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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, September 07, 2007

Low-Hanging Fruit

August finished 67% ahead of LY, with a profit (yes, profit!) of $153. YTD, I am a few dollars in the black – and because retailers don’t generally expect to see black ink until November, that’s pretty phenomenal. If it weren’t for the money that I’m trying to spend right now on site improvements, I’d surely be looking at a profitable 2007.

September 2006 was a really lousy month for sales. That’s the low-hanging fruit. With a day and a half left in it, this first week is already 26% ahead of LY. Nice start, even if the actual dollar amounts involved remain too small.

I designed a postcard to promote lighted caps to the media. 50 copies cost less than $10, thanks to a VistaPrint special. Soon I’ll send them to 50 newspapers, magazines, and websites. If even one of them picks up and promotes the product, I should be able to offset last year’s USB Fan phenomenon. If this effort flops, though, October and November could be a bloodbath. That’s the high-hanging fruit waiting for me after September is picked clean.

I’ve had a couple more nibbles from companies seeking large quantities of items to use as gifts. These deals tend to fall apart on my inability to imprint merchandise, or to quickly obtain 300 copies of something that I stock in much smaller quantities. The company that supplied my USB lights and USB vacuums hasn’t answered four different attempts to contact them – I don’t know if I’m going to be able to supply 300 of these things or not.

To complicate things, my free krakenenterprises.com hosting account has been suspended. It’s graciously provided by Rip, the proprietor of Navigator Hosting, as a courtesy to members of Octopus Overlords. Ordinarily, he “pays” it each month by applying a credit, but this morning my account was really cut off. On one level, the silence is nice; this account apparently has no spam filtering and routinely delivers 50-100 junk messages every day. But I do use my kraken address as my main personal business contact, so I can’t go without it for long. If Rip doesn’t surface by this afternoon I’ll have to pony up $5 to get it back online...and there goes my September profit! :)

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