Sunday, October 18, 2009

Back to the Working Level.

It's such a luxury to be able to reorder everything the store needs every week. All those years of just struggling just to get the basics were tough. It was hard having to decide between getting small, but inadequate amounts of everything, or larger adequate amounts of a few things. This was happening for most of my career, actually. At first I was just trying to build up, and then I was just trying to maintain.

A sign that things have changed:

I did something very different for Magic this time. I OVER ordered. As a result, I felt pretty free in breaking packs and stocking singles, and as a result, I seem to be getting more foot traffic and selling the boxes more often.

If only it was always so easy. Overordering is great...when it works. But deadly when it doesn't.

About 8 years ago, I identified a monthly sales level that I calculated was the amount I needed to do a good job. Such an average sales level would pay the overhead, pay the merchandise, pay a good wage, and have enough left to experiment (a little) take chances (a little) add product (a little) and fix up the store (a little.)

We overshot that level during the boom years by a good 15%; then dropped below that level a good 15% over the last couple of years. I compensated by working the store alone, and was able to keep the store stocked the way I wanted.

Don't get me wrong. I still mostly stick to budget, with a few exceptions.

I had to stretch the budget at times over the last year or two, and then take a breather, but mostly the store has kept to a very high level of responsiveness to product sales. Lately, I haven't even had to stretch the budget.

I think we may be creeping back up that that basic sales floor I identified 8 years ago; and it really shows.

It's easier to keep up when it's easier to keep up, if you know what I mean.

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