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, October 30, 2015

In Which I Lose My Mind (Again)

How about a cash flow crisis of my own making for a change? Careful management and a little bit of luck brought me within $400 of paying off this month's large Mastercard bill. Then routine banking uncovered something seriously out of whack: The money that I'd transferred from savings to cover my end-of-the-month payroll tax bill was actually a transfer to savings. I zigged when I should have zagged and checking was short $577. Since that unexpected savings deposit is on an automatic hold, I can't fully reverse the transfer until one day after my credit card payment is due. I've still got almost enough money to cover my balance...it's just in the wrong bank. This dumb mistake will cost me $50 or so in interest.

I've been screwing up our personal banking more frequently in the past few months -- paying the wrong credit card, adding when I should subtract, failing to record payments or make transfers, etc. I'm also having some verbal aphasia. Could be early dementia, fatigue, depression, or just too much beer. I'd better double down on my beer ration and see if it gets worse.      

October's numbers look a lot better than September's did. Excel says I'm $14 in the black with a day and a half left to go. Quickbooks, as  usual, demurs. If Curio City were a party Quickbooks would be that serious guy who doesn't drink and talks about Star Wars all night. 


Total income: -1.4%
Total COGS: +4.6%
Payroll: +13.2%
Marketing: -0.2%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: -100.5% (-$54)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$107

Year to Date

Total income: -8.7%
Total COGS: -7.1%
Payroll: -7.1%
Marketing: -6.2%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: -56.2% (-$821)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$2,283

We're in that frustrating time of year when I must work flat-out for no immediate reward. Business is picking up a bit but it still pays me diddlysquat. November's prospects look grim without a repeat of LY's single sale of 36 dove kites. I'd need outpace LY by $400 a week to make up that one $1,600 sale, and I don't see that happening.   

My big Metal Earth order finally arrived this week. I still haven't sold a single model. I said that I wouldn't panic until after Halloween -- and I still haven't finished creating all the product pages -- but I'm certainly getting anxious about my $1,900 investment. This vendor's low stock and long turnarounds mean that I need to place my final order now if I'm going to do it at all. 

The problem is that I can't afford to advertise these things anymore. Clicks that cost 40-50 cents last year are selling for $1-1.50 this year. Conversions don't exceed 5% even at Christmas, so at a buck a click each sale would cost me $20+. I can't pay $20 to sell a product that brings in $6 to $16. Whoever is spending that kind of money must have deep enough pockets to drive everyone else away and dominate the market. I'd match the bastard if I were a Romney or a Trump or a Clinton.   

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Google Search