It’s a special day for the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast: I’ve recorded 100 episodes!
I’ve learned so much about the independent retail industry, micro shopkeepers, my own business, and myself throughout the past two years. Here are some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the past 100 episodes.
What I’ve Learned About Retail
We often think retail is about our stores, our shops, or our products. But it’s actually much simpler than that.
Retail is about serving and providing value to our customers.
I published my first digital book this year. It’s a blueprint for marketing a retail business. In the book, I included a quote by Seth Godin: “People don’t buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” It’s such a good reminder for all shopkeepers.
Brick and mortar isn’t dying, but omnichannel retail is growing.
The pandemic—which started nearly two years ago!—accelerated the future of omnichannel retail. That’s why I encourage retailers to embrace this new era. Omnichannel retail is what will keep us relevant and help us grow.
People still love going into stores and shopping at local businesses. We just have to show up for our customers in new ways.
Running a retail business can be lonely and secretive, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
And I’m happy that Savvy Shopkeeper has given hundreds of fellow shopkeepers the opportunity to connect without any competition or secrecy.
What I’ve Learned About My Community
Along with learning about retail in general, I’ve learned so much about all of you! As I’ve grown with the Savvy Shopkeeper community, I’ve learned more and more about you and your businesses. Here are some of the things that have helped your business the most over the past two years.
Boundaries are queen (or king).
Most shopkeepers don’t realize that time isn’t the obstacle—we are!
I know firsthand that setting boundaries is HARD. But once you start setting boundaries, you’ll realize you can create a workweek and a life you love.
Shopkeepers often think time blocking doesn’t work for them. The truth is, time blocking IS effective when we have boundaries in place.
And if boundaries are queen, then…
Consistency is the princess (or prince).
Entrepreneurs love to see a return on investment. And when we don’t get immediate results or satisfaction, it’s easy for us to pivot and try something else.
But it’s important to give things a decent go and be consistent while doing it.
We see both online and retail businesses that look to blow up quickly. But what we DON’T see are the years of consistency that came before that business becomes popular.
Mindset first, always.
Your thoughts are the foundation for everything you do and every decision you make. They determine whether you play big or play small.
Entrepreneurs focus so much on education, learning, and taking action. But then, we find ourselves spinning our wheels. We get frustrated when we don’t grow the way we want to or when we end up working 80 hours/week.
It’s because we keep ourselves so BUSY with everything else that we don’t take the time to nurture ourselves and our thoughts.
Coaching is a legitimate business investment. And it’s sometimes necessary, especially when we want to get unstuck.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all growth strategy.
Some business owners bootstrap, which means funding their business without any loans and reinvesting what they earn. Others take on debt to launch.
Growth, though, isn’t determined by what strategy you choose. Whatever you believe about your strategy is the deciding factor in your success.
And speaking of success—it’s completely subjective. You are the one determining your path and setting your goals.
Comparing and despairing are the thieves of joy.
When we learn to focus on ourselves and on OUR businesses, instead of what so and so is doing, we shift our energy to something we can control versus using our energy on something we CAN’T control—other people!
Don’t let what’s happening with other businesses or what a particular business owner is doing stifle your business. Keep your eyes on the prize.
Some shopkeepers DO like the “math” of owning a retail business.
I talk about doing the math of retail business a lot. Knowing your numbers and understanding them is such a vital part of being a business owner! Not everyone likes the math, but some shopkeepers in our community really do.
Regardless of where you stand on this, the one thing I know for certain is that you ALL want to learn. You all want to work less, profit more, and grow. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.
What I’ve Learned About My Business
I recently did an exercise with my virtual assistant where we both spent some time determining the core focus for Savvy Shopkeeper. It came down to two things:
I’m here to empower micro-retail independent business owners and support/encourage the #shopsmall movement.
If I go back and listen to all 100 episodes of the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast, I feel confident that THIS is exactly what I try to do with each and every episode.
Consistency IS queen.
I know. I’ve already mentioned it. But I’ve found it to be true in my business, too! Being consistent led to where I am now. Blogging, podcasting, and sending out a regular email newsletter have all contributed to my growth.
I’m a different kind of retail expert.
I’m more than okay with this! I don’t have to be like everyone else. I don’t have to do and offer the same thing that everyone else does. And I don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea.
The people who listen to this podcast and join our membership groups listen and participate because they feel connected to me and our community.
This community of micro retailers has a voice—and Savvy Shopkeeper is a conduit to communicate that voice.
For example, when Tundra was seeking feedback, they booked two calls with me so they could listen to what all of YOU were saying about their platform.
This voice of ours is impactful. I plan to only make this stronger for our community of micro, independent store retailers.
What I’ve Learned About Myself
I haven’t just learned about the retail industry, our Savvy Shopkeeper community, and Savvy Shopkeeper as a business over the past 100 episodes. I’ve also learned about myself.
I held myself back for way too long.
I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur at a very young age, but I stifled this urge for decades.
Similarly, I knew I wanted to do a podcast. I knew I wanted to host a retreat. And no one was holding me back but me.
I want to listen to my intuition more.
Originally I wrote, I need to listen to my intuition more, but I changed it to “I want to listen to my intuition more.”
My intuition can be powerful. I’ve ignored it or pushed it aside in the past, but I don’t want to do that anymore! Usually, my intuition guides me, I follow it, and then I end up saying, “why didn’t I listen to myself and do that sooner?!”
Even my family can see how I’ve grown over the past 100 episodes.
As I was outlining this episode, my husband, Andy, and I were having our morning coffee. I asked him what has changed about me since I launched the podcast, and he said three things:
#1. Both of my businesses have grown. My retail store and Savvy Shopkeeper have definitely grown over the past few years, and that’s because I practice what I preach. I don’t teach anything that I haven’t tried myself, and I’m learning with all of you as we grow.
#2. My confidence has increased. I spent the last year going more all-in on ME. For years, I leaned on others to support my Savvy Shopkeeper journey. My big shift has been depending on MYSELF.
For instance, I taught all five presentations at the retreat. Next year, I’ll be teaching all the masterclasses in Master Shopkeepers, and I started building my OWN framework. I realized that no one knows all of you and your needs as well as I do!
#3. I’m more structured and efficient. Yes, this! I love that Andy sees this in me—I was giddy when he mentioned it! I have worked hard to create a workweek and a life that I LOVE.
I started teaching my “WORK LESS” framework at the retreat, and it’s one of the lessons I received the most feedback on. I can’t wait to support more shopkeepers as they build the life and business that they desire.
Thank You for Being Here for 100 Episodes
This community warms my heart and gives back to me in ways I never expected.
Thank you all for listening to the podcast, encouraging me, and sending me messages and feedback.
Thank you for appreciating me and this free resource, for your reviews, your kind words.
And most importantly: thank you for taking what I teach and implementing it in your own businesses. Hearing your wins is the most rewarding aspect of hosting the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast.
*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links or referral codes, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link or using the code. I make recommendations because I genuinely believe they are useful to shopkeepers. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
- My first digital book: Get Your Retail Business Noticed!
- Join The Shopkeeper’s Lab
- Get your name on the waitlist for Master Shopkeepers
- Sign up for 1:1 coaching with Kathy
- Ep. 96: Retail Success is Subjective
- [02:48] What I’ve Learned About Retail
- [05:26] What I’ve Learned About My Community
- [13:05] What I’ve Learned About My Business
- [15:59] What I’ve Learned About Myself
- [21:12] Thank You for Being Here for 100 Episodes