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 31, 2014

I Found Red October!

My last post celebrated a nascent recovery. That week topped the previous three weeks combined and notched the best performance since June, rekindling hope despite being too late to save the month. Then this week fell right back into the crapper. Go figure.


Total income: -43.5%
Total COGS: -39.1%
Payroll: -54.0%
Marketing: -22.8%
Net Income (Profit): -79.9% (-$528)

Year to Date

Total income: +1.8%
Total COGS: +25.3%
Payroll: -33.7%
Marketing: -1.0%
Net Income (Profit): +48.9% (+$4,586)

Two months ago I was 14% ahead of LY. That gain is nearly gone now. Meanwhile, I'm spending money like a drunken Democrat. What choice do I have? The robust sales from two weeks ago hint that the old girl has still got it. I'm counting on Christmas because I must. 

Last week I wrote:

"One customer called to ask "How the heck do I check out?" The stylized shopping bag icon that replaced the traditional "shopping cart" isn't at all intuitive, and the "Checkout" text link that used to be above the category list is gone. So I added a "Shopping Cart/Checkout" menu item (pat on the back for figuring out how to do it without breaking anything) to make that obvious and fix the only design flaw that I can see."

This Monday somebody else left voicemail saying that he couldn't check out because "your website sucks." He left to find a "working website" with telephone support when I didn't answer his 6 pm call. 

I wish I'd talked to him because I don't understand how a plain-vanilla shopping cart like Sunshop can confuse people so badly that they need to ask for help. Yes, half of the population suffers from below-average intelligence, and that might be all there is to it. But it's possible that some intermittent technical problem is preventing checkout even though everything tests just fine. Whatever the reason, I hate to see somebody rage-quit during the endgame after all the trouble and expense of luring them into my store.     

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