A day in the life of a retail brick and mortar store owner usually isn’t confined to “business hours.” Retail business owners work hard. Really hard. And although I personally work hard at establishing boundaries, I do find some parts of the business I co-own with my sister, will still find it’s way into my “time off” or even my days off. Here’s my “day in the life of a small business owner.”
Every store owner’s day is different and some brick and mortar business owners who are reading this might be wondering “days off, what’s that?” But the store I own with my sister is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Having two days off gives us a break, time with our families, and time to rest. We’re back at the store on Tuesday mornings and ready to go!
Here’s what my Tuesdays tend to look like:
5-7 am – The time I wake up varies between 5-6 am but as soon as I’m up, coffee is brewing, I’m watching the local news and I’m reviewing and replying to emails, posting on social media and engaging with anyone who comments on our posts or might have commented or sent us messages overnight. I should add that if you’re a night owl, your day will most likely look different!
7 am – In my most ideal routine, I’m out for a walk or exercising. This, of course, doesn’t always happen but working out helps me stay healthy and helps clear my mind.
8 am – I usually handle some household chores – dishes, cleaning up a little, and I get the boys (husband and son) out the door. then I get ready for the day and I commute to the store – we’re open 10 am to 4 pm….
10 am – Time to open! Throughout the day, we’re taking care of customers and generally on Tuesday mornings we handle what we call “housekeeping tasks” addressing new email inquiries, having conversations about buying, incoming orders, custom services requests, upcoming store events, and workshops, etc.
11 am – Before lunch, we might spend some time remerchandising, organizing our creative studio, and shipping online orders.
By 12 pm I’m eating LUNCH because a girl has to eat! Personally, I can’t go 2 hours without snacking so lunch is MUST.
12:30 pm – After lunch, it’s time to start working on custom orders in the shop (we offer custom painted furniture services, we also refurbish all furniture pieces we sell in the store). And if we aren’t working on furniture we’re unpacking new merchandise, pricing it, and adding it all to our inventory system. We might post again on social media and usually, we’re responding to social media comments and inquiries throughout the afternoon when necessary.
4 pm Close up shop and head home. Luckily we close before rush hour begins and we get to avoid traffic and we’re both usually home by 5 pm.
5-7 pm I use this time to run personal errands or I’m back at home and usually handling more household tasks, getting dinner ready, etc.
7-9 pm By this time, I’m usually in my home office and back on my laptop, checking in or posting on social media one more time and prepared to engage if need be. I also use this time and some early mornings to write for Darice and record the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast.
9 or 10 pm IN BED! I’m sure you can tell I’m a morning bird, so my brain works best in the morning and by the time 9pm comes along, I just need to disconnect, unwind and go to bed.
As retail business owners we are the face of our businesses and many of us enjoy working in our stores and helping our customers but we also have lots of “backend” work – this can include website management, business planning, maybe even bookkeeping and accounting, email marketing, and so much more.
If you’re still in the growth phase of your business, you might be doing this all yourself or maybe you just prefer this type of work. I handle many of these aspects of our business so I implemented one work-from-home day. Every Thursday I work from home so I can handle all of these tasks without interruption.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to feel pressure to “do it all”. We also tend to feel a heavy weight on our shoulders – are we meeting sales goals, can we make payroll, can we pay ourselves, can we expand or add a second location?
If you’re a retail business owner, you probably understand exactly what I’m talking about. It’s hard to turn our brains off. But boundaries and rest are also extremely important. If we aren’t healthy or if we don’t have a good team in place then it’s hard to run a business so take the time to delegate, set up systems and processes and by all means take breaks, implement self-care and rest!
What does your day look like? Do you take time off, do you gift yourself with a self-care routine, do you get to the gym? I’ll be covering this in an upcoming episode of the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast, comment below and I’ll mention you and your store in the episode.
You may also like -
Since founding The Salvaged Boutique with her sister in 2013, Kathy watched her passion grow from a fun blog and hobby with her sister on the side of her full-time job, to a thriving brick and mortar home decor store. After running the store for years, she saw the need for an online community where small business owners could find resources. So she took it upon herself to create Savvy Shopkeeper, a blog and online business dedicated to educating, motivating and building a community of shop owners. From a full-time job to full-time entrepreneur, Kathy helps hundreds of store owners and makers navigate store ownership while running a store herself.