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Setting the Stage for Success in 2024: Unlocking the power of data

In this episode, we are diving DEEP into the KEY data sources hiding in your business that are goldmines of information! Data is the secret sauce to understanding your business thoroughly, even if it might seem intimidating or dull at first.

In this episode we break it down into four key areas: financial, operations, sales and marketing, and clients.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Data Analysis is Essential: Data might not be the most exciting aspect of your business, but it’s the backbone of understanding your operations. It reveals exactly what’s happening in your business and empowers you to make informed decisions.
  2. Financial Insights: In the financial realm, Michelle recommends going beyond just the total revenue figure. Dive into detailed financial analysis to understand which offers are most profitable, what’s driving recurring revenue, and how expenses and investments impact your bottom line.
  3. Operations Optimization: For your operations, focus on processes, team management, and your schedule. Identify tasks that can be automated and areas where you’re losing time, as time is directly tied to revenue.
  4. Sales Conversion Rate: Analyze your sales process, conversion rates, and pipeline. Knowing how well your sales process is working is essential for scaling your business effectively.
  5. Marketing Strategy: Examine your lead generation tactics, content effectiveness, and email marketing. Determine which leads to super fans, as well as those who engage with your content and become loyal followers.

Michelle emphasizes the importance of conducting this data analysis regularly to make proactive business decisions. She also hints at the benefits of easy-to-access data dashboards and their role in the upcoming Focus Visionary Mastermind.

In summary, don’t underestimate the power of data analysis, as it can pave the way for a successful 2024. With the right insights, you’ll be better equipped to build a robust strategy for the future of your business.

Note: For detailed data analysis and insights, be sure to grab the FREE worksheets.

Episode Mentions:

Episode 11 – Client’s Road to Success with Nicole Cheri Oden





Michelle (02:27.778)

I don't know what it is, like why do dogs, the second you get on a call, decide that they have to squeak their loudest toy? But, all right, hold on, I'm gonna stop that.

Michelle (02:50.974)

Okay, here we are. All right, so we've got the toy done. Anyway, all right, so diving in to what is 2023 data analysis, okay? Now, here's the thing. I don't want you guys to get really super annoyed about data or super intimidated by it. I think data, people hear it, it's boring.

Who wants to look at that? Right. Okay. But the data is the sexy side to your business because the data tells you exactly What's going on in your business and when you know exactly what's going on in your business? That's really freaking sexy because you can actually do something about it and you can do more with it If you were in the Sunday morning brew, you got an incredible story about how even our local governments and municipalities

start tracking and analyzing data for their own marketing. I was talking with a neighbor about it and I shared that story in the Sunday morning brew. So if you didn't get that, I'll make sure the link to get on the Sunday morning brew newsletter is in the show notes, but it's mind boggling. But it's so... I could have talked to him for hours. I was like such a nerd, total geek, just loving every minute of it. But, alright, diving in. You've got your workbook. Hopefully you've got your worksheets. Grab them in the show notes and let's go. Okay?

So four key areas, data. Obviously financial, always. That's the one data factor that almost everybody looks at, right? It's data, operations.

Michelle (04:22.894)

Here she go. Now she has another toy. Oh my God. Sales and marketing. Okay. You can put sales and marketing together. And then one of the other ones, it's all in how you really want to separate this out. One of the other ones that I would add in is clients, right? Like really looking at your clients, which you could do as sales. You could use that as part of marketing. I don't really view them the same. I like to look at certain customer, customer data a little bit different, but

we will start with that, okay?

Michelle (04:55.758)

Coffee down, we're going in. Financial, obviously you wanna look at your revenue. Right, you wanna look at where your revenue came in, what offers, but here's the thing is one of the, so this is something I've been having a lot of conversations with is most people really can't understand how their revenue is coming in. Now, you'd have to get with your CPA on this, this is not financial, I'm not a CFO, you know what I mean, my accounting background, this is just how I do it.

