Reporting, or Business Intelligence, is a big buzzword right now, but it can mean different things to different people.
For the small retailer it can be overwhelming to try to setup lots of reports and maintain strategies for running them regularly. But, it is crucial that you do so to stay on top of your business and your customers.
One way to reduce the strain on yourself is to narrow down your reporting to a set of your most valuable reports that you can run regularly. Sure, you need to take some time each month to run some more comprehensive reports to manage your finances, etc. but your inventory and sales need daily management. Distill your reporting options down to a handful of reports that will help you understand what items are selling, which ones aren't, and who is buying them. Then you can make informed decisions about inventory stocking and placement.
Another way is to give one or two of your trusted employees the power to run some of these reports. Task them with staying on top of one or two of these facets of your business that they are capable of, and share that responsibility with them. This empowers them and frees you up to do other things. Let them manage inventory locations and promotional items for example. Give them specific targets or promotional goals to achieve and let them drive sales that way.
Don't let your reporting system become a big time sink for you. Refine your reporting practices to give you the most vital information on a regular (and often) basis to help you stay competitive and increase sales.