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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, April 02, 2010

Miserable March Follows Fabulous February

March had almost everything: Floods. Theft. Injury. An impossible sales target. A plague of locusts would not have been entirely unexpected.

The bank snatched back the $105.73 that they had restored last week after having taken it away the week before. I can reopen the chargeback dispute and supply “new evidence.” They want a signed proof of delivery. Priority Mail doesn’t require signatures, so I’m just fracked. I give up. The thief wins. Any day now they will surely take away the other $149.43 that they restored, too. Oddly, I still haven’t heard a word about the third chargeback. Maybe Discover intends to run out the clock and grab my $70 at the last minute.

I think that I’ve found all the damage from the first cellar flood. I had to reorder $740 worth of kites and mark my existing ones down to cost; I’ve sold a few, so they aren’t a total loss. I only had $400 worth of outright write-offs. I still need to replace a couple hundred bucks worth of destroyed shipping cartons and gift wrapping paper. You’ll see why I haven’t done that yet when you get to the numbers at the end of this post.

While it was filling our cellar with a couple more inches of water, the second 50-year storm to strike in two weeks also breached our roof. Water dripped from my office ceiling, shorted out the hall light fixture, and left an ugly yellow stain. Our homeowners insurance is worthless, as you’d expect. I applied to FEMA for disaster relief as soon as President Obama declared our county a disaster area. I don’t think they’ll buy us a new roof, but they might reimburse the water heater and possibly loan us money for roof repairs on very favorable terms.

With over 15” of rain we had our wettest March ever, and the second wettest month in records dating back to the 1890s. It was pretty epic.

The Medical Security Program rejected our latest reimbursement application for insurance premiums paid last October through November. We’ve scraped together still more documentation to resubmit for another 9-week wait. If by some stroke of luck MSP and FEMA payments both come through before some fresh financial disaster strikes, we might be able to get a new roof. Otherwise we just have to hope for a long dry spell.

My ankle still hurts after three weeks. I’m wearing a brace now.

Anne’s 11-year-old car needed two new tires to pass inspection. Happily, it did pass.

March sales were actually pretty good if you disregard $2,100 worth of B2B sales in March 2009 and you don’t subtract this year’s $105 theft. Since those things both do exist, the month finished way behind LY.

Here’s March:

Total income: -24%
Total COGS: -9.7%
Payroll: +76.3%
Net Income (Profit): -185.8%

Year to Date:

Total income: +24.8%
Total COGS: +44.7%
Payroll: +77.9%
Net Income (Profit): -215%

Sales are still ahead of my planned 15% increase and April’s targets aren’t too daunting, assuming no further disasters. All of those losses really clobbered my bottom line despite the healthy top line. I need to minimize expenses for the rest of this year to repair that. Since I’m already a cheap SOB anyway, the only things I can really do are cancel my website upgrade plans, and possibly cut my own pay. I’m not sure why payroll is growing so disproportionately; it really ought to track income more closely. But I’m not losing sleep over having a little more money in my pocket.

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