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.
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Have a great week!
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Becoming an entrepreneur can be both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. You become your own boss, you set your own hours, you call all the shots. You also bear the weight of generating your own income, selling a product or convincing other people that you have something they want and need.
According to statistics, about 20% of small businesses fail in the first year, and 50% fail after five years in business. So what makes the difference between someone who succeeds and someone who fails?
Many women mistakenly believe that they need business, programming, accounting or marketing skills or even a degree if they want to run their own business. But I’ve found this isn’t necessarily the case.
I’ve found that most powerful entrepreneurial women possess the following:
Many women go through several different ideas and business ventures before finally creating something profitable. Others have to work for months or even years before they start earning the income they want. Resilience to stress, failure and discouragement is paramount if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. Do you consider yourself resilient? Can you “bounce back” from tough experiences? Then you just might have what it takes.
When you run your own business, you become the boss! Entrepreneurs need a healthy amount of self-confidence to navigate the ins and outs of running a company. Do you believe in yourself and what you have to offer? If you are not confident in yourself and your business, your clients, customers and employees are going to feel it. People are naturally drawn to confidence and passion.
#3 The Ability To Take Risks
Women who like to think outside the box, get excited at the thought of adventure, and who aren’t afraid of imperfection tend to do much better as business owners than those who like to live by the rules. Those who get easily stressed when things go awry have a hard time seeing the opportunities that may be present when things don’t go as planned. Are you willing to take risks and embrace the beauty of imperfection?
Good entrepreneurs know how to create a powerful vision that gives them motivation and strength to overcome challenges. They see things in the world that could be better and are able to spin ideas and solutions that address problems. Instead of accepting life as it is or being satisfied with “normal” they want to push boundaries and make things better. They see opportunity everywhere they go!
#5 Strong Sense Of Responsibility
Successful women entrepreneurs have a strong sense of responsibility for their lives. They know they are the authors of their own story. They don’t make excuses for their failures instead, they accept and learn from their failures. They take ownership of their thoughts, emotions, reactions, mistakes and successes.
If any of these traits resonated with you, it’s likely you would make a good entrepreneur. If you feel you are lacking in any of these areas, don’t be discouraged! We are ever changing beings and can learn and evolve as much as we choose. While some people may be naturally gifted in these areas, anyone can acquire these powerful traits with commitment and action.
According to Huffington Post, the number of women entrepreneurs in the United States increased by double that of their male counterparts from 2015-2016. Women own over 11.3 million of the businesses in America, and statistics show that not only do women make great business owners, but their companies often perform twice as well as those run by men.
Now more than ever women feel empowered to step up and into the role of entrepreneur, making the scary leap of working under a corporate umbrella to making their own rules and running their own companies.
Even though it’s an exciting time to be building your own business, it’s still not easy. There are lots of things trying to get people’s attention nowadays, and to stand out you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves, be constantly learning and willing to evolve.
As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve learned a lot about what can make or break one’s career as an entrepreneur! I wanted to share some of my top tips with you today.
>Also, remember to sign up the Woman Entrepreneur Series - an online event I created for powerful women like on the road to success! It’s my gift to you!
Here are a few strategies to help increase your chances for success and profitability in the women’s business world:
#1 Focus on Your Dream Client vs A Demographic
Old advice would say to focus on a specific demographic (i.e. women over 40). But this is not effective. You want to think about WHO your dream client is and why she needs you. For example, your dream client may be a woman over 40 who is feeling burnt out in her career, tired of climbing the corporate ladder, who wants more time and freedom to focus on doing what she loves. She isn’t afraid of taking risks and she is motivated and driven to reach her goals. Get specific and speak directly to HER. In your content, ads, product labels, opt-ins, sales copy, etc. talk pointedly to this type of client. If you do this and do it well, your dream clients will listen and take actions.
#2 Spend Wisely & Build Capital
Nothing kills a business faster than no money. You can have the most incredible product or service on the market but if you are in debt or are under-capitalized, you won’t be able to create the impact of growth you need to truly succeed and become profitable. Always have a “cushion” for when things don’t go as planned. Budget for your business and your personal life so that one or two bad months don’t crush you. This is a great area to hire experts or mentors to help guide you!
#3 Prioritize Quality Over Speed
The first several months to a year of building your business you are faced with decisions that can either lead you to success or hinder your progress significantly. An estimated 75% of startups fail; generally because they run out of money, try to grow too quickly, hire the wrong people, lack proper marketing or don’t take the time to build something high quality. It can be tempting to take off at full speed and build out a team and rush to “the finish line” but this will likely end your business in flames. Build slowly, hire the right people, stay financially on course and be patient. Entrepreneurship is not a “get rich quick” scheme!
Being a business owner can be an incredibly fulfilling experience. Take the time to do it right and don’t be afraid to ask for help or mentorship so that you have the best chance for success.
To learn more about launching an online business, register HERE for the Woman Entrepreneur Series - Strategies for A Successful Online Business.
This is a no cost to you event full of powerful women entrepreneurs who have walked the path of creating, launching and successfully running a business! Join me as we listen to advice and strategies from the best of the best.
Have a great week!