Regardless of your religious beliefs, the world-renowned Serenity Prayer is a powerful and inspiring guide for independent business owners:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
I have emphasised the most meaningful words in this from a business perspective.
We in the independent business sector spend too much time worrying about what we cannot change and the things we will not change. It seems that on some of these issues we prefer to expend energy and emotion complaining and being angry rather than either forcing change or moving on.
Magazines are good example. We burn through enormous energy complaining and being angry and most newsagents do nothing about it.
In the average independent retail store business there is plenty we can change. My management tip today is to focus on what you can change in your business.
Start right away. Take out a note pad and write down the parts of your business which you can change: groceries, alcohol, fresh, carbs & snacks, stationery, greetings cards, how you display magazines, hiring, firing, marketing, employee motivation and connecting with the local community. These are all important areas than can impact your bottom line.
This list of what you can change is what you should focus your time and money on. For anything not on the list: do what you need to do, but don’t invest beyond this – save your best investment for the parts of your business you can change.
Think of this as you reclaiming your business for you.
Narrowing your focus on what you can change could change how you manage your business and what you invest in it. I hope it boosts your business and gives you a fresh outlook. I hope that it resets your feeling to one of optimism and love for what you can do.