Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Break

Interesting results.


I hit my Fall Season numbers in Jan. and Feb. after expecting a 20% drop. So I was feeling pretty confident going into March, which is usually my 4th or 5th best month of the year.


Sales plummeted in the first ten days of this month. The 20% drop I'd been expecting earlier finally happened.

O.K., I said to myself, no problem. I planned for this. I'll need to cut spending for the next month of so, and we'll be back to even.


The irony is, that right after that decision, sales started rising! The end result is that I'm back to my target numbers, again. Which means that I was doing about 15% higher than that average over the last 17 days to get back to even-steven.

Because I held off spending until the 23th, this increase in revenue resulted in better than usual profit.

Still -- that ten day plummet scared me enough to be careful, which is probably a good thing since I tend to be too optimistic.


For me, at least.

I'd called a compatriot in another town earlier in the month when my sales slumped, and he was doing great. We seem to leapfrog each other. This week he called.

"The tourists aren't spending money!" he says. "Usually Spring Break is one of my best sales periods."

I had to tell him that my sales were pretty good.

KOHD has a couple of articles on Spring Break and tourism. Hotel receipts are down, ski visits are up.


I think people are spending money, but avoiding the big expenses a little more: Hotels, and I assume restaurants.

But you can't keep the American public from spending something. I don't believe they will truly change their ways without a lot more pain than we've felt up to now.

Of course, the reality of job loss and hours cuts has a concrete result in my sales. But the tourists seem to have showed up this week, at least for me.


I love that the Spring Break are pretty clearly separated this year. First Oregon, then Washington, then California. It seems like over the last decade, they overlapped more often than not, and the big school districts didn't always get out at the same time within the same state.

But even further into the past, when each state had it's own time period, it worked out well.

We are halfway to summer, and the second half of the year. I'm trying not to be too optimistic.....


BilboBend said...


There's only one reason that your not struggling, and that is you bit the bullet, and laid off 100% of your staff. Now you don't have payroll taxes to contend with or payroll, in fact you can pay yourself zero to boot.

Now you can call yourself the 'The Best sub-min wage job an old fart ever had'. Life is Good.

Cut your expenses and avoid debt, ... you can just float along. Better yet, start watching for wholesale liquidations in PDX, and you'll be able to buy stock for penny's on the dollar.

Soon the BULLetin will be doing a story on you, called 'the most successful flea-mart in Bend'.

Your chance is recurring 15min of fame is endless in this town, you can be a perpetual example of Bend success for the life of the bust.

Folks want a harbinger or bellwether for the 'bottom' or end of the Bend Bust?? Watch dunc, when he hires employees you'll know a new Bend Bubble has begun. That said, make some money keep some money, employees eat you alive.

Bewert said...

On the book list from the last post, there is always "The Road". Lots of good survival stuff.

Also, Kunstler's last two, "The Long Emergency" and "World Made By Hand".