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.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Calling In Sick, and Certifiably Existing
After torturing the proclamation of Curio City's eventual end from myself last week, I got a nasty case of the flu that confined me to bed for two days and kept me dragging through the rest of the week. Curio City used my sick-out to deliver its best two-week performance of the year. Jackite's long-anticipated pole shipment finally hit and a dozen backorders shipped all at once. The record-keeping was...delicate...and my head was not in a good state to handle it.
That ought to take a big bite out of the ol' debt, huh? Yes and no. All of those dropships have to be paid for next month, and most of them came in below the 50% margin that I need to eke out a profit. I've whittled it below $7,000, and I hope to break the $6,000 barrier next month. Remember that, whatever else I decide about my store's future, nothing can happen until the debt is gone.
I half-wonder if I should keep Curio City going just as Kite City. That's essentially all I sell now anyway. But Jackite has a chronic history of supply problems, and when they run out of something, they're often out for months (or even years) at a time. Formally slaving my fate entirely to theirs would be frustrating, at best.
Next week I'll take a first pass at defining some milestone decision dates. Closing my store will be a long, delicate process that has to be done in the right order to squeeze out as much money as possible while curtailing costs. Fortunately, that's the kind of management challenge that I'm good at.
In 2009 I hit on the idea of escrowing my payroll taxes in a little savings account. Earning a few pennies in interest is fine, but socking the money away for my quarterly payments is the real point. Now I need to do the same thing for Blue Hills. After mulling it over I decided to open a second account to keep things neatly organized, rather than transferring Blue Hills taxes in and out of the Curio City savings account. It's all just Kraken Enterprises as far as the IRS is concerned, but I'm compulsive.
Wrong decision! Capital One not only declined to activate my new account, they also froze my seven-year-old account. They did not bother telling me this; I only found out when the transfer that I had ordered two weeks ago didn't take place. When I followed up yesterday, their website told me that my accounts would be activated as soon as they received the "necessary documents"; as you might guess, they didn't tell me what those documents might be. Since there's no way to email them a question, I finally concluded that they want their own authorized signer form filled out, plus a "certificate of existence" from the state...which Massachusetts will email for the low low price of $10. After the requisite printing, signing, and scanning, I emailed those two pointless forms yesterday. Naturally, I have received no response. It would not surprise me to find out that they'll want some other random forms.
These accounts will never earn even enough interest to recoup that $10 fee, but at least now I have a certificate that I exist. That's oddly validating. I wonder how I got through 12 years without one.
Capital One used to be ING Direct, one of the earliest web-only banks. I liked ING. I have never liked Cap One. But inertia keeps my Roth IRAs and household savings there, so they'd have to really, really piss me off to make me move my tiny business escrow accounts. They're off to a good start, but they aren't quite there yet.
Labels: Reasons to hate banks