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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, October 28, 2016

Scary October Numbers for Halloween

The nice juicy Christmas orders that should've started showing up a couple of weeks ago were AWOL this year. I only averaged one small sale per day for most of the month, leading up to what might become the worst October ever (another $53 over the next day and a half cinches second-worst, and just $75 would soar to third-worst). This week was more normal, thanks to my first real Christmas order (for Switchables) finally arriving on Wednesday, so perhaps November will be okay.   


Total income: -37.2%
Total COGS: -50.1%
Payroll: -47%
Marketing: -54.1%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: +87.7% (+$601)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$85


Total income: -8.9%
Total COGS: -9.5%
Payroll: -9.3%
Marketing: -12.4%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: +8.8% (+$239)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$2,473

How to explain that? I made multiple improvements to my site over the past month, the biggest being the switchover from "http" to "https" pages. That might have screwed me over in the short run, but should still be a net positive. Or maybe not; I just don't know. Maybe people are holding onto their money because they fear the impending Trump or Clinton (take your pick) regime.

The bottom line actually looks surprisingly good given the dire top line. I've been stepping on costs ruthlessly, and advertising is my biggest controllable cost. As you would expect, cutting advertising is bound to hurt sales, but it's still a win if the expense falls proportionately more than the income does.

Once the calendar flips next week we're fully off to the Christmas races. Last November I cranked the advertising up to unprofitable levels to drive strong income. I'm not going to do that this year, although I'm going to step it up somewhat. Here's hoping that Panther Vision beanies can find their audience without my having to buy the traffic, because those were the whole story last year. 


After a 10-year run, Switchables is shutting down in December (and has already transitioned into liquidation mode). That's such a huge deal that it deserves its own post next week.

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