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, January 08, 2010

What About Facebook?

This week just brings a few random thoughts.

I got these brief replies when I asked my Facebook fans (now 56 strong, woohoo!) how I could make my FB page useful and interesting:

• “New products”
• “there's a simplaris blogcast app that you can use to broadcast your blogs each week.”
• “Items that have gone on sale”
• “Sale items and seasonal merchandise”

I integrated the simplaris app today, but haven’t tested it yet. Hopefully this post will just magically appear on my store's FB page. Turnkey says they’re developing a FB plugin for Sunshop that would let me put my whole store catalog on my FB page. I need to see if Constant Contact can integrate my newsletters as well. I expect that they can, for a price.

I’m slowly forming an idea of FB as a portal to the Kraken Empire. I’ll post a biography and a company history and supplement that with a few photos. I’ll use those plugins to port content from my store and my blog to my FB page. And I’ll try to direct FB visitors to the blog and store. Actual news will be confined to wall posts, as I’m doing now.


Charter.net recently joined Comcast in blocking email from Constant Contact. I only lost four newsletter subscribers this time. I hate seeing interested customers get blocked by overzealous ISPs…oh well, I’m sure Constant Contact serves up a lot of real spam. Maybe the blocked customers will join Facebook.


I finally wrote off $250 worth of greeting cards and closed the department. I wanted to get this insult to my bottom line out of the way early. My wife was happy to inherit them.


Speaking of the bottom line, sales were decent vs. LY but well short of plan. I realized that my 2010 accounting January has one less week than 2009’s January, so plan is kind of hard to gauge this month.

Might as well pay taxes. I spent two hours filing four returns for $1,897.42. I know that payroll and sales taxes aren’t Kraken’s money in the first place, but it sure did take a whack out of my checking account. And I’m not done: the state isn’t ready yet to accept my $300 in unemployment taxes and $456 in corporate excise. There’s also something called a Pass-Through Entity Withholding Tax. I think this closes a loophole for big corporations. I don’t owe it, but I still have to file a form.


Thank me for greatly condensing this next bit; my first draft reported each line item to three decimal places. Instead you get this summary: Four budget items – payment processing, printing, write-offs/shrink, and shipping supplies – cumulatively came in about 1% under plan last year. Another item – customer discounts – was half a point over. If 2010 makes plan then the half percent in play amounts to $344. I put $250 of that into my web support budget and $65 toward computer hardware/software. The remainder can go to profit. By such baby steps does a business crawl ahead.

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