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, May 06, 2011

Moving In Place

A tiny Mothers Day bounce came much later than expected. Sales surged to eight on Monday, fell to four on Tuesday, then dropped to background levels on Wednesday. One of those eight Monday sales was to a business that cleaned out most of my remaining unstructured 3-LED caps. I discounted them heavily and I threw in free freight and the credit card processor took its usual punishing fee, so it wasn't especially profitable and my cash flow crisis isn’t solved. But the infusion of dollars bought me some breathing room and I gained a little space in the overstuffed cellar. Best of all, this customer will probably come back. Gaining a happy new customer is always more valuable than any single sale.

I corked my Bottled Up Facebook ads after just five days. It cost $60.48 to convince myself that what didn’t work for Valentines Day wouldn’t work for Mothers Day, either. After 104 fruitless clicks the ad couldn’t possibly recoup its cost. Fool that I am, I might try it one last time with a different product for Fathers Day. FB ads are wicked expensive but they draw heavy traffic; I just can’t seem to convert it to sales. The one thing I learned this time is to hold off on advertising until the final few days.

This week was the best since my big spike in early March and one of the top three of the year to date. May should generate healthy numbers unless my web host kills me tonight, when they transfer Curio City from the boxster server to a new home “which will provide you with the following benefits (free of charge):

1. Upgrade to our latest hosting plans and latest cPanel control panel
2. Upgraded server hardware which will provide you with more reliable and faster server architecture
3. Improved server software
4. Improved network performance and network DoS/DDoS protection

“The account transfer is completely automated and no action is required on your end. You should not experience any technical difficulties with your site after the upgrade.”
That sounds reassuring. Several paragraphs of worrisome gobbledygook about IP addresses and DNS servers and SSL ensue. My developer (Brad, whom I’ve not actually hired for anything in nearly a year) assured me that it ought to be routine. Pray that he is right, for he shall be offline all next week, leaving me at the mercy of my web host if Curio City isn’t there when I wake up tomorrow. The worst case – which I always expect – would be a full week lost until Brad gets back.

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