#03: Strategic Planning – Goals for the Next Quarter
The focus on today’s podcast episode is to break down your goals for the next quarter. These quarterly goals will become your action plan and now it’s time to start implementing changes and monitoring your progress as we work toward your 12 month and, ultimately, 3 year goals.
What we cover in this episode:
- 2:35 – Establishing your quarterly goals
- 3:14 – Goals and establishing an action plan & hard numbers
- 6:36 – Why consistent monitoring is crucial
- 11:49 – Identifying KPIs
We have created a free, pdf worksheet that we use for our clients and our own firm that will help you establish those goals you’ll focus on for the next quarter so that you can get very actionable and focused.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE WORKBOOK: Quarterly Action Plan
We are offering this free workbook to assist you in putting together a quarterly action plan that will help you focus on the most impactful goals for your business.
What do you as a business owner need to do to make a difference in the value of your business, the profit you are making and the lifestyle you enjoy? Get clarity by spending some time answering the questions in this workbook, available here.
Establishing your quarterly goals
Now it’s time to get to the nitty gritty and establish some real, hard numbers and work on the tactics you will implement to kick your business into gear. It will be very difficult to achieve those bigger goals and your company vision if you aren’t working on something every day to achieve them. We are getting down to the actionable steps that get us there.
Starting with your 12 month plan, we create an action plan for the next 3 months. For example, you established the revenue goal for your company in your 12-month plan. You need to begin asking:
- How many clients at what level do I need to obtain in the next quarter to get one step closer to my revenue goal for the year?
- How many products?
- How many add-ons?
Your revenue goal becomes the milestone marker you’ll use to establish your quarterly goals and compare to make sure you’re hitting your mark.
Let’s say we need 20 new accounts for the quarter and our typical conversion rate is 2%. What do we need to accomplish to get there? How do we get those 1,000 people in the door? Is there a way we can improve our sales process to increase our conversion rate?
Then, we can break those down monthly and weekly. We recommend monitoring on a higher level weekly. If you have a management team tracking, those numbers should be reported back to you.
Why Consistent Monitoring is Crucial
The reason we recommend weekly monitoring is so that you can gain a clear understanding of your current situation, how well your tactics are working, and change direction if needed. Your tactics may or may not be getting you closer to your goals, but without regularly monitoring your real, granular numbers, you won’t be able to make the management decisions needed to get you there.
How to Avoid the Overwhelm
If you are working on your own or with a small team, it is easy to get overwhelmed if you try to do it all. Focus on the most impactful things that will help you achieve your goals. Start with 2-3 goals and you can always grow.
It is important to start somewhere. We all wish we could do it all. But remember, if you are chipping away (even slowly), you are learning and you are getting closer to your goals. You want to make sure you’re doing SOMETHING. Don’t just give up. This is how businesses succeed.
Sometimes, this is where having a mentor can really help because they may offer a different perspective. It can also help to get some input regarding what would really make the most impact to drive your business toward those goals you’ve set. If you are unclear, it could be well worth the investment to get some direction from an advisor, mentor, colleague, etc.
What KPIs are Important?
KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are the items you will choose to track your progress. Once you determine what is most important and most impactful for your business and specific goals, you will establish your KPIs and setup procedures to track them weekly. There are various types of KPIs you can track for your business.
Financial KPIs – KPIs like Gross Profit Margin, Net Profit Margin, Monthly Recurring Revenue, etc., help you make better business decisions and pivot if needed. These are often driven by industry and help you see how you are performing and how you compare against industry averages. For more about financial KPIs, Intuit defines eight that will help you measure your business’ performance.
Sales & Marketing KPIs – Sales drives a business, so these are crucial. Conversion rates are a primary example of a sales KPI and when it comes to marketing, you can look at website, social media, and Google Analytics just to name a few. One of our favorite sales and marketing resources, Hubspot, wrote an article about KPIs for sales managers.
HR KPIs – Hiring and performance KPIs are important in HR. These can become not only numeric but can also include client surveys, feedback, and reviews.
Milestone KPIs – Milestone KPIs establish what are we trying to accomplish and how far have we come? Maybe we have reviewed our clients and we want to filter out 20 of the clients who don’t align with a new direction.
To circle back, do not let yourself get overwhelmed by this process. It is better to start tracking 1-2 things and consistently monitor and improve than to simply get overwhelmed and give up. Progress is progress, no matter how small it may seem. Those small changes add up. With a strategic approach to establishing KPIs, monitoring and making necessary adjustments, your chances of achieving your goals skyrocket.
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” – Henry Ford