“What’s one thing you did that helped your business succeed?”
I was asked versions of this question twice in one day and it really got me thinking. I wish I could tell you that I had great answers in that moment, but I didn’t. It wasn't until later that it hit me.
If I could boil my success down to one single word, it would be this: Tracking.
Tracking has allowed me to achieve any level of success I’ve ever achieved. In this episode I share why this is true and what exactly I’ve tracked and how I used that information to succeed. Let's dive in!
**This was also a podcast episode (episode #130). Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.
Tracking your yoga business
If you’re still with me, then congratulations because you’ve made it passed the hard part. If you’re ready to learn about tracking, you’re already winning!
I’ve noticed that when I reflect back on success and failures in my business there’s one common theme...tracking.
Just ask anyone who’s ever worked with me or learned from me. I have data on everything from emails, to social media, to revenue, to my thoughts, to who I’ve worked with, to who messaged me and might want to work with me later. You name it, I’ve got it tracked somewhere.
I know this isn’t sexy or super cool but what it is is super effective. And so we’re going to dive into 3 specific things that I track that I really hope you start or continue to track going forward.
It’s no surprise that I track all my marketing. What kind of coach would I be if I didn’t look at data? But I want you to know why I do this because it’s not just because I teach marketing, it’s because the only way to learn from your marketing is to track what worked and what didn’t.
Spoiler alert: There will be more things that don’t work than things that do work. But you don’t need a lot of things to work. You just have to try a lot of things to see what works.
When I say I track my marketing, this is really mostly done through the systems I use. My email system tracks who opens my emails and who’s clicking on things as well as how many emails I’m sending. All of this is already done, but once it’s tracked it’s amazing what you can do with that information.
The one thing that is not tracked by a system but it’s something that I really encourage you to do is to track your thoughts about a specific marketing tactic. For example, if you decide to host a challenge that leads to a class series I want you to look back at the email and social media data but also keep notes of how you felt it went. Because sometimes we can test something that doesn’t produce the numbers that the systems would pick up, but instead we realize it was fun for us and we just want to do it again.
For me and anyone I work with, we look at that data to make future decisions. For one Thriver I encouraged her to try and increase her open rate by 1%. This will help her learn what her audience will actually open and read and that will help her when she’s ready to sell something. But it’s all in the tracking.
You knew this was coming! As a business owner, you need to know what money’s coming in and going out. I sure hope you’ve got a business bank account and accounting software to help you with this. Again, the systems do most of the work for you on this!
If you’re getting a pit in your stomach about this, please listen to episode #73 where I go through the Profit First method by Mike Michalowicz. And then listen to episode #100 where I actually had the chance to interview Mike! It’s a game-changer!
Start with the basics and move on from there. Tracking finances takes years and years to figure out what works best for you, but you can start simple with a spreadsheet and using the systems like your bank account and accounting software. Know what money’s coming in and going out. The other thing I would really encourage you to track is which revenue stream you earn the most from.
For example, if you teach studio classes, and host your own workshops a few times a year, and have private clients, I would want you to know which of those makes you more revenue.
Based on this information you can make better business decisions as you continue to grow your business. This doesn’t happen overnight but it’s a game-changer when it comes to growth and success. Please track your finances.
This is the one that no one sees coming, but it’s actually my favorite! I want you to start tracking your emotions and thoughts related to your business. This is because it will help you make better decisions, too because it’s not all about the numbers. Yes, we want to make money but we need to build the business of our dreams, not our nightmares.
When we can balance the heart and the head when it comes to business, we’re in good shape!
I do this each week inside my CEO Report. This is something I heard on a podcast when I was first starting my business and I adapted it and made it my own and now I teach it inside my membership, Thrive. The CEO Report can be called whatever you’d like it to be called. Boss Report, Founder Notes, My Weekly Ramblings. I don’t care, the point is to record a few things on a weekly basis and your emotions and thoughts is one of them.
Each Friday I ask myself “How do I feel this week?” and each week I type into a google form that only I see and it’s 100% truth. If it’s an absolute crap week that’s what I write. I tell it like it is and vent when I need to and celebrate when I want to. If I feel exhausted and have no clue why, that’s what I write. I don’t judge, I don’t re-read, I don’t correct my grammar, I just type and move on with my day. It takes about 15 minutes each week, but it’s a big deal later!
When to evaluate all the tracking for your yoga business
There are really several times when I look at the tracking data and I don’t have rules about this really either. I look at it when I need or want to. I don’t overdo it but the point is that it’s always there if and when I need it.
I look at my marketing data at least each quarter and definitely before and after any launches or promotions I run. This is because it helps me plan better for those promotions. I look back at what worked and what didn’t. So the key is that you do the tracking when things are fresh on your mind because it’s nearly impossible to remember it later.
I mentioned this in Tracking Marketing above: You want to capture the notes as it’s happening because that’s how you will be able to go back and look at things. I use Google Docs for this because it’s searchable. I usually have one Google Doc that I track all my notes during a special promotion and it’s golden to go back to and read through later.
For finances, I track my finances on the 10th and 25th of each month based on the Profit First method. I’ve got it down to where it takes me about an hour each of those days and so 2 hours per month on accounting is not too bad! Then each quarter I look at things more in depth during my quarterly planning.
For my emotions and thoughts, I mentioned that I record this data each Friday but I only look at this quarterly or if I need to. For example, before I plan for a launch or special promo I will look back at the last time I did a promo to see how I was feeling during that time. I find golden nuggets of wisdom in those rambling notes. This is how I realized that during launches I need to have all food decisions made before the launch prep starts. For a year or so I thought it was the actual launch week that stressed me out, but I looked back at my notes and it was actually during the launch prep that I was the most stressed. So now I know how to plan better!
Success & tracking
So how does this all connect to success?
Well, when I think of my definition of success I think about less stress and more ease. Less financial stress, more ease in my business, more fun with students and loving waking up to go to work.
And the way in which I’m able to have that is because I know what’s working, what I enjoy doing, and what’s allowing me to pay myself. And the only way I know these things is because of one word...tracking.
If you don’t track your marketing, your finances and your emotions, you will always struggle to be successful.
Your next step
Pick one of these things that you want to start tracking and find a system that works for you.
If it’s finances, read Profit First and start simple. If it’s marketing, look at your email or social media data and see what your top piece of content is and talk about that topic again. If it’s emotions, start your CEO Report today!
Because someone is going to ask you “what’s the one thing you did that helped your business succeed?” and I hope you know exactly what helped you because you were tracking.
Until next time, give yourself permission to track everything and grace along the way.
"If you don’t track your marketing, your finances and your emotions, you will always struggle to be successful." - Amanda McKinney
Want to learn how to market your yoga business with support and encouragement along the way?
In Thrive, my monthly membership for yoga teachers, you get social media and email templates, monthly Q&A calls, advanced trainings, business check-ins, a private community, and more. Thrive is a membership that can support you on every part of your yoga business journey - from the very beginning all the way to advanced challenges!