Friday, September 27, 2019

Re-engaged--and overspending.

I've always bought what the store needed, whether I could afford it or not. I've always pushed it to the brink of a budget and beyond. I've always pushed as much leverage into the store as I could get.

So it's always worked out in the end--after much stress. I do mean, the end--maybe years after I put us into debt.

I used to think what I needed was a CFO, who could control the checkbook and impose spending limits. I mentioned it to Linda, but she quite rightly realized that I would just wheedle and bully until I got what I wanted anyway.

While I was off writing, the store was out of sight, out of mind. As long as it was functioning, I was leaving it alone. Even better, I gave Sabrina the power to order comics, graphic novels, and games, and gave her a target budget. Which she stuck to.

But now I'm back and engaged, and I'm tending toward my old bad habits. 

For example. I decided we needed journals, so I figured out a way to display them, and then ordered a bunch.

But the truth is--we don't NEED journals, I just wanted them. I ordered over 50 of them, but there was a hiccup in the credit process--thank goodness--and I had a chance to back away. I then ordered 20 journals. From there, I can gauge what kind of journals sell and what kind don't. I'll order a couple of new journals per week until I get to the proper level.

On the good side, it forced me to remove two shelves that simply weren't working (Robots and Futurism) and replace them with something that people are always requesting.

Last month I thought I'd spent X amount on new books. Turned out, I'd spent X + 40%. So overspending by 10%, that's manageable. Overspending by 40%--that will get us in trouble quickly.

Basically, it's time to set a budget for new books, and stick with it. Period. I'll be 67 years old in 16 days, so I'm an adult now. I should act like one. 

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