Resetting Your Business Is an Opportunity
More than ever, shopkeepers are taking stock of their businesses and considering the way forward. That means it is the perfect time to do a business reset. Resetting your business means reflecting on what is and isn’t working, analyzing your numbers, and planning for the future based on the values that matter to you. Here’s exactly how to do it.
The first step to a successful business reset is to reflect. It’s important to consider your business from two perspectives: how it was before the pandemic, and how you want it to be going forward. There are several different parts of your business to reflect on, too. Think about each component in this before and after mode.
Your Personality Type
If you reflect on this time, maybe you learned that you’re an introvert and prefer not to be surrounded by people. Perhaps you’ve realized that you enjoy working from home or having quiet time. Inversely, maybe you’ve noted that you miss the energy you gain from your store and your customers. It depends on what environment you thrive in.
E-Commerce And Shipping
Many shopkeepers had to dive into setting up an online storefront and creating a shipping process during COVID. If this was you, perhaps you have said, “Wow, I should have done this ages ago!”
As you reflect, think about if you want to continue investing time in your online shop. There’s a return on investment for online storefronts, but it’s your choice as a shop owner if you want to invest the time and money into having one.
Shipping can also be challenging, especially when you first learn the ins and outs, for instance, trying to figure out which boxes to use. I have a comprehensive guide that walks you through how to set up shipping for your store.
Before the pandemic, maybe you thought that you didn’t have the skill set or that shipping was too hard. Now you are probably a shipping boss! If you reflect on it, what worked? What didn’t work? How can you make it better?
Teaching Workshops Online vs. In-Person
So many shopkeepers teach workshops. If you’re one of them, it’s a good idea to reflect on the format going forward. Will you stay with an online format, or switch back to in-person? What works best for your customers?
I’m pleasantly surprised by our own online workshops and how well they’re doing. It might just be for the time being, but it could also be because people prefer online workshops overall. Maybe your customers would rather be in their PJs and watch you teach rather than go to your store.
Maybe you added a service or eliminated a service during this time. For example, one member in our community learned that custom monogramming isn’t as profitable or efficient as she thought, so she’s eliminating that from her business. If you added services, do you want to continue with them into the future? Or are there services from before that don’t make sense for your business anymore?
This might be a sticky subject, but you should also consider your team members. When you let go of your staff as the pandemic hit, did you feel any relief about laying off particular team members? If so, you need to assess if you want to bring them back.
Additionally, this is a great moment to consider your values and how those apply to your team. If you listened to episode 28, I mentioned some ways to find your voice as a business owner and determine your values. Use those values to get focused on the type of employee you want to hire.
There’s another master shopkeeper who recently said, “You’re only as good as the support you have around you…even if it includes yourself.” Reflect on yourself as a part of your team and as its leader. What have you learned? How can you improve? Maybe there’s an online course you want to take, or perhaps you want to join the waitlist for Master Shopkeepers so that you can become the best brick and mortar business owner you can be.
Lots of shop owners started selling masks, DIY kits, puzzles, and other quarantine-specific products. Do you want to continue selling those items in the future? Would you want them on display in your store?
Conversely, maybe there are categories that you identified, just move slowly in your business—and now you want to eliminate those.
I’m guessing that you have learned a lot of financial and business lessons during this time. I shared eleven of my own in episode 25 and episode 26! Take a moment to reflect on what you have learned and how that applies to the future of your shop.
Values, Boundaries, and Your Why
As the world changed, your business changed, and YOU as a person and shopkeeper changed. What values are front and center for you now? Maybe you realize that over the past few months, you enjoyed the extra days at home, time with your family, and fewer working hours.
If that’s the case, how will you stand firm with those values? One way is to establish boundaries. For example, you could set up autoresponders so that your customers realize that once you get home, you aren’t available. It doesn’t mean you can’t provide excellent customer service. But you have to establish boundaries.
Your WHY is also essential, both to you and your customers. I touched on this in episode 28. Why do you have a business? What issues do you support?
A couple of master shopkeepers members have mentioned that things have to be perfect for them to launch something. It isn’t laziness or procrastination, just the need for everything to be perfect. Sometimes you just have to push through and move forward.
The last item for you to reflect on is your mission. I’ve recently done this with Savvy Shopkeeper, which you can hear about in episode 30. Consider what your purpose is as a shopkeeper, business owner, and leader.
The next step is to analyze your business, especially the financial side. Take a good look at the following:
- Your inventory categories
- Your profit and loss statement
- Social media analytics, such as analytics from Facebook Lives or Instagram TV posts
Once you have all of the information in front of you, try journaling about it by hand or in a Word document if you prefer typing. Write out your thoughts concerning the information you have—it might amaze you what emotions come up surrounding these numbers!
Do you like your inventory categories as they are? Is there one that is doing well, or one that isn’t?
If you are flourishing during this time, what is causing that? If you aren’t doing so well, why is that? Look at your profit and loss statement for ideas. You can also think about customer comments you’ve received, which might give you some insight.
In terms of social media, think about the time you spent there. How did your social media strategy serve you over the past few months? Did you connect with your customers? Did you do enough? Did you do too much?
Taking the time to reflect on your business holistically and analyze your numbers gives you all the information you need to plan for the future. This is where change happens. You can make healthy decisions that are backed up by your analysis and reflection. However you choose to approach the future of your business, don’t apologize for it. Make sure you embrace it! It took a lot to get to where you are now. You will find the right direction for you and your business.
For those who have pushed through and survived, take pride and consider it a blessing that we’re still here. Pat yourself on the back. And by all means, take the time to strategize. You have the opportunity to do some amazing things with your brick and mortar business. If you pushed through and survived, you are here for a reason.
- Shopkeeper Shoutout: Katie of Brothers Honey Co.
- The Savvy Shopkeeper’s Guide to Shipping for Independent Retailers
- Join the Master Shopkeepers Waitlist
- Episode 25: Business Lessons Learned During COVID-19: Part 1
- Episode 26: Business Lessons Learned During COVID-19: Part 2
- Episode 28: Posting About Sensitive Topics on Your Business Social Media Accounts
- [1:03] Savvy Shopkeeper Shoutout: Katie of Brothers Honey Co.
- [2:34] Reflect
- [2:43] Your personality type
- [3:08] E-commerce and shipping
- [4:21] Workshop teaching styles
- [4:56] Your services
- [5:27] Your team
- [6:32] Inventory
- [7:04] Financial lessons
- [7:21] Values, boundaries, and your why
- [8:16] Perfection paralysis
- [10:16] Your mission
- [10:57] Analyze
- [13:09] Plan