I have always had a knack for teaching and training the staff. Once I created my own system for hiring, I've been sought out as a guru for Hiring and Training seminars.
I have always been pretty good at understanding how to better manage your Inventory. My seminars on this topic have been some of the highest rated talks I have given.
My Achilles heel has been the Financials. Oh, I know 'em. Have to when you run a business like mine. But knowing them and understanding them has been two different things.
Until last night...
I gave my first ever presentation on Understanding the Financials of a Retail Business to a group of business owners. Like me, they all considered their grasp of the accounting side of business to be their weakest. But in less than 90 minutes they all understood how to read a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement . More importantly, they figured out how to use both of those reports to budget, manage cash flow and inventory, and make mid-year corrections.
How did I do it? How did I take something difficult and make it understandable? The same way a professional golfer masters a new shot. I worked at it. For me that meant writing a book about it.
Last fall the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association asked if I would write a book to help other toy retailers understand their financials. I said, "Yes!" and got busy figuring out how to do it. The book will be ready by June and can be purchased from ASTRA.
More importantly, however, the process taught me that I can take something hard and make it easy. I just have to work at it. Better yet, last night the business owners in the room unanimously agreed that I had accomplished my goal - to help them understand their financials, too. That made the work all the more worthwhile.
You can do it, too. Just keep doing the hard stuff until it becomes easy. Surprisingly, for most of us that learning curve is pretty quick. Getting started is the only real challenge.
PS I am currently reworking my eBook on this topic and hope to publish the new one soon. It is an overly simplified version of the ASTRA book. I'll let you know here when I get it done. If you want more details, advanced ideas, and a comparison to toy industry averages, you will want to purchase the book. Check with the ASTRA office. I think they are taking pre-orders now.