In a recent episode I talked about the fourth trimester and what that means for a business owner and I shared a little bit about my thought process as a dietitian and as the owner of Dietitian Boss. And today I want to talk specifically about what I'm doing to take time off of business coaching during my fourth trimester. So again, if you didn't listen to last episode, I would suggest that, because I share more about what is fourth trimester, but today is more about what I've done specifically to prepare for taking time off of business ownership. So action steps are important in terms of fourth trimester. There's a lot of planning going on, but let's talk specifically about what I've done. I want to break it down step by step.
So the first thing I did was I have created a big picture strategy to take time off. So I thought a lot about my business model even years before I became pregnant, knowing that we wanted to start a family, my husband and I. So we shifted to focusing primarily on a membership model. We also have I've hired and had coaches on staff for the last four years and that's really helped in terms of having support beyond just me to provide results for our clients. So the membership model allows us to scale and it allows us to help more dietitians at an affordable price point, and that supports our mission of being the number one resource for business and dietetics. And then the coaches that we have on staff are able to provide support for our clients, not only in the membership, but also privately for people, for dietitians who want to work privately with our staff. What I've also done is I've gotten more clear about what's called KPIs key performance indicators. Those have always been a little tricky for me to figure out. Now, a key performance indicator is a numeric value that helps you measure the success of, let's say, the entire business, or you can measure staff performance. You can have a KPI which is a metric for your sales, for your profit margins, for productivity. So being really clear about the KPIs associated with our business model that's scalable, which is our membership, has helped me set up success for taking maternity leave.
Now it is harder to take maternity leave when you offer only coaching, because all of the revenue would have been cut dramatically if I would have had clients wait for me, or if I would have had if I would have passed down clients to another coach and perhaps some clients wouldn't want to work with another coach. That would have been a significant dip in revenue, which is okay, but it's something to prepare for as a business owner. Now we have a mix. We do offer coaching, but we also have created our membership as our primary offer. So we really want dietitians to start in the membership, unless if they come to us and say, hey, we know we want coaching and we're ready to pay that price point. But most of our clients now are starting in the membership, which is great, because we feel that that is a good place for our clients to start and decide if they want more support. We have a lot of great resources in our affordable monthly membership.
So in terms of team, what I've done to create a big picture strategy to take time off from maternity leave is create more of a culture of ownership and problem solving. So what that means is that I don't want or expect or ask my staff to bring problems to me, but I expect a two to one ratio so they bring two solutions for every one problem. For example, if we have a customer support issue and it's not something that's major that I need to come in and solve, it's pretty common problem and we also have a documented standard operating procedure for how to handle these issues. I have noticed in the past that staff still comes to me to solve problems, and so what I've done is I spent a lot of time in training and, of course, hiring in the first place properly, to make sure that our staff have the culture and the values of taking ownership and coming up with solutions, and what that does is that helps create autonomy in the business so that people can make choices without relying on somebody else, and they can learn how to be problem solvers, which teaches them how to be better in terms of their professional skills. So that means somebody who's checking the support inbox. We have a customer support rep, thank you. They're able to suggest a problem and then the manager above them is able to suggest a problem or take ownership over being responsible for managing that problem without involving me 90% of the time. Now, that doesn't mean that I'm not involved, but it does mean I'm involved less than I was in the past, when I had to go in and help solve issues all the time.
Another big milestone that we have really created in terms of strategy to support my maternity leave would be a lot of systems and documentation. Well, it's one thing just to say, oh, I want to write down things that happen in the business, so I have a policy. It's easy actually to do that. It's hard to follow those systems and policies consistently and have management reinforce those systems and policies. It takes a lot of it takes a certain type of personality to be able to maintain documentation and policies and process. For some people some dieticians listening they're going to love that and for other dieticians you're going to find it a little tedious. I find process, documentation and management a bit tedious, so it's been more of a challenge for me. It's taken our business longer to get the process and documentation in order than it has for other areas like sales and marketing.
Sales and marketing. We've been stronger in than documenting and keeping up and maintaining those processes on the back end. Spending more time dedicated to training, hiring better fits for the company meaning our staff and keeping up with documentation has helped us because what that means is that we run a better, more standardized business. That supports our mission of being the number one resource for dieticians in business. Because we have a standardized process, we have a really smooth-smeat sailing ship on the back end and it doesn't cause a lot of stress for me because I can't function being stressed all the time if things always have to fall back on me as a business owner. A really healthy business has systems in place so the business owner doesn't have to do everything because it's not really sustainable or fun. I have to say that we've come a long way since I started the business five years ago, where I did everything, and now I am still involved in customer support, but to a much lower extent than I was one, two, even three years ago. All of these system back end improvements have given me the chance to leave and feel comfortable knowing that the business will still survive and keep our reputation with our current staff who will be able to support the needs of the clients.
