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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, January 30, 2009

From Bad to Worse

Moving to the new credit card processor isn’t going very smoothly. My test transactions go through fine, but Sunshop reads them as declined and won’t complete the sale. Credit card acceptance was broken for a day before I realized that all was not well. “Fortunately”, there were no sales that day.

Sales are running way behind LY now. On Inauguration Day business fell from 4-5 sales per day to 0-2. The little Valentines Day bump that I expected did not happen. January will finish very slightly up, thanks to one record-breaking sale from two weeks ago, and that itself is remarkable. If you take away that one big boost, though, the month flopped.

January’s numbers might be the last black ink I will see for some time:

Total income: +6.7%
Total COGS: -5.1%
Payroll: +11.8% (yay me!)
Net Income (Profit): +3.8%

DCI, the company that double-shipped two Christmas orders and then dragged its feet about sending return labels, is stonewalling on my $1200 Mastercard credit, six weeks since their original error. Only four of the five UPS return labels show delivery; the fifth one was apparently never scanned. I’m hoping that DCI is just too incompetent to realize that, and not deliberately stalling me until it’s too late for me to dispute the original charges. I DID return all five boxes, of course. I don’t have a clue what might have happened to the missing one, if it is really missing at all. DCI was supposed to have shipped me a backorder last week, too, and I don’t see a charge for that. I’ve dealt with many incompetent vendors, but never on this scale. It’s too bad their merchandise is so good.

Worst of all, my wife joined the ever-growing legions of the unemployed last week. Her lousy job goes unlamented, but it subsidized me while Curio City grew. Without that support and with Curio City’s growth stopped, I’m going to need a part-time job. Kraken Enterprises will remain my number one priority, but it can’t keep me busy full-time until the customers come back.

If there is a silver lining to this post, it’s February. Historically accounting for only 3.5% of annual sales, February’s targets look laughably low.

So why am I not laughing?

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there. The good news is that if you can survive the next year, you're likely not to ever see one this bad for 80 years :)


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