In my opinion, quarterly planning is one of the most critical pre-reqs to scaling.
In this episode, I'm going to run you through several core issues I see coming from NOT planning, and then walk you through HOW to do quarterly planning.
How to plan:
Setting aside time to think through all of this stuff will give you the context that you need to determine what the top priorities are in your business. You can then take that information and chunk it out into a focus for each month, your list of priority and upcoming projects for the quarter, and your backlog.
To make your planning easier, leave the podcast a review to get my 90 day planning formula - This is the exact process I use with all my clients and for myself.
Connect with Jordan Schanda King:
#101 | Quarterly planning for your business
Hey, hey, welcome. All right. I wanna talk about planning. Don't tune out. Planning is super important. It's super nerdy, but it's really, really, really important. And if you invest some time into doing some planning, some structured, consistent planning for your business, I promise you it's gonna totally change everything.
I know that's a big promise, but I do promise it. Planning is essential, okay? In my opinion, quarterly planning. Is the meat of planning. Big picture planning's important. Long-term planning is important. Looking out a year ahead, doing annual planning, all fantastic, you gotta do that. But quarterly planning is where I really, really, really want you to focus.
Now, it's hard to do it if you haven't done some of the big picture planning, but I don't want you to go too deep into the weeds feeling like you gotta sit down and like come up with your core values and like do it like, yes, fantastic, but don't get distract. Have a general sense of the big picture of what you're trying to do, what you're trying to build, where you're trying to go, what you want your business to look like in a year, two years, say, have that clarity, but spend the most amount of time, the most amount of energy, the most amount of effort on the actual quarter quarterly planning, 90 day planning.
So I wanna walk you through how to do it. First, I wanna look at some of the issues that people see when they don't do quarterly planning. Super, super common. Don't, don't be worried if you're seeing any of these issues. First one is shiny object syndrome. Very common. The big picture planning part is gonna help give you the context that you need to know if you're making a aligned decisions and working on things that actually move the needle and are gonna get you closer to your goal versus something that's a shiny object.
So that big picture component. The key piece to avoiding the shiny object syndrome. The second thing that I see is last minute, everything. And I mean, come on, like we all do this. I even do this. You decide to launch something kind of last minute, you decide to offer something new. It's like you just wanna get it out there.
It's like, feels kind of like you're scrambling, but you feel kind of like this sense of urgency to just do it. And usually when we do. things get missed a little bit. Maybe details get missed, some things aren't totally thought out. Ends up adding a lot of work to your plate that you didn't even realize it was gonna add.
And so even if it works and it's successful, it can feel a lot like you're scrambling. But also a lot of times it just doesn't work cuz it's not fully thought out. The third thing is having a long backlog of tass. I see this a lot, mostly because you're probably a visionary. You're a ceo, so you're an ideas person.
You love to come up with new things, so that's okay, but when you're not doing quarterly planning, you're not ever sitting down to prioritize. What do you actually need to work on? What can wait, what maybe doesn't ever need to be worked on? It was just a random idea. And then what do you, what do you really need to do to move the needle again?
Right? So, so just think about your own to-do. , maybe take a look at it. Ask yourself how many of those tasks have been on there for six, 12 plus months. So without that comprehensive planning, that backlog's just gonna get longer. It's gonna get longer and longer and longer, and we don't want that cuz there's always gonna be new ideas that you're gonna add and there's gonna be probably important things on there that we're gonna wanna actually chip away at and get done that are gonna get lost on that backlog.
So the planning's gonna help you stop and priorit. . The fourth problem I wanna mention is taking on too much than you can actually handle. So common, unbelievably common . I see it all the time, and most of the time that happens because when we have an idea, we don't actually understand the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 things that are gonna go into actually pulling off that idea to actually executing the.
And I see this a lot because this is what people pay me to do, right? Like people pay me and my team to execute their ideas. And so we regularly see things go from idea to fully fledged product to fully fe fledged deliverable. We see it come to life. and we do the implementation and execution of it. So we see every teeny tiny little step along the way.
And so we know what goes into something. So when someone says, oh, I wanna launch a podcast and I wanna launch it like you launched yours, well, let me tell you what's gonna be involved in that. We can do it, but I think we need to get a realistic, um, we need to get aligned on the realistic expectations of how long we need of what's gonna go into that on what's gonna be your responsibility on what you can out.
There's a lot to talk about and getting granular with your ideas, your projects, and your tasks is what's gonna allow you to actually commit to a manageable amount of things each year, each quarter, each month. Because otherwise you'll say, oh, well, I'll just launch a podcast, which probably doesn't sound like a small task to most people.
Uh, but you wouldn't wanna do that the same time you're launching a course or building out a course, and you wouldn't wanna do that at the same time that you're prioritizing revamping all of your client onboarding or doing some other big project because, We know what's involved on the back end to actually pull some of those things off.
We can look at it from a more objective time, estimate based approach and say, we can do this one thing and we can do this one thing well in this timeframe. Let's put that other other thing off until the next quarter. . So now let's talk briefly about how to actually do the planning. I, I'm just gonna kind of walk you through, am I gonna go super in depth?
