The business market for service providers is evolving all of the time! How are successful entrepreneurs able to plan sales and scale for growth without losing sight of important trends? The answer is developing a quarterly plan!
Bucketing your business calendar into four sections gives you enough time to see plans through to the end, but not too much time—so you aren’t missing out on developments in the market.
What Is A Quarterly Plan?
A quarterly plan happens every three months (versus an annual plan that resets every year). When developing a quarterly plan, service providers take a deep dive into their sales data in order to turn out a new strategy for their business in the months ahead.
A quarterly plan also behaves as a check-in for an overarching strategy. So even if you aren’t prepared or willing to reset your sales plans for the next 3 months, you can evaluate how things are going (and communicate your reflections with your team).
What Should You Include In Your Quarterly Plan?
There are three major things that you need to include in your quarterly plan for them to be truly helpful and effective. Consider these important points as you draw up an agenda for your next meeting!
A Recap of the Previous Quarter
As tempting as it may be to rush ahead, it’s necessary to recap your wins and losses from the previous quarter before you plan the next one.
Include these things in your quarterly plan recap:
- Your goals from last quarter
- Wins! (Include shoutouts for your teammates)
- Team reflections
There is no sense charging forward without knowing what worked or didn’t work in the months prior. Take the time to acknowledge recent accomplishments or pitfalls. This helps refocus your team and prepares everyone for a fresh start.
Chosen Focus Areas For Your Business
Having one or two areas of improvement to tackle in a quarter is more effective than tackling every area in one go.
For example, your focus area for one quarterly plan could be creating more quality social media posts. Then next quarter, you might focus on implementing templates for client correspondence.
A narrower focus means bigger wins!
Of course, you and your team will carry on with other important business as usual! But having a few specific areas to pay attention to will help you achieve steady growth.
Action Steps, Milestones, and Goals For The Quarter
The plan portion of your quarterly plan comes last in the sequence. Once you have a hold on what happened last quarter and have defined key focus areas, you can lay out some goals for the next three months.
You may find it helpful to delegate goals! Include your team in the decision process and leverage different members to oversee their piece of the puzzle. More hands make for lighter work and more feasible goals.
Why Should You Create A Quarterly Plan?
Quarterly planning works well because it ensures that your team is working within a realistic window of time to reach their goals.
Too much time (as in six months or a year between planning meetings) indicates that team members may lose motivation and concentration. Less time (less than three months) indicates not enough time to drive a true impact.
Deciding to include a quarterly plan every 90 days in your business lets you follow in the footsteps of the most successful service providers!
How Can You Use Your Business’ Data to Build Your Quarterly Plan?
Even the most strategically timed planning meetings will fall short if you’re not using your data correctly. Take a look at these valuable tips to help get you in the right frame of mind.
Analyze Your KPIs From the Previous Quarter to Create Challenging but Reasonable Goals
Use your key performance indicators to create goals. Your KPIs reflect the most important data metrics for your business niche.
For instance, if the services you are providing are in digital marketing, you need to pay attention to the cost of each lead, your web traffic, average time your customers spend on each page, and your return on investment.
If dissecting data isn’t your thing, sign up for our Measure and Maximize program. We can help you interpret your most important metrics and set up goals for your next quarter by teaching you to create customized Google Analytics dashboards based on your goals
Do a Financial Analysis of The Previous Quarter to Determine Sales Focus Areas
That’s right! Crunch those dollar figures to make sure that you’re spending and earning in the right places. Any surprises indicate that you need to adjust your plans for the following quarter.
If you notice any imbalances (spending too much time and money on things that aren’t improving your business) your quarterly plan should steer you in a different direction.
Evaluate Your Competitors to See Where You Can Improve Your Marketing In the Next Quarter
Look outside of your business bubble to check out the competition. You can multiply the effectiveness of your own data metrics by using theirs, too.
Things to look for in your competition include:
- Marketing similarities
- Any recent growth or dip in sales
- Social media traffic patterns
- Customer satisfaction rates
You can find information about your competitors by searching their websites, social media pages, or public records. Discovering what’s working (or not working) for other businesses in your niche can take your business to the next level.
No matter how frequently you’ve revamped your business plans in the past, adopting a quarterly plan pattern will help you maximize the process. With quarterly planning meetings, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your team is chipping away at important goals at a steady, practical pace.
Make a plan and take action! Here’s how to get started: