I've not made a secret of the fact that my re-sale stuff hasn't been going as well as I would have liked recently. While I'm not going under, things haven't been performing at the level I need them to for some time.
The fault is mainly mine. I got into the habit (out of necessity) of doing the bare minimum to keep things running while I was sick, but haven't made any efforts to get out of that mode since I've been better.
September was my wake up call. I didn't make my rent until the last week of the month. For a while, I thought I wasn't going to make it at all. Things turned around that last week, thanks in part to the renewed efforts I started making. My sales for the end of September were better than they had been in a long while, even if we take the exceptional last Saturday out of the equation.
I've been putting a lot of thought in to this and I've started taking some steps to make the needed changes. It will take a little time and a lot of effort, but I'm sure I can not only move in the direction I want to be going, but also really start hitting my sales targets. I've still got a lot to do, though.
Refocusing: Dropping one store is going to allow me to put my time and energy into the one that has always consistently produced for me. Just the little extra time I've been putting in at the Peddlers Mall is already starting to pay off.
Clearing Out the Deadwood: I've taken several bags of booth duds to a thrift and the rest are getting marked down and put out for the various outdoor sales and yard sales I have coming up. It's time for all the shelf sitters to go. I bring in fresh stuff each week. It needs to stand out more than it does with all the deadwood all around it.
Taking a Leap: I took a big leap of faith the other day at the Peddlers Mall and priced most of my shelving and display pieces. Once I get the YesterNook shelves over there, I'm going to have too many, so I'm trying to be a little proactive. Plus, it shakes up the look of a booth and forces me to work a little harder when one sells. It can also generate a nice chunk of change, since I priced those puppies enough to make it worth my while to deal with getting replacements. So far, one has gone and I'm thrilled. Even if none of the others actually sells, it's a chance worth taking.
Getting It All Together: One of my goals for the year was to get my junk stuff organized. So far, I've failed miserably at that. Up until now, I could blame that on being sick, but that excuse is starting to look faded and shopworn. I was able to do some buying while the chemo was going one, but the pricing and packing and prepping part that has to come after every buy only got done about half the time. I've got some cool shit to sell that needs to make it to a booth.
Being Present: Since my space has gotten bigger, I've come to realize that I need to go over more than once a week. My night shift knocks out two possible evening for booth work, but I still have all day on Fridays, plus Monday and Wednesday afternoons. My current plan is to go in on Mondays to clean and restock from the weekend and Fridays to clean up from the week and get ready for the weekend. I've been doing it for a couple of weeks now, and it seems to be working.
Putting It Out There: I've come to realize that once things make it into the house, they run the risk of getting stuck there for longer than is necessary or healthy. I've already started running larger items out there on the day I acquire them. I need to set a turnaround limit on smaller stuff to stick with it.
Thinking Big: I'm a smalls guy at heart. Big stuff, like furniture, scares me. It feels risky and I don't do well with it. There's a lot I don't know. But I need larger items and the money they can bring. Slowly, but surely, I'll be taking more of that plunge. I've got the room.
Using All the Options: The Peddlers Mall consigns furniture for vendors, which is an option I've not used to the greatest extent I could. I'm starting to get my stuff back up on Craigslist again. Two years ago, I set up a blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page for my booth activities. I still haven't done anything with them yet. And I'm starting to seriously consider eBay and Etsy, even though I have some qualms about the idea.
Planning Ahead: Ending one booth and moving it all out is going to take a lot of work. Doing it in an orderly fashion will take a lot of planning. I think this will be good for me.
Appearances are Everything: The layout for my space needs a facelift badly. It was what I could make out of the new space when I was ill, but it's really not the most functional or welcoming. I'm mulling ideas right now, but it will probably be the first of the year before I make a major shift. I'll need to get past the holidays first.
Staying on Schedule: As we move into the holiday season, getting stuff out in a timely fashion is important. I've already been paying the price for not having my Halloween stuff out in time. It's not going to happen with the Christmas stuff.
Playing to My Strengths: One thing my experience at YesterNook has taught me is who I am as a seller. I'm not a vintage market, decorator oriented, repurposing, trend-following kind of dude. I'm a flea market seller. I like to sell fun, cool things of all types, including awesome vintage. I sell comic books and religious items and have an audience and customer base for both. I like to have fun in my buying and selling. I kind of lost track of that somewhere along the line. One of my goals is to get it back.