BUSNESS TRACKER GUIDE
How to Best Use Your swHw Business Tracker
Every time a business tracker moves from our shelves to your home, it represents so much more than a sale. It represents a business that desires to bring God glory and a business owner committed to being famous in heaven and at home. I can’t wait to see how He uses you!
Before you dig in, let me pray for you:
God, thank You SO much for the businesses You have entrusted to us. Use us as Your hands and feet. Help us pursue discipline so we use the talent You gave us to bring You glory and serve Your people well. Give us open hearts and open hands. We love You. Amen.
Rooted IN Him and rooting FOR you!
FOUR GOALS WE HAVE FOR YOU IN USING YOUR TRACKER:
Reverse Engineer Your Goals.
Have you ever known exactly what you want the end result of a project to look like, but you’re not sure where to start or how to grow over time? Because the she works HIS way Business Tracker format progresses your planning from quarterly to monthly, monthly to weekly, and weekly to daily, you’ll be able to break down your big business goals into bite-sized tasks by simply following the prompts.
What we say isn’t always what we do. Simply writing something down is a HUGE forward step of intentionality. If you know you’ve been holding back from what God has called you to pursue, your tracker will help you take your personal accountability to the next level.
Spend More Time Now; Save More Time Later.
In using your tracker, you’re likely to find yourself writing down more than you ever have before in terms of tracking your business. But once you get in the habit of taking the few extra moments to track your activity now, you’ll find yourself saving yourself so much time later. Who was that person I was talking to? What was that quote I read that inspired me so much? What was that marketing idea I thought of in the middle of that conference call? No more wondering. It will all be right there in your tracker. (P.S. Did someone say stress-free social media posting? Yes please!)
Stay Focused on What Matters Most.
In the midst of your planning, our pages remind you to pursue what your business REALLY needs, such as humility and hard work. Daily, you’ll be guided to begin your work day in prayer and gratitude, then conclude your work with the question of how your day’s work honored your family. As a believer, business is never just business, and our planning pages reflect that.
WE’RE ROOTING FOR YOU! Let’s dig in!
NMW’s GUIDE TIPS
No Matter What’s + Notes
No Matter What’s (NMW):
(n.). the non-negotiable, vital, reoccurring, ongoing tasks in a business that are required to keep the lights on and fulfill the business’ goals and purpose, even on the craziest day.
Call me old school, but I still prefer pen + paper. (And if you’re reading this, I’m guessing I’m in good company!) But the ONLY thing I don’t like about using pen + paper to track my business activity is being forced to re-write my reoccurring tasks over and over again. This allows you to write down your NMW’s for your business ONCE. Then, on your Daily Tracker pages, you’ll have an opportunity to check off a box to show you completed them all. Easy peasy!
P.S. Bonus tip: As often as possible, do these first!
QUARTERLY GUIDE TIPS
“Top-performing entrepreneurs don’t just work in their business. They work on their business.”
– Dave Ramsey
The Quarterly Guide is designed to help you accurately evaluate the previous quarter and strategize effectively for the upcoming quarter.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR YOUR TRACKER’S QUARTERLY SECTION:
Truth to Guide Me:
Every quarter, have truth that will keep you committed/focused on the hard days and humble/grateful on the great days. You’ve got room for Scripture, wisdom from a mentor, encouragement from a client, etc. You might be tempted to skip this – but remember, you’re much better off to have motivation before you need it!
The only way this section won’t be beneficial to you is if you’re not honest. Before you answer these questions, pray for discernment and self-awareness. Then, after you complete this section, discuss your answers with a co-worker, your spouse, or your business mentor.
The SWOT analysis dates back to the 1960s from a management consultant named Albert Humphrey at the Stanford Research Institute. This practice will force you to see what’s working well and needs to remain, but also what holes are missing that need to be fixed.
Here are a few examples/questions to get your wheels turning for each category:
Strengths: products/services that perform well, teammates who out-perform their compensation, systems with strong conversion from prospect to customer, brand recognition, positive customer testimonies
Weaknesses: underperforming products/services, team chemistry or gaps in skill issues, undeveloped systems, poor customer reviews
Opportunities: Where can we grow that we haven’t explored yet?
Threats: What future events could hinder what’s currently working well?
SWOT Analysis Action Plan:
There is a distinct difference between a goal and a given. Givens will occur if you just show up. Goals are different because they require effort. And in my opinion, the only goals worth pursuing require God’s power way more than our ability. (Remember, it’s a given if you know you can do it. Goals require us to work as hard as we pray to make them happen.)
