Feel like you’re short on time to focus on the things that’ll grow your yoga business? You're not alone. As a single business owner, you’re constantly shuffling priorities but, despite that, here are 10 ways you can feel like you’re staying on top of it all.
1. Begin every day with a fresh page in a notebook.
Start your day dating a new page and document all your activities. For any revenue-generating activity, indicate what you were paid. At day’s end, add up what you earned. Compare it to your Daily Revenue Target, which is the figure you’ve determined you need to hit each day in order to break even or make a profit.
2. Log each class you teach every day in your Teaching Log.
Don’t wait until the end of the week! Your Teaching Log is a spreadsheet you use to document all your classes, along with their rate of pay, an amount you’ll be saving for taxes, the attendance and the time you taught, along with other items about the class you might want to track.
3. For any item you purchase related to your business, log it on your Business Expenses Spreadsheet and put the receipt in your Business Expense envelope.
I use one of those plastic envelopes with a Ziploc-like top. Don’t pile up expenses and delay entering receipts in the spreadsheet. If you travel, log your expenses on the spreadsheet as you travel and keep the receipts in separate envelope, which you can transfer to the main folder upon your return. Do this weekly.
4. Deposit ALL revenue related to your business in your business account throughout the week, even cash payments made.
This ensures you have a clear picture of your earnings. Keep all ATM and bank receipts related to deposits in a specific envelope. I have used these before when the bank made an error. They’re useful to keep for at least a year. I have found that deposits made with the teller clear faster than those made through the ATM. For a small business owner, this is a huge help.
5. Purchase ALL business-related items from your business account or with your business credit card.
Do not use your personal account to pay for anything related to your business. Using your business account gives you a back up place to check for expenses.
6. If you have incoming business revenue not related to teaching, create separate spreadsheets to track it.
For instance, if you sell DVDs, give presentations, or sell clothing, keep separate revenue tracking spreadsheets for these activities. This also makes it easy when you need to do your taxes because each activity will have its own detailed spreadsheet. Enter things on these spreadsheets right after you teach the class or complete the event.
7. Write a weekly report every week, without fail.
Many people tell me they’d like to do this but they never have time. To combat this problem, associate the writing of the report with a regular window of time you have every week. I write mine on Sundays, between classes. I use my notebook and spreadsheets to supplement the report with the necessary details about classes taught, revenue earned, pending opportunities and other items.
8. Use a Daily Checklist during the week to keep you on track.
Create a list of things you must do every week. When you write your weekly report, print one and use it to ensure you get to those critical items. I use this throughout the week to be sure I’m doing the things that matter. If you don’t get to everything, it’s OK, but be sure to glance at it every day.
9. At least 3 times per week, check your Business Dashboard.
This is my homegrown spreadsheet that details my business plan from an actionable standpoint. It lists the jobs I have as well as opportunities I’d like to have in order to hit my goal annual revenue and do the kinds of things I’d like to be doing. It has individual tabs for each business category (Children’s Yoga, Teacher Training, Corporate Yoga, etc).
Follow up weekly on pending leads. As the week progresses, if you identify new business opportunities, enter them on the sheet as they arise. This keeps you on top of following up on the leads until they close. On a monthly and quarterly basis, tally up the revenue and start comparing months and quarters to identify trends. Trends such as decreased revenue in the summer months can be better prepared for when you see the trending happens consistently.
10. When you write your report, add what you earned for the week to a revenue-tracking page in your Business Dashboard.
This will allow you to have one place to check for all revenue earned and you can start to see trends in the weeks, months and quarters.
These steps will keep you on top of the day-to-day activities so you can keep your overall business running smoothly. This also helps when it’s tax time; you’ll be able to easily pull Total Revenue Earned, Expenses and any spreadsheets that outline the detail of these categories (teaching, selling product, workshops, etc).
On your Business Dashboard, include a tab for “Big Picture.” Use it to outline your dreams and vision. This will help you stay connected to the big picture even though you’re working through the weeds.
Although the bulk of this article focuses on the financial aspects of your yoga business, there are many other aspects to any career path. You should also take into account things like doing charity work, taking jobs you love, and having a healthy work/life balance. These are all things to consider with any career path, but certainly one as a yoga teacher, where being of service and living healthy is the first priority.
Want more tips? Check out my article, 14 Tips for Starting Your Own Yoga Business, to learn about the homegrown tools I use to keep my business functioning.)