• Sara Mays

What Keeps You Up At Night? Filter Your Worries, Act, Sleep Soundly

Filter Your Worries & Take Action

You can ask a 1000 people that question and perhaps get a 1000 different answers (unless they are all parents because they would say their children). As a business owner or leader, the answers may be related to what’s happening in the business that day or that week and that would be expected. But let’s think beyond current events to what’s ahead for your business in the months and years to come.

When my son started 6th grade at a new school, the academic environment was very challenging. He would occasionally come home frustrated and upset. For the first weeks of school each year, he would become overwhelmed. We talked often about how planning and execution can prevent stress. By the time he reached high school, he had developed a process for planning out his weeks and months that reduced his stress level significantly. The result was that he was more confident and comfortable, and his grades improved. He learned what he could control.

Worrying about hypothetical events, things beyond your control, can be detrimental. Worrying about a measurable area of the business can result in positive actions. Filter your worry through a measurable data process to determine if you can have an impact on it. Examples of things you can impact are; employee turnover, sales, margin, inventory, profits, etc.

Many business owners that we speak with say that staffing is their number one concern. So much so that it keeps them up at night. The bulk of those concerns are about having enough people to complete the weekly schedule. While this is an understandable reason for sleepless nights, the worry could be avoided by developing a comprehensive recruiting, hiring, and training process. In other words, create a long-term solution not just a short-term fix.

Other leaders have noted that they worry about online reviews. They feel like a victim in the digital world that we live in today. The “What If” scenarios run their mind as they attempt to count sheep. When business leaders are driven by serving their customers, and this message is lived in their company, regardless of the size, the anxiety is eliminated. Defining your values in the hiring and training process is key to developing a customer-centric environment that will have people talking about their positive experiences online and elsewhere.

Some leaders are concerned about inventory management. Ensuring they have the right amount of product at the right time to ensure sales and avoid markdowns keeps them awake at night. Again, it’s a valid reason to lose sleep, but it is also one that could be avoided with a process for buying- a process that considers customer feedback, a definitive margin goal, and solid on-hand financial goals.

An owner of a boutique that I know has a very strict strategy for inventory management. When she attends trade shows, she never places orders while at the show. She takes pictures, discusses pre-orders with the vendors, but she never finalizes an order until she gets back to her desk and analyzes the numbers. Is the product aligned with her customers’ needs and wants? Does it meet her margin goals? Can she buy small quantities that are appropriate for her shop? Reviewing her plans outside the excitement of the trade show ensures she sticks to her inventory management plan and financial goals.

Living in the moment is a wonderful thing when you are on vacation, but it is not a strategy for running a successful business. Looking down the road to one year and five years after takes planning and discipline.

Business owners will always have some component of the business that worries them, but if that worry continues into the wee hours of the morning, then it’s time to admit that you need a plan. A process that will ensure your goals are met, your values are adhered to, and you get a good night’s rest.

If you’re not sure what to be concerned about, then you probably need our help. All businesses have opportunities and when those are recognized and plans, and processes are developed, the path to success is much clearer and less stressful. Either way, connect with us. We can help you develop a summary of key data, and help you focus on moving your business forward. Our mission is all about helping businesses with plans and processes that will drive your sales and profits. Call us today. (Let’s talk about how we can help you – call us anytime.)

Sara Mays

Principal Consultant

The Retail Coach Consultant Group – NY


724 Ext 701