But remember, the key to goals is FOCUS. Having ten goals is the mental equivalent of trying to run in ten different directions at once. Not smart.
Limit yourself to three uncomfortable goals per quarter. Focusing on a fewer number of higher-level goals not only increases our chances of immediate growth, but also positions us to manage the growth well so we can sustain the growth.
After selecting your three goals for the quarter, list the smaller action steps you will need to take to make each goal possible.
Mark Cuban said there are three categories of business owners: Innovators, Imitators, and Idiots. If you want to be in the top-tier of entrepreneurs, you must continue to innovate.
Here are some questions to stir your innovation wheel: (I don’t recommend trying all of these at once!)
- What new product/service can you offer?
- What new promotion can you offer?
- What customer appreciation campaign can you start?
- What new ways can you share your story?
- What’s a part of your story you haven’t shared yet?
- What new markets exist for your business?
- What teammate could you bring on board to add value?
MONTHLY GUIDE TIPS
Each tracker consists of three monthly guides – one for each month of the quarter. The Monthly Guide is designed to help you break down your quarterly goals and implementation steps into smaller action steps over a shorter period of time.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR YOUR TRACKER’S MONTHLY SECTION:
Keep My Hustle Holy:
This is your change to organize your monthly plan that aligns with your quarterly goals. What do you actually want to implement this month? Break it down into tasks, systems, and dreams with deadlines.
P.S. The title of this section is intentional. Before you write anything down, remember that a “holy hustle” is a dual commitment to hard work and God’s glory. Don’t get distracted! Stay in your lane and go His pace.
This section provides you the opportunity to look at the plans you made for the quarter and make a specific execution plan for the month. You’ll note three categories, and here’s the significance of each:
As the leader, it’s your job to keep your team excited. This means in addition to providing a clear vision for the purpose of your work, you need to provide them ways to grow on a regular basis.
Think about it: If your goal is for your business to grow, your business will require a team that’s also growing to keep up with the business demands. Whether this means providing or encouraging continuing education opportunities in their field, or simply taking a portion of team meetings to teach and train, make sure growth and development is a part of your organization’s culture.
What was once creative will turn into common, and eventually, will even deteriorate further to become a commodity. Think about Amazon Prime. We about lost our minds when it became available to pay a $99/fee a year and get free 2-day shipping on all orders.
But now, we get angry when companies don’t offer free shipping, although it’s crazy unfair to hold a small business to the same standard as the Amazon conglomerate.
What’s creative for your business right now won’t be creative in six months. Keep your business fresh, and you’ll retain the customers you work so hard to obtain. If you opt to keep your business the same, despite industry changes, don’t be surprised if your customers leave you for a business that innovates.
The only way you’ll have new growth opportunities for your team and your customers is if you’re growing yourself. This doesn’t mean you need to launch a new product or service every month. But you will be in a much better position to create if you are put in new situations where you have to learn and adapt. Travel. Volunteer. Take a class. Join a mastermind. Partner with another business. Try something new. You’ll be amazed by the unlocked possibility.
Leaders are learners. Whether you prefer books, business blogs, or podcasts, this is a place to archive information and quotes you want to remember. It’s purposely blank so you can structure it in a way that makes sense to you.
Does my Bible reading count as personal development?
No. Yes, the Bible is the greatest source of wisdom we have. It’s by far the best book on leadership and integrity that exists.
But the Bible is not about you and me and our story.
The Bible is about God and His story.
So if we approach His Word to find something about us or for us, we’ll miss the entire point. It doesn’t mean we won’t have takeaways when we read His Word about our businesses. If you read the she works His way app, you know our team constantly has business application straight from Scripture.
But read His Word to learn more about Him.
How much should I read/listen to each day?
The majority of entrepreneurs fall into one of two categories. They’re either always learning or never learning. The first category almost becomes addicted to personal development. They’re constantly learning…and rarely implementing.
Most people try to quantify their personal development. I’ve heard people suggest reading a chapter a day, a book a month, engaging in 15-30 minutes of a podcast or an audiobook a day.
My advice is different: Don’t put a quantity to it at all.
What I’ve been doing for years is engaging in personal development daily…until I find a nugget I need to implement. Some days, I read for an hour. Other days, I read a paragraph.
