It's all very odd. Mid-afternoon, I looked out my door and saw empty parking spaces extending two spots past the alley west of me. 8 spots in a row empty, in Mid-July on a Saturday.
When I went home last night, the parking garage was sparse. "Oh, Oh," I thought, for the sake of the restaurants.
On the other hand. Get this. I had 146 people in the door, which is a ton of people for a non-special event day. For the first two hours of the day, I had 10 or 15 or 20 people milling about my 1000 sq. ft. store. That's too many for me to be able to deal with effectively. My business depends on being able to talk to interested customers, not being a traffic manager.
The per-customer average was very low, though. Almost record foot-traffic versus average sales. That seems to be my fate this summer. I suppose I should be thankful for the 20 or 30 people a day who buy 2.00 or 3.00 worth of used books. I should be thankful for the average sales.
It's hard to reconcile the two experiences -- tons of foot traffic, empty parking spots.
As I've mentioned, I was having a hard time getting a read on summer, and I waited until this week to come to a conclusion. I think summer is sort of a dud. At least for me. Mostly in terms of expectation.
For me, always, it isn't about the cash coming in the door, it's how much I spend. I've made a couple spending mistakes. I bought 5000.00 worth of novels in January on my credit cards. I've paid that down to 1500.00, and with three more months of 500.00 payments, I'll be back to zero debt.
And at the beginning of summer, I spent 2500.00 on "Sale" items; which didn't pan out, and will cut into about half of what I was hoping to profit in July. But it's not too late to cut my spending for August, and now that I feel I have a good sense of the dynamics, I think I can recoup some or all of that profit.
So, in pretty good shape. No...in really good shape, I just hate to say it out loud. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad I went through those tough times in the 1990's, because it's kept me from being tempted to borrow off the doubtful future.
5 days ago