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David Brown

Losing Money Because You’re Bad at Numbers? Here’s How to Change That

There’s no reason why you can’t improve your math acuity.




UNDERSTANDING NUMBERS DOESN’T come easy to many people. According to Yahoo Finance, over 90 percent of Americans suffer some level of math anxiety. That’s an incredibly high number that can contribute to an inability to grasp information that may make a difference in your life.

One of the most obvious for a business owner is their KPIs and financial statements — a source of much information about a business’s performance that can go neglected if not fully understood. It’s easy to see why anxiety around math can quickly lead to a failure to recognize financial issues within a business that can cause long-term problems.

Thankfully, there are opportunities to improve your knowledge and overcome many of the fears that stand in the way of you getting the most from your financial statements. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do to help.

Talk to your CPA. As someone who “gets” your numbers, your CPA can be one of your best sources of interpretation for your financial accounts. They can interpret much of the information for you, helping to sort the superfluous numbers from the ones that really matter.


Do a night course. Education doesn’t have to end when you leave school or college. You may have struggled in your teenage years, but you now bring the benefit of life experience, maturity and purpose to the issue of understanding numbers. You may be surprised how easily you can pick up many of the things that left you baffled before.

Watch YouTube videos. Education doesn’t even have to take the form of formal paid training. The internet is awash with those who are willing and able to teach you what you need to know, often for little or no cost. A thorough understanding of numbers and business performance can be simply a click away at the end of your mouse.

Subscribe to an online course. If the idea of traipsing out on winter nights to a cold classroom doesn’t appeal, then why not do an online course? Some are run by accredited training institutions that can provide a qualification. Others are just online entrepreneurs with a passion to teach. Either way, they can help you through the process of making your numbers speak to you in a way you understand.

Understanding financial statements can be intimidating, but as a business owner, it’s an area you can’t neglect. Take the time to educate yourself fully and enjoy the rewards that it can bring you.


David Brown is the president of Edge Retail Academy, a leading jewelry business consulting and data aggregation firm that provides expert business improvement plans to help with all facets of your business, including improved financials, healthier inventory, sales growth, increased staff performance, recruiting and retirement/succession planning, all custom-tailored to your store’s needs. They offer Edge Pulse to better understand critical sales and inventory data, to improve business profitability, benchmark your store against 1,200-plus other Edge Users, and ensure you stay on top of market trends with their $3 billion-plus of industry sales data. Contact (877) 569.8657, ext. 001, or



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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