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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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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Go to Bed, 2013, You're Drunk

Yes, I’m working on Christmas Day so that I can take the rest of the week off. I’m closing the books early because I’m shutting down my advertising on Thursday and Friday for a quick vacation. The numbers will improve fractionally from this snapshot, but not enough to be worth correcting. (No post this Friday, in other words.)


Total income: -29.6%
Total COGS: -24.9%
Payroll: -34.1%
Marketing: +31.1%
Net Income (Profit): -74.2% (-$1,478)

2013 Totals 

Total income: -20.3%
Total COGS: -20.8%
Payroll: -20.0%
Marketing: +5.7%
Net Income (Relative to LY): -136.1% (-$4,091)
Net Income (Absolute): -$1,085

This was my first losing year since 2007, my second consecutive sales decline, and my biggest decline ever. Relative to LY, the bottom line fell by $4,000 on a top-line decrease of $14,823. More than half of the shortfall went to Google for advertising. $600 of the remainder came from inbound freight charges and stock writeoffs and the rest is spread around.

At least no profit means no K-1 income and no income tax. It also means no year-end bonus for me, alas. 2014 will be a very lean year for both me and Curio City.

The good news is that I can cover next Monday’s paycheck and tip my salary into five figures, neither of which was a sure thing. The bad news is that my next Amex bill is so bloated with advertising and postage costs that all of January’s cash flow has to go there. I can forget about the new computer, desk chair, smartphone, and software updates that I wishlisted a couple of months ago. All I can do now is stash cash. 

I think the new computer has to be non-negotiable even if that means going into debt. Microsoft will discontinue Windows XP support in April. Running an unsupported OS is dangerous. I like to buy $750-900 machines and keep them in service for 3-5 years. Unless Microsoft extends XP’s life so that I can flog this old Vostro through one more year, I might need to go with a sub-$500 Dell and replace it in a year or two.  

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