Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June results, 2009.

First, some perspective.

Last year, 2008, was probably my most profitable year; depending on how you count it. I may have had a more overall profit in the sports card glory years, but only by grossing twice as much (four stores, I'll remind you, versus today's one store), and much of that glory day 'profit' was included in loan payments and inventory increase. (which may be a profit in accounting terms, but didn't feel like profit to me...)

Last year's profits were real cash profits, and I was able to pay off all the credit cards, make my IRA contributions, finish off installing my new product lines of boardgames and new books, and even make a little headway before the economy hit a brick wall in September. This was a slow economy, remember, since probably late 2007. So I felt that was an achievement. Mind you, many of you would laugh at my 'profit' level, but it was pretty good to me.

I think this year will be slightly better, or about the same.

Sales are down exactly 20%, both in June and for the year. I'm expecting that to continue. But by working the store by myself, that 20% is a wash. An almost even trade -- lower sales, minus employee salaries.

Increased profits are coming from inventory control. That is, I'm not increasing inventory with new product lines. As well as taking advantage of all the bargains that are being offered, which increases my margins.

As my post tomorrow will show, my store is completely inventoried -- probably for the first time in my career. Anyone who owns a store will know what a big statement that is.

The only downside is working everyday, but even that hasn't been hard. In fact, maybe it's just my workaholic nature, but I've kind of liked it.

The more I hear about other stores, the more fortunate I feel. Knock wood.

I know this probably sounds like I'm just putting the best face on things, to which I say

Of Course. I'm a small business owner, it's what I do!

But it also really feels that way. And there is the little matter that it could've been even better without the dropoff in sales, and at this point in my career, it probably should be better.

But, as the cliche goes, Breaking even is the new Up.

3 comments:

rotorman said...

I still read the other local blogs once in a while, but not with the previous interest. We bought a house the other day so I'm no longer interested in what prices are doing. In fact, it's more like I don't want to know. If they continue down for the next couple of years, I'll feel like a sap. And then I still read the WSJ. The editorials are written by reasonalble people who understand that money doesn't come from the air (except for Thomas Frank.) But none of it matters. When things were really heated up it seems things were changing daily. But now we are in the doldrums and will be for a long time. Nothing of real interest is happening except some of the dumb stuff the government is trying to do. Like competing in health care with the private sector. Now there is a great idea. The government compteting with business, as if there isn't already enough competition. But they will fix that in short order. They will make all the rules, have all the money and set the prices. How long could Duc stay in business under those terms. In very short order we would be getting all our comics from the govenment, if they would still be available. I think everyone is in a state of shock over what has happened and where things are going. No one wants to hear about it anymore.

blackdog said...

"Sales are down exactly 20%, both in June and for the year. I'm expecting that to continue. But by working the store by myself, that 20% is a wash."

Only if you count the value of your time at zero. In effect you have given yourself a 25% pay cut (working six days a week instead of five).

blackdog said...

"Like competing in health care with the private sector. Now there is a great idea. The government compteting with business, as if there isn't already enough competition."

If there was meaningful competition in the health insurance industry we wouldn't have the mess we have today. All plans are ridiculously expensive (and getting more so) and provide increasingly meager benefits.

And if the insurance companies were doing a good job they would have nothing to fear from government competition (especially considering that conservatives hold it to be a self-evident axiom that business does EVERYTHING better than the government possibly could). The private model has failed in health care; it's time to try something else.

"I think everyone is in a state of shock over what has happened and where things are going."

Don't presume to speak for everyone. I am delighted -- although I'm afraid Obama and the Congress aren't going to go far enough.