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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, September 30, 2011

September Wrap-up

I was ready to give up on the random act of media that I’ve been writing about since late July when their online gift guide finally came out on Wednesday. I haven’t sold any of my three Science Quiz Clocks, or anything else that I can trace to that ad. That was unexpected. Maybe the print version will do better, if and when it comes out; for now, I’m very glad the manufacturer’s stock outage prevented me from ordering a big pile of doomed inventory. I have never seen a media mention fail completely before.

Someone who inquired about $1,000 worth of Switchables fixtures didn’t return as I had expected this week, but she might still come back. It will be a very nice boost for October if so.


Total income: +13.4%
Total COGS: +11.8%
Payroll: +29.6%
Net Income (Profit): +39.8%


Total income: -3.4%
Total COGS: -6.3%
Payroll: -0.8%
Net Income (Profit): -253.9%

Two black months in a row set me up for Q4 in decent shape. If the country club that owes me $850 pays up on time, I can pay my payroll taxes without destroying cash flow. The way I count my beans, 2011 is running only $300 behind LY; Quickbooks insists that I’m down by $1,425, and of course QB has the last word. The crucial bottom line is $839 behind LY (I am still slightly in the red, where I should have tipped into the black).
That’s an incredibly long way from the 10% increase I had planned, but given the economy’s return to recession this year I’ll settle for breaking even. Just getting back up to zero makes me feel pretty good.

October's targets are a little more formidable as Christmas starts to ramp up.


Sunshop evolved through three version upgrades this morning. That didn’t go as smoothly as one might have hoped -- in fact, it still isn't completely right -- but the worst is over. The new Flash image viewer is probably the only difference most customers will see…and the 15% of my visitors who get here with Apple devices can’t see that. Some good stuff under the hood made the expense worthwhile (especially fixing the bug that limited how many photos I could upload for a single product).

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