I typically run all of my revenue and all of my different offers. I pass that through my P and L profit and loss statement because when I pull up my profit and loss, I want a very quick glance to see a breakdown of which offers made how much money. Okay. So I've got in there, my one-to-one offers, the accelerated business lines, the coffee chats club, right? And they are all broken down on my profit and loss statement. Now a lot of accountants don't

really pass through income that way. They just put it in as sales or income or revenue or whatever it is. And then you have to run a separate report to kind of analyze each one. So depending on how your accounting system is set up, you're gonna wanna look at though, not just your overall revenue number. I want you looking at your actual sales, like where your revenue, where did this revenue come from? So this is where like financial and sales kind of go together.

in this sense of analyzing this revenue is really looking at what offers did you sell the most of? Where did your most reoccurring revenue come from? Which offers were the most profitable? So I was analyzing doing some data Analyzation with a member of the 2023 BizPlan program. She has completed We had a feedback form every 60 days that where you could go in and reflect and do this style of reflection every 60 days and then that way it would show year over it would show like

period over period. So 60 day period over period, you could see like trends and whatnot. And so she had all of hers filled out because she's done it every period every other month. And one of the trends that I saw in her data was that she had her revenue was increasing every month and she had a fairly consistent revenue per 60 day period.

Michelle (07:12.558)

But a lot of that revenue was not reoccurring revenue. Like her actual reoccurring revenue was probably only a third of her total revenue that was coming in each period. And so looking at that is like, where is this project based or one-off based revenue coming in? Is that something you want to continue forward with? Did you want to try to increase that to reoccurring revenue? Like what was the work that went involved? So again, like really looking at where that revenue came from is so, so important.

And that to me is one of the biggest factors for another. I think we spoke about this. If you go back and watch the episode I did with Nicole Sheree-Odin, we talked about this is how we analyzed this revenue last year for her and realized that a good chunk of her revenue for her template business, legal templates and more was coming in through affiliates. Right. And so when you have this data, you can do more with it. Right. So we saw that the affiliates were bringing in a good chunk of revenue into the template business.

So how can we do more of that? Right. And so really taking the time to look at and see like trends. Did you have a certain referral partner? Did you have somebody? Did you, you know, I know another one of my clients that I talk to all the time. She gets a lot of her business from Upwork, right? And so one of the trends that I would kind of analyze is looking at Upwork versus then conversion into further offers, right? So they're finding her. So this is, this is where I'm saying all of these things kind of,

blend together, right? Upwork is a lead generator, so that's a marketing tactic, so that's an analyzation on the marketing side. But when it becomes sales and revenue, then you look at, okay, it brought in revenue, then you kind of look at from a sales is did they convert to something more? And that is something that she is seeing as a trend is that once they come in through Upwork, then they stay with her and they stay longer and they do more work with her. So there's a higher conversion rate, right? So taking the hit on the front end.

with Upwork is worthwhile for her because she's able to convert them. Okay. So this is what I'm saying. Like this data is such, it's so like I'm getting so excited just talking about it, right? Like I love analyzing this level of data because when you can see these trends and look at these things that really set you up to build a better strategy moving forward. Okay. So obviously,

Michelle (09:34.634)

when in the financial side, you want to look at that. The other big key factor to the financial side is investments. Where did you make investments? You could call them investments, you could call it expenses, right? Like there are some things that are investments in your business and there are some things that are expenses. Like expenses are just pass throughs, software's, programs, different things. Like if you're paying for software's hosting, different things.

But really take a look at that. Like, is there something you need to cancel? Is there something you're not using? Is there something you're paying for and not utilizing to its fullest? Why are you not utilizing it? Do you not want to? If you don't want to use it to its fullest, can you find a free version that maybe will, you know, increase your profitability, right? Because every expense and every investment takes away from your top line, which cuts into your profit. So if there's anything that you're not utilizing,

Right? So I was part of, I'm paying for a membership and I really wasn't using it much at all, but I really wanted to. And so as I was analyzing this, I thought to myself, no, there is a lot here that I could be gaining by being more active in this membership. Right? And so I made it a priority and it's on my calendar now and I'm not over committing. But if I'm going to, I want to continue paying for it. I'm grandfathered in at a lower rate than what she's charging for it now.

I didn't want to lose that grandfather rate. And so this is something that we tend to do. Like we buy something at a grandfathered rate and we just stick with it because we're grandfathered in. But like if you're not utilizing it, like even grandfathered in, you're still paying for something that you're not utilizing. So are you ever going to utilize it? This is where you're kind of look at. Like, is it part of my 2024 plan? Cause if you don't see yourself implementing and using it, then you're literally just throwing money away. Grandfathered in or not.

