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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, October 09, 2009

Christmas in October

I blew off the health insurance quest this week. Business is booming and I couldn’t waste time on a pointless pursuit. Maybe I’ll come back to it next week if the pace dies down.

After Christmas, when my Kraken Enterprises paychecks fall back to nothing, I’m going to have to look for a job with health insurance. If I can’t find work with benefits – I've been out of the conventional workforce for over five years and the job market isn't exactly promising -- I might still try to pick up a few hours a week doing something menial to supplement my meager business income. With the COBRA subsidy gone our household budget has tipped into major, chronic deficit.

I haven’t eviscerated our budget yet pending two rays of hope: Obama has talked to Congressional leaders about extending unemployment benefits and “the COBRA tax credit”, by which I hope they mean the COBRA subsidy. That would keep us afloat for another six or nine months. And, my wife got a strong tip on an excellent potential job today. She’s well qualified and two of her references work for the company, but competition will be brutal. Do you know how many journalists are out of work these days? Catching either one of these breaks really would be like Christmas in October.

Wait. Back up. Did I say business is booming? Yeah, let’s talk about that….

First, I raised my 25-cent-per-click ceiling to 30 cents and increased my daily spending limit at Google AdWords. I’ve also been chipping away at a radical overhaul of Yahoo Search Marketing, which I will use through the Christmas season. Spending more on advertising has (so far) come with a proportional increase in sales. I’m unsure how strong the cause/effect relationship is.

Second, Christmas started in September this year. I am looking forward to a good holiday season. At this time last year, the economy was just starting its freefall. This year, it’s just starting to claw its way back up.

Third, and biggest of all, is the Panther Vision product changeover. The old 2-LED caps are blowing out of here at two bucks off; America loves a bargain. The new 3-LED caps are starting to move, if unspectacularly. This situation can only last as long as Panther’s inventory of old caps does, and the most popular colors are already extinct. I had to delay my reorder for several valuable days while I waited for a customer to make up his mind about a potential large purchase. I phoned in my order this morning (driving my open-to-buy back into deep red ink) as soon as he told me that he’s deferring his decision until next week. But I was too late to beat the three-day weekend. Curse you, Columbus Day!

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