Sunday, May 6, 2007

A rose is a rose is a rose.

What's in a name? My store already had the Pegasus Books name when I bought it, (with the nice advantage of a good logo.) Over the years, I've wished sometimes I could change it to be more descriptive. Then again, I've morphed the store so much and so often, that having a more generalized name has been useful. After 27 years, its a "Brand" name, for what it's worth.

Linda wanted to call her store Sagewind Books, because she's into indian flutes. It's a poetic name, but what does' it mean? We ended up with the BookMark, because it has 'books' in the title, which is no small advantage when it comes to signs and business cards and such. It's a bit more generic than I like, and I think the store has been enough of a success that we could've gone with the Sagewind.

When the Paperback Exchange was still in business, I was mystified as to why they didn't change the name to Book Exchange. They carried hardcover books, but NO ONE KNEW IT! An easy change, that would have helped draw in more customers.

Meanwhile, over on the comic retailer bulletin board, a store has posted pictures. Nice, clean modernistic design, that any customer would feel comfortable in. The kind of non-comic book guy store our industry needs. What does he call it? Spazdog Comics -- which pretty much negates the image thing.

What brought this up, is the Bulletin article about the closing of A&B Meats. Turns out, this store had all kinds of exotic foods, as well as Asian American owners. Maybe its just because I sell anime and manga, but I would definately have played up the Asian Market connection; there is a cachet, especially among younger consumers, and a niche. They could've done everything they were doing, AND perhaps drawn in a whole nother crowd.

Meanwhile, it looks like Free Comic Book Day was a relative success. Did better than an average Saturday, and had more people actually picking them up.

Statis Report. Have now stuck to budget for 11 weeks. STILL no blue sky. The 'slack in the rope' explanation is running thin (costs and material that had been ordered before I instituted the budget.) All I can think is that the little ticky tack reorders and the little expenses (small stationary, snacks, etc.) and my postage estimates are off. I'll stick to this budget through June, but if I don't start getting some savings by then, I'll have to cut my reorder budget.

The reorder budget has worked great -- its been enough to get everything I think the store needs. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe it's just not possible to make gain without pain.


IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

A&B Meats going out of business is a symptom of what so many marginal business sellers do here: "Either you buy at my inflated price, or I kill the place!"

It's actually the easiest thing in the World to sell a business in Bend. You just can't price it at 5X what it's worth, which so many sellers do. Kaseys BBQ thinks his place is worth $80K... although in a Bulletin piece, he states he thinks its worth "more". When you can't sell a business in Bend after 60 days, there is ONE explanation: YOUR PRICE IS WAY TOO HIGH. End of story.

Pfundamentals was available for next to nothing, and didn't sell. Probably because the landlord has, like so many, confiscated the entirety of the enterprise value of the business. They are closing, I'll bet, cuz their lease has come due, and it makes zero economic sense to go on. They should have GIVEN the business away. I know, sounds dumb, but at least then, you don't eat the inventory and you don't have to move, you can just walk away, which is far better than eating totally dead inventory.

Pie-in-the-sky sellers is what is going to sink so many Bend businesses... and home sellers. They'd rather DIE than receive a "fair market value" for their virtually brain dead company, or wildly overpriced home.

Duncan McGeary said...

I just think anyone who is inspired to own a business downtown is inspired enough to create their own business, rather than buy a failing business.

Don't blame them.

SpazDog Comics said...

Amazing what you can find when you google yourself.

Duncan McGeary said...

Amazing to be found.