It doesn't matter if you're not going to use it. There's no point in continuing to pay for things. Okay, so you really need to be looking at that investments and expenses. All right. So on the financial side, that is where I would really spend some time looking at and analyzing that data.

Michelle (11:44.494)

Sorry, more coffee. And then you can then decide, again, right now, I really am not encouraging anybody to put plans in place to for 2024, right? Like that's what the Focus Visionary Mastermind is for. That's what December, January is for. That's what we will be doing. But this, if you get a leg up on this work, that's gonna make your planning that much better, right? Like it's gonna make it that much easier. You're gonna have this data.

And maybe you don't even do this now, right? Like the whole first week of the Focus Visionary, this is why we kick it off in December. It's always the first week of December because by December, a lot of people are wanting to slow down. And so the whole first week, we really dive into a lot of reflection and that forward thinking before. So because it takes time, right? It takes time to pull this data. And that's why I'm doing this series now is because I want you guys to not...

Be scrambling. I want you guys to take the time to actually figure out and find this data. That is not something you can do in a matter of five minutes, right? Like you need to be scheduling time to go through this and actually sit with this. This is very, very important, okay? All right, so operations, processes, teams, your schedule, your boundaries. Is there something that you can do from an automation standpoint? Where do you feel like you were losing time? Because remember, your time

is a direct hit to your revenue, right? If you are spending a massive amount of time doing something, then you are really losing revenue. So I'm going to give you a perfect example of this. I have a client here locally who we, I can, we chatted, I was going to say I convinced her only because she's so old school. So I do say convinced because it does take, I'm not saying I want her to like be convinced like, Oh, you should do this. It wasn't that it was just, it takes a lot of mo-

talking about it to like really help her see that you can change up the way you've done business for the past 20 years. So anyways, we finally decided that we were going to start offering like bundles of services. She's a dog trainer. So she's got like all these different things that they can buy basic, you know, they can buy group classes. They can buy one-on-one services. She's got a virtual classroom. She's got this like community that she offers. And so we decided we were going to start bundling them together because she was like

Michelle (14:10.838)

selling them each individually to the client. And I was like, every time you go there, you're selling them something different and it can be confusing versus just bundling it together and saying, okay, based on your training protocol, here's what you need and here's how we're gonna play this out. Right? So she says to me the other day during our VIP day, you know, we've got a, I don't know if I really wanna keep selling these bundles because we are losing our ass in administration time. Like they are so hard to manage. And...

So she was saying like they were spending so much time managing them, right? Because they were selling like four, uh, sessions at a time and then they had to get them booked and then the clients would cancel and then they were having, so they were spending all of this administration time on the backend, which it really did. Like not only were we discounting the bundle to get them to buy upfront, but now it was not only saving them time, which was the intention, but it was costing them time and administration. And so we had to really look at that. Like,

what do we need to do to really make sure that this is not costing you more hours, right? Like if you are spending too much time on something and it is starting to cut into your bottom line, then you need to really, really think about that. And so this is where doing that time data analysis is very, very important. Look at your offers, take one of your clients and for the month of November, whatever month you're in, go back to October, go back to September, it doesn't matter.

pick one client and really look at and analyze how much time did you spend with them? How many hours did you work on their project? And then analyze that and compare it to what you charge them and see are you accurately measuring and calculating your time appropriately or are you doing what she's doing in these bundles and really kind of losing your ass on it because you're putting way too much time into it. It's costing the company money at this point.

That is where you've got to start looking at your time, especially if you want to start working less, right? Which that is the definition of scaling. Everybody says, I want to scale the six figures. Okay, well guess what? You can be at six figures and scale it. You can scale your six figure income. You know how you scale a six figure income is you make the same amount of money working less hours. That is the true definition of scaling, right? It is not about going from 50 to a hundred thousand.

