Are you stepping back every quarter to examine your business from a bird’s eye view and creating a revised, intentional action plan?
If not, implementing this could be a MASSIVE game changer for your company!
If you are, good work! Let’s dive in and make sure your quarterly planning meetings are as effective as possible.
If you want to scale your company and become a long-term, profitable business, it is paramount to keep everyone focused, balanced and committed to the same big goals.
The quarter is an excellent spot to step back and re-evaluate everything you’ve done to gauge effectiveness and efficiency. If you fail to do so, you will easily lose money to projects or people who are simply not providing value to your company.
A quarter is a long enough to accomplish meaningful work and measure marketing strategy but short enough that you can course correct and make important adjustments as needed if things are headed in the wrong direction.
I’ve seen fellow entrepreneurs go a full year without really digging into the details of their long-term goals, marketing efforts, budget, employee tasks and projects, etc…only to realize they were making some major mistakes as a company and losing thousands of dollars because they never sat down to go over the numbers and properly or review/revise strategy.
Don’t let this be you!!
So what is the best way to go about making an effective quarterly action plan?
After running my own business for over 5 years and working with hundreds of clients, I’ve come to the conclusion that an action plan needs to be:
- Short- I prefer having everything visible on ONE PAGE
- Focused- Keep everything pointing towards you MAIN goals
- Clear - What is success? What is failure?
- Actionable- Action items should be listed
Here are some detailed steps to help you build your quarterly, one-page action plan:
#1 Top 3 Priorities For The Quarter
Pick 2-3 main focuses for the quarter. What do you most want to accomplish in the next three months? Some ideas may include:
- Increasing daily number of new leads
- Increasing sales by %
- Selling/moving X number of products
- Hiring someone for a specific roll
- Acquiring X new paying clients
- Building a new product/service
- Writing a book or content piece
- Launch new marketing project/campaign
Whatever you choose should bring you closer to your ANNUAL goals. Although you will likely be doing day-to-day tasks that don’t relate directly to these priorities, most of your energy, time and budget should be focused on these three top priorities.
#2 Set Clear Goals & Expectations/Criteria For Your Priorities
Now that you have your 2-3 priorities, create criteria for determining success/failure. What numbers/accomplishments will satisfy you on a weekly and monthly basis? Where do you want to sit at the next quarterly meeting/review? Be realistic but also optimistic. Set OBTAINABLE goals, but ones that also make you and your company stretch.
Choose criteria that is measurable and somewhat controllable. They should be objective. If you set vague, subjective goals, at the end of the quarter you will likely question whether or not you actually achieved them.
#3 Action Items
This should be the biggest section of your action plan. One your priorities and criteria are clear, start brainstorming action items. What needs to change in order to reach your goals? What marketing strategies will you need to implement? Do you need to hire someone? Let someone go? Shift the budget around? Start new projects? Create new content? Be specific and clear.
It is also important to put down WHO is responsible for which priorities and action items. If you are a one-man-show, it’s all you! But if you have employees and contractors, they should be crystal clear on the expectations you have for their work in the upcoming quarter.
Why only one page??
The biggest problem with creating a multi-page quarterly action plan is that you are less likely to look at on a regular basis. When I first got started, I would make detailed action plans that were several pages long…and then never look at them again. You want something you can see and check in with it every day. Keeping everything focused on one page make it easy for you to glance through it and stay on track.
Are you losing sleep because of the marketing aspects of your business? Are you someone who does NOT like to plan in advance? Have you run your business in a “by the seat of your pants” style? I have good news! I’ve created a 12 Month Marketing Plan to help you build a profitable business while not getting overwhelmed by the details!
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Have a great week!
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I hope you a great Holiday with your family and friends! My Christmas was spent with family where we had delicious food, some karaoke singing, loads of laughter and lots of memories to cherish.
Today here in Canada is Boxing day, a day full of great after Christmas sales. Who doesn’t love a good after Christmas sale no matter where you live.
