Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Horse race, coming into the stretch.

Up or down?

I'm sorry my entries have been such a profit/loss horse race, but that's where my head's been at.

Really, a few hundred dollars either direction isn't going to make that much difference. But I'm fascinated by how close I'm coming. I'll be about 1% over/under my original goal.


I seem to have a pretty good knack for projections. I guessed almost exactly right in each of my store openings, for instance. I figured I had to do twice as good as the current store was doing to make it pencil out, but I was pretty sure that the previous owner had dropped the ball that much.

When we penciled out the Bookmark, I came up with a figure that we needed to do to break even from the beginning. I didn't know if we'd do way above that (possible) or slightly below that (probable). But we were within 1% of my original projection.

The only time I seemed lost was a four year period, mid-90's, where I simply couldn't get a handle on it. The two major industries I was involved in were so dysfunctional and so unpredictable, that I felt helpless. Everything I was selling was dropping, and I couldn't guess where it would end.

Eventually, the business climate came around and became more steady.

This current slowdown has been much more predictable in many ways. Bend has been part of a rolling bubble burst, if you will. You need only look at where Florida was two years ago, California a year and half ago, and Las Vegas and Arizona a year ago, and so on.

That's been a hell of a business advantage to anyone paying attention and willing to look the truth in the face.

Now it's our turn.

So, despite the snow, I'm going to be able to come out the year almost even. Almost. I still have to save up for taxes, so not really. But close.

If I come up a couple hundred short, which now seems likely, it's almost certainly due to the fact that I haven't gotten any shipments for a week, now. A quarter of my product for the month has been waylaid. It was supposed to be here last Wednesday, then Friday, then yesterday.

UPS is apparently in such a mess in Portland that they can't really tell me. I think my Diamond rep told me they were 14,000 packages behind, or something.

Anyway, on to more substantive entries next year.

1 comment:

tim said...

Good use of subheads Dunc. :-)

Gives the eye a bit of a rest along its journey.