Friday, November 1, 2019

Keep it Simple, Stupid.

I run my business--and my life, more or less--on Occam's Razor, on the 20/80 rule, and on a general averaging of numbers. In other words, "Keep it Simple, Stupid."

When I impart advice--which is hardly ever asked for and even less listened to--I try to keep it to one simple thing: "Don't complicate your business or you will burn out." Period.

The secret to my success--if success it can be called; more like the secret to my survival--is that I have over time cut everything extraneous to my core business. My job is to carry product people might want to buy.

Despite all the above, my business is, in fact, pretty complicated. But it is complicated because of the diverse product I carry. That's been reinforced lately by my coming back to work. I'm way behind on comics and graphic novels, which after all contain multiple universes. Heh. Fortunately, my manager Sabrina, has a good grasp on what's going on and she is here most of the time when it matters.

Meanwhile, I feel as though I'm very much up on books and I'm here often enough to get a good gauge on what's going on.

The other products--games, toys, card games, etc.--are sidelines and therefore don't call for us to know every little thing there is to know. I accept lower sales because of that. In fact, that may be where the "Keep it Simple, Stupid" idea comes into play the most.

Of these sidelines, games has always been the most seductive. There have been short periods where I have been the only place in town who carries a wide variety. But what I have learned over the last 40 years is that a new game store is always coming to town. There is always a place where people can go and play. This is doubly true of card games. And since I can never do that--I don't have the time, space, or expertise--going all in on games, no matter how alluring, is always a bad idea.

Anyway, over the last 15 years of so, the store has finally combined a mix that seems to be self-sustaining. This could change at any time, but right now, there's some flexibility in how I spend the money.

And I'm still trying to simplify.

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