Inventory Genius Method: A Guide to the Blog Series

boutique business boutique business tools boutique ownership education coaching inventory genius series Aug 17, 2023
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The Inventory Genius Blog Series is an in-depth, ten-week guide that breaks down my Inventory Genius Method. By working through the series, you'll get started on a journey that will bring profitability to your inventory based business. The series will give you the knowledge you need to finally put a plan into place, a plan that will bring you both peace of mind and profit.

At the end of this post, you'll find links to each of the other nine posts. Feel free to start at the beginning or read through the pieces that jump out to you.

As you read and work through all the pieces of the Inventory Genius Method series, I want you to remember that every story you'll read is real, and every business journey is a lesson for you as you make your way forward on the path to profitability. We have so much to learn from one another as business owners. I'm grateful to each of my clients who've been open to my sharing their stories and lessons in entrepreneurialism.

You can print these posts and highlight sections you find especially important. Or, you may just decide to take notes. Be sure to write down questions as you have them and reach out to me when you are ready for the next step or to share your realization moments with me. I want to celebrate your wins and applaud your efforts as you work to become an Inventory Genius!

According to Oxford Languages, “genius” is defined as “a person who is exceptionally intelligent or creative, either generally or in some particular respect.”

You aren’t born an inventory genius. You do not open your business with an exceptionally intelligent perspective or deep skill set. You become exceptionally intelligent when you make the conscious decision to focus on the right things and learn what it really takes to be in control of your inventory, profits, and business. 

After all the stress, the boxes of tissues, bottles of Tums, and numerous new grey hairs, I decided that next time I would build a business the right way. I would focus on the right things. I would become a genius in my field. 

More often than not, it takes tragedy to shock us out of our lethargy. We become comfortable with our pain, too afraid to change, though we long for something different—until we are forced to take drastic measure to survive one more day. 

That was where I eventually landed in the fall of 2017. No more money. No more time. No more strength. I couldn’t try one more thing or last one more day. 

Here is the craziest thing of all. As I locked the doors, one last time, to the store I had dreamed about and labored over for years, got into my car, and began the one-hour commute home, I felt freer than I had in over a decade. Why had I waited so long? Why hadn’t I done this sooner? 

Truth be told, I wasn’t ready any sooner than that moment. I needed the bitter taste of defeat to realize what I truly wanted. I had to lose it all to realize that if I wanted to build again, from scratch, I had to focus on the right things. 

By the spring of 2018, I was already launching a new business. It was another product-based business, but I knew my numbers this time. I knew what to focus on. I had the genius of experience and hard knocks in my back pocket. And as I began to build that new concept into a company worth selling, I knew I wanted to share what I’d learned with product-based business owners. 

Owners who have the heart and desire to focus on the right things, as soon as someone can show them what those are. Owners who are ready to be leaders in their communities, businesses, and homes. Owners like you.

As I prepared that business for sale, I began working with other product-based business owners. To my surprise, many of their questions were the same ones I had faced my first time around. 

“How much should I buy?” 

“How do I read my financials?”

“How do I get out of debt?”

In John Maxwell’s book, Sometimes You Win and Sometimes You Learn, he asserts that every experience in life can be taken as a lesson instead of a loss. I’d had a lot of lessons. Instead of counting them as losses, I turned them all into wins. Most importantly, I could use my experience to help others and get out in front of a conversation that entrepreneurs avoid at all costs. How do we manage our money, and how do we start to understand the numbers, so our business works for us, not the other way around? 

So, I built my consulting business. I took my years of experience, the wins, and the losses, and created the Inventory Genius Method. 

I began this blog series with Jackie’s story, and I want to end with Jackie’s story. 

Jackie and I worked together for about a year. In that year, she paid off her debt and found not only financial freedom, but also the freedom to dream big. 

Sometimes dreaming big means using your inventory and newfound margin to scale your business. Sometimes it means paying off debt, so you can close up shop and pursue a new venture with the skills you have been given. Jackie is working on what that dreaming big looks like to her in life’s next chapter. 

But here is the exciting part. She isn’t stuck anymore. She isn’t chained to her debt and the cash-eating monster we call inventory. She tells her cash where to go, and she makes her business work for her. 

This is the freedom I want for you. I don’t want you to become an inventory genius, so you can add it to your list of accolades. 

I want you to become an inventory genius so you feel confident and empowered to run your business like the boss you are. 

