Working with Numbers

Yesterday, I spent the entire day working on inventory and the website. Today, I have spent the entire day working on the store’s finances for 2018. I am finally putting a stop to it and will finish everything off tomorrow because things are blurring together and mistakes can be made. Usually, I would complain so much to you about this part of the business owner job. I would lament the tediousness and how the math hurts my head. Shoot, a few years ago I would’ve complained that I suck at math and hate it and this part of the job is the worst ever.

But, things change.

Recently, I’ve been meeting lots of business owners through different channels. Once you start operating in certain circles, you start to see different opportunities and so contacts I never thought I would make are materializing. In the past month alone, I got the opportunity to speak with two major small business retailers in Miami. They’ve been doing this for a long time and have multiple locations of their successful brick and mortar stores. Since brick and mortar is where I’d like to end up one day, I was eager to listen to them.

Would it surprise you that the two of them agreed on one thing being critical to success? They were both adamant that to make a business work, especially a brick and mortar, a business owner had to become completely intimate with the numbers. Independently, these two rockstars encouraged me to become as intimate with my numbers as I possibly could and to remain that way always. One also suggested choosing an accountant who was not only fantastic but that I would want as a friend. Thankfully, I made that connection a few months ago so I’m good on that front.

But, I’m lacking on the clarity part and so I have been working hard and diving deep. Last year was a fiscal mess. I was on top of things until mid-March and then an announcement came that I would have to start paying a monthly fee to continue integrating Shopify (my store’s backend provider) with Quickbooks Online (my store’s accounting program). The fee was not small-- it would almost triple what I pay monthly for hosting my website. I couldn’t afford it and so I had to pull the plug on the integration. And with that, I pretty much pulled the plug on all of it.

I then proceeded to sell five times what I sold in 2017. This is wonderful on the surface, but it causes one heck of a mess for someone who decided to completely ignore her numbers. And so, with my extended tax deadline approaching in October, plus lots of super sweet nudging from my accountant, and the recent conversations with these two people I really admire, I have been getting to work. 

I will have 2018 complete tomorrow. It will not be perfect but it will be the best that I can do in July 2019. 

And after that, I will dive into 2019 and start whipping everything into shape for this year. Look, the way I see it is if you can make the numbers work, you can do anything. And if you work at something consistently, you will see consistent results. So if you want to crush it at your business, make the numbers work and be consistent in as many areas of your business as often as possible. It is that simple and it is that hard.

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