Category: Business, Entrepreneurship
Publication date: February 21, 2023
Extent: 240 pages

Tame Your Tiger

How to stop your product business eating you alive

Catherine Erdly


Does your product business feel unpredictable, slightly terrifying, and hungry for money?
If so, you’re not alone.

Retail is the fastest growing small business sector, and for good reason. With accessible selling technology and billions of people shopping online, reaching your ideal customer is easier than ever before.

But the truth is that making money in a product business is harder than it first appears. And without profits, your business becomes incredibly difficult to manage and almost impossible to grow.

Fortunately for you, big retailers have spent decades developing methods of monitoring profit margins, forecasting and growing sales and managing stock to maximise their bottom line.

In this book, small-business retail expert Catherine Erdly shows you how to easily apply those big business tools and perspectives to understand your business, get clear on what you need to do to grow profitably, and, ultimately, tame your tiger.


If you are into product business, specifically a beginner or a small business owner, this book has life changing potential…For me this has been a true gift, I have been searching for so long for this kind of information, and in such an encompassing way. I will recommend this to any small business owner who handles stock, it is that important.


It’s vital that you product-based business owners take advice that’s relevant for you, and boy does Catherine know her stuff about the daily challenges of running profitable product-based businesses.


Fantastic book. Well written, easy to understand and a powerful tool and insight to how to help your business not only survive but to succeed and grow.



No fluff, straight to the point and packed to the brim with brilliant advice, there is no book quite like Tame Your Tiger for getting right to the heart of the issues faced by small product business owners today. If you sell products, you need to read this!
Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder, Small Business Britain

In this book Catherine takes her years of experience of working for big retailers in the UK and overseas to distill good practice for the benefit of small businesses. If you are a product-based business wanting to work smarter not harder in achieving results and get on top of your finances, this is a must-read!
Emma Jones CBE, Founder, Enterprise Nation

As a small business owner, the right support and good advice can often be hard to find; enter Tame Your Tiger: How to stop your product business eating you alive. Filled with practical tips and advice, this is an absolute must- have for every business owner!
Louise Daniel, Founder, And so to Shop

Catherine’s book is a brilliant resource for independent retail businesses – it’s fantastic to have something that is so directly relevant to this sector. The tiger analogy works brilliantly and makes a complex area easier to understand – we will definitely be recommending this book as a top resource for Crafty Fox’s artists and makers.
Sinead Koehler, Founder and Director, Crafty Fox Market

Catherine’s managed to make complex and scary subjects including margin, profit and stock planning, easy to understand for even the most creative of us (myself included). I can’t think of many brands that I’ve worked with over the past decade that wouldn’t benefit from reading this book. Your business will be so much easier to run after doing so.
Rosie Davies-Smith, Founder, PR Dispatch

A highly practical resource to help product-based brands get a firm grip on their finances, margins, pricing and growth opportunities. Chock-full of detail, useful information, calculations and how-to guides to help you understand the numbers behind your business so you can make better, more profitable, decisions and ensure the resilience and longevity of your brand.
JUST A CARD campaign team

A must-read for any small or medium-sized business owner! Catherine successfully breaks down how to calculate and understand important metrics in simple, practical and engaging exercises. A wealth of knowledge and actionable tips, a brilliant book I feel every business owner can learn from. I wish this was available when I was starting out!
Chloe Torpey, Founder, Olive and Frank

Catherine knows her numbers, and if you own a business selling products then so should you! This book is packed with tips for how to manage the money in your business. Ignore her advice at your peril.
Kate Hills, Founder and CEO, Make It British

Catherine is certainly attuned to the environment that she works in and has her finger on the pulse for the benefit of the industry. This book is essential for anyone who is in business, both new or seasoned, as there is some fantastic advice and goals and ideas to help your business succeed, all in a refreshing new approach.
Chris Workman, Marketing and PR Manager, The Giftware Association

This book’s power lies in taking complex subjects and making them accessible to small business owners. Whether you think of yourself as a numbers person or not, Tame Your Tiger will help you get clear on the key figures to keep an eye on to help you feel in control of your product business. Highly recommended.
Rachel Westall, Editor, Craft Focus

An essential book for any stage of your retail business journey! A must-read to ensure you know your figures and maximize profitability. With useful case studies, tips and tricks, it will help you to visualize and apply the content. Definitely one for your business toolbox!
Nicki Capewell, Founder, Pedddle

Catherine takes an honest and down-to-earth approach to navigating the minefield that is growing your product business. Calm, warm and hugely relatable, she successfully breaks down a product business into digestible pieces of practical advice, from understanding your finances to selling successfully online. This book will help product-based business owners make sense of a fast-moving market.
Dirk Bischof, Chief Executive of Hatch Enterprise

An essential read for any product business owner or founder who wants to get off the rollercoaster and into the driving seat. Packed with insightful tips and industry know-how, this is the book you need to ensure your business is built on strong foundations.
Helen Carley, Entrepreneurship Advice Manager, University of Brighton

Tame your Tiger is a fantastic resource for retailers looking to wrestle back control of their business. Catherine simplifies key business metrics and gives practical, digestible advice. She gets straight to the point and the end result is a really valuable business book.
Rob Gamage, Managing Editor, Modern Retail



WelcomeWho the book is for and how to use it, with an introduction to the fictional case studies that will be used throughout the book.

Chapter 1 – The Anatomy of a tigerWhy do product businesses become tigers and how do you manage them?

Chapter 2 – The Bite Part 1 – The top teethHow to calculate your in-margin, and how to improve it.

Chapter 3 – The Bite Part 2 – The bottom teethWhat is your out-margin? How can it impact your business and what are some of the factors that may be causing you a problem.

Chapter 4 – The Tail Part 1 How do you identify the productive stock in your business?

Chapter 5 – The Tail Part 2The questions to ask yourself before creating a stock plan.

Chapter 6 – The stomachHow much are you feeding your tiger? Working out what your fixed expenses are in your business and how to put together a simple plan to make sure they are the right size.

Chapter 7 – What about sales?How to grow sales in a profit-positive way, and why more sales isn’t always the answer.

Chapter 8 – Becoming a tiger tamerUnderstanding the key numbers you need to track each month to keep your business healthy. Using the data to learn about what your customer really wants and improve your product strategy.

Chapter 9 – Final thoughtsIf you do nothing else after reading the book, these are the things to focus on.



Further Reading



Paperback / 9781788604048 / February 21, 2023 / £14.99

Ebook / 9781788604062 / February 20, 2023 / £7.99

Paperback and eBook Bundle / £16.99


Catherine Erdly

Catherine Erdly is an award-winning small business retail expert, podcast host, speaker and writer, recently named one of the top 100 retail influencers in the world by Rethink Retail. She has over two decades experience in the retail industry, including 17 years managing budgets up to £400 million for some of the largest names in the high street in the UK and USA.

She has worked with hundreds of small and start-up independent businesses and brands to grow their sales, manage their stock and improve their business resilience through consultancy and her membership group, The Resilient Retail Club.

Catherine is a contributor on the subject of starting and scaling a product business, a judge for the Good Retail awards, on the editorial board of Modern Retail, a Small Business Britain small business champion and was awarded the UK’s top sales adviser in 2021 by Enterprise Nation. She has been featured on national radio, television and press to give her insight into retail news and industry trends and hosts the popular The Resilient Retail Game Plan podcast.