An overarching 3–5-year strategic plan for your business, although essential for long term business growth, can be cumbersome. As business owners, operating in an increasingly demanding environment, it is very easy to lose focus on what needs to be achieved “now” to achieve the strategic milestones of the long-term strategic plan. That’s why, we run Quarterly Growth Clubs for all clients, as they are essential to keep business owners focussed and on track.
Quarterly planning accomplishes two critical objectives for business owners and their teams
- It establishes focus for the upcoming three months and
- Gives you the opportunity to realign and readjust your planning
Without routine check-ins and check-ups on your progress, good business planning habits can quickly become derailed.
There are 7 fundamental steps to conduct meaningful Quarterly Planning
- Allocate sufficient time. You need to allow adequate time to analyse and plan for your next steps. Although the time needed for planning varies from business to business, my experience is that you need to assign 6/8 hours for proper review and planning. Attending an ActionCOACH Growth Club and working with a coach will provide you with the environment required for uninterrupted strategic thinking
- Evaluate your results from the previous quarter. To avoid repeating strategic errors, review an audit of your previous quarters goals and results. This will tell you, what’s working and what’s not working. If you don’t know your metrics, you can’t grow them.
- Refine tactics. Based on the breakdown of your results from the previous quarter, work out how you can improve what you are currently doing to generate improved results over the next three months.
- Identify both personal and business goals. To achieve balance between your personal and business life, identify both personal and professional commitments for the upcoming quarter. This allows you to plan your days, weeks, and months better to ensure that you meet all your commitments.
- Evaluate, refine, and upgrade Goals. Quarterly planning provides an opportunity to re-valuate our goals to ensure that they are still important. Are there any goals that removed or changed to free up your focus for more productive or important work?
- Identify and allocate resources– when you have a clear understanding of your goals, it will allow you to plan the time, money, people, knowledge, and skills that is required to achieve them.
- Set timeframes– determine the estimated time frame for starting your new goals during the next three months. Make sure they are entered in your calendar so that they don’t get lost in the maelstrom of day-to-day business. A coach can help keep you on track.
Although it is challenging to do what’s best rather what is easy, the time and energy required to get back on track once you have lost your focus are far greater. Consistent planning on a quarterly basis is critical for your business growth. It keeps you focussed and on track.