Monday, July 14, 2008

The Right Stuff.

This weekend beat last weekend by about 15%, for which I've already expressed a Mea Culpa. But --- if I may -- I'm going to give myself credit for that. I think the mix of product currently in the store is producing the results I hoped for. Adding new books and boardgames has mainstreamed my store to such an extent that people are more willing to take it seriously, and more willing to hang around.

So far I am 15% above last year this month, overall. I've reached this point a couple of times this year, only to have a dramatic falloff the second half of the month. So far, I've had 3 months significantly down in sales, and three months where I almost but not quite broke even with last year. Profits, on the other hand, are way up.

The mix just really seems to be working.

It took about 6 years to get here, once I set out to accomplish it. I got to the point where I doubted myself -- that I was just buying to buy. That I couldn't stop myself. I actually agonized quite a bit about it on this blog.

But...since I've now spent about 6 months not overspending I think I'm willing to give myself credit for getting it right. I had to keep adding product, mixing and matching, trying and experimenting, until I got the right results.

There were several missteps along the way -- rather large investments in product lines that didn't really produce. And I'm surprised by the positive results of both books and games which I thought would be more difficult.

As usual there were some unforeseen results -- this time in my favor. Adding more new books had increased my used book sales as well, which is great considering my profit margins on used books. It has been easier to keep up the inventory that I thought it would be.

Frankly, it took 6 years to accomplish because by trying to increase my inventory within my cash flow, I was in a sense trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps. No easy task. You have to have a great deal of patience, and probably confidence that you'll still be around long enough to see the conclusion.

Of course, there is never a moment when I can stop morphing the store. But -- for now at least -- I think I have the right mix of stuff.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Well, my resume is finished! I think the first attempt was a little bit nicer, but that's neither here nor there. I think I did a darn good job.

I'll swing by some time tomorrow (Tuesday) to drop it off. If you're there, I've got a handy little trick to show you about image placement in your blogs, too.