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, October 14, 2011

The Invisible Man Puts In an Appearance

I come before you to pimp my blog today because my posts don't appear in Facebook’s “top stories” after Networked Blogs publishes them to my wall. Whether FB’s last interface overhaul blocked them by design or by accident, I don’t know. Do you think they’re deliberately suppressing auto-posters or hobbling business marketing to sell more ads?

Most likely it was just sloppy development. Never ascribe to malice what incompetence can explain.

I won’t manually link to my new posts like this every Friday. I’ll do it if a particular topic (like this one) seems particularly relevant to FB readers. If you want to follow the weekly ups and downs of Curio City, you’re probably going to have to subscribe to Curious Business outside of Facebook. I would appreciate your “Likes” or recommendations or shares or whatever it is that draws attention here, though.


I’m having second thoughts about my “merchandise lite” Christmas strategy. In years past I’ve brought in dozens of items that I thought might sell a few units apiece. All I had to do was sell half of them to recoup my cost. The more stuff I threw at the wall, the more likely one or two things would stick. Although this tactic did more or less break even financially, it’s left my cellar cluttered with small quantities of hundreds of dead products – all of them taking up space, tying up money, and competing for shoppers’ attention.

This year I’m being more selective. That’s been easy since I haven’t found anything that I think has bestseller potential. But I am getting nervous as October slips away with no feeling of Christmas momentum.
I've been on hold anyway while I wait for an $850 payment from a purchase order customer. After three inquiries, they told me this morning that the check is in the mail. I hope so, because…well, because $850 is what we in the business world call "a lot of money". This week I paid my own salary, remitted my payroll and sales taxes, paid my developer for a Sunshop upgrade, and paid my Amex bill, leaving a checking balance of 71 cents versus a $2,222 Mastercard bill that’s due in two weeks. You can see how $850 would come in really handy right now.

Business is decent and cash flow is steady. It could have been better had I not rebuffed somebody who wanted to use a purchase order to spend $1,200. I would’ve had to place a $700 order immediately and I couldn’t do that with an $850 payment already outstanding. The little brouhaha that I explained last week about Sunshop’s image display routine cost me a day’s sales, too, and that didn’t help. I should be able to pay Mastercard in full, and I’m already racking up big charges for my November statement.


Speaking of the Sunshop upgrade, Turnkey released another version that restores the rollover images that they removed in the last version. This week I hired my developer again to restore my site to the condition it was in before I paid him to do the last upgrade. At least my software is stable and up to date going into Christmas.

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