The Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Journey

scroll down to read more about the stages of shopkeeping

Stage 1

Aspiring Shopkeeper

Brimming with incredible ideas and ready to take inspired action, you’re at the very start of your shopkeeper journey.

As you dream about opening your retail storefront, you’re taking the time to educate yourself on all things retail. 

You’re a sponge soaking up all the knowledge you can! 

Your Pinterest boards are full of potential products, merchandising ideas, and storefront displays that you can’t wait to recreate or put your twist on.

If you’re handcrafting items, you’re probably selling them to friends and family for fun, but not for profit.

You’re pretty sure your hobby or side hustle could turn into a business with a brick-and-mortar space. You’re just not sure where to start! 

You can imagine your store in detail, but you’re a little nervous about all the steps between dreaming and doing. There’s a lot to do to get a brick-and-mortar space up, running, and profiting.

Most importantly, you’ve got your eyes peeled for the perfect, in-budget retail space to open up—because you can’t wait to go from dream to reality.

Stage 2

Savvy Starter

With a freshly opened store and a to-do list as long as your arm, you’re learning all the ins and outs of running your retail business.

You’ve flung open the doors, welcomed in your first customers, and started marketing your business either online or at market events. Go, you! 

Even if you have a small team, you’re pretty much a one-person business – you’re in charge of everything. THIS stage is where you will most likely spend the most time on and in your business.

From social media to inventory to merchandising to cleaning, it’s all on you. Yikes!

You know you need to work out your finances, grow your customer base, and start building systems to make life easier…

…but how are you supposed to fit all of that in, too?

The day-to-day tasks of running your store are taking up a lot of your time, so it’s hard to see the bigger picture. 

You might be paying yourself, or you might be reinvesting your profits back into the business. 

Either way, you’re doing an incredible job managing all the moving parts of your freshly-opened store – even if you don’t feel like it! Pat yourself on the back for getting this far.

Stage 3

Profit Planner

With a solid foundation and tons of room for growth, your retail business is blooming under your management. 

At this point you’ve got some experience running your store, so you’re well on your way to working less, profiting more, and growing! 

You’ve done the hard work of building a following of loyal customers and you may have a decently-sized email list to show for it.

You’re generating sales, reinvesting into your business, and, most importantly, I hope you’re paying yourself – even if it’s a small percentage of monthly revenue to start. 

You might not be hitting all of your income goals yet—and that’s ok!

You’ve got the foundation in place. You just need to keep building. 

After hiring one or more part-time employees, you feel the relief of not handling every single task in your business. But you’re still learning how to manage them effectively—and how to delegate appropriately. 

Having a retail business is starting to feel less lonely, but you still have so much you want to accomplish! 

To take your business to the next level, you have to get even more off your plate and dig into the numbers so you can plan for MORE profit!

Stage 4

Growing Retailer

With a team to support you and your income goals within reach, you’re ready to be the visionary leading your business to new heights.

You’re getting this shopkeeping gig down pat. There’s room to grow and potentially even scale your business, especially with the systems and team you’ve built here to support you. 

What will help you get there are SYSTEMS plus a solid Operations Manual and a really solid grasp on your financials and data.

You’ve been able to effectively delegate to your team members—or even better, hired each one for a specific set of tasks based on their skill sets.

Once you nail this down, you’ll have the space to think about what comes next for your business. 

Whether that means scaling with new locations, moving to a larger space, or designing your own product lines, you know you’re ready for the next step. 

It’s most likely time to hire a full time Manager and/or delegate more of the system documentation to your team!

Stage 5

Retail CEO

You’ve got a business that runs like a well-oiled machine. With your systems, team, and revenue to support you, you’re ready to scale.

With a solid financial foundation, a team that supports you and systems in place, you feel like the confident boss you are.

At this point you have a team of 10 or more team members supporting your business, along with a warehouse or storage space for merchandise and displays.

You’ve implemented systems and have gotten your processes fine-tuned, especially your hiring process. Nice work!

Your team has taken on all of the day-to-day tasks, which leaves you free to do the higher-level work of scaling, expanding, and leading. 

You might use words like “freedom”, “flexibility” or “passive income”.

It’s time to think about “what’s next?” or maybe even consider higher-level support for your business, like leadership training, or hiring a CFO (Chief Financial Officer).

Coming soon – Stage 6!

Scaling Retailer

Hi there! I’m Kathy Cruz.

Before my sister and I opened our retail store, the Salvaged Boutique, Google search after Google search quickly proved that there just weren’t enough resources out there for brick-and-mortar shopkeepers. 

I kept finding myself in groups for digital entrepreneurs and reading stuffy articles meant for corporations, so I  spent hours upon hours learning through trial and error.

I founded Savvy Shopkeeper with the idea that all Independent Retail Business Owners should have access to resources specifically created for their business. I’m proud to guide and support retailers with an insight-filled podcast, two incredible membership levels, one-on-one coaching, and a powerful community of shopkeepers rooting for each other. 

No matter where you are in your shopkeeper journey, my mission is to help you work less, profit more, and GROW your retail business.