Fine Tuning Your Retail Business Operations with Business Strategist Gwen Bortner | Episode 183

Creative Shop Talk Podcast Episode 183 |  Fine Tuning Your Retail Business Operations with Business Strategist Gwen Bortner

Creative Shop Talk Podcast Episode 183 | Fine Tuning Your Retail Business Operations with Business Strategist Gwen Bortner | with Retail Coach Wendy Batten
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook

With Retail Coach Wendy Batten

Listen on:  Apple Podcasts |Spotify | Radio Republic | YouTube | PlayerFM | Stitcher | iHeartRadio

Show Notes:

What should we focus on in our retail operations? On Episode 183 of the Creative Shop Talk Podcast, fellow retail business coach Gwen Bortner and I turned on the mics for a little impromptu chat about retail business operations. Like me, Gwen has a background in retail. Her coaching business focuses on the operations of her clients’ businesses so that their businesses support their lives rather than the other way around.

In our coaching careers, Gwen and I have found that after the start-up phase of business is over (in my experience 2-3 years after start-up), business owners are spending their energy mostly on marketing, in reality, it’s often the operations of the business that also needs our top attention and consistent fine tuning. 

In order to move the needle in your business, the first step is to identify where the bottleneck is. 

Business Operations and The GEARS Assessment

Gwen’s clients participate in a rating exercise called The GEARS Assessment. It is an assessment of operations and is designed to be completely subjective. Essentially, you evaluate 5 operational aspects of your business on a scale of 1-4. The total number can give you an idea of how you feel about the operations of your business and individual scores can give you an idea on where the most necessary (and likely easiest) operational fix in your business is right now. 

You can take the GEARS Assessment for FREE on Gwen’s website HERE.

Goods – Products and services you sell
Effectiveness – Personal and team productivity, business leadership
Accountability – Prioritizing what is important and taking consistent action to reach goals
Resources – People, money, equipment, technology, and similar
Systems – Processes, routines, and reporting

Gwen is a special guest coach inside the Retailer’s Inner Circle, teaching Open To Buy inventory management. 

As listeners of this podcast, you know I encourage weekly CEO dates: something that doesn’t often come easily to creative business owners. So many of us are accidental entrepreneurs: our businesses started as a passion project that grew and grew leaving us on a hamster wheel. What you need to remember is that it is okay to ask for help: NO ONE IS DOING THIS ALONE – nor should they! However, as leaders of our businesses we need to have our finger on the pulse of all of the operational aspects of our businesses. Gwen’s GEARS Assessment is the perfect place to start.

Creative Shop Talk Podcast Episode 183 | Fine Tuning Your Retail Business Operations with Business Strategist Gwen Bortner | with Retail Coach Wendy Batten
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook

About Gwen

Gwen Bortner is the founder of Everyday Effectiveness, an operational advisory firm that helps visionary entrepreneurs scale their businesses to seven figures and beyond. Before becoming a full-time business advisor in 2015, Gwen solved operations problems for corporate giants like General Mills and for niche companies like the world’s largest supplier of bull semen. To date, she’s advised executives, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs in over 40 industries, including craft retailers and industry leaders. In addition to advising and speaking on operational strategy, Gwen is the author of the best-selling knitting book, Entrée to Entrelac, and teaches knitting internationally for Craft Cruises, Inc.

Follow along with Gwen on LinkedIn.

Related podcasts we think you’d like:

Episode 18: What’s Possible: The Accidental Shopkeeper with a Thriving Store with Jeff Lee

Episode 60: How Focused Learning Can Grow Your Business

Episode 70: You’re Not Just a Shopkeeper, You’re a Creative CEO

Episode 89: Money Talk & Mindset with Profits First Coach April Stroink

Episode 95: Tips to Tame the Admin and Stay Ahead of Business Trouble

About Your Host, Wendy Batten:

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m Wendy, a small business coach and founder of The Retailer’s Inner Circle, where I help other independent shop owners learn how to gain the right business skillsets to see more profits, paychecks, and joy as they navigate running their retail business. 

Through online classes, business coaching programs, speaking, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped hundreds of retailers around the globe reclaim their dream and see the success they want from their beautiful shops. My signature private coaching community, The Retailer’s Inner Circle, has helped retailers around the world build their retail business skill sets and confidence. 

I am proud to have been featured in several major publications, including my own business column in What Women Create magazine. I have been privileged to be a guest on top-ranked podcasts and sought-after as a guest speaker and teacher for several brands, associations, and communities that are passionate about the success of independent retailers.

When I’m not coaching, you will find me either DIYing and renovating my very imperfect old crooked cottage by the sea in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lunenburg, NS, or blogging about our travel and RVing adventures and the weird fun things we get up to in our coastal village. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for real retailers at

For more support from Wendy:

Retailer’s Inner Circle – Join Wendy inside the best retailer’s community

Wendy’s FREE Resources for shop owners 

Hang out and connect with Wendy on IG 

All of Wendy’s programs and services for shop owners can be found HERE.

Subscribe and Review in iTunes:

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I’d love you to consider it. Subscribing means you won’t miss an episode! Click here to subscribe to iTunes!

If you want to be more of a rock star, I’d love it if you could leave a review over on iTunes as well.  Those reviews help other retailers find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. So grateful for you! Thank you!


Hi there! I'm Wendy Batten, and I'm obsessed with helping independent shop owners like you achieve success.

With over 20 years of experience as a small business owner, I've owned several retail businesses along the way including a cafe, two retail shops, and a studio (and even a tae kwon do studio), learning first-hand the art of juggling all the balls.

I now dedicate my time to coaching hundred of retailers all around the world, sharing my expertise to help them organize their businesses and maximize profits, paychecks, and JOY in their day-to-day lives.

I created the support, programs, and community that I wish I'd had.

Whether you've been in business for years or are just starting out with your brick-and-mortar venture, you've come to the right place.

If you're serious about your business and ready to stop winging it, I'm here to inspire and guide you toward success.

I'm so happy you're here, and I can't wait to support you on your journey to thriving in the world of retail!



Subscribe Now

Subscribe to Creative Shop Talk so you never miss an episode covering the topics most important to creative retailers.

Share Some Love

Click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review”. I may highlight you on an upcoming episode. Make sure you leave your business name, Instagram handle and location so I can give your shop a shoutout. 

Keep on listening …

Join the Conversation!

Thousands of independent shop owners have signed up to receive Wendy’s latest industry news and business help delivered straight to your inbox! Join us!

Weekly emails with news your business needs.

Pin It on Pinterest