Thursday, May 10, 2012

Questioning small success.

I constantly, obsessively, think about my failures in business.

On the other hand, I tend to let all the analysis slide when things are going well.

So I'm trying to apply this kind of critical thinking toward the current situation and see if there is anything I can learn from it.

I've already talked about the addition of new books and boardgames as seeming to be the thing that pushed us over the top. That's all me. I decided to do this just before the crash, and continued to add inventory for the first two or three years until I reached a threshold.

So that's not so hard to see.

Lately, I've been shoring up that parts of the store that took a backseat while this inventory building was going on. I never let up on comics and graphic novels, but just about everything else slid into auto-pilot.

So I've been incrementally improving the toys, the sports and non-sports cards, the manga and anime, and it's helping a little. Not dramatically, but improving.

The economy itself? I can't tell. I'll assume that it must be getting better if I'm seeing double digit growth. I do believe that we are seeing a healthy number of tourists, for which I've tried to design the store.

Anything else? Yeah. I think my employees have been doing a good job. They are at the age and interest that more corresponds with the age and interests of my customers. They are into mainstream comics, and conscious of all the pop trends. They are cheerful and helpful.

Because I'm working less, and because things are going well, I'm more cheerful and helpful too. That that must be having a small effect.

Maybe it's just the maturing of the store; after 28 years, with ups and downs, slip ups and failures, picking myself back up and trying again, I've finally assembled the elements of a solid store.

Or maybe this is just temporary and coincidental and I'm patting myself on the back for factors beyond my real control.

Only thing I can do is keep trying to make the store work, and monitor it, and be aware that so much of this is a mystery, of which I am only partially aware.

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