But by doing my personal development this way, I eliminate the risk of over-learning and battling entitlement, or over-doing and battling burnout.
Bottom line: Find the quantity that works for you. But make sure your personal development plan includes both learning and doing.
Got any personal development book recommendations for me?
You can download our recommended reading list of 25 Books Working Women Who Loves Jesus Should Read at swHwbooklist.com. I’d also download the she works His way app (available for iOS and Android) and get plugged into the swHw membership community at sheworksHisway.com. I know I’m the founder of the ministry, but I didn’t create it because I wanted another job. This community was created because 1) God called me to it, and 2) I needed the accountability and the network of other women myself. Come join us. You’ll be glad you did.
Profit + Loss:
Obviously, this isn’t the place to categorize all of your business expenses and profits. This is a place to track the main numbers and evaluate the financial health of your business. Take your time answering the evaluation questions. Honest, thoughtful answers here will help you avoid making similar mistakes twice and/or will help you narrow down your focus for a new month.
Money isn’t always a favorite topic, especially if you’re more of a creative. But Jesus reminded us to “count the cost” (Luke 14:28). Financial numbers shouldn’t own you as you make decisions, but allow them to be a factor.
One Thing that Scares Me:
Of all the things I’ve implemented over the last decade in business, this one exercise has probably produced more growth than any other activity. Every month, I commit to doing something that scares me. Here are a few ideas:
- Share your business with someone who is further ahead in their career journey than you are
- Reach out to someone you consider to be a virtual mentor
- Attend a business event where you know no one
- Launch a new product
- Make a larger investment back into your business (Still a calculated decision, but not a routine purchase!)
You get the idea. The longer you do this, the scarier your tasks become. But the more you’ll position yourself to grow.
Don’t leave it up to chance to WOW your organization and your customers. Plan for ways you can step your service up a notch. Small acts of gratitude go a long way to build loyalty and unity.
Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning:
- Include an extra freebie or a sample in with their order.
- Send them a discount code on their birthday.
- Help them learn something new.
- Write a thank you note.
- Start a loyalty program.
- Spotlight customers.
- Offer a surprise discount/bonus.
- Host an event.
WEEKLY GUIDE TIPS
Each tracker consists of 15 weekly guides – 5 for each month of the quarter. (You may not need Week 5 every time, but we provide it anyway.) The Weekly Guide is designed to help you break down your monthly plan into smaller implementation steps, along with planning for your regular business routine.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR YOUR TRACKER’S WEEKLY SECTION:
Monday through Friday:
Most entrepreneurs teeter on one of two extremes: always working or never working. If you leave your work time to chance, something else will always come up. This is the difference between entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs. Real businesses have real tasks. And real tasks require real time. So make a plan and stick to it.
Saturday and Sunday
Your family and your life also require intentional effort. Your business may be a great business, but even the greatest business is a terrible life. Life is about people and relationships. It does not matter how much you love your business; your business cannot love you back.
This business tracker operates under the assumption that the majority of you will work Monday – Friday, then have Saturday and Sunday off. Your job may require different days and different hours. That’s fine. But even if you need to re-label the days to reflect your schedule, the principle is the same. Work five days. But take one day to give your family your best. And take another day to give God your best.
Saturday: Again, it doesn’t have to be on Saturday. But just like you work to WOW your team and your customers, at least once a week, WOW your family. (Our customers shouldn’t get perks our families don’t!)
Sunday: I look at having a Sabbath as a time tithe. Just as we’re called to give 10% of our finances back to God, He asks us to take one day a week to make it about Him. I know it can be tempting with a quiet house to try to get ahead. But I promise, you’ll land much further ahead if you honor the commands God sets in place and trust Him with 1/7 of your productivity. He’s good for it.
When you plan your work schedule is up to you, but I choose to plan for the next week as the last task of my current week. I take our family calendar and match my schedule to ensure I can honor all of my commitments.
I’m betting that your brain rarely shuts off. You’re probably not short of ideas. But remembering all of your ideas and actually doing something about them? That’s another story. This page is your opportunity to write down everything that’s been rattling around in your brain of what you’re considering taking action on this week. I’ve even included some words to jog your memory and get your wheels turning as you brainstorm all of this week’s potential.
It shouldn’t be pretty. It probably won’t make sense to anyone else who reads it. And not everything you write down has to be completed or is even a good idea. It’s just a place to host all of your ideas. Don’t worry about flow or format. Just move it from your brain on to paper.
