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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