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Business Talk: 1st Quarter 2016

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I often take for granted common knowledge so what is the 1st Quarter? The year has 12 months. A quarter of the year is 3 months. In other words January through March is the first quarter. Most companies that are private keep these numbers quiet because they can affect the perception of the company and cause panic. I’m a one man company that is still growing so I take my time and do these reports for myself. I also don’t care about the perception of the business, I care about the reality. The reality is that for almost two years my business bills have been about 12,000 per month. You didn’t read that wrong. 12,000. I took a few risks that didn’t shake out, and then compounded those decisions with poor loans with companies like Kabbage, OnDeck, and BizFi. I’m stating the companies I used to make sure those who actually take the time to read these reports don’t make the same mistakes I made. This is important because I don’t think many small business people could make it paying out that type of money.

Now a public company has to make their reports available because of Federal guidelines and because they are traded on the Stock Market. When a public company makes their records available, it can shake the company overnight. For example today 5/14/2016 this article about the lower sales at Nordstrom’s shows how being a public company can hinder and cause stocks to fall.

As I said, I’m not public, but paying close attention to your quarterly sales is one of the things you have to do when you are running a business. It helps you discover issues and to improve your situation. My first quarter was one of the worst since I’ve started the company. Here is the chart.

1st quarter
1st Quarter 2016 for ARCH (yeah it’s ugly)

If it’s hard to read here are the numbers earnings: $58,709.88

Units shipped: 698

Orders shipped: 657

What does this mean? The gap between units and orders accounts for returns and refunds. 41 shoes out of 698 is a return/refund rate of 6%. If I went with a projection for the year based on this first quarter I would finish the year just under 240,000 which would be the lowest earning year I’ve had since starting the company.

I could look at this as a positive or a negative. I look at in the positive. When I wrote my Annual report for 2015 it was March. The end of the 1st Quarter. I also took April as a month where I would rectify my financial situation. I did a 30 Day project (based on my book and you can see that on www.cbpublish.com). That project consisted of writing my thoughts on business as well as looking for financial leverage. I contacted a VC, which led to a recommednation to the head of a bank, which led to the infusion of a serious amount of cash and a reduction in the cost of my monthly bills from $12,000 to $1,500.00 placing over $10,000 in working capital back into my business budget starting this month (May).

I expect my projections to change for the year, but posting this quarterly report is an important aspect of making sure I’m aware of the shifts and changes in my business.

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