The keys to your team and business's success lie within your data — you just have to know how to unlock them. 

Watch our Q&A panel with Michelle Wintersteen, Owner and Founder of marketing agency MKW Creative Co. and host of the Kiss My Aesthetic podcast. In the session she gives the inside scoop on how to harness the power of time tracking data to keep your team happy, build retention, grow your client base, and more. 

If you have another interesting topic for future Q&A panels (or even want to participate), feel free to send your ideas to!

Below is a quick summary of the points Michelle makes in the webinar. 

How time tracking works at MKW

Once Michelle began keeping projects organized with time tracking, she began to realize how much time she was spending on different areas of a project — and which areas are taking up the most time.

She and her business manager, Cody Garner-Howe, dove into the details of each project with the time tracking data. From there, they were able to refine project proposals and avoid booking heavy timespends within the same timeframe. 

Then, Michelle and Cody assigned subtasks of a project as their own line items and created a spreadsheet "heatmap" of Michelle's exertion. This way they could pick the right start date that aligned best with their schedule. They've since implemented this as a standard process for her team of freelancers. 

Applying the practice to the team

Michelle now uses her team's time tracking data to conduct quarterly check-ins that incentivize productivity, collaboration, independence, and efficiency. Each contractor's workflow looks different based on their unique skill set, so she sat down with each of them to create KPIs and understand which tasks need to be completed to get their job done. 

Tracking time against specific task buckets helped them learn which areas take the most time — and how to optimize those tasks to make them more efficient and fast. In doing so, Michelle is able to highlight that the data is an asset to them instead of a "big brother" tactic. 

Using the data to boost team retention

By putting the time tracking data process into place, Michelle has empower her team to get some time back in their day to do the things they love. And in turn, she's had the same team of contractors over the last year. 

And since they're working across different time zones, they're able to easier align on their collaborative projects and even relate better with their clients. 

Maximizing profitability and growing the client base 

Based on the time tracking data, Michelle and Cody created a pricing matrix that details how long the projects take, and what the costs are. Each project has a ceiling and floor, and they use that range to lead discussions with clients in discovery calls to better see where their margins are. 

Based on the client's business size and revenue, they've created a three-tier pricing structure: Good, Better, and Best. The data has allowed them to price projects more accurately. 

Additionally, they're able to better show clients the value and collaboration they're providing on the project through different data points and that they're charging less but offering more, which helps boost their client base.