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.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Christmas Week 2: In Which I Dodge a Bullet
I raised my Corn-n-Tater price by a buck and shut down my ads in anticipation of the big Dr. Oz promo that was scheduled for this Wednesday. Nothing happened. Minutes ago I learned that the appearance is never going to take place. Lawyers are involved, so I’ll restrict myself to saying that Steve was scammed by Dr. Oz’s production people. After traveling to their headquarters and sitting in the producer’s office for two hours, he got sent away empty handed. To make matters worse, Steve had told QVC about the Oz thing; when they found out that it was canceled QVC pushed his November spot into next spring.
So he is out thousands of dollars and his media plans are in ruins. As you might recall, a few weeks ago I mulled over making a bet-the-company investment in expanding to handle acceptance and distribution. If I had reached for that star I’d be looking at bankruptcy right now.
If my aversion to risk keeps me from success, it also saves me from failure.
I went into this week $566 ahead of LY. Right now I’m down by -$1,400. I needed a stellar week; I got a mildly good one. Veterans Day weekend was surprisingly slow -- one order on Monday, seriously? It’s like shoppers didn’t get the memo that they’re supposed to start frenzying over Christmas this week. They’re going to be in for a rude awakening if they try to cram it all into the three weeks after Thanksgiving.
I’ve pulled out the budget stops on my Google ads; paying $40 per day for 250 clicks that produce just two or three sales is disturbing, to put it mildly. I’ve been hammering Facebook with at least one post a day and sometimes as many as three, but those only ever reach about 30 people (out of nearly 200 “likes”). Even my own wife never sees Curio City’s posts. I assume it’s because I won’t pay Facebook’s “boost” fee.
Rushing in where angels fear to tread, I just dropped another $1,200 this morning to replenish MetalEarth (formerly Metalworks) models and add a few new designs. Last year one customer bought up nearly half of my stock and I never quite found the money to replace it, making it very difficult to judge the real demand. This might turn out to be a stupid mistake.
At least I was able to carve out 5.5 hours for raking. Another couple of hours ought to finish it off. So far, I’ve filled 14 bags, two barrels, and two compost bins…after running the leaves through the mower. The mower gave up the ghost this morning, though. The internet says that I can replace the pull cord myself. Just what I need: another project. The fall yard cleanup is on hold until I can fix my mower.