Sometimes Numbers Are Fun

January 15, 2019

When you own a business, January is the month of numbers. Numbers tell us many things. They tell us how much revenue came in, how high our expenses were. They tell us margins, profits, losses. They tell us customer counts and average order amounts. Numbers help us plan for the future. They help us make decisions. In many ways, numbers are what keeps a business in business. Without these figures, these tangible indicators, running a business is pretty much just a game, and a risky one at that. 

As an English major, math was never my strong suit. Give me all the words, all day long. But, numbers? No thank you. I was that person that somehow managed to get all the way through college only taking one math class and the only reason I passed was because the entire class was as "good" at math as me and the grading curve landed me (and everyone else) a solid B-. 


I'm so embarrassed to share this, but someone might need a laugh, so here goes. When we first started the retail grocery part of our business, I didn't even balance the cash drawer for the entire first year. I just threw all the cash and coin in a money bag each night and called it close enough :/ Turns out that's not a good idea if you want to stay in business. As we wrap up our 4th year of having the store today, I'm happy to say we are now balancing the register every day. In fact, I've sort of gone to the dark side. Numbers are growing on me. I'm learning how numbers can be our biggest motivators. They present challenges to overcome, problems to solve, and goals to achieve. All things I happen to be a big fan of. Numbers can also show us when those goals are achieved and it's time to celebrate. Numbers are (I can't believe I'm saying this) sometimes even fun.


So, just for fun, I'd love to share some numbers with y'all from the past 4 years of Simply Nourished.


Year 1 Gross Revenue- $185,577.96

Year 2 Gross Revenue- $211,957.38

Year 3 Gross Revenue- $204,604.20

Year 4 Gross Revenue- $365,940.16


Keep in mind, these are gross revenue figures. I will spare you the expenses for each year as they are not quite as fun ;) I will say, however, that if it hadn't been for the construction this Fall, the store would have been very, very close to breaking even this year. Simply Nourished paid out nearly $390,000 in expenses this year and I cannot say thank you enough to my husband, Shea, for hanging on to this little business dream of mine while it develops. Most do not know that Shea has used the profit from his division of BE WELLness (Better Body Movement) to offset the store's capital expenses and losses for 4 years. He has never rubbed that in or made me feel anything but successful regarding the management of our retail division, which has definitely been our family's labor of love. Blood, sweat and many tears have flowed the last 4 years over what I often refer to as our 4th child. Yet, like a child, no matter how mad, sad or frustrated the store has made me, I simply cannot abandon it. I continue to hold out hope that this baby is still growing, still maturing. And words cannot express how grateful I am to the man who has paid the baby's bills while it was too young to pay for itself. Hopefully the baby will hold its own in 2019.


Something that truly encourages me regarding our store's expenses is knowing that the $390,000 paid for some amazing things--wages to our incredible Team, cost of goods to countless local producers and natural food companies, rent to our great landlords who have invested substantially in Clear Lake, insurance premiums to a local company, donations and sponsorships within our community--just to name a few. I can definitely say I feel good about how every dollar was spent.


The money spent on cost of goods to local producers is especially fun for me. I LOVE getting to support our local producers by giving them an avenue to sell their products beyond direct selling. Here's another fun number for you. In 2018, $50,968.44 of our gross revenue was from selling food products grown, raised and prepared right here in Iowa, most of which were produced within 1 hour of our store. The only exceptions were Great River Maple and Tiny But Mighty Popcorn. I don't know about you, but that number gets me really fired up. They call it the local food movement for a reason. She moves! It has been so fun to see the progress the last couple years, and even more fun to be part of it.


A couple of other fun figures... 


In 2018, we gave our customers back $3,256.85 in loyalty money. Every purchase made at Simply Nourished earns money back, and that money can be used as store credit for any purchase (in case you are a customer and didn't already know this). 


Additionally, we paid out $42,000 in wages (not to Shea or myself). Although, 2019 is going to be the year I cut myself a check ;) Maybe I'll wait until the last day of this year, right before we hit the big 5 Year Anniversary. That's the goal anyway. Profit by January 1, 2020! I keep saying I feel like this year is going to be extra special, and I know one of the ways it will be special for me is watching as 4 years of hard work starts to reflect in the numbers.


Sometimes numbers can be fun.


Have a happy, healthy week friends. Thanks for the part you played in the numbers this year. Hope to see you soon!

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