This post is part 1 of a 5-part series for the Retail CEO Challenge. Read the other parts here: part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5

The Savvy Shopkeeper mission is to empower micro independent retailers to work less, profit more. That’s why, over the next several weeks, I’m running a new challenge for the Savvy Shopkeeper community: The Retail CEO Challenge.  

In this challenge, I’ll help you get clear about what’s important to track and how to set benchmarks for your own business so you can plan for 2021.

If the title “CEO” feels intimidating, I want to teach you to embrace it.  Not only will it remind you that you are running a business and NOT a hobby or “jobby,” but it will empower you to be THE BOSS—and you all know how I feel about that!

So what does it mean to be a CEO?  According to a Harvard Business Review article,  “the CEO is the only one held accountable for the performance and results of the company.” 

And have you heard the expression “you can’t improve what you don’t measure?” That also applies to being the CEO! 

If you want to grow or scale your business, if you have that burning desire to make things better, if you know there’s a way but you just don’t know where to start or what to look at and how to understand it, then it’s time to learn how to be the CEO in your business. It’s time to confidently know your business INSIDE and OUT.

What You’ll Learn in the Retail CEO Challenge

The mission of this challenge is three-fold: 

1. To give you answers: you’ll know what to look at in your business and why

2. To hold you accountable but not overwhelm you: each week, you’ll have actionable, step-by-step homework

3. To give you a plan: At the end of the challenge, you’ll have a system and goals in place for 2021

What Does the Challenge Involve? 

The challenge isn’t about a leaderboard or prizes. The prize will be the growth and improvements you see in your business and in yourself as an owner. It’s about the a-ha, lightbulb moments! 

You’ll see why CEO time is important and why doing the WORK of a CEO is beneficial for independent retailers—no matter the size of your business or store.

You can listen to the episodes to take notes and learn, OR you can sign up for the challenge in the Shopkeeper’s Academy where you’ll get access to all of the tools and resources I’ll be mentioning.

The Retail CEO Challenge Agenda

Here’s the agenda for the 4-week challenge:

Week One: Systems & Processes

In this episode, I’ll talk about the value of setting up systems in your business. When retailers tell me they don’t have enough time in a day, this is usually one of the culprits! Setting up systems and processes in your business can save you HOURS each week.

Week Two: Tracking & Metrics

This week, I’ll talk about some of the worksheets we use to track information throughout the year about your business. This is a simple weekly or monthly date you can set with yourself to document some important financial and marketing information for your business.

Week Three: Business Health Checklist & Goal Setting

In this episode, I’ll walk you through one of my favorite—and most challenging—CEO dates you can set with yourself.  When was the last time you took a really good look at your business as a whole? This particular checklist is 2 pages and could take 1-3 hours, especially if you have a business partner. You will dive deep into your business. I recently saw a graphic that said, “Discomfort is the currency of your dreams.”  Yes, this process will make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s worth it.

Week Four: Retail Business Year-End Report

This workbook is the nicely packaged pot of gold I only wish someone would have provided me when I started my shopkeeping journey. This is where we’ll dive into the important numbers and benchmarks for your business: SPSF, Profit Margin, Ecommerce Metrics, and more.  

How to Sign Up & Pricing for the Challenge

The challenge and everything that comes with it is $197. When you sign up for the challenge, you’ll receive the following:

Access to the Shopkeeper’s Planning & Tracking Worksheets

This includes the Business Health Checklist, goal-setting worksheets, and the Business Year-End Review workbook.

Live Masterclass

You’ll also receive an invitation to a masterclass live on zoom where I will walk you through the Retail Business Year-End Report. This is where I’ll dive into those elusive metrics and benchmarks. 

I often hear retailers say things like, “I heard I should track that but I don’t know what it means and when I calculate it, I don’t know what to do with it or how to make it better.”

