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, July 01, 2011


June swirled down the drain this week. I needed to average $105 per day to hit the month’s plan. I was running at $102 until this week fell to $67. June 2010 averaged $137/day, with nine days over $200 and three over $300; this year brought just five and one corresponding good days. Curio City covered its end-of-month credit card payment by less than $10, and that was a nail-biter. I nearly had to give it a loan.


Total income: -26.5%
Total COGS: -27.9%
Payroll: -5%
Net Income (Profit): -85.7%

Year to Date:

Total income: -12.8%
Total COGS: -17.8%
Payroll: -7.6%
Net Income (Profit): -368%

July’s going to be craptastic, too. Last July was much better than average. 2010 didn’t waver until August and hit the skids in September, so I won’t have a chance to climb out of the hole until Q4, when my current slump settled in permanently. I will not despair until then. While the top line is probably hopeless, the YTD profit line is only down by $606 – hard to recoup, yes, but it’s not high finance.

I’m nervous that I’m going into a death spiral. Revenues just barely cover the cost of doing business, leaving nothing to invest in site improvements or new products. Payroll taxes are due again in July; I don’t know how I’m going to cover them. Vacation and its resulting income starvation is less than a week away.

Is there any way to put a positive spin on this? At this time LY my YTD sales were up 33%, so being down just 13% from that could be seen as a 20% rise over two years ago. Plus, Cost of Good Sold is down farther than sales, indicating better cost control. How's that for spin? I ought to work for the Democrats.


Let us now mark the passing of Paypal’s Money Market Fund. I’ve always kept as much of my short-term cash as possible in PayPal to take advantage of their monthly money market dividend, since my checking account doesn’t pay interest. That brought in a few bucks a month before the economy collapsed. The interest rate gradually fell to its current microscopic 0.05%, yielding no more than a few cents a month. You can see why PayPal finally said “Why bother?”

I still have some emergency money earning 0.85% at ING Direct. The way things are going, that’s a better return than I would get from investing it in Curio City.

But I said I wasn’t going to despair unless Q4 flops. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. I’ll be “off” for the next two Fridays (not that I ever really take a day entirely off), so you’ll have to amuse yourselves elsewhere.

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