Quarterly planning for your business is a key component for growth and success. Having a quarterly plan that fits into your annual plan is just magic. Many entrepreneurs have a good idea of where they want to take their business, but few have a well-defined tactical plan on how to get there. It’s important to set specific and measurable goals for your business, and identify short-term results as milestones on the path. Each strategic plan should have clear objectives, action plans, and criteria for success. Quarterly planning is an important piece of your strategic plan, and should be referred to weekly. Let’s have a look at what you should include in your quarterly planning!
Review of last quarter
The first thing you should do when you are planning your next quarter, is to review the quarter that has just passed. Take notice of the successes and celebrate them! Be aware of what didn’t work out and the reasons why. Outside factors may have played a role, or perhaps there is a gap in your systems that prevented you from reaching your goal. Keep these findings in mind as you plan the next quarter.
Outline key focus areas and action steps
Aside from the day-to-day operations, set a few goals for growth and development. Follow these steps to create your action plan.
- Focus Area: Choose a maximum of 3 focus areas so that you can allocate your time and effort effectively.
- Success Indicator: For each focus area, decide what success will look like. Choose a KPI, or something that you can measure to know you have reached your goal.
- Action Steps: Identify tasks or action steps that will get you to your goal. Be sure to include who is responsible for the tasks along with due dates.
Here is an example of one focus area :
Focus area: Grow my clients
Success Indicator: Increase clients by 10% in Q2
Action steps: Sales team to implement referral program by end of month and keep track of how many new clients obtained from referral program
Identify risks and opportunities
When creating a quarterly plan, it can be tempting to spotlight the opportunities and see just the positive projections. It is also important to recognize the possible challenges. Being aware of the potential roadblocks can help you problem-solve in advance and be prepared. This is also a time to think about upcoming events and opportunities. There could be an opportunity to run a holiday marketing campaign, or maybe be involved with a local event.
When you are planning your next quarter, be sure to review any customer feedback. Has the customer experience declined over the last quarter? What can we do to fix it? Or maybe your new marketing campaign was a huge success! How can we foster this success in future marketing campaigns? Always remember to listen to your customers, as they are the backbone to your business!
Quarterly planning for your business is an important part of your strategic plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it should be simple and it should fit on one page. Now is the perfect time to think about your action plan for Q2! If you need some help to get your quarterly planning started, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!