At the end of the one-hour class, you’ll have those answers. I’m also offering a bonus in the masterclass: we’ll have a Q&A session where you can ask questions about the worksheets, the Health Checklist process, the Year-End Report workbook, and anything I cover during this 4-week challenge.  And yes, you’ll have access to the replay too!

More Confidence as a CEO

But the most important thing you’ll get out of this challenge will be your increased CEO-level confidence.

A Master Shopkeeper recently said the type of CEO time I’ll be teaching in the challenge gives her the “determination to keep improving and succeeding.” This particular Master Shopkeeper member has a goal of purchasing a commercial building one day, as an investment and a place where she can house her own stores, and I know it will happen because she is committed to being the CEO of her business.

Why You Should Join

If you want to feel empowered as a retail business owner going into 2021, join me for the Retail CEO Challenge

If you told yourself any of these things in the past: 

  • I can’t run a retail business well because I don’t have a business degree.
  • I’m bad at math.  I can’t figure this stuff out.
  • I don’t know what type of information I need to make decisions about my business.
  • I don’t have time to figure this stuff all out.  I need help.
  • My business is too small to do this type of CEO work.
  • I’m embarrassed to ask for help or ask questions
  • I wish someone would just tell me what to look at so I can grow my business and revenue

This challenge will educate and empower you as a business owner. 

You’ll be relieved to know it’s not all as hard as you made it out to be in your head.  And if you have ever attended one of my classes, I love to share examples and stories so it’s fun, relatable to retailers, and easy to understand!

I know what it feels like to be unsure, to feel like I need answers but not know where to turn for safe and helpful information that can truly make a difference for myself and my business.  

Feeling safe and comfortable to ask questions and get answers is important.  I remember a time early on when I went all-in on being an entrepreneur and I booked a call with a business consultant. She ridiculed me for owning two businesses and said I’ll never succeed if I continue to run both.  Now she’s entitled to her opinion, and what she thinks shouldn’t affect how I feel but it was her approach and her judgment that I didn’t appreciate.  It left me feeling like I wasn’t safe and I certainly wasn’t comfortable working with her.  I don’t want to make anyone in our community feeling that way.

If you’re ready for this challenge, if you’re ready to grow, if you’re ready to be the CEO—go sign up! The challenge starts on Thursday, January 14.  

If you’re like me and you think “I’ll do the work!  just give me what I need, teach me in a way I understand, and give me the tools to get it done,” that’s exactly what this challenge offers. I don’t want you to be spinning your wheels anymore.

Ideally, this challenge is for brick and mortar retailers who have been in business for at least one full year, but all are welcome to join! 

The information in this challenge is what I wish someone would have provided me 8 years ago—even before we opened the brick and mortar store! It would have saved me years of reading and research and countless hours of googling. Imagine the results you can get for your own business by saving yourself so much time and by investing in yourself.

A Note for Members of Master Shopkeepers & Shopkeeper’s Lab Subscribers

If you’re a master shopkeepers group member: you already have access to all of this. We’ve covered most of this already, and in February’s masterclass, I’ll be walking you through the year-end report.

If you’re a Shopkeeper’s Lab member: you have access to all of the worksheets already! If you want to sign up for the challenge and participate in the two-hour masterclass and Q&A session, I shared a special discount code in the group. Check the announcements at the top of the group for the code.

The 2021 and 2022 Retail CEO Challenges are now closed. However, all of the worksheets, including the Business Health Checklist and Year-End Report are available in the Shopkeeper’s Lab. Members can find these in the CEO Time + Worksheets module. Click HERE to learn more.


  • [01:23] Shopkeeper Shoutout
  • [02:52] What you’ll learn in the Retail CEO Challenge
  • [04:59] What does the challenge involve?
  • [07:01] Challenge agenda
  • [09:41] How to sign up & pricing
  • [12:41] Why you should join
  • [17:58] A note for Master Shopkeepers members & Shopkeeper’s Lab subscribers

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