Managing your business – a free 90 day goal plannerMay 21, 2021
Want to get more connected with what you business is going to do over the next 90 days? Or maybe you want a better system to plan it all out? Well, my 90 Day Goal Planner could well be the very thing that you are looking for.
(You may be wondering about the image... it is from the June 1950 edition of Vogue where you can see that there's nothing new about the super-trendy 90-day plan!)
Whilst an unassuming document and indeed a simple one at that, my clients have been amazed at how such a simple document can have an immediate impact on confidence boosting, clarity and focus and feeling more connected with their business.
It really is simple – just plan the month to month aims/objectives for three months for key business functions, with a desired state at the end.
I’ve decided to share this as my clients have asked me too! They have talked about the value to them and that I should share that value as far as I can, so here it is; you can fill in the form at the bottom of this page to get your copy of the 90 day goal planner.
HOW TO USE THE PLANNER
On the left panel, you have the key business areas it is best to focus on at both a strategic and tactical level. This document captures the high-level goals and is a great way to communicate your key objectives to your team, or maybe some VAs/freelancers that you work with.
The planner lists the key business areas in the left panel, and for each line item we have the three months, plus a three-month goal. The way it works is that you look at the next month, then the remaining 2 months and the three-month goal(s) column on the far right, should be EITHER where business should be after the three months activities for that line item, or simply a statement of where you want the business to be for that line item after three months.
Now let’s explore that left panel.
First we have mindset, where for each month think about the motivational focus – might be attract more customers; improve communications, reduce complaints, etc. It could also be about increasing efficiency, reducing paper-use, using computer tools better. The mindset of course affects all the other business elements in the panel – if the mindset is to reduce paper to save print costs, then the team should print less emails, or legal should do more online digital signing. As per the completed example in the download pack, it's a good idea to use a keyword like a 'word of the month' - like 'growth' or 'stabilise'.
Next we have operations. This is the day to day stuff of business – how the business operates. Things like efficiency are important for operations, or feedback surveys into customer journey. Operations is all about business processes so anything to do with such things should be planned in operations.
The third item is marketing – what do you want to achieve from your next FB ad? Put that here. This document is now where you work out the detail of that – you should use a different tool for that more exact planning; this is strategic – it’s what you want to achieve and the whole business is summarised on one page for easy reference.
Sales is next – this will usually be metric driven. Increase sales by 4%; reduce refunds by 2% etc. Could be about specific promotions, perhaps seasonal ones around religious or regional holidays. Could also be special limited-time offers by bundling products together.
Now we have Team. Even if it’s just you, you are still the team! This is where you monitor performance or team efficiency. Communication processes with a larger team (perhaps mother and daughter) need to be discussed if they are not working. Ultimately the team items are about efficiency and customer service focus.
Next up we have IT. Got any new tools being assessed? If there are tools that you know are not the right fit for what you need plan a replacement here. It might be to configure an existing tool better than it is currently, or to better support new process designs.
Financials is next and is obviously a clear priority in any business. KPIs and targets are king and queen here – but this is about knowing your numbers. It’s the top line summary. Reduce this by x, increase that by y.
Finally, there is Culture/Vision. Cultural values are increasingly important to business success – particularly when you have a team. How do you want them to interact and support each other? Do the enjoy working for you? How can make them enjoy it even more? What shows them how much you value them over and above what you pay them? How much do the believe in you and your business? That’s all culture – it should be treated as a key priority if you have a team – even a virtual one. If it’s just you, then your cultural values are still important – in this section you can record your ambitions for you the culture between you and your clients – how much they enjoy working with you – and how much you enjoy working with them. Clients that are not a good cultural fit should have a planned exit process.
So – now you have the full matrix completed and can see the next three months in a summarised but motivating way. But there’s one more thing you must do…
A final review - look at everything in the planner; does it all make sense when you look at the bigger picture? What we are looking for are contradictions. For example, no point forecasting an increase in productivity in July/August as many teams will have staff on holiday. No point stating a financial target when in IT you say you want to buy new expensive software, etc, etc.
Once you have completed this process – which needn’t be long; around an hour once every three months plus an hour every month to review is not a big ask and certainly not a disruptive task – but it is certainly one that helps you connect with the direction of your business over a 90 day period and moreover, highlights quickly if you are drifting off the plan so that you can pull it back on track.
You can download the 90-Day Goal Planner pack by completing the form below. The pack contains two planners - a blank one and an example completed one.
Once you've complete your planner, print it out and place it close to your main work area; somewhere you will see it every day. Get your team to do that to. You will all be aligned and focused on the same thing - even if you don't have a team; you will know what you wanted you to focus on 😊
I hope this planner turns out to be as useful to you as it has been for many of my clients – and it’s them you have to thank for convincing me to share it!