Prayer is one of the most critical things we can do to prepare for the week ahead. Prayer is our way of inviting God into our businesses. Working for His glory requires that we talk to Him!
Here are a few prompts and verses to get you started:
- I’m available to do Your work. (Isaiah 6:8).
- Take the glory for everything I do. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- Go before me and stay with me. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- Reveal my sins and lead me back to Your way. (Psalm 139:24)
- Define success for me daily. (Matthew 6:33).
- Give me opportunities to show others Your love and truth. (1 John 3:18)
- Help me recognize You as the owner and myself as the manager of what You have entrusted to me. (Psalm 24:1)
- Make my delight IN You trump my desire to do something FOR You. (Psalm 37:4)
- Do immeasurably more through me than I can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
- Help me pursue relationships with those who point me back to You. (Hebrews 10:25)
- Open my eyes to the needs around me more than my own needs. (Philippians 2:4)
- Open the hearts of my clients, customers, and teammates. (Ephesians 1:18).
- Help me listen to others more than I speak. (James 1:19)
- Make serving others the main point of my gifts and abilities. (1 Peter 4:10)
- Fill me with the Holy Spirit’s power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)
- Establish my steps, even if it’s different from my plans. (Proverbs 16:9)
- Rid me of selfish ambition. (Philippians 2:3)
- Grant me wisdom. (James 1:5)
- Make me content, despite my circumstances. (Philippians 4:11)
But don’t forget to get specific! Use these words to jog your memory to pray specifically over the areas God has entrusted to you:
People | Dates | Goals | Needs
Need a worksheet to print these reminders out to display in your office? Grab this free resource at prayerlaunch.com.
Commitment to Clients:
Average businesses prioritize marketing. They use click bait headlines and promise more than they can deliver. Top-performing businesses are intelligent with their marketing strategies, but they also have powerful systems in place for customer retention. These four areas will ensure that you don’t just have a wide front door for your business, but you keep the back door of your business closed.
Your clients won’t always expect you to solve their problems, but they will expect you to listen to them. And guess what? If you do listen to them, you’ll get some of your best ideas. When I first started she works His way, it was simply a social media account. But through listening to the women who were engaging with our ministry, we’ve evolved to an app, a membership community, academies, consulting, and a weekend conference.
The majority of these steps were the ideas of our members.
And because we’ve listened to our clients, we’ve had an instant audience for every step of evolvement. Your customers may have the best ideas for your business. But if you don’t listen, you just might miss them.
How are your clients using your products and services? What is extremely beneficial? What could improve?
You may have a customer who is using your business/service in a way that would allow you to tap into a whole new market. Or you may be able to make one tweak to your product that would increase user friendliness.
Between social media, customer surveys, focus groups, and/or 1:1 interaction, you should be able to learn from your customers every day. Loyal customers are born out of real connections. Go the extra mile.
Customers/clients invest in your products/services. Not only should we return the investment, but we should actually initiate the investment. Average businesses make sales. Top-performing businesses work harder after the sale to honor their commitment to the client. So instead of thinking of your work being over when the sale is done, use a sale as your reminder that your work has just begun.
Chances are, you have a business model that moves people from a reasonable price point to more expensive line items. To avoid confusing potential customers, you probably focus on marketing your “first steps” products, and then after you establish a relationship with the customer, you introduce the higher-level products.
In the business world, this is called “creating the up-sell.” The goal is the same, but I’ve chosen to change my perspective on this concept to “loving my customer to the next level.”
Basically, if a customer/client comes into a basic product level with me, my goal is not to sell them the next product, but to help them benefit from the product they’ve purchased to a place of growth, where in order to start growing again, they need the next level.
But again, if we don’t fulfill our promises at the lower levels, why would our customers/clients believe we would do a better job with more responsibility?
Nurture your customer relationships so you are constantly opening doors to “love them to the next level.”
Just as it reads in the pages themselves: Don’t just show up. Serve above and beyond the call of duty. And hold yourself accountable to do it every day, not just randomly.
Content Strategy + Schedule:
From email to social media to your website, whether or not you are a content-based business, you are responsible to generate content. Even if you are a brick and mortar business, in today’s world, you still need to have an online presence.
Don’t stress yourself out trying to create content on the fly. Thanks to your tracker, you’re now planning far enough in advance so you know the news and message you need to share with your audience. Make a plan here to end social media and content stress!
Quick Tip: Most entrepreneurs ignore the best content that’s right in front of them: what’s actually happening in your business.
