If you had asked the corporate Holly two years ago if she would be running a million-dollar business online while working from home, she wouldn't have believed you.
If you haven't read the blog from last week
, I recommend that you go back and read it because it really sets up the background for what we are going to talk about today: My quarterly planning process.
Once a quarter my husband and I sit down and map out exactly what we want to do and why. And starting last quarter, we included my executive assistant
to help us make it come to life. So what exactly do we do during this time? Get ready to take notes, because I am breaking it all down for you as a business owner AND business strategist for female entrepreneurs.
My Quarterly Planning Process
Note that I call this quarterly. Everyone always asked me what I do at the end of the year, but I found that it is actually less stressful if I just do this process on repeat every quarter. That way there isn't so much pressure at the end of the year. And it is just something that is part of your normal schedule. Keep it simple, right?
Step 1. Schedule your quarterly planning date.
When I was working full time this was usually two hours on a Saturday. Now with our team, it's about a 3-hour process at our house. But schedule it! I already have our quarterly planning dates on the calendar for 2024.
Step 2: Do the lookback analysis.
I walk through exactly how to do this in last week's blog
, but at a high level, you want to look back at the last three months and understand what went well, what did not, what you learned, and what you want to keep going. This step is HUGE.
If something is working, keep it going. If it is not, stop. So often we don't take the time to slow down to do this and we keep doing things that are not working and that are taking away our precious time when we are not seeing results. It's worth the step.
Step 3: Be. Feel. Do. Have.
This is actually in our planner and I talk about it in our monthly planning parties in the Club and mastermind a lot. But truly think about it. What do you want to be? What do you want to feel? What do you have to have? And what do you actually want to do?
In short. I ask myself, what would a 7-figure business owner be doing right now? (Or insert your future self-description). I honestly picture myself as Reese Witherspoon (I love her) with all her movie scripts, TV shows, Book club, production company, and clothing line. What activities is she actually doing? Probably NOT spending an hour on a reel that isn't producing. Or stressing over the subject line of an email.
What do you want to do? And are you doing it? Or can someone else do it so you can focus on what you actually should be doing?
Step 4. What milestones can you accomplish in the next 3 months?
I call them mile markers. Now that you have all the feels going, these are steps along the big path that you want to get done in your business. As an example, if you want to launch a course, can you launch it in three months or are there prep steps you need to do?
Month 1: Research course and memberships. Map out what you want to offer.
Month 2: Create a marketing plan
Month 3: Launch and create the course
This is a super simple example, but instead of just saying "I want to create a course," break it down into logical steps so you don't wake up at 6 am and think, Ah, I don't know what to focus on. In this example, we know that Month one is simply researching and mapping out what you want to offer. So you aren't trying to build, launch, and scale all in a short period of time.
Plus, don't forget with any launch, there is the pre-launch (Are you tired of hearing me talk about this yet? I recommend 6 weeks to prime your audience if you are launching something new - you can grab the details here: It's not your launch it's your audience
STEP 5: Map it out!
This is also the step when you want to go back to the BE, Feel, Do Have and make sure you are prioritizing your personal activities first. Yes, first. What do you have going on that CANNOT move? What do you want to have going on? (i.e. trips, vacations, events for your kids, etc.) Write down the dates and THEN work your business around that. Don't launch your course when your family is getting ready to go on spring break. Yes, you can do it, but do you want to? Control your calendar and you control everything.
STEP 6: Make it visual.
This is where you really make it come to life. Put your mile markers on a whiteboard, share it with your family and if you have a team, share it with them. I personally do a video every month for our team that highlights our goals as a business, what we are working towards, and what is coming up. As an example, in mid-December I will make a video that highlights:
- Here's what's happening and here's what I need to be successful
- What does the team need?
- What checklists need to be built for future use? What can we repeat instead of starting from scratch?
Then the next month, I'll just repeat the process building on what we had previously. That way everyone is on the same page. Everyone from my 10-year-old daughters who know what months I am traveling to my team, who know all the nitty-gritty details.
Visualization is huge.
This is also usually where I write out our mission and vision so I can see it all together every day. You see it all in one place. And know the exact step to take because you worked backward into it.
This part of the planning should be the fun part. Because you aren't figuring out the how, you are figuring out the what: what you want to do and why!
Go to a fun coffee shop, a bougie brunch place, or get inspired to create a space at home where you can see your goals come to life.
I want to know, when is your next quarterly planning date?
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!