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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, January 27, 2017

Sticking It to the Little Guy

Here's the first P&L statement of this brave new pay-cutting year. Giving up half of my salary had better turn the bottom line black. 


Total income: -6.8%
Total COGS: -9.3%
Payroll: -81.3%
Marketing: -26.6%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: +1,179% (+$678)
Actual Profit/Loss: +$621

2016 (calendar year, final)

Total income: -22.7%
Total COGS: -22.8%
Payroll: -27.9%
Marketing: -28%
Net Income (Profit) vs LY: +20.1% (+$494)
Actual Profit/Loss: -$1,971

Oh, look: It's black. Until yesterday, the top line was getting creamed because last January included a statistically outlying $1,900 week -- that's equal to three healthy January weeks. Apart from that fluke, every other week this year beat LY by a comfortable margin...and then yesterday $500 worth of bird kites made up most of the rest. In fact, the next day and a half could conceivably bring in the additional $224 it would take to match LY. That's encouraging; however, a lot of those sales were Switchables, and that's discouraging. COGS and marketing both fell by more than income did, so that's encouraging again. 

This month was the fourth worst/eighth best January ever and could still move up one more notch. The bottom line looks great because I paid myself just $117 for the whole month...before taxes. As in the national economy, Curio City enriches the corporation at the expense of the workers. And if the year ends with a profit (and if there's enough cash on hand) I'll be able to pay myself a bonus to make up for the foregone salary, as if I were a bona fide member of the investing class.

You can't even pin this on Donald Trump. Corporations and their owners have been taking an ever-increasing share of wealth since the Reagan administration. 

My debt didn't budge, but I did squirrel away my CPA's fee. I can't turn my full attention to debt service until I come up with another $465 to renew my corporation and $109 for the secretary of state (just because). Next year I might be able to split those corporate expenses between Curio City and my new endeavor, Blue Hills Editorial Services. First I had to decide whether to make it a sole proprietorship, a partnership with my wife, or a new division of Kraken Enterprises. I finally decided to make it a Kraken enterprise. Then I had trouble figuring out how to create a new DBA. Today I should be able to set up a bank account and start treating Blue Hills as an entity in QuickBooks. Then I can finally set up a website next week and start seeking clients. I had to know who's covering roughly $150 in startup costs (spoiler alert: I am...it's just a question of whether I do it as myself, as Kraken Enterprises, as Curio City, or as Blue Hills. I am all of those things). 


My biggest vendor, Jackite, just launched a new website, allaying my worries about their future. They also let slip that they expect a shipment of poles in March. That will make a big difference for spring sales. At the moment, their new wholesale site is drastically overcharging for shipping -- so badly that it wiped out the entire markup of my last dropship. I hope that will be a temporary hiccup, because I can't profitably do business with them while they're charging me triple the actual shipping costs. They just told me that they're looking into remedies.

As for 2016...at least that red bottom line will be a nice deduction on our personal tax return.

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