Focus On Revenue Producing Work (ep 132)

boutique business boutique business tools boutique ownership education coaching ecommerce growth inventory genius product-based business retail the inventory genius podcast Jun 05, 2023

Over the next several weeks, we're talking through my Inventory Genius Method. We'll cover all the basics of inventory-based business ownership. In today's episode, we're discussing how to do the right work in our businesses and what that actually looks like. We're breaking the right work into three bite-sized, actionable steps. Let's get going!

In the first chapter of my book, Inventory Genius, I talk about what the right work is and ask, "wouldn't we all just do the work if we knew financial freedom lie within our grasp?". I want to really talk through that. I don't think there's any person watching or listening to this who isn't willing to do the work. I just think we get bogged down in knowing what that work is. We worry about the everyday issues related to our business: payroll, sales situations, business expenses - all of these things cause complexity to arise in our business.

When things pile up in our business, we chase sales trying to find answers to the problems. Instead of moving forward, this just creates more complexity. We end up not knowing where, when and how to focus on the right things. We get stuck in a tricky, exhausting cycle.

So how do we breakdown the complexity, simplify things and focus on the right work? A lot of times it takes an outside perspective. We can get so engrained in what we're doing - it's helpful to talk through the situation with someone else.

Most often, it's not a lack of effort that causes problems in our business, it's that we're not focusing on the right work. Here are three areas in which we need to focus on the right work:

1. Money

2. Mindset

3. Matter

We need to do the right work when it comes to the money. 

It's so important to know and understand the basics of how your money flows. Have you really thought about this before? We talk about cashflow a lot, but we really need to understand where our money's going. What increases the flow of money in your business? What decreases the flow? Where does the money flow in and out?

When we look at our sales, we need to ask several questions. Where are they coming from? What increases/decreases our sales volume? And we need to do the same for our business expenses. How does the money stay in or leave our business? What do our expenses look like and how can we adjust them?

We need to do the right work related to our business mindset.

I want you to think about this phrase: "Stop playing store with your store."

You're not in business to have a hobby. 

A lot of business owners with whom I work feel shame and guilt over not fully understanding their business. Maybe they don't have a ton of debt but they also don't take a paycheck. They're making excuses about playing store with their store. They're not maximizing the potential of the business they've created.

Focus on your business as a business. I believe you are able to be a confident business owner that has your mindset, money and the matter of your business under control. I believe you can take a paycheck, and if you don't need that income, you can invest back in your community. 

Stop telling yourself you don't have to figure out the hard work when it comes to your business. Regardless of whether or not you need the income from your business, you can and should understand your business.

Now, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We avoid hard things, but we have to become okay with things being challenging and uncomfortable. The uncomfortable feelings are part of the journey toward business profitability.

We need to do the right work when it comes to the matter of our business.

The "matter" of our business is the nitty gritty and everyday of our business. We have to focus on three things here:

1. Strengths and weaknesses: what are you really good at? Where do you need more help and support. Lean into your strengths and get support where you need it. This will help you understand where you need to hire people so that you have more time to lean into the things you're really good at doing.

2. Curiosity: be constantly curious about your business. Why is my margin down? Why are my employees starting to show up late? Why did that product not sell as well this time around? What's working on my website and what's not? Business owners who are curious about their business will train themselves to focus on the right things. 

3. The power of the edit: when we discover parts of our business that aren't working, that are outdated, that no longer make sense, we need to edit them out. Instead of constantly collecting and never getting rid of things, we need to consciously, constantly edit. This applies to inventory, vendors, technology - really everything related to our business.

If we can get really focused on the money, the mindset and the matter of our business, we will start to know intuitively as business owners what our right work is.


Here's a glance at the episode:

[5:48] Ciara shares about recent work with two different inventory based business owners.

[7:50] The three areas in which we need to focus on the right work

[11:32] Ciara discusses business mindset.

[16:36] What's the "matter" of our business?

Click here to listen to the episode.

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Weekly bite-sized advice from Ciara Stockeland.