When it comes to quarterly planning, know that…
“… setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan” – Tom Landry
Properly executing quarterly business plans is imperative in every business. To go into a new business quarter with goals of making $25,000 but no plan on how that $25,000 will be attained, is not a money-making strategy. Ideally, you have no plan for your upcoming business quarter.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, you have to recognize that your quarterly business plans are a direct reflection of how much you want to make within the next 3 months. If you want to make $25,000, then some of the questions you should be asking yourself to develop your plan are:
- What areas of your business will you focus on each month within that quarter?
- What collaborations will you participate in?
- What events will you host?
- What items you have that you will be selling each month?
- How will you sell it?
Asking yourself these questions will help you to develop actionable steps that will contribute to your financial goals. These questions will also aid you in laying out your quarterly business plans on the table before the quarter begins. Besides these questions there are a few other things needed to make your quarterly business plans priceless, so here are 5 steps that you can use to execute your quarterly business plan.
1. Review your previous quarter: If you are a current entrepreneur or business owner, planning for the upcoming business quarter, it is almost imperative that you review your business strategies, systems, and structure of the previous quarter. You have to determine what worked for you in the previous quarter that you can keep and what did not that you should no longer have a strategy. You have to take a moment and review your previous business quarter in its entirety to determine how you will develop your new plan for the upcoming quarter.
2. Set a goal: It is always lovely to set goals and you certainly need them to motivate you. However, setting quarterly goals will help you to have a clear picture of how you want to develop your quarterly business plan. These goals will not magically achieve themselves. You have to put in the work to execute your quarterly plans. Make them actionable. Setting the goal is one part, but creating actionable steps to achieve it is the actuality of how you achieve quarterly goals. When building your quarterly business plans, aim to have it focused on how you will achieve specific goals over the course of the next few months.
3. Review your products and services: Review your products and services that you will be focused on selling over the next few months. Do they align with your mission, vision, and values? Are they going to confuse your consumers? For example,
- Will you be selling shirts at a high-end price but the quality does not match?
- How does the cost align with your business values?
- How does selling shirts even align with your business mission to design websites?
- What does selling shirts have to do with a webinar?
Reviewing products and services that will be offered in the upcoming quarter, will help you to ensure that you are “staying in your business lane”. More importantly, it helps you to ensure that you are staying true to your business mission, vision, and values.
4. Create Personal Deadlines: It is important to create personal deadlines when making any plans for the business. Having personal deadlines will help you to create a time frame in which you have to execute portions of your plan. For example, if you will have a webinar on the April 25th, create a personal deadline to have the registration page completed and copies for emails drafted by April 10th. That way you are working on self-made deadlines which hold you responsible for executing your quarterly plan. This will also avoid you having a plan that just sits there and gathers dust. Instead, you will now have a plan with an end date in sight. This will also allow for you to implement specific actionable tasks every day that will allow for you to work towards meeting that personal business deadline. This right here is a win-win.
5. Put the plan on paper: Putting the plan on paper is probably one of the simplest, but yet often forgotten a thing about quarterly planning. So, why is this important? Well, getting all of your business ideas, strategies and goals out of your head and on paper, will help you to not forget anything. This is as simple as going to the dollar store, picking up a notebook and writing down your plans. Putting the plan on paper also helps you to have something to review for the next quarter. In general, this creates a documentation that you can always go back to for reference. It also helps you to keep track of what work and what just do not work in the business. Lastly, you will know a number of efforts needed to put into what did not work and what improvements are needed to be made next time.
Do not forget to keep the plans organized and focus on pieces of picture one at a time. That is the real foundation for a successful quarterly business plan.