| Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 01:01 am |
Ok. I'm a newb. I've played for just a few days, but I've been reading the forums and documentation for more than a while, in that time and playing a couple of Countryies and Enterprises.
As far as I can see, Enterprises are just slaves of the Countries.
As I happily tried to optimize my sure to be wildly profitable FMU plant (building complementary supply corps, optimizing contracts and open market sales, searching assiduosly for the best countries -- given new players are limited to building in no-president countries --, adjusting salaries, supply purchases, strategies, and quality and efficiency with an eye towards cost and benefit), I noticed that the "Country Resources Used" fee was over 30% of the Sales of the corporation.
For all you free market fans out there, you heard me correctly. The Country gets OVER 30% GROSS!!!!
With these kinds of economics, Taxes simply don't matter. There won't be any net income to tax after that.
Wall Street Bankers and Hollywood Agents don't make that much, and any country that employed such usurious policies would be without an economy because no-one would start a business there. Certainly not a $100B corporation.
Ok, so some may have super effiecient, super quality "I print my own money" private corporations out there, but to call them 100% privately owned is a joke. You only own 70% at best, because the state owns the rest!
Maybe I'm missing something, and haven't achieved that level of management that lets me see the light in CEO stardom? Maybe I'm missing the point that this is a Country building and management game, and not a Trading Empire game? But other than the GC and helping your country out, why would you strive to be a great CEO?
I guess my question is:
Why bother runing any corps, other than those in your Lead Contry, or Empire or -- if you really want to help -- your Federation?
P.S. I looked for how this "Country Resources Used" number was calculated in the Doc's and couldn't find it, if someone can tell me how, or where to find the answer, that would be super?
P.P.S. I also got a message that the borrower on a loan I had outstanding "was shut down". Do I lose this money now?
Thanks for reading the clearly newb-venting-frustration diatribe. I'll get off the pedestal now.
| Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 08:17 am |
You can make a lot of money...it takes time....I run at a small profit others have much greater profits. HANG ON IN THERE.
| Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 09:09 pm |
What individual CEO corps lack in individual profitability (due to country resources), they are SUPPOSED to make up in sheer volume. CEOs can BUILD a maximum of 750 corps, and they can continue to buy equity stakes in corporations in the share market even after that. No country has the workers required for 750 corps, few empires do, and a CEO can't build 750 corps all in one empire anyway due to the corp-per-country limit.
Continue to patiently grow your CEO to at least a couple hundred corps. Even if each corp makes only half a billion profit per game month, 200 corps is still 100B profit a game month, or enough to build a new corp every game month.
Grow a CEO to the corp cap, and it should by then be a gold coin mill, assuming you sell game cash for GC.
They do have a purpose beyond helping countries, but it takes a lot of time and patience to get there.
EDIT: A lot of players also use CEOs to stockpile weapons/ammo/assorted resources they think they might need. CEOs don't pay maintenance on any weapons they happen to have like countries do.
| Thursday, October 23, 2008 - 03:08 am |
Thanks for that explanation. I'll just focus on the country.
How do you get to 200 corps, when every corp. loses money year after year? Even corps that you buy that are profitable lose money after this Country Resource Fee is added in?
How can you calculate the Country Resource Fee?
Does it go away in well developed Countries?
| Thursday, October 23, 2008 - 08:48 am |
First, "it takes money to make money." Suggestions for making your corps more profitable:
1. Control supply quality. The game documentation says that corps that order high quality supplies produce higher quality product. THIS IS ONLY TRUE TO AN EXTENT. Above 190 quality, the extra quality is wasted but you still pay more. Therefore, set supply quality to 190 for all corps, and make sure you change the automation settings for building new corps too.
It will take time for effects of this to be seen (corps will still need to use up the 300 quality supplies they don't need). You can "dilute" the quality if you cannot wait by manually ordering 100-quality supplies in a proportion that will approximate 190 average quality, but unless you have a calculator, this is subject to wild trial and error. Still, being closer to 190 will still help.
2. Control prices. Set sell price strategies for all corps to somewhere like 30-40 above, reduce by 10, follow quality. While there are many price strategies that work well, this one will at least allow for reasonable profits across a very wide range of products.
For buying supplies, try 90/raise by 10 or 95/raise by 5.
You want to get a reasonable price for your products. Best price is the nebulous ether--you never know what you're going to get.
3. Salaries. Higher salaries (to a point) increase output. There are vets who argue for low salaries; mine are around 600 on average and run profits.
4. UPGRADE YOUR CORPS. ESPECIALLY QUALITY UPGRADES. You want to run up quality upgrades to the maximum extent possible. Why? If your sell strategy is set to follow quality, a fully upgraded corp will sell its goods for at least double the price of an un-upgraded corp's product. Say you have a books corp and the market price is 500? That's for 100 quality. 290 quality will fetch almost 1500 for the same book. It makes a HUGE difference! Check the automation settings--ideally corps should auto-upgrade. Efficiency upgrades are recommended, for country corps they save workers to build new corps (though having an education system will be helpful), for CEOs, as a courtesy to the countries that you do business in. However if you had to choose between quality and efficiency, go quality.
