Planning my goals every quarter has been a game changer in my business. It’s something I encourage all clients and members to embrace. I know 90 day planning works incredibly well for the wedding and creative industries who invariably have peak seasons for enquiries and client work.
Having a year plan is vital for your business, but this is pointless if you do not have a strategy for reaching those targets. Writing your goals down is definitely the first step in reaching them, but this alone will not bring success. You need to break these goals down into tangible chunks. One way to do this is by quarterly planning, this is not a new strategy, many industries map their goals every 90 days. Think about it – the fashion industry has been doing this forever, planning and running their businesses by the seasons and so do journalists, planning their publications 3 months in advance.
The problem with yearly planning is, you find that goals loose relevance 6 months into the year. It can also be really overwhelming to look at everything that needs to get done – leading to procrastination. Telling yourself there is no rush, there is always ‘tomorrow”.
Compare this if you will to wedding clients that book you far in advance or interior design clients. How often does their vision change throughout a 12 month period? Pretty frequently right? Same can be said for business. Who knows what challenges you will face in 6 months or 12 months time. So have an overall year plan but then really focus on shorter immediate goals. The other difficulty with 12 month plans is there’s “always tomorrow” to complete a task. Being more decisive with your goals ensures you complete them!
There has been a lot of research that proves working 90 days at a time is most effective. Create a year plan but then every quarter work out the top priorities for the next 90 days. From here you can plan your month, ideally you should have a mix of marketing + sales + client work. Remember if all you do is spend time on client work you’ll find yourself with no bookings for the subsequent months. Take time to review your business at the end of each month so you can reflect on what did or didn’t work for your business.
REVIEW + REFLECT
Before we move forward we need to analyse what worked well the previous quarter and needs tweaking. What enquiries did you receive this quarter ? And out of these what % of the enquiries have converted? Think about the orders you received, which ones were the most popular? Why do you think that is? Did you promote one service more than another? Perhaps you hosted a special offer or exhibited at a show. What are your financial from this quarter, think in terms of revenue and profit. Thinking back to your goals the previous quarter, which ones did you achieve? What marketing / PR / Sales activities were successful? And finally what have you learnt? And what will you do change going forwards?
SELECT NO MORE THAN 5 TOP GOALS
These goals should be the ones you are committed to achieving. No matter what curve balls are thrown your way, you will be ultra focused on these goals. If you have a BIG goal that is anticipated to take up a lot of time then reduce your goals to 3 not 5. Be realistic with your time if this is a busy season for you, bear in mind holidays, childcare, client projects. It can be all to easy to over commit.
BREAK THEM DOWN
The next step is to really break these goals down. All too often we set ourselves a huge goal but have no way of achieving it. By spending some time breaking your goals down, you’re able to determine actionable tasks in order to complete it.
Unsure how to proceed but intrigued? DOWNLOAD my 90 day planning workbook to help you review and plan your quarterly goals.