It's a helpless feeling, these last 8 weeks of summer; just like the last 4 weeks around Christmas. These are all important sales weeks, and yet there is little or nothing I can do about them. If I haven't done my job up to now, I'm not suddenly going to do better, and vice versa.
I always say, they haven't ever cancelled summer or Christmas. But they sure have delayed them! Both seasons used to be about 1/3rd longer; Summer was good in June, and Christmas was good for the two weeks after Thanksgiving. Now, it seems, people wait. Which puts even more pressure on the remaining weeks.
I've had two or three really slow summers over the years, and two or three really slow Christmas's. Mostly, there was no real explanation except statistical anomaly or just bad luck. That is, I think there is a statistical variance of maybe 20% that can happen at any time, that may come down to things out of any one's control, and if it happens at Christmas, you're just out of luck.
This is also the time of most temptation to break budget. Lots of people in the door; lots of demand; but the budget is the budget.
I think I can manage 8 weeks of discipline. If I can't, maybe I don't deserve to be in business.
Linda's store is doing well. She can scoop up the tourist traffic without too much effort in her location, and her sales are much less dependent on the product. (She has plenty of books.) We've been adding bookshelves since we re-upped our lease, which should make it a bit easier to fit the books in.
At my store, I should just look at it as a chance to enjoy the activity, sit back and relax, and feel virtuous in my budget.
4 days ago