5. Country Resource Fee is a fixed percentage of your corp's revenue. It does not change based on how developed the country is. It basically pays the country for letting you use its workers. A country COULD be employing its workers directly but instead decides to make them available to CEOs. That is what country resource fee is for; otherwise no president in his right mind would open to CEOs. It also is the reason why there are lots of 0-tax countries out there. Country resources fees generate enough revenue for presidents, so many presidents don't feel the need to charge tax on top of that.
Like I said, you may be running CEO corps at a profit of only 0.5-1.0B each after taking all this advice. This is fine...CEOs make this up in volume of corps and it does make time. Selling GC for cash can be a good way of getting expansion capital into CEOs while they turn existing corps around.
I hope this helps!
Pages to check out, to implement this advice:
Corporations-->Manage-->Production and Hiring (always keep both at 100!)
Settings-->Automation-->Automatic systems (this is the page where you change the settings that NEW corps will start with when built)
Edit: If you've only been playing a few days, you might not be able to change pricing strategies (you can change them, but will still execute at best price). This is until you pay for membership, then that restriction goes away. However if you hold the line on quality of supplies (which you CAN do), it should still help immensely on holding materials costs down.
| Friday, October 24, 2008 - 08:48 pm |
Also, when you join a common market it can help immensely with supply costs. You get your supplies at market value instead of asking price. The other side of the coin when joining a common market is that most common markets require a set amount of production (average c/m asks for around 10%).
Country Resources used by CEO's and paid by CEO corporations is the real money maker for a country. A CEO based economy in your country opens up more options financially for you to use later down the road. As Keith explained, taxing CEO's is counter productive because CEO's can ove their corporations to lower taxed countries that want their business and income for COUNTRY RESOURCES USED. It's like an open competition that CEOs can pick and choose from. So enticing CEOs with a low tax rate is good strategy.
Keith is also correct that CEOs make their profits by shear volume of corps. It takes a very long time to get a CEO that has a diversified corporation base that is aggressively placed in countries with low tax rates and good hiring. Buying corporation building boosters can increase the amount of corporations that can be built per game month. 750 corps is the max a CEO can own, this means no bidding on or building new ones. The only way to progress past 750 corps is via the share market which is full of risks and rewards.
The great thing about owning a CEO in tandem with your country empire is the ability to make both work together to create maximum harmony for each other. Keith is correct that CEOs cannot build new corporations in a country that it already owns the maximum allowable amount of corps in. But a few vets know their way around this hurdle.
Keith gave you some very great, in-depth advice. If you do not understand some of it or need anything else, you are more than welcome to contact me if you like. I am always available on msn messenger or you can contact me at my main country "The Treasury Department" on White Giant.
My messenger ID is firstname.lastname@example.org
| Saturday, October 25, 2008 - 01:19 am |
Thank you all for your incredibly helpful answers. Apparently I am not frustrated enough with this game quite yet.
Tried some different strategies in my LU Enterprise which seem to be paying off a bit at least. I've also now experienced the pitfalls of trying to buy control of Public companies (With one in particular, I bought only 1% of the firm, but since the other 99% is owned by Investment Funds, I have to run it anyway. Now I'm really working for the MAN!)
One important thing I've found out is that reading everything here is important, and every button on every screen is important in some way.
One or two game mechanic things I thought I might ask here, since I haven't seen the answer:
I've tried the "cancel all contracts" in my common market, but it seems it doesnt really cancel all the contracts. Even by iterating the cancel through all the members a few times. Do I have to check off each of those cancel boxes to cancel all the contracts and start over?
Also, how do you establish a monthly sales contract-of-sale outside of the Common Market, say to stockpile missles, defense establishments or even chocolate for a while. It seems all the options I've seen are one-off sales from the corps stocks?
Thanks again for these pearls of wisdom.
| Saturday, October 25, 2008 - 07:24 pm |
What you can do is fiddle with that public and make decisions with it to force the P/E ratio up into a range where the Investment funds will dump the shares. DONT put in orders for those shares until they start dumping or they won't dump them.
The cancelling: It only cancels common/local market contracts. And also it will not allow you to cancel contracts that will leave you under the minimum common market requireent. (For example, if your CM requires a 10% production offer, it will cancel down to 10% offerings)
To cancel COUNTRY contracts you do that through the trade/contracts/country contracts screen. Those you can fully cancel if you prefer, yet isn't advised.
Monthly sales contracts are done by using each individual corporation screen, down in the trade section towards the bottom. Click on set up a contract with another country/corporation. type in the country and then it will let you offer that production to the country itself or a corporation residing in it. Once the offer is made, it will send a message to that country owner and he will have the option to accept or refuse it. You can set it up as monthly, or a one time sale, or a set time period of months to make the contract for.
| Monday, December 15, 2008 - 11:09 pm |
Can you clarify your remarks about getting investment funds to let go of some of the shares that you might be looking for? I'd appreciate any insight into this.
"What you can do is fiddle with that public and make decisions with it to force the P/E ratio up into a range where the Investment funds will dump the shares. DONT put in orders for those shares until they start dumping or they won't dump them."