Michelle (16:30.402)

that's taking your income from 50 to 100,000 and your hours correlating at the same rate, that's growth. And most people don't stay in the growth stage long enough, but that's an episode for another day. But what I'm saying, so if you really feel like you are ready to scale, because that's what people say to me, I'm ready to scale, Michelle, I'm ready to scale. Okay. Well, scaling means we've got to make the same amount of money and you've got to spend less hours doing it. So

or with less people, right? So this is why this is so important is the time. You have to analyze your time. All right. You can't keep giving it away. So many of us just give our time away because if it's there and we have it, it's no big deal, but you can't scale and continue to grow and scale your business. If you continue to give your time away, you have to set some boundaries around this. All right. So again, is there team members, you know,

Did you hire team members looking at operations that program them in? Jillian Murphy, she talks a lot about her team members and she always says, when you're thinking about hiring team members, you need to think about, do you need brains or do you need hands? And I love that. I absolutely love it. I refer to it all the time because it's so easy. Do you need more brains in your business? Like a strategist, somebody, a mentor, a coach, a social media strategist, an email marketing strategist. Like, do you need brains? Somebody that

It brings a skill that you do not have and can help you strategize. Or do you mean hands, right? Do you have the strategy and you just don't have the time to execute it. Right. And so when you're analyzing your team, you need to be looking at that. Right. When you're looking at team operations, when you're looking at your contractors, what are they bringing? Are they, are they brains or are they hands? Sometimes they could be both. Do you need both? Right. Like, are you utilizing them to their fullest? Are you getting out of that? What you, what you need.

to actually grow your business. Are you seeing a return on the investment into these people? This is where you've got to start looking at return. Okay. And really analyzing what exactly do you need? It's easy to hire, because there's all of these specialists out there now. Right? Like, especially in the online service space, like there are so many people that we could hire and I am one of those people that wants to hire everybody. But the reality is, is what do I need in my business right now? I hadn't really think about that.

Michelle (18:54.51)

I'm pretty sure I have a clear picture on that going forward. But at this point, I'm not hiring anybody. All right. I am not hiring anybody at this point. And so that is something you want to look at. All right. So take a look at that operations. Sales again, sales really means when I think about sales is what is your sales process? What is your conversion rate? Right? Like how many people did you talk to? How how many people did you actually convert into offers? How many discovery calls did you have? How many people are you?

reaching out to, you know, or upselling. Maybe they, they bought in on your low offer or they came in on your lead magnet. How many of them actually converted to something else? This is really one of like, this is probably the hardest thing to analyze because this is one area that we really don't track very well. Most of us as entrepreneurs. So we have to really, really dive into this is looking at conversion rates, right? Like who, where are you, where are people finding you?

How are these calls getting booked? Do you need to continue having calls? Can you do this through the DMs a little bit more? Right, like how many people are in your pipeline? How long, if you are wondering about pipeline, I did an episode, go back on accelerating your conversion rate or accelerating your pipeline. I can't remember what I called it. I'll link it in the show notes. But how many people are in your pipeline? Do you even know at any given point how many people are in your pipeline? Are they on hold?

If they're on hold, why are they on hold? Do you know when you need to be following up with them? How many times are you following up with people before you're nurturing them? How are you nurturing people? What is your sales process? What is your process for getting people into your world and then warming them up? How are you taking your audience from cold to warm to hot? What does that look like? What is your process? Do you have a process? And it doesn't need to be a really convoluted process. It could be that they come in through your lead magnet.

You nurture them. Like for me right now, one of my sales processes, I've got to, I don't have a really solid lead magnet. My newsletter is the lead magnet. The podcast is a lead magnet. But again, the Sunday morning brew for me is nurturing, giving them, giving people action steps, giving people an insight into me, who I am, how I can help. Right? Like warming them up. Give that's why on the fourth, the whatever it is, the fourth Sunday, I started doing that, like ask me anything.

Michelle (21:19.762)

I want them to just warm up. I'm nurturing them. I'm providing as much value as possible. So do you have a community where you nurture people? What is your sales process to really draw people into you, nurture them, and then convert? And then do you know your conversion rate? Is there a way that you could do, you need to, do you need to be looking at how to make your conversion rate higher? Are you converting at 10%, you wanna move to 12%?

Okay. Well, we'll talk about that and the focus visionary really looking at that. But again, you can't set goals if you don't know what your current rate is. So you need to be looking at that. So sales is a very, this is probably the one that sends people over the edge the most. And when I say over the edge, I mean, shutdown, right? Because it gets confusing. It gets convoluted. There maybe is no process in place, but I want you to remember one thing. This is data. It's just data.

