We covered this last week. Your action plan must adapt to changes but also start with the end in mind – the last thing you want is a confused team when you finish planning. That’s why the quarterly plan works so well.
This week, we’ll dive into the WHAT and the HOW when it comes to planning. Because to successfully grow, you must strike a balance between the need to focus on the fewer, better things that will make a significant difference for your organization and the need to modify and pivot as things change.
The format we’ll cover keeps things locked down to one page – combining big vision with bite-size action steps to get there.
Three Quarterly Focus Areas
Think of these as the three quarterly “spotlights.”
Sure, you’ll still have to take care of the day-to-day operations. But in your Focus Areas that quarter, you will invest a portion of your best resources to working ON your business. You know that these are the areas that will really help you expand and build versus staying stagnant.
Each quarter, touch base with the leaders in each department and decide on up to three Focus Areas for that specific department. For your sales manager, that might look like:
- Increased Conversion Rate
- Higher Average Dollar Sale
- Hiring Additional Salesperson
For the quarter, I highly encourage you to limit yourself to no more than three Focus Areas (in many cases, one or two may make sense).
Ninety days will fly by. If you spread your resources too thin, you and your team will waste time partially doing things instead of fully completing the projects that add value to your company.
The Focus Areas allow you to carefully allocate Time, Team, and Money to get special things done.
Clarify the Criteria for Success
Now that you’ve picked the three quarterly Focus Areas, you may want to start spewing out action items. Most CEO’s want things done, done, done!
Pause. Clarify. What criteria should you measure for success? What needs to happen this quarter to achieve success in this Focus Area?
Put on your 90-day vision goggles and get realistic.
Pick the criteria of success that you have the most control over. Find the key metrics that you can keep track of. Be objective, not subjective, so you can look back on the past 90 days and know YES or NO – were you successful?
Having solid KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to track helps immensely. Look for three to four definite KPI’s for each Focus Area. Now, you can accurately measure success.
Plus, when you DO start spitballing ideas, you at least have a clue of what action steps you need to grow this quarter.
Key Action Steps
Final Step – Action Steps. Time to lay out the key action items you need to accomplish and milestones you need to reach to hit your criteria of success for each Focus Area.
To keep things concise, you may want to break down each Focus Area into five to seven action items and milestones.
Don’t get lost in the details, or else you will feel overwhelmed and lose sight of the goals.
Pick one person from the team to OWN each action step. While they may not take on all of the required work to complete the action item, this will empower them and give them authority to keep the ball moving. You need ownership on your team for your business to succeed.
This structure allows the owner to delegate while staying responsible for making sure items gets done in the best way possible.
You now have a solid framework to create actionable, direct, and simple quarterly plans.
We’re also all about abundance here, so I’m going to share with you a free template we use in our quarterly planning sessions. It almost exactly resembles the format we discussed.
Many business owners want to create great plans – and they may have a great structure like this. But they need that extra fire in the belly – that extra spark.
This is where GrowthCLUB comes into play. We block out a full morning and dedicate it to your plan of success for the next quarter. You collaborate with other business owners in your area, receive coaching, and get even more granular with your plan. Our next GrowthCLUB takes place on September 24th in Canal Winchester – there’s still time to register and bring a friend for FREE.