Part Three: Simplify Business with the Inventory Genius Method

boutique business boutique business tools boutique ownership education coaching ecommerce inventory inventory genius retail simplify business series Jun 08, 2023
Ciara Stockeland sitting on counter in inventory based business; text

Welcome to Part Three of the Simplify Business Series. Over the four parts of this series, I'm taking a close look at those oftentimes-tricky questions that I know all inventory based business owners have. I'm breaking the questions down into simple steps. The bite-sized, actionable steps I'll offer will give you one task at a time to understand, complete and implement in your own business. And over time, you'll to begin to simplify the way you look at your business model. You'll be on your way to becoming an Inventory Genius and on the path toward profitability. You'll have a business strategy you can use.

Throughout the series, I will be using my Inventory Genius Method to explain the questions, the answers and the simplification process. In Part Two of the Simplify Business Series, we covered the simple approach to understanding your business. We worked through sales goals, inventory and budgeting. We put it all together to gain a complete picture of how your business looks, what your numbers are telling you and where you need to shift, change and rework so that you can start moving and growing in the right direction, toward profitability. If you haven't already gone through Part Two, you can find it here. 

Business coach Ciara Stockland looking through clothing at inventory based business.

Now that you've got a roadmap in place for your inventory based business, we're going to close out the simplification process. In Part Three of the Simplify Business Series, we're tackling the simple approach to falling in love with what you do. Your business' sustainability depends in large part on your enjoyment of the work involved. But that also takes some effort and planning. During this part of the process, we'll cover how to say "no", how to practice self care, and how to unplug so that you can rest. You'll learn how to be very intentional with your time, your boundaries and your schedule. I'll help you take the necessary steps to ensure you truly love your inventory based business. You'll be able to proudly claim that you love your work and the business into which you've invested so much. So...let's get going!


PART THREE: The SIMPLE APPROACH to falling in love with what you do

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” -Steve Jobs


Day 15: The simple approach to saying ‘no’

“Saying no can be the best form of self care.” -Fran Hauser

A friend recently sent me this message: "Booster meeting tonight at 7pm."

I read the note, sat back in my chair and contemplated my response for about two minutes. I then promptly replied, “Thank you for the invite, but I am not interested in attending booster meetings at this time”.

There are a million opportunities that come across our desks. A million things to do, a million directions life tries to push us. But what happens when these "opportunities" become obstacles instead? Why do we constantly say "yes" to the things that bring us little-to-no joy or fulfillment, or in which we have little interest?

While I know I was fully capable of helping with the booster club, I decided that there were other areas in which I needed to devote my free time at that moment. Fortunately, we always have the right and the ability to simply say "no".

Here's your coaching action step for today:

Think about areas in your life and business to which you can say 'no'! Respond to these prompts:

→ I'm giving myself permission to say 'no' in the following areas:

→ I'm giving myself permission to say 'no' to the following things:


Day 16: The simple approach for practicing self care

We hear it all the time: The need for work/life balance.

True balance, however, starts with caring for ourselves. Yet this simple practice is all-too-often overlooked.

Business coach Ciara Stockland positioning sign outside inventory based business.

We are all experts in making excuses about why we don’t practice self care. We may tell ourselves we don’t have the time, the money or the energy to take care of ourselves. Self-care does not have to consume us, though. It does not require a flush bank account or wide-open schedule.

In fact, you can practice self-care on a simple budget and with a minimal time commitment.

Here are some simple tips for building self-care into your weekly routine:

  • Make a wish list of things that would make you feel pampered. Place a date by each item and schedule it into the next six months.
  • Layer a self-care practice on top of a current daily routine. (Example: Every time you eat lunch, shut your office door and spend 15 minutes listening to a motivational podcast instead of checking emails.)
  • Make a list of ten people in your life that are part of your tribe. Schedule a phone call, a dinner or a Saturday afternoon with them in the next three months.
  • Use your time blocking practice to reserve 30 minutes every morning or evening for yourself. Use that time to think, rest or work on your vision board or any hobby that brings you joy. Don’t cancel this time; do your very best to keep this appointment with yourself.

Taking care of yourself is actually pretty simple. Don't overcomplicate it.

Here's your coaching action step for today:

Think about ways that you can better practice self-care. Respond to these prompts:

→ What makes me feel pampered:

→ How can I layer a self-care practice into my day?

→ How will I spend my 30 minutes every morning or evening?


Day 17: The simple approach to creating a schedule you love

"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." -Oprah Winfrey

One recent morning, while enjoying my coffee during my social media time block, I stumbled upon this anxious post from a boutique business owner in my Facebook group: 

“Help! I cannot sleep, I work over 60 hours a week, tasks are never completed. I never spend time with my family. I am exhausted. There is always something else to be done."

My heart broke for her!

Business coach Ciara Stockland holding a stack of denim at inventory based business.

We aspire to a dream to business ownership, and yet all too often we find ourselves slaves to the small business schedule. Instead of running our business, our business runs us. It dictates our sleep patterns, our weekend hours, and every minute in between. What if instead of staying on this hamster wheel, you could create a schedule you loved? One that would give you freedom to work when necessary, while also enjoying rest and relationships when you choose?

Let’s take a simple approach to creating a schedule you love. It starts by looking ahead.

What is your dream schedule? Do you want to work five days a week, or do you instead want to occupy your mornings with business and your afternoons with family? Perhaps, for you, a dream schedule means taking every Friday off.

Whatever your ideal schedule looks like to you, start with your end goal in mind and work backwards.

