Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Non-sexy reasons for business longevity.

Three little words.

Trial and error.

You try things out and they work and you do more of it.

You try things out and they don't work, and you do less of it.

Last long enough, and you gather a whole bunch of more winning strategies, and shed a whole bunch of losing strategies.

Simple, yes?

Except it doesn't take very many losing strategies to negate your winners.

What really works against newcomers is that so many of the so-called experts recommend what -- to me -- are losing strategies.

Right off the bat, most new businesses spend too much on overhead -- to many new shiny fixtures and gadgets, too many employees.

Right off the bat, most new businesses spend too much on advertising and promotion, and not enough on inventory. It's appearance versus substance -- and in the long run, substance will wins every time.

In a way, this blog has related a whole series of discoveries about what works and what doesn't. It's possible these discoveries are unique to my store but I don't really think so.

Often these trial and errors are by accident. Something happens by coincidence that unexpectedly works, and you try it again.

As you know, I've been ordering "sale" product heavily for a number of years now. By "sale" product, I mean stuff that is just a little too early or a little too late, or just a little less popular character toys in a popular series --- stuff that is just a little off of the beaten track. Much of it is what I call "mid-list" product; stuff you order when it first comes out and then fades.

If I can save half as much by carrying them, I can take twice as long or sell half as much as usual.

In the meantime, though, I always make sure I carry the "evergreens"; the constantly in demand product. (Which I know because of trial and error...)

Twice this year, I had a circumstance where I happened to ordered a large amount of sale product before I ordered the evergreens.

Then had a precipitous drop in sales for a few weeks which made it hard to do the evergreen order.

I didn't do this on purpose. It so happened that the sale product was offered in such a way that I had to order it then. The evergreen I can order at any time.

What was unexpected is, after the initial drop (which had nothing to do with inventory) sales pretty much stabilized -- even without the evergreens for a few weeks. Then I made enough money to go ahead and get the evergreens.

The eye-opener here was that I'm pretty sure the opposite wouldn't have happened. If I had just ordered the evergreen and waited for the sale product, I think it's more than possible sales would've declined, or that I wouldn't have had the money to make the sale orders.

I think it's because of the volume. I can get two, three, or even four times as much product in the door with the sale product as I can with the evergreen product. And meanwhile, I still have plenty of evergreen product in stock.

This is counter-intuitive, and I only stumbled across it, and since I discovered it, I've been very careful to order on every sale that comes along. And I've been able to order the evergreens as well.

Trial and error.


Anonymous said...

“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden tells Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.” - RON WYDEN on top-secret HomeLANDSecurity definition of 'patriot act'.

Well our own ron wyden of orygun has publicly spoken out the best he can, but the gist is the USA now has secret interpretations of the law. But this is NOT new, under BUSH-1 POINDEXTER created what's called 'total information awareness' TIA, and with that the GUBMINT can&will know more about everyone than they know about themselves, ... why pray-tell? Because information is power.

USA is now 1934 NAZI germany, only 4 years to out or its too fucking late. :)

Me always liked POINDEXTER has PHD in physics he has such as myself, and the man was a GOEBBELS in his time, where the fuck is he now? NOTE OREO has done MORE than BUSH-1 or BUSH-2 to push us into FASCISM.

Anonymous said...

I hate to comment on this shit, but since dunc likes to repeat himself so will EYE.

1.) luck in biz is being in the right place at the right time, no intelligence required.

2.) success is surviving over the long-haul, ...

But what the fuck does it mean? If you come to Bend with a large fortune, and create the worlds best-min-wage-job, what the fuck? All you have done is turn a large fortune into a small fortune, ...

Well you can be a 'success' in Bend, which means putting beans on the table for the long haul, but over the long haul nobody ever really made big money. You make your money elsewhere, and live in Bend as a 'basecamp', but now sadly the 'base' has been destroyed, and new basecamps must be setup.

Dunc will die in Bend, and has kids in Eugene or near, and more power to him. Hopefully HBM will die on the big island of Hawaii.

Nothing ever 'sexy' about anything, and surely not the drudgery of long-haul biz. Sexy to me is a 24 year old gal dressed up muslim style with only those big eyes showing, and you know there's nothing under that sheet but a perfect naked body. Now that's sexy. Stay in good shape, get exercise, eat well so you can enjoy the good things in life, and you'll no longer find them in Bend.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"luck in biz is being in the right place at the right time, no intelligence required."

The first part of that statement is true, but you need to have enough intelligence to recognize an opportunity when you see it and take advantage of it.

"Hopefully HBM will die on the big island of Hawaii."

Thanks for the good wishes, but the Big Island isn't our first choice.

Anonymous said...

I love you HBM, but intelligence really isn't required.
There was some REAL point to the movie 'forest gump', better looking, and smarter, and better educated failed, while he survived.
It really is luck, like the fact that he bought a shrimp-boat, and just happened to be the only boat not in port the day of the storm. Some folk will look and see and say 'shit he was smart', ..
HBM we're so very different, I'm a scientist, so when I say 'luck' I'm talking about thermal-dynamic stochastic probability, and all its complexity. I think when you see the word 'luck' you think of a Bend hair-lip tossing a coin in Drake Park.
In high tech, many men had better SW than Gates(MS), and everything else, but Gates was 'lucky' to be the only one to respond to IBM. I was there at the time when the guy from digital-research told IBM to go fuck itself, as they were most coveted. Gates was SMART enough to 'jump', and he didn't even write the SW but stole it from a little nobody in Seattle. Went ahead to turn $50k USD into the greatest fortune in human history. LUCK & HBM, and being in the right place at the right time.
Certainly had IBM knocked on the door of the REAL-AUTHOR of DOS, the world would be a different place, but GATES was lucky enough to be in the right-place at the right time.
Like recently with the collapse of RE, on PAULSEN was sitting on SHORTS of RE to make billions, as you had to BUY just at the RIGHT-TIME, many can say he was a geniASS, but the fact is EVERYBODY knew the RE was going to collapse and everybody had been going SHORT on RE. But only those who bought at the TOP 'won', and as ALL real books will tell you NOBODY can call a top. IT's ALL LUCK.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"There was some REAL point to the movie 'forest gump', better looking, and smarter, and better educated failed, while he survived."

Let's not forget there is a distinction between fantasy and reality.

"Gates was SMART enough to 'jump'"

Exactly. Many may be in the right place at the right time. Not all of them are smart enough to know that they are.

Anonymous said...

you call it fantasy
but buying low and selling high
is always good luck

Anonymous said...

get over it hbm
if you wish to die in hawaii
then you must walk from bend today
tomorrow bend RE will be worthless
of course if you have no money to go to HI
then your bend fucked
you should look at indonesia its cheap