realization dawned on Ma Yang as he said slightly angrily, "No wonder there are so few customers today!"
Zhang Yuan continued, "Not only that! I feel as if the opponent has done his homework, and this move of his is to hit us at our soft spot!
"According to Boss Pei's plan, our internet cafe has always been a high-class one; our prices are naturally higher than other places. The opponent wishes to drag us into a price war with them. This is very complicated for us.
"If we don't lower our prices, we would be at a severe price disadvantage; we couldn't compete.
"For example, our original prices are forty percent higher than other places'. However, we have a better atmosphere and better service. Some customers would be happy to spend a little more money to enjoy the superior service here.
"However, if our opponent is burning cash and lowering prices even more, our prices might become sixty percent higher or more. Would customers be willing to spend so much money just for our better atmosphere and service?"
Ma Yang frowned, "In that case, should we lower our prices as well?"
Zhang Yuan shook his head, "No! We are a high-class and posh outfit; lowering our prices would damage our reputation. Furthermore, if we have to burn cash like them, we are already losing money; how could we win against them?
"Furthermore, don't forget what Boss Pei said when we raised the issue of lowering prices back then."
Ma Yang was speechless.
Previously when Fish-Catching Internet Cafe had just started to incur losses, Zhang Yuan had already raised the strategy of lowering prices; that had been rejected flat-out by Pei Qian.
If they raised this matter again, the results would probably be the same.
However, they couldn't reduce their prices. As Fish-Catching Internet Cafe was basically surrounded nowas long as these shops kept on doing publicity on the streets entrances leading to Fish-Catching Internet Cafe, most of their customers would be lured away.
Even if a minority of ballers remained loyal to Fish-Catching Internet Cafe, customers that would patronize without caring for prices were very few; most would still want to take pricing into consideration.
Zhang Yuan's face grew stern, "Let's report this to Boss Pei; we can't make a decision on this ourselves!"
Pei Qian was just sleeping soundly in his rented apartment. His cell phone then rang.
Pei Qian was snapped out of his dream and was very unhappy.
However, seeing that the call came from Ma Yang and that Ma Yang had just left him his assignments, Pei Qian could still forgive Ma Yang for this.
"What's up, Old Ma?"
Ma Yang speedily explained the huge crisis that Fish-Catching Internet Cafe was facing now over the phone.
"Brother Qian, this is the situation. Zhang Yuan and I have analyzed that this matter is definitely not so easy; someone is pulling the strings behind the scenes! What should we do now?"
Ma Yang was very anxious.
Pei Qian suddenly was sleepy no more.
Such a good thing existed?
Pei Qian almost laughed out loud. He had actually still been feeling the pressure for this cycle, wondering if he could successfully make a loss.
In the end, someone had sent him a pillow just when he wanted to sleep.
At present, Fish-Catching Internet Cafe's flagship store was losing around three hundred thousand monthly. This was on the premise that there was still a certain income from sales from drinks and from internet users.
Although Chen Lei had left, the impact he had caused still remained. Some of his old supporters would still like to gather at Fish-Catching Internet Cafe. Hence, Fish-Catching Internet Cafe's losses had been lessened compared to at the start.
Now that the surrounding shops were engaged in a price war and Fish-Catching Internet Cafe's customer flow was being interrupted, this meant that there would be lesser income from Fish-Catching Internet Cafe until the settlement!
If these shops continued with their price wars, that meant that during the next cycle, Fish-Catching Internet Cafe's income would still continue to fall drastically. That would be
There was only one week left till settlement, and it seemed a part of Fish-Catching Internet Cafe's income was going to be in jeopardy; this might amount to around seventy to eighty thousand yuan.
One should not belittle this sum. If income was lessened by seventy to eight thousand, that might easily turn profits into losses; this was a world of difference!
Pei Qian tried his best to calm himself down; he couldn't allow himself to start laughing.
Ma Yang heard that Pei Qian was mum as he felt that things were really serious this time. "What should we do, Brother Qian?"
Pei Qian massaged the corners of his mouth to stop himself from smiling as he tried his best to sound calm. "Don't worry, at this time, let's wait and see. Don't do anything on your end; I have my own arrangements!"
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