Write down your vision, and from there, begin to break it down into small goals to get you to the end result. Choose one day and start to remove the things that are standing in the way of a life you want - less time on social media, or less time answering direct messages or checking emails. These all add up, and conversely, can all be reduced.

Give this new schedule a try, and slowly start to simplify.

Adjust, as needed, but always keep your end goal in mind and try not to stray from the simplicity of your new schedule.

Here's your coaching action step for today:

Think through your daily routines. Where can you create a better flow throughout your day? Respond to these prompts:

→ How my mornings look:

→ How I want my mornings to look:

→ How my afternoons look:

→ How I want my afternoons to look:

→ How my evenings look:

→ How I want my evenings to look:

→ How my weekends look:

→ How I want my weekends to look:


Day 18: The simple approach to unplugging from social media

“Almost everything will work if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

Pick up your phone. Turn it off. That's it!

I was given this challenge several months ago by a woman I admire. She turns off all social media and completely detaches from her little hand held device every Sunday. The other six days a week, she gives herself permission to use her phone however she needs to and whenever it calls. On Sundays though, she chooses to simply enjoy life and some quiet time away from the business of the world.

My challenge to you is to find a day each week when you can simply unplug.

Here's your coaching action step for today:

Conduct an "audit" of when and where you spend time on social media. Then, decide what platform you need to unplug from and commit to time every week to do this! Respond to these prompts:

→ Observations on my social media time:

→ Observations on where and when I need to take a social media break:

→ How and when I will commit to taking a social media break:


Day 19: The simple approach to being intentional

“A beautiful life begins with a beautiful mindset.” -Laura Brunereau

I first heard the term "intentional living" on a family talk radio program as I was driving home from work about ten years ago. What I heard struck a chord with me.

What if we did live more intentionally? What if we didn’t just hop and skip through life hoping for the best and trying to survive? 

What if instead we chose to be intentional with every relationship and every decision and every action, and, in so doing, we built a life focused on intentional living?

We all know that unexpected storms will come, and disasters may strike from time-to-time. It is inevitable. But when they do, we can be grounded and prepared, having built a strong and firm foundation through the simple - yet intentional - way in which we have built our lives.

Here's your coaching action step for today:

What are ways you can live more intentionally? Respond to these prompts:

→ A more intentional family life:

→ A more intentional personal life:

→ A more intentional business life:


Day 20: The simple approach to morning routine

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” -Warren Buffet

Rising at five o’clock in the morning, in the middle of winter, when it is dark as can be and below zero, may not be anyone's favorite thing to do. However, there is something so serene about early mornings.

The quiet calm before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, the pink hue of the sunrise or the quiet chirping of the birds, can bring a sense of peace that very few realize until they experience it themselves.  

Coffee mugs raised in a toast.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my sleep, I really do.  However, as I have seen the benefits of practicing time blocking, I have also found that rising early on specific days of the week to enlist the early morning as a tool in my day has produced tremendous results in both my business growth and my mental health. 

I challenge you to choose one day this week and time block your morning. What tasks do you want to accomplish each hour for the first two hours after you get out of bed? What investment in yourself will you make with the extra time you are gifting to yourself? Will you sit quietly with a cup of coffee? Will you read a short devotional? Will you take the time to further plan your day in a calm space?  

An early and well-used morning can simplify the remainder of your day.

Here's your coaching action step for today:

Think about ways that you can better launch your day with a calm morning routine. Write down three ways you commit to taking care of yourself, first thing each day. Respond to these prompts:

→ Ways I could better prepare for my day:

→ What is holding me back?

→ What I will change starting today to give myself the best day possible:


Day 21: The Simple approach to the simple approach

“Structure the environment around you so that habits become easier.” -Dr. Wendy Wood

Simplify everything, including this very series! Always break everything down into simple, actionable steps. Twenty-one days is all you need.

Here's your coaching action step for today:

Break down the simplification tasks from this series into an order that makes sense to you. I've listed them all below so you can easily see them in one place.

Rank the simple strategies in order of importance to you. Next to each simple approach, list the date you plan to begin this simple step in your business and life.

Stick to your goals for each day, and you'll find it easy to accomplish one of these tasks per day. 

You can do it! It's simple.

→ I will take a simple approach to starting my week right.

→ I will take a simple approach to scheduling.

→ I will take a simple approach to learning.

→ I will take a simple approach to organizing my store.

→ I will take a simple approach to organizing my paperwork.

→ I will take a simple approach to getting things done.

→ I will take a simple approach to breaking down my sales goal.

→ I will take a simple approach to understanding my numbers.

→ I will take a simple approach to streamlining my business.

→ I will take a simple approach to budgeting.

→ I will take a simple approach to understanding my inventory.

→ I will take a simple approach to selling my inventory.

→ I will take a simple approach to finding profit in my business.

→ I will take a simple approach to saying 'no'.

→ I will take a simple approach to practicing self-care.

→ I will take a simple approach to creating a schedule I love.

→ I will take a simple approach to taking a social media break.

→ I will take a simple approach to being intentional.

→ I will take a simple approach to creating a morning routine.


Business coach Ciara Stockland standing in front of inventory based business.

Congratulations! You're done with the Simplify Business Series! You've added so many strategies to your toolbox and you're now on the path toward profitability.

In case you want to look back, here are the other parts of the series:

Looking for next steps? I invite you to get started with the Quickstart to Inventory Genius. 

The Quickstart 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.

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