Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm always going on about how hard it is to stick to a budget, and I thought I'd give you a couple of current examples.

January was no problem, it was extremely slow, and my budget was more than enough to cover everything.

February jumps about 20% on a per day average, so now it's getting a little tighter.
If I just stick to my regular orders, everything will be fine.

But they're offering some great material at substantial discounts. Last week, for instance, they had Pirates of the Cara. and Dr. Who action figures. Now, POTC is well past it peak selling period in the mass market -- but not for my store, I could probably carry POTC for years without it seeming odd. Dr. Who sells just below the range I would consider acceptable for buying at full wholesale, so the sale price makes it a fresh deal.

But suddenly, I'm 400.00 over budget.

So I go into this week, and notice that McFarlane is releasing Halo action figures -- and they are very, very cool. As you'll see with the following paragraph, I'm learning that most things related to a big video or online game sells really, really, really well for us.

So, I order a couple of more cases. Now I'm 600.00 over budget.

Here's the killer. I was carrying all four waves of World of Warcraft cards, both starter decks, and both types of Raid decks. Last week I got a visit from the manager of the Gamestop store in the Old Mill, and he sees I'm carrying the cards. Next thing I know, I'm getting an influx of new customers, who have been sent by the Gamestop. For which I am thankful.

But I'm also wiped out of WOW cards. These are new customers, who could remain customers for years, but it will cost at least 500.00 more to get a stock of WOW in.

So, now I'm 1100.00 over budget.

And so it goes.

I know, I know, I should plan better. But I try. I really do. And whatever plans I make are always blown out of the water.

I prefer the keep the store actively engaged, rather than squirreling a few hundred dollars away -- of course, until I NEED the few hundred a week to pay for some emergency or another.

This whole budgeting thing is my downfall. If I had a CFO who told me how much I could spend each week -- but no, I know I would weasel and cajole and beg and plead and stomp around until I got my way or the CFO quit.

So, back to the drawing boards. Budget must now include 'sale' product a bit better. Extra sales should allow me to increase budget x amount a month.

Until the next time it happens. Probably sometime next week.

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