Right? It doesn't mean that anything is good or bad or right or wrong. It's just data. Pull the emotion out of it. Pull the emotion out of this data collection and analyzation and look at it from a business perspective. Okay. Take yourself out of this equation, right? Because you are your business and we take things very, very personally.

But you need to, when you are in this mode, you need to be putting on your CEO hat, your CFO, your COO hat, whatever your C level executive hat you want to put on, you need to put that hat on and you need to look at this objectively. Going in without emotion and just looking at it for what it is. It's data and it's feedback. Understanding what offers.

Looking at your offers again, we talked about that a little bit in the financial side and in the marketing side is really looking at your offers, which one's converted, which one's done, which ones need a revamp, um, understanding who's in your pipeline, how long are they staying in your pipeline, how long before they convert, what's your conversion rate? I'll be honest, I don't have this data at my fingertips. I am working on trying to create better dashboards so that I can figure this out because I don't have, I want easy. I don't want to have to go searching for this.

Michelle (23:36.546)

So I am creating those dashboards. They'll be part of the focus visionary mastermind, which I'm so excited about because I want people to have this information easily. I don't want people to have to go looking for it, right? Like when you have to go, this is when it becomes difficult or when it's not something that we can pull up in a matter of a few minutes, we give up, right? It's just human nature. I get it. I do the same thing. Don't think I'm immune to this. I do it too. All right. And then the last area is marketing.

All right. What is your best lead generator? Right. What is, where have you been networking? How are you meeting people? How are you having conversations? How are you meeting people? Where are you networking? How are you building relationships? What is your lead generation strategy? Like we talked about that example, Upwork was a lead generation strategy for one of my clients. Is your content converting? Is your content hitting? You know, are people saying like, Hey, I saw your content.

I, you know, if you've been, if you've ever taken any of my courses or been around for a while, I am a firm believer that content amplifies conversations that you're having. So networking always comes first, relationship building, and then content. But I know there's a lot of other people that use their content to attract. I'm all for it. I get it. I get drawn in by it too. Just not my style. But you have to look at that. So that's data for me. Like I know that my content doesn't necessarily convert, but it helps keep me top of mind.

Right? So that's the key piece there is what am I, what are you using your content for? And is it doing what you are hoping it thought you wanted it to do? Right? Like that's the key. Email marketing, who's opening your emails? How many clicks are you getting? How many people are on your list? Right? Like I have a very small list, but it's very engaged. You know why? Because most of those people that get on my list, I've had a conversation with, so they know me, they're more likely to open an email. I do the same thing.

I am far more likely to open emails from people I know and have personal relationships with than just people that I've opted into their freebies. I have no connection to them. I don't know them. They don't know me. Nothing. Right. And so looking at that, really looking and seeing like, who are your top fans? Who are your super fans? And are they super fans that are just people that shout your name out? I have a super fan right now. Like I have a massive super fan.

Michelle (26:00.522)

I don't know that he's ever really done business or purchased anything for me, but he shares everything I do. He comments on everything. He is a massive super fan. Visibility talks about me all the time. That's great, right? So nurture that, looking at that. Who are your super fans? Who are the people that are buying? So those are the areas of analyzation. You've got your worksheet. This takes some time. I understand this piece definitely takes some time.

You've got time. You've got time to do it. So just go do it. All right. And if any of the areas gets, you know, you get stuck, shoot me a DM as always. Shoot me a DM. You know, if you want to dive deeper into this, the focus visionary mastermind is what this is all about, right? We are going to be doing this on a regular so that it's not so overwhelming. This is going to be part of the process in the mastermind is continually looking at this data so that it isn't a shock.

right? So that we can be making proactive decisions based on exactly what's happening in our business. Um, but yeah, I'm here, I'm here to help you. And that's what the series is all about is setting you up for success in 2024. I know, ew, we all heard that, but I'm serious. 2024, we go into a new year. Every year has got a new energy. 2023, we all went in with the same excited energy. We can't, you know, I know that there's been a lot of shifts. A lot of people weren't feeling 2023.

You got to shake it off, but there's still a lot of really amazing things that happened in 2023 that you can use to set you up for 2024. So take the time to find them. Okay. I love you guys. Get excited about this. Thank you for bearing with me with Piper this morning and I'll see you next week.

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