Thursday, May 23, 2013

Breaking even on the slow months is the same thing as making money.

So far, I've accomplished something rare at the store for this time of year.  I've managed not to fall into debt during the first half of the year.

Because of Bend's touristy nature, I make money four months out of the year, I lose money six months out of the year, and I break-even a couple months out of the year.   (Actually, this is new adjustment from the old formula of 4/4/4.)

I make good money on the good months, I usually only lose small amounts on the bad months, so they cancel each other out.

What I'm attempting to do this year is not lose money during any of the slow and/or break-even months. 

It's hard to keep up the level of inventory when I do this.  Things don't sell evenly, so spot shortages tend to develop, and I don't want that situation to continue for too long.  I don't want to disappoint customers too much.

So far, I've avoided most major shortages.  The cash flow seems to be covering the essentials.

Most of this is accomplished by not buying the "extra."   Another big part is not buying the "sale" product.  There is always sale product, some of it is very attractive, and it has nice profit margins.  But they aren't necessary.

It turns out so far that if I just order replacement copies on the good stuff, buy the new stuff as it comes out, and try the 'occasional' extra, that the store remains well-stocked and I don't lose money.

It's not as satisfying, but I'm figuring the extra profits should make up for that.  (It's fun to buy, you know.  Seeing new stuff all the time.)

But the extra profits will only happen if I can manage the other side the equation.  Not spending "extra" during the good months.  The temptation is nearly irresistable -- the money is flowing during the summer and Christmas, and I see product that is attractive, if unproven, and what the hell -- why not?

So -- I need to keep to the same formula as the slow months.  Reorder the good stuff, buy the new stuff as it comes out, and try the 'occasional' extra just to spice things up.

I've never managed to do this for a full year.  I almost always blow a fuse at some point.  I think this is the farthest I've gone in the year without breaking down.  The farther I go, the more encouraged I am to keep going.

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

By the way, the 'extra' profits really won't be -- they'll just cover the slow bleeding debt that has built up over the last few years.

But getting back to zero would be nice.