…Before I get into that, tell me… are you ready for 2018?
Are you feeling good about the New Year and its possibilities?
Have you ever looked at a fellow entrepreneur and wondered how they manage to get it all done and organized, well the answer might surprise you.
They’ve got good systems.
It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel, instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.
No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you:
- Work faster and produce more
- Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes
- Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do
Here are 2 tools that will help you get better organized for 2018
The Magic of Templates
Oh, how I love templates! How many times do you answer emails from potential clients? What about responding to customer inquiries? Or mailing your JV partners about an upcoming launch?
These tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be re-purposed for specific situations.
Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows). You might even create a template document in Dropbox or Google Drive to house all your templates for easier access.
While templates will undoubtedly save you time, the real beauty is that once they’re created, you can easily outsource things like email. Simply instruct your assistant on the proper use of your templates, and you’ll be free to do other, more important things.
Checklists Prevent Mistakes
It might seem counter-intuitive, but when you do the same tasks repeatedly, it’s easy to miss an important step. You might think you paid your affiliates this month—you might even remember doing it—only to look back and see it was never completed.
But when you create checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task.
You can easily create checklists for all your common tasks and projects using nothing more than a text document or you can use Wunderlist, Google Keep or Todoist to name a few.
If you’re managing a team, checklists in your project management system such as Trello or Asana allow you to see exactly what tasks are complete, and which are still outstanding.
Templates and checklists turn smart business owners into productivity superstars, and it’s easy to get started. The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response. The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps. These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete.
Now back to boxing day… I want to help you get better organized for 2018, so, I am offering the 12-month marketing calendar program for only $77, click here to buy it now.
This 4-module program will help you plan your entire year, get clarity on when you’ll launch your programs, help you deliver high-value content that builds relationships, and helps you earn money.
Click here to get the 12-month marketing calendar program for $77
PS: This course includes every step you need to take to make this year your best business year. It’s time to put your big ideas into a custom-fit plan without having to stress over when, where, and how – ever again (at least not for the next 12 months)! Click here to BUY the 12 month marketing calendar program Now!
Businesses of every type, need a business plan. Don’t think you can skip by on this important step because you have a service based business instead of a physical product. Every business can benefit from a business plan.
Here are some steps you can take
When you create a business plan you need to focus on the reasons for the business:
- Who do you want to serve?
- What do you want to provide?
- When do you want to start?
- Where will you set up shop?
- Why do you want to start such an endeavor?
- How will you meld all these things together to create a prosperous business?
These are the primary reasons why you’re going into business and they should always be at the forefront of your mind when making decisions.
Something else to focus on is your big dream. How much money do you want to make over the next 5 years? Do you want to sell multiple products or have several locations? Everyone’s big dream will be different but you should write it down as part of the plan.
Think of your business plan as a mountain. Your mission statement is at the base of the mountain while your big dream is at the peak. Everything in between is what you need to plan and these steps should also be incorporated into a business plan.
- What products do you want to create?
- How often do you want to produce a product?
- How can you implement some passive income or affiliate income into your business?
- Are there any speaking engagements or online summit opportunities that will expand your reach and your followers?
- What can you add to your sales funnel for those not yet ready to commit to coaching?
This is where your planning steps are broken down into smaller, actionable steps. Instead of just saying I want to write a book, break the process down further.
- How much time can you dedicate each day to writing?
- Do you want to self-publish or find a publisher?
- You’ll need to hire an editor and someone to design the cover.
These are actionable steps that can easily be crossed off your to do list once completed.
Don’t be thrown off here, it can sometimes seem overwhelming. You don’t need to plan 5 years’ worth of action steps at one time. The idea is to plan a year at a time, keeping your focus in mind, so that the action steps become a pathway or a blueprint to your big dreams.
I think it’s important to plan the year ahead, I suggest you prioritize the time needed to put together a clear and detailed business plan for the next 12 months. This will help your business as well as your personal life because you will have more time for family, friends or whatever it is you choose to do in your off time.