My goal for all Savvy Shopkeepers is to “work less, profit more.” But it can be tough to gauge how much we should be paying ourselves, especially when salary isn’t openly discussed among retailers. 

I’ve collected data from retailers for several months now about salary goals via a free, anonymous salary calculator. Let’s dive into the results from the calculator and talk about salary goals. 

About the Savvy Shopkeeper Salary Goal Calculator

In episode #2 of the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast, I pointed listeners to an online calculator to determine how much revenue they would need to generate each year to pay themselves their salary goal.  I used the calculator’s data to gauge the actual salary goals of shopkeepers in the Savvy community.

First, the data is completely anonymous. I can’t see who used the calculator or any personal information about the users. If you want to try it out for yourself, the calculator is still active and available, click HERE for more information.

Second, most retailers in our membership groups are “micro” business owners. That means that they are either solopreneurs (one-person shops) or have fewer than six employees. 

Some members have larger teams, stores, and revenue numbers. Their contributions to the community are invaluable! But overall, most Savvy Shopkeepers are small or micro business owners. 

What the Calculator’s Data Can Tell Us About Salary Goals

Every shopkeeper’s circumstances are different.  For some shopkeepers, they are the breadwinner, and their livelihood depends on their store’s revenue. For others, their shopkeeper salary contributes to the household, but it isn’t the only household income source. And for some, their pay is a “bonus” or “discretionary income” and doesn’t affect paying bills at home. 

The results from those that have used the calculator reflect the range of circumstances among our shopkeeper community. The lowest yearly salary goal was $10k per year, and the highest was $120k per year. The average was $45K (remember, this data reflects GOALS rather than actual salary payments).

Studies have shown that, on average, most retail business owners in the United States pay themselves about $50K per year. That’s very close to our community’s average salary goal of $45K per year. 

Why It’s Important to Talk About Salary Goals

Most retailers don’t openly share numbers

Retailers tend to hold a lot of information about themselves and their businesses close to their chest. That’s why I find that conducting anonymous surveys to be so insightful! 

I know these are not validated or scientific studies. But having a benchmark of what others in our industry are feeling or experiencing makes it easier for each retailer to create their own goals. 

You need to build a positive salary mindset

I know that many shopkeepers are not happy with their salaries.  Don’t get me wrong. Most LOVE what they do. Some are happy with what they pay themselves. But I have a pulse on micro-independent retail store owners, and many WANT more.

If you want more, I’m rooting for you! It can be inspiring to hear about others’ goals. Those goals are achievable for you, too.

It’s okay to want more

According to an article by earlier this year, the average salary a woman makes in the US is 45K, while the median a man makes is 55K.

There is nothing wrong with WANTING more. Hell, there is nothing wrong with wanting to pay yourself six figures!  

Is this what you really want?  I think many of us do but won’t admit it or don’t feel it’s possible.

How to Hit Your Salary Goals

Once you have a goal, you have to create the mindset and the plan to hit that goal. This is why episodes like #44, “The Retail Profit Pie,” are so important and why I plan on talking about mindset much more in the future.  I want to help shopkeepers hit their goals!

In episodes #1 and #2, I talked about treating our businesses as just that—a business. Your business is not a hobby and certainly not a “jobby” (you know, when you work 40+ hours/week and don’t see a dime of it in your pocket!).

Whatever your goal is, I want you to feel empowered to say it out loud. Don’t shy away from it or feel ashamed of it. 

Just as importantly, I want you to feel that it’s POSSIBLE. I, and the rest of the Savvy Shopkeeper community, are rooting for you.



  • [00:54] About the free salary goal calculator
  • [04:10] Shopkeeper Shoutout
  • [05:48] Data from the calculator
  • [07:15] Why it’s important to talk about salary goals
  • [07:20] Most retailers don’t openly share numbers
  • [08:56] You need to build a positive salary mindset
  • [09:24] It’s okay to want more
  • [10:44] How to hit your salary goals
  • [12:19] Post-Black-Friday deals from Savvy Shopkeeper

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