When you sat at the kitchen table with your family or in a local coffee shop with your friends and shared the dream of your product-based business, you felt on the top of the world. I want you to start reclaiming that feeling today by focusing on the right things, not the shiny objects and emotional highs, but the things that will truly give you profit and peace of mind. 

I look forward to hearing about your inventory genius journey. It starts today. 

You’ve got this! 

Now, here's a guide to the series. Consider it a big overview of all the pieces. Take a look at where to start, what you'll work through and how you'll make it back to this final post:

Start Here: The Right Work for Businesses - Here is the hope. There is meaningful work that can stop the freefall. Work that can take away the high highs and the low lows of the roller coaster. Work that begins when we start to focus on the things that will actually make a difference. This work will rename you as a genius in your business.

Unstick Yourself and Your Business - I am sharing stories from my own business journey in order to work through how to unstick yourself and your business when you encounter hard points

How Inventory Works - A closer look at why and how your inventory is directly connected to your business' profitability. This post is a key piece in understanding the Inventory Genius Method.

Increasing Sales - More money on the bottom line. More cash in the bank account. A paycheck for you. All three of these goals can be achieved by increasing the top-line sales. Get the full details in this post.

Increasing Margin - One of three things you can do if you know the numbers on your profit and loss statement are accurately recorded, yet you still find a net loss when you scroll to the bottom. Discover how to increase margin and how it can be a total game-changer when it comes to business profitability.

Decreasing Expenses - You cannot grow your business by cutting expenses. If you think you can bypass focusing on your margin and cut costs to fix your problems, it won’t work. Cutting your spending will only take you so far, and in some cases, you can even cut costs so much that you end up starving your business. Learn why decreasing expenses is key.

Net Profit - One of the main focus areas that make up what it takes to become an Inventory Genius. And while you'll often hear business owners noting, focusing on and bragging about their top line number (their gross profit), the net profit is the real litmus of whether or not a business is thriving (or even surviving!). Net profit is what you are left with at the end of the day. It's what remains after the cost of goods sold is subtracted from the sales, and the expenses are all paid. The net profit is a key part of business but it's also a number I seldom hear people brag about. With the Inventory Genius Method, I'm working to change that. We need to have a much stronger focus on the net profit of our businesses.

A Strong Balance Sheet - A strong balance sheet is a crucial part of any business. And for inventory based business owners, it can be tricky to figure out how inventory fits into the balance sheet. Learn more about the ins and outs of a strong balance sheet, and ensure you're on the right track.

The Complex Stuff - In this post, we're getting into the nitty gritty of a few more complex issues related to inventory based businesses. In this post, we're taking a closer look at dropshipping, damages and the ins and outs related to adding a service component to your product based business. We breakdown each of these three issues and work through how to best handle each topic.

And this post you're reading is the final piece! Congratulations - if you've made it here, you're well on your way to achieving Inventory Genius Status! 

If you're looking for next steps beyond these blog posts, take a look at a few resources and tools:

First, I'm excited to invite you to get started with the Quickstart to Inventory Genius. 

The Quickstart to Inventory Genius is my keystone coaching roadmap. Three modules will quickly layout five things to focus on in your inventory based business. You can implement these five strategies right away in order to drive immediate profit. And with the Quickstart, I GUARANTEE that you'll double your investment through either making, saving, or finding that amount in PROFIT. The Quickstart really is the perfect way to get your inventory based business on the right track.

You may also consider joining the waitlist for my top tier mastermind program. The Profit Accelerator Mastermind is a profit strategy program that delivers amazing results for all types of inventory based business owners. It's a chance to work one on one with me and to dive into cash flow, debt management, and the profitability of your business. Interested in learning more? Join the waitlist here. No need to commit now! Joining the waitlist just means I'll send more information as spaces open up.

And if you want to dive deeper into the resources on my website, I hope you'll tune into The Inventory Genius podcast. The podcast is a one stop shop created just for product-based business owners. In the weekly episodes, you'll learn about all things inventory, time management, profit planning for retail, and more. You'll hear a variety of interviews, deep dive conversations on the nitty gritty bits of business ownership and a few fun and random episodes along the way.

Be sure to check out this episode of the Inventory Genius podcast related to the complex issues in inventory based business: dropshipping, damages and adding a service component to your inventory based business.

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Weekly bite-sized advice from Ciara Stockeland.