If you follow me on social media, you will rarely see content that I haven’t said in a personal conversation, written in an encouragement note, or said to a client in my business. It’s not original content for social media only. When creating your content, share the value of what happens behind-the-scenes.
Your team/employees/contractors are the MVPs of your business. They have not only bought into your vision, but they bring a skill set to your vision you don’t possess.
I once heard Dave Ramsey say, “Most people don’t leave jobs. They leave bosses.”
We won’t be perfect, but we can be intentional to care for those who are in the trenches of purpose with us. Here are a few ways you can go the extra mile to serve your team well:
- Write a thank you note.
- Write an encouragement note to a teammate’s spouse.
- Send a prayer voice memo.
- Send a teammate on a date with their spouse.
- Take extra time to build your personal relationship.
- Go on a team retreat.
- Buy them their favorite treat.
- Complete one of their work tasks you know isn’t their favorite.
Promote Someone Else:
In a world that is quick to criticize and slow to encourage, this is one of my favorite things I do at least once a week…but usually even more often. Here’s why:
Promoting others protects us against selfish ambition. Remind yourself often of the awesome ways God is using others. See other Kingdom-builders as allies, not competition. If you can’t bring yourself to promote someone who is doing amazing work, you have a selfish ambition issue you need to address.
Encouragement is never a bad thing. Satan will never tempt you to encourage someone. Make a habit of using your words to edify and build up God’s Kingdom.
Go on a Date:
Now, I know not all of you are married. But I know everyone reading this has relationships in their life that are important and require tending. Remember: your business is a great business, but a terrible life. Invest in the people who matter.
No Matter What’s:
You guessed it. Here’s your chance to track your NMW activity for the week.
DAILY GUIDE TIPS
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR YOUR TRACKER’S DAILY SECTION:
Remember the wise words of Martin Luther: “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
Prayer is productive, not a time-waster. I encourage the entrepreneurs I mentor to begin every work session with prayer. Let Him multiply the moments you have with His power.
Pull from your weekly brain dump, , and make a quick plan of what tasks must be done today. Here’s your to-do list!
It’s not a full calendar, but here’s a place for you to keep tabs on important appointments, meetings, calls, etc. happening today.
I’m going to ask you to be specific to your business when you journal your gratitude. Because once you start working, something will go wrong. The website will go down. This customer will cancel. That customer will make impossible demands. Your scheduled appointment will cancel. The amazing idea you were so excited about will flop.
The question is: What will you focus on? What’s going wrong, or what’s going right?
We often don’t reflect on what’s going well, so the blessings and good things are much harder to remember than the hardships. Be intentional to remember the good so you can stay inspired, even in the tough moments.
Remember how I said we have to be the one to initiate investment? Here’s the accountability to do just that. This section is designed for you to serve one customer in the way you wish you could serve everyone. The masses mentality discourages business owners on a daily basis. Don’t be one of them!
- Be specific. (Make sure you can answer each question with facts, not just vague emotions.)
- Make plans to follow up. (Whether you need to add a testimonial to next week’s content structure, or you need to make yourself a task for the next day to reach back out, go the second mile to increase the customer experience.)
- Small stuff counts. (Don’t think that huge gestures are the only ones that count. Sometimes, you can gain a new customer simply by giving your time and proving you care about them.)
No Matter What’s:
They’re not called NMW’s for nothing. Mark those critical daily tasks as done here!
Proverbs 31:28 Test:
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” – Proverbs 31:28-29
I ask myself this question every night as I am falling asleep: From the way I lived my life today, would my highest praise come from my family?
Anybody can impress someone from afar. Social media makes it pretty easy to post a highlight reel of our lives. With the right filters and edits, we can make our lives appear pretty perfect.
But we can’t filter and fool those who see us day-in and day-out. So even if you are not married yet, the implication of this verse for our character is the same; this is an authenticity check.
Let’s make sure we aren’t seeking “easy” approval from those who don’t really know us, but doing the hard work of loving well the very ones who will inevitably see us at our worst.
That’s the praise that matters. Not your social media following or your customer base. (If this concept has you shouting “AMEN!” from the rooftops, please make sure you read Famous in Heaven and at Home: A 31-Day Character Study of the Proverbs 31 woman. I wrote it with you in mind.)
In full transparency, I don’t pass this test every day. That’s why I’ve included a place for us to commit to how we will do better tomorrow.