Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Still hunkering down.

Hunkering down.

Not as much fun as expanding, or trying new product lines. It can be very satisfying in it's own way. Making money when it seems impossible to make money, making use of everything I know. I have the advantage of having been through similar drops many times before.

I have enough money to make an IRA contribution today, but I've decided to keep it in cash. Having cash is a great stress reducer.

I was thinking about relative stress loads. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most stress, I'd have to say I'm hovering around a 3, maybe a 4.

If I had to arrive at an overall average for the full 25 years I've been making the decisions, I'd have to say a 6. With plenty of times at 8 and 9 and more than once all the way up to 10.

So...this is relatively easy.

As usual, I'm intensely interested in how others are doing. As usual, I have no way of knowing.

I have my 'Blink' reactions, which -- in the long run -- are very accurate. But no proof.

Right now, it's about sticking to a budget. I finally proved to myself last year that I can turn a true profit, and I've done an even better job this year.

What's been happening is that my 'worst case' scenarios have proved out. I held my breath, hoping sales would stay above a certain level, hoping that my budget would adequately address my needs and the store's needs, and it proved out exactly the way I planned it. Having 10 product lines is proving more beneficial than having 8 product lines which is more beneficial than having 6 product lines, and so on.

Some of those product lines are totally dysfunctional -- but that's the point. The question isn't how I do if all the arrows are going up, the question is -- can I pay my bills if all the arrows are down. This month, for instance, I had a huge boost in sports card sales, out of nowhere. Covered the shortfall in everything else.

I did have one nagging question; did I do the right thing buying new books and boardgames over the last two years, instead of hunkering down sooner and saving money? But it's very clear that new books and boardgames are keeping me above the minimum level I was shooting for, and that without them, whatever money I could have saved by hunkering down earlier would have been quickly used up.

So...right move. Gutsy move, if I do say so myself.

But part of the planning also includes the possibility that more shocks are on the way, and that no amount of planning will necessarily get you through a complete disaster.

Meanwhile, it's steady as she goes.

Stick to budget.

Don't blow a fuse.

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