When it comes to making decisions, it’s all too easy to get bogged down by mental drama. That’s why it is so helpful for your mental health as a business owner to LEAN ON DATA.

Of course, I would never discount emotion or your instinct. These are absolutely important, as human beings and as business owners. In fact, I’ve been working on listening to my instinct MORE. 

However, we can make some decisions without emotion. Making these sorts of data-driven decisions helps lighten the mental load. 

Emotion is a Normal Part of Business

I’ve seen members of Master Shopkeepers, my 1:1 coaching clients, and even caught myself in the mental drama of making decisions. And while the concept of making data-driven decisions isn’t difficult, the implementation can be. Our emotions are like the line jumpers at school—you know, the kid who always cut in front of you because they wanted to be FIRST no matter what. 

We’re human beings. Feelings and emotions are natural. And often, these can be all-consuming. Thankfully, the information in and from your business can help you cut back on your mental gymnastics. 

How to Make Data-Driven Decisions in Your Retail Business

But how do you know which decisions can be made by data? Let’s look at some examples.

Shopkeeper #1: Back Up Your Freak Out

One of my 1:1 coaching clients was in a tailspin about how many days she would need to close her store. Her only employee was going on maternity leave right before the holiday season, so she was worried that she’d have to close. 

I asked her how many days she’d need to cover or close, but she wasn’t sure. So she sat down with her calendar and mapped out the days…and she only had to close for three days! In her mind, she thought she’d have to close for two whole months. But when she looked at the data, it was not nearly as bad as she thought.

Shopkeeper #2: Website Stats Drama

Another of my 1:1 clients was having a lot of mental drama about her website traffic. She was convinced that her website traffic and sales were down, and that she needed to fix these issues with a significant investment into a rebrand and a new website. 

After looking at the numbers, though, she chuckled and realized that her numbers were UP compared to the previous year! Suddenly, all the mental worry over needing to change everything about her business went away. 

Shopkeeper #3: Feelings vs. Data

Store owners often come to me and are very concerned about their revenue. They’ll feel like it’s way down and that they aren’t making enough money. But when we actually look at their revenue compared to the previous year, they’re often doing so much better than they think they are! 

It’s common to let how we feel about our business tell us where we are. Looking at the hard data often sheds new light on where we are.

Shopkeeper #4: Choosing Revenue Streams

A close business friend was considering cutting a revenue stream in her business. So we got out big paper, wrote out all of her data, and realized that her gut was right. It was time to cut a revenue stream. She was able to make that decision with confidence because she looked at the data and knew that it backed her up.

Shopkeeper #5:  Bags on Bags

Lastly, I recently hosted a hot-seat coaching call inside Master Shopkeepers. We have these two to four times per month, and members fill out a form describing what they need help with. Often it’s a mindset issue, a business decision, or both. 

One member said she felt she was playing small when making decisions, especially her ordering decisions. For example, ordering shopping bags for her store weighed her mental load—she felt like she was constantly reordering bags. So I asked her to look at her numbers. How many transactions does she usually do in-store each year? 

When she looked at the numbers, she saw that she averages 3000 in-store transactions yearly. She was ordering bags in batches of 200, which led to 15 orders every year! Now, she can order bags once or twice annually for less effort, less work, and a lighter mental load.

Where Can You Lighten Your Mental Load?

If we have the data to work with, analyze, and use, decision-making becomes so much easier. 

What can you start tracking today? What system can you implement so you can start collecting data? What process can you set up so you can easily make decisions?

This is my challenge to each of you in 2023—because we ALL deserve a lighter mental load.

Resources

Timestamps

  • [02:38] Emotion is a Normal Part of Business
  • [04:21] How to Make Data-Driven Decisions in Your Retail Business (with five examples)
  • [12:54] Where Can You Lighten Your Mental Load?

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