So specific things that I've done outside of just strategy. I gave you a bigger picture look and I gave you some specific examples Batch, producing podcast recordings. I mentioned that in the last episode where I talked about fourth trimester and what is fourth trimester. I mentioned that one thing we've done differently this year is plan ahead for content more than we've ever done. So batch recording at least two months ahead for podcasts, and we do leave a little bit of wiggle room for an interview, because we can't always schedule interviews months ahead. But, let's say, 95% of the podcast recordings are scheduled and post-produced and ready to go. So that's helpful because you don't have to constantly upkeep content if you have it planned ahead of time. And that does require a content, calendar, project management, organization processes and systems. So we have not always planned ahead to the extent that we do now and I'm very proud that we've been able to do this at this point, and it has taken my maternity leave as motivation to plan this far ahead. So we've also batched YouTube, meaning our videos for our YouTube channel at Dietitian Boss, a year ahead. So that is something that I finished recording those mostly in my second trimester. I probably had five or 10 more videos that I finished recording in my third trimester and then those are finishing getting post produced by my, our editor, our in-house editor, so that they're scheduled for 2024.
Normally I might not record and have podcasts at our YouTube videos edited for the entire year, but I wanted to come back to work and what's called reintegrate from maternity leave. I wanted to come back to Dietitian Boss without feeling like I had to get right back into recording. If maybe I would. You know, maybe I wanted to come back a little slower, so I wanted to give myself some slack, and so I know I need to come back into the management functions. I know I need to come back in, you know, with finance and all of those areas. But if I could give myself a little bit of wiggle room with content, that could alleviate some possible stress that I might have coming back. So, being the planner that I am, that's how I re-engineered my integration plan. So, again as a recap, I talked about the team and a lot of training, with having them take ownership and responsibility over tasks in the business and following process without needing to lean on management or me. And then a lot of protocols have been documented for my time off and backup plans and then leaving room for flexibility. So I'm not telling the staff that they cannot contact me at all, but I am expecting that they're able to solve things independently for at least a month and a half until I slowly come back and reintegrate into the business.
So if you're thinking about how you want to plan for your maternity leave, it's going to depend on the business model that you're offering. What are you selling? It's going to depend on your needs for financials. It's going to depend on if you have staff and what that looks like. So there's a lot of factors and variables at play, including the support system that you have with your family and your home life. So this is not something I can say. This is a one size fits all. I just want to share what we've done and how we've matured as a business and, what's important to me, to try to plan ahead so that I can give myself some grace as I come back. So I want you to think personal and business in terms of how you're planning if you go on maternity leave, and that is going to include emotional support as well as team support as well as support for your clients, because that's a big part, too is being honest about what that looks like, and hopefully your clients will understand, but your ability to communicate that with them and document that with them is important.
Now, lastly, I want to talk about some reflections. We do in this business plan years ahead. Now, we don't plan every month years ahead, but I have some ideas of where I want the business to look in several years. We do break down and practice quarterly planning and we teach that to our clients, both in our executive mastermind and we also show that in our membership about what it looks like to plan ahead. We have planners for planning ahead. We have some great case studies and live trainings about how to plan and it can feel challenging if you're newer in business thinking about planning because you're still trying to clarify your messaging and your offer and reach some sales goals. But I will say a more intermediate or mature business owner, spending more time on the planning phase is going to give a lot of return on investment for your time when it comes to planning.
So I'm really glad that I started planning ahead a long time ago, because the reason I started this business was so that I'd have the flexibility to have a family to travel. You know my husband travels for work, so I wanted to be able to travel with him. I wanted to be able to not have to go to an office and I wanted to be able to create something meaningful. And I feel like I've checked the box and being able to go on maternity leave and have systems set up to come back without feeling overwhelmed because I have a lot of my work pre-planned did take a lot of time and energy on the front end and I will report back with how it's worked like. What are the lessons I've learned in this process.
So I am really fortunate that I have the opportunity to take time off. I know not everybody does and I will say that I have been challenged with learning how to do more training and encourage my staff to become more problem solvers, knowing that they'll have to be fully independent when I'm gone. But it's been a good opportunity for me to practice trusting more for my staff and letting go and delegating at a greater level than I already do. So lots of growth, lots of excitement and lots to report back after I come back from maternity leave. But I wanted to share with you what does it look like inside the back end, right behind the scenes, for me and team dietician boss for my maternity leave. I will report back later. And if you're looking for support to grow your business, we have the systems in place. We can share how we've done it. We've got the curriculum and the team to help support you with wherever you are and your journey and your private practice. So I invite you to join the library, which is our monthly membership.