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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, December 30, 2011

Wrapping Up 2011: First Pass

A hefty order for 6-LED caps on Monday pushed an otherwise mediocre week into the plus column. The winning customer left me a voicemail on 12/22, and I didn’t hear it until 12/26. Sometimes messages rattle around Verizon’s system for days before coming to roost, but I do need to check my phone more often. 

Switchables were so noticeably absent from Christmas this year that I thought I was facing another reevaluation of that red-haired stepchild. Then they came back all by themselves this week. Go figure.

While I appreciate the respite from last month’s insane pace – I cut back to four hours a day this week -- I hope I won’t be back to two-digit bank deposits after this week. As of 11:00 this morning I had 396 sales in December and 210 in November (an average month has 85-100).

The numbers that follow are preliminary, since modest sales over the 1.5 days left in the year could tip a couple of reds into black. I’m going to have to make another pass at them tomorrow afternoon before paying out my year-end bonus, and I’ll post that revised version next week.

Excel reckons that I beat LY by 4.25%, surpassing LY’s 3.19% increase (but falling far short of my 10% goal). The year came in only $3,200 below plan. The gain came entirely in November and December, and a very large fraction of it was from $2,000 worth of sales to the same telephone customer. But let’s just bask in the numbers without fretting about how they were generated.

As usual, Quickbooks is more pessimistic than Excel. I need $126 to tip December’s profit into the black (vs. LY) and $243 for the whole of 2011. Here’s where things stand as of noon today, anyway. A mere $500 in sales would do it.


Total income: -0.3%
Total COGS: +4.8%
Payroll: +11.3%
Net Income (Profit): -12.4%

2011 Total:

Total income: +2.1%
Total COGS: +2.3%
Payroll: +2%
Net Income (Profit): -7.8%

My salary came in $301 ahead of LY at $12,718. It ain’t much but it beats a kick in the teeth (as my dad liked to say). Tomorrow I must take a year-end profit distribution. Using today’s QB numbers, I have a profit of about $2,900 (down from $3,100 LY). As the sole stockholder in an S Corporation, I owe 100% of the income tax on that $2,900, so I have to withdraw at least $600 (15% for the feds and 5.3% for the state). Of the remaining $2,300, I traditionally take 75% as a shareholder loan repayment and leave Kraken Enterprises the remainder to reinvest. That would make my bonus $1,725 (plus $600 for taxes = $2,325). But since I technically own the entire $2,900, my total 2011 compensation was $15,618. That’s a $559 drop from LY’s $16,177, and far short of 2009’s record $16,737.

But I need to go through all of this again before I pay out my bonus tomorrow (I've had two small sales and remembered an expense reimbursement check since I compiled those numbers). And I must mention that $495 of this year’s profit decline came from covering Internet access charges that I previously paid out of pocket. Had I covered that $495 myself rather than charging my company for it, my income would have been $16,113.

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