When I started my business about 12 years ago, I really had no concept of how to manage the financial side of things. I never kept track of what was coming in and going out for a very long time. When I think of that now, I am totally horrified! I guess partly it was down to the fact that when I first started 91 Magazine, I still had a full time job, so it didn’t matter so much if it made any money. These days though, my income currently relies solely on the business and I now keep a very tight ship on my numbers. Or so I thought! After reading Catherine Erdly’s new book Tame Your Tiger: How to stop your product business eating you alive – I realised there is so much more I could be recording and monitoring.
Catherine Erdly is an award-winning retail expert who runs a membership club called Resilient Retail, where she helps small business owners manage and grow their retail businesses successfully. While I’m not part of the club, I have had a number of 1-to-1 consultations with Catherine over the years, opting for this as I feel my business model isn’t quite a straightforward ‘retail’ business, and I often have very specific queries and needs.
Before running Resilient Retail, Catherine worked for some major high street brands, and is incredibly knowledgeable and full of great ideas. Her podcast The Resilient Retail Game Plan is also an amazing free resource for small business owners and well worth a listen.
If you are wondering about the tiger reference in the book title, Catherine has used the analogy of your small business potentially being like a tiger – unpredictable, slightly terrifying and hungry (for money!). The idea being that Catherine’s advice and the tools she’ll provide within the book, will help to ‘tame your tiger’.
The book is a real no nonsense approach to assessing your business and how you can make it more profitable and easier to run. There are formulas and tables to help you calculate different important figures, as well as hypothetical case studies to give context to some of the techniques throughout the book. I would definitely recommend having some page markers and a notebook to hand while reading, so you can mark important pages and take lots of notes.
With so many small business owners admitting that they are struggling with the economic uncertainty we are living through, it is more important than ever to understand what is going on in your business and whether you are running it in the most effective way possible and hopefully making a profit. Taking the time to read and implement advice of experts such as Catherine, will be so beneficial and you will feel so much more in control of things. Go tame that tiger!
Tame Your Tiger: How to stop your product business eating you alive, by Catherine Erdly, £14.99