Welcome to Curious Business

Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, November 10, 2006

(Marketing) Score! Revisited

When I last wrote about our mention in American Way magazine, we had moved all of 37 USB Computer Fans. Since then, we’ve sold them out, reordered, and sold out the reorder. Now we’ve shipped an astonishing 101 of these little buggers and cleaned out our supplier. It will probably be a couple of weeks before I can get more. I am gambling that demand will hold up through Christmas. Several customers bought as many as 6 or 10 fans at once. Many more bought additional items besides the fans.

Thanks to this one hit item, November is coming on strong – even though the magazine went out of distribution a week ago. We had 23 consecutive days with at least one sale, easily our longest stretch without a shutout. We haven’t broken any daily or weekly ydollar records yet, but have set all kinds of quantity benchmarks -- such as eight sales in one day.

On the downside, we haven’t had a single sale since I posted the out-of-stock notice 36 hours ago. I was hoping that general Christmas shopping would keep it going. My pay-per-click ad costs have started creeping upward into the $10 per day range as general traffic picks up; I need to make $150 per day just to cover those PPC costs. Last night I ordered a USB Computer Vacuum and a USB Computer Light, hoping to capitalize on the same audience that’s coming in looking for fans. I have thrown my open-to-buy budget out the window for the next several weeks. Christmas comes but once a year.

The media kit that I mentioned last time is finished. This weekend, I need to assemble and get the first batch into the mail. I also need to figure out how to post the materials on my website -- that damned php template problem again; everything is harder than it should be. It will cost me a few hundred dollars altogether for materials, labor (I hired my sister to prepare the mailing list), and postage. If the 50 or so packages that go out in this mailing result in even one mention comparable to the USB fan, it will be worth the cost.

Other Forthcoming Topics:

  • Happy Birthday to Me, Part 2
  • What Does Success Look Like?
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Possible Futures
  • Planned features

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