Friday, June 1, 2012

May Flowers

May was already blooming nicely before a bulk order for Dove kites kicked it into overdrive. Just look at these rosy numbers:


Total income: +30.5%
Total COGS: +22.1%
Payroll: -21%
Marketing: +2.1%
Net Income (Profit): +368.9%


Year to Date: 

Total income: +0.8%
Total COGS: +2.6%
Payroll: +2.3%
Marketing: +17.4%
Net Income (Profit): -98.2%

For the month, sales rose more than COGS did. That’s good. Marketing costs barely rose at all. That’s also good. I made up substantial ground on the bottom line. That’s very very good.
The drop in payroll is just a calendar quirk. 
For the year, COGS is up more than sales; that’s bad. Payroll is also up; that’s bad for Curio City but good for me. My failed Facebook experiment accounts for most of the marketing overrun, and that overrun accounts for much of the bottom line deficit. That’s been whittled down to $660; a lot of money, yes, but still possible to make up. Quickbooks says the top line is a scant $195 ahead of LY; Excel reports a slightly rosier $450 edge.

Facebook's tumbling stock price reins in my compulsion to curse them for ruining my bottom line. I'm not the only one losing money on that company. Curio City will never be worth billions of dollars, but it will probably survive longer than Facebook will. 


For years I dreaded what would happen when Panther Vision lighted cap sales inevitably dropped off. That’s happening now. They’re still a major product line, but they’re no longer my only engine. Fortunately, bird kites and golf balls have soared enough to plug the gap. The seasonal nature of those lines worries me, but maybe the caps will come roaring back in the fall. And there’s always a chance that Switchables (which are going through another one of their dormant stages) will surge again, too.

Without seeing Panther’s sales numbers, I can’t tell if the decline in lighted caps is my problem or theirs. There are an awful lot of competitors selling them now; that would be my problem. At the same time, endless design changes have complicated the line so much that it’s become confusing to sell, let alone to shop; that would be Panther’s problem. You've got your basic 4-LED solid caps, your 4-LED camo caps with and without color accents, your 4-LED Runner's caps, your 6-LED caps (some of them with the old 4-2 arrangement and some with the new 3-3, some with green lights and some with red), your 2-LED promotional line (which I don't carry), and a new power switch being phased in across the lineup. I know that the marketplace compels manufacturers to constantly innovate, but life was easier and sales were better when all they made was the basic 2-LED cap in half a dozen colors.

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