One of the things that i occasionally think about when writing the blog is whether I’m providing too much information. Not so much for my competitors as for my customers – the entire issue of explaining how a sausage is made. Of course, we aren’t making sausages but at times, I’m not sure it makes much sense to provide vast swaths of information either to current & potential customers that they might not want or need.
It’s quite clear we run a business. Like most for-profit businesses, the goal is to make as much profit as possible. Since the sole-owner of this business is myself, that translates eventually to making myself the most money. On the other hand, stating that fact up-front can annoy people or put them off. Sure, we all understand that businesses are there to make a profit, but flaunting that fact can often be a detriment. Small businesses are meant to be an underdog – underdogs don’t drive Porsche’s. (And no, I don’t drive a Porsche. I’ve got a 10 year old Honda Civic if you’re curious). Still, it’s one of the reasons why I don’t talk about our actual sales here – it’d be counter-productive.
Another aspect of the business that doesn’t seem to make any sense to go into too much detail is the margins. I’ve talked about it before, about the way choosing the right markup is important. I’ve also talked about the pressures from customers who would always prefer a lower price, and to some extent, the pressures from our publishers / distributors as they increase costs to us. Yet, breaking it all down doesn’t seem to affect or benefit sales and might even harm them, as customers start feeling put-upon.
Then there’s the boring things that we do on a regular basis. Who wants to read about cleaning toilets or chasing off the homeless from our docking bay? Of cleaning up wastes and other, nastier items. Or how often we have to do stock counts and re-arranging our warehouse to make things work just a little more efficiently? Or the numerous phonecalls and excel sheets we use to keep track of data. None of that is either exciting or interesting, and it takes away some of the ‘magic’ of making things work.
Of course, there’s the other side of the equation. The blog itself isn’t too prominent and those who come here to read are interested in details about the business. Compared to the vast majority of our site visitors, actual visitors to the blog are miniscule. So perhaps these people really do care about our the boring aspects of business.