Building Your Business Quarter By Quarter
Stressing over creating a five year plan for your business may not be the effective use of your time.
By winding back the time scale for planning you have a heightened sense of control over events. That being said, you should still set up your 90 day or quarterly plan in the context of an overall 12 month plan. By that I mean plan out your goals and targets for the coming 12 months, then a identify the tasks and milestones that are required to achieve your 12 month goals.
Take these tasks and milestones and work back from the 12 month end point, segmenting the 12 months up into 4 quarters. There will be a major milestone per quarter which you can pencil in.These milestones become the stakes in the ground with which you “pull yourself forward”. Now, starting with the current quarter milestone flesh out the steps needed to reach that milestone. This current quarter milestone will become your target for the next 12 weeks. Simply put, if you can reach your first target milestone then your end 12 months milestone is more than likely attainable.
Then, break your 12 week plan into weeks and days. For example, if you had a first-quarter milestone target of $100,000 in revenue, then you need to break that down into weekly targets. This would reveal that you have to generate roughly $8,500 dollars per week, each week, to reach your quarterly target.
Your eight thousand dollar target for the week will break down into $1,700 per day. Now you have a real target to aim for each and every day. The beauty of planning down to this level of detail means that you can track daily what has to be generated for you to reach your goals. You will know within the first week whether or not you are on track to achieve your quarterly targets.
This clear targeting allows you to focus and keeps you and your team accountable.
Your quarterly targets, the promotions you will perform, the marketing strategies employed and the resources required should be documented as a calendar and made visible. I like to use large white boards that take center stage in your office/boardroom or anywhere you do most of your strategic planning.
A good “war room” setup would feature a white board with the targets and calendar for the quarter and another whiteboard with the tracking results. The latter board would display information such as charts or KPI (Key Performance Indicator) graphs.