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.
Add to Technorati Favorites

Friday, February 27, 2015

Wobegon City: Where All the Sales Are Below Average

Two lousy weeks killed February. Most of the month saw the expected 1-3 sales per day, but they were way below the historical $40-45 average. Feb. 3-7 averaged less than $20 per transaction. At $34.38, even the biggest sale was below average...and the smallest was $7.82. I don't mean to be ungrateful, but you're supposed to add little knickknacks to bigger orders, not buy them alone. A $3 shipping charge should deter you from buying a $5 product by itself. I probably ought to either stop carrying the cheapest stuff or pad the shipping charges.

The week of Presidents Day is always a low point (as are school vacation weeks in general). The five sales totaling $93 from Monday, Feb. 17 through Saturday the 21st still managed to disappoint very low expectations this year. If that's not my worst week ever, it's a contender.

Business was fair-to-middling outside of those two deserts, but not good enough to head off another huge percentage decline:

Total income: -32.5%
Total COGS: -27.0%
Payroll: -44.9%
Marketing: -11.9%
Net Income (Profit): +22.3% (+$44)

Year to Date

Total income: -29.5%
Total COGS: -24.0%
Payroll: -26.4%
Marketing: +32.4%
Net Income (Profit): -13,553% (-$930)

There's nothing to like there. I really thought that last February's numbers would be low-hanging fruit. March ought to be easy, too, but I take failure for granted nowadays.

Switchables' slow boat from China didn't dock on Feb. 6, as expected. Since I was completely out of plugs (#4 bestseller with 698 sold) and most of the popular holiday-themed covers, I suspended my advertising to save two or three bucks a day. I just turned them back on yesterday when a fixtures backorder arrived unexpectedly. 

Funny thing is that Switchables still sold reasonably well this month (February is when people snap up the Valentines, St Patricks, and Easter designs). If I'd had normal inventory I might have made my month. They resupplied my Easter designs yesterday, but the St Patricks covers are gone forever. 

You'd think that the product scarcity would hold down my Mastercard bill...but noooo. I have to keep replacing the stuff that people are buying. I need to raise $2,260 by March 15 to pay off the credit card, hire my CPA, and pay the state. At the rate I'm going it will take four weeks to raise that much, and only if I stop spending money entirely. Massachusetts gives me two weeks, whereas Mastercard will be happy to carry me forever, for a price. Guess what gets punted down the road.

As I sit here diligently not spending money, I'm doing the legwork to greatly expand the Metal Earth department. In my dreams I would add 80 new models. I'll only ever be able to afford a fraction of that, and possibly not until next Christmas. Gathering and formatting graphics for all of them is slow, tedious work. But I'll be ready if the money ever materializes.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Google Search