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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, May 02, 2014

April Squeaks In with Squirrelly Numbers


Total income: -6.4%
Total COGS: +1.4%
Payroll: -12.9%
Marketing: +143.2%
Net Income (Profit): -239.2% (-$1,060)

Year to Date

Total income: +4.4%
Total COGS: +11.3%
Payroll: -54.7%
Marketing: -11.7%
Net Income (Profit): +81.1% (+$7,687)

April would have been another good month (thanks to an unexpected Panther Vision revival and two stellar days this week) had the third week not flopped so badly. Quickbooks shows it $286 in the red; Excel says it squeaked into the black by $69. There's a day and a half left for Quickbooks to change its mind. I'd credit my recent pay-per-click refresh for the uptick if Analytics was showing any conversions. Either it's not capturing the sales or the customers are coming from elsewhere.

That's not farfetched. Only 48% of my traffic is paid search...meaning a slight majority is free traffic from organic search, direct visits, and referrals. Among the latter category, social media barely registers at all. Facebook, once a factor worth mentioning, continued its slide to insignificance with just 14 visitors last month; Pinterest brought 10. With a bounce rate of 80% both of them are a waste of time. 

May will be in my pocket if the Panther customer who threatened to come back next week for 200 more caps actually follows through. Most of these leads don't pan out -- I've had inquiries for hundreds of golf balls over the past few weeks with no results. But every now and then I score. 

Incidentally, the "profit" line actually represents a $1,905 YTD loss, versus being down by $9,477 at this time last year. I don't understand why it's so radically different from March's numbers. Something (payroll looks whacked too) must've gotten munged in my company file when I imported the file from my old computer. I still have the old file on my old machine, so perhaps I'll spend some time this afternoon running it down.


I had to cancel my Citizens Bank Mastercard again for unauthorized activity in the same amounts ($49.95) to the same payee ("GRC*MEANINGFUL BEAUTY") that forced me to cancel this card last month. The kid at the bank believes that the thieves are getting my number online. I only ever use this card to buy merchandise, and there were only two vendors that I placed orders with in both months. I have a very good idea which one is the culprit. Coincidentally or not, their SSL certificate expired a few days ago.

They agreed to set me up for Net 30 billing -- that is, being able to check out without paying by credit card -- but I won't even log into their site until they renew their cert. 

Oddly, Citizens says that they can't selectively block charges -- they can only kill the whole account. Pretty sure that Chase and Amex can both flag suspicious transactions for authorization. Citizens is a Mickey-Mouse bank in a lot of ways.


Lately I'm being barraged by spammers and telemarketers trying to sell me pay-per-click management, ess-ee-oh, or (most often) both. I don't know how they drew a bead on me -- it could be this blog -- but it seems like every operator in the field is harassing me these past few weeks. Very annoying.

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