I haven't done one of my 'State of the Economy' blogs for awhile. The stores have been coasting along, which is just what I want. I can't tell you have long I've waited for the stores to "coast." To me it's a sign of strength we continue to pay our bills without struggling.
Probably too much to hope for vast improvement. Staying even is probably pretty good.
We've beaten the previous year for 7 out of the last 8 months -- but, frankly, that ain't saying much. Those 8 months last year were about as slow as they could get, barring a complete meltdown. And if there is a complete meltdown, we're all in the sh%ts.
I went a little crazy with orders in early April. There was a whole lot of stuff offered on 'sale' from my suppliers. But it looks as though I'll have the credit cards paid off in full again by July 1.
July 1 is going to be fresh start. I've been aiming for it for quite a while. I've been trying to fashion a budget that I can live with, that will keep the store humming, AND turn a nice profit. That potential has been there a long time now, but I simply haven't been disciplined enough to take advantage of it.
I was very disciplined when the Bear Stearns went down, but I kept some of my expenses for a year (mainly, a full time manager). Then, with the 2008 collapse, I got even more disciplined for another year.
Since Sept. of last year, I started to relax a little bit. Take time off. Restock the store.
So July 1 is another watershed moment. A generous budget that doesn't strain my discipline too much but will still produce results.
I still think, in my more objective moments, that we have another 2 or 3 years before we start seeing significant growth. Nationally, I think there were be a 'crisis' on a regular basis; a unexplained Wall Street crash; a Greece; an oil slick. The CRE situation is still out there; one headline read; "STRUGGLING COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE HELPLESSLY WAITS AROUND FOR THE SLAUGHTER OF 2010." Yikes.
The urge to hope -- to think -- to wish for things to get better fast is irresistible, but probably not going to happen. CACB keeps on trying to boost their stock, only to have it fall back. Downtown Bend keeps filling it's space, but I think I see signs that at least some of the existing stores aren't exactly booming. The local media continues to try to trumpet any small uptick. (64 building permits versus 43? Try 64 permits versus 287 just 3 years ago....)
It's not time to get ahead ourselves. It's still a little dicey.
6 hours ago