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.
5 days ago