I've actually got a free resource, um, that you can have for free. If you go leave us a review. It's our 90 day planning formula. Go get it if you don't have it already. If you have it, break it out and use it. It's a Google doc and a Loom walkthrough. It's the exact process that I go through with all of my clients to do 90 day planning, so I'm just gonna.
Cover the gist of it, and then go get the resource and walk through it in depth. So in a nutshell, what you're gonna do is, first you're gonna get really clear on that big picture, vision and goals. And when I say really clear again, I don't mean like deep in the weeds of like writing out a day in the life five years from now.
No, no, no. Like, cool if you wanna do that, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about just generally asking yourself like, what type of businesses am I building? Why am I building it? How do I wanna be showing up in my business? What are the types of things I wanna be doing? How much money do I want it to be making?
Do I want it to be managing a team? Like thinking about what you want your business to feel like, how big you want it to be, how complicated you want it to be. Thinking about those types of questions. And your answers to them so you can have clarity on the business that you're building. How do you actually want your business to be operating? How does it fit into your life? What are some of those things? Bigger picture. , I want you to think through what is actually working and what is not working. Sounds really, really simple, and it is, and it can be very, very insightful into what we wanna do more of, what we wanna do, what we wanna double down on, what we want to totally stop doing, what we need to optimize.
So just asking yourself, what is working? What is working for my business? What is working for me right now? And then what is not working? . What is not sustainable? What do I not like to do? What do I want to change? What am I getting feedback on from clients? Because they're saying, this needs to be improved, or this would've been better if what's not working.
The next thing I want you to do is make a plan for what you're selling. What's your offers are? What's your marketing's gonna look like? What's your visibility efforts are going to look like? So this is how you're showing up online, getting new eyeballs onto you and your. Bringing more people into your audience.
It's the things that you're actually delivering. It's the things that you're inviting people to buy from you. Your answer's probably not gonna be all the things all the time. You're going to need to get a little bit more focused. Maybe you sell one thing the last week of every month. Maybe you do a launch at the beginning of every quarter.
You know, there's probably some seasonality. There's probably. Cyclical nature to what you sell and when you sell it, you can't sell all the things all the time, or some people do. It's a little bit more difficult. Usually you're promoting kind of one thing at a time. Most businesses are doing that anyway, so that you can stay hyper-focused on your messaging, your content, what you're inviting people to do their next steps.
It's very clear for them. So thinking through those types of things and then. the last thing that we're gonna do. Cause we don't wanna, we don't wanna miss this. We wanna make sure we do this, but I do want it to be the last thing. As much as I love operations, as much as I love systems, as much as I love all of these types of nerdy things, we are gonna put it at the end because,
If you're not clear on your big vision, you're not like doing more of what works and fixing the stuff that's not working. And if you're not actually selling your stuff, then the operations again don't matter. So we wanna do those things first, and then we wanna prioritize the the backend operations projects.
So things like, maybe you need to improve your SOPs, maybe you need to get more organized. Maybe your Canva is a shit show mess. Maybe your Google Drive is, maybe it's your downloads folder on your computer, whatever it is. That's a mess. Maybe we wanna organize some of that in this quarter. Maybe there's some new systems we need to put into place.
Maybe there's some things that we can automate or outsource. We are gonna talk about those things, but we're gonna talk about them last and because, because we want them to fit into the context of the other things that we have planned. So once you go through those general sections, The goal is to chunk everything out into individual tasks and individual steps that it's gonna take to get them done.
So for instance, maybe you're planning to launch, okay, what needs to be done? Do you, do you have a sales page for it? Great. Does it need to be audited? Does it need to be updated? Do you not have one at all? Do we need to put a funnel in place? Do we need to plan a conversion event? Do we need to think through how we're gonna batch create our content for the quarter ahead?
What are the things we need to actually. To get us closer to the big goals or the big projects that we say we wanna do, break them out into individual tasks, individual granular steps so that you can check them off. Because I find a lot of times people just say, I'm gonna launch a podcast this, quarter.
Okay. That is gonna be really, really hard to chip away. Yet, if you don't have a more granular, step-by-step list of tasks that you can check off, and you can see that you're making progress and you're getting closer to your goal and you know you're not forgetting everything or anything, you need to have that granular list so that you can be chipping away at it, or your team can be chipping away at it, whoever's doing the work.
So setting aside this time to think through all this stuff is gonna give you the context that you need to d. What are the type top priorities in my business? What's actually moving the needle? What do I need to be working on? And then again, taking that information, chunking it out into a focus for each month.
I find this particularly helpful that can keep you really focused and, uh, help you prioritize day-to-day. Oh, well, yes, I have this list on my to-do list, but my focus of the month is this, and it ha this has to get done. This month is all about launching my podcast. So this other idea is a smidge of a distraction.
I'm gonna put that. That kind of like thing that you can revisit to refocus and give you, , more clarity on your priority is so important. And then you're gonna have that list of prioritized projects and tasks for the quarter. So I hope that's helpful. Super nerdy in the weeds. This is the stuff that I really love.
I love doing this on a daily basis. We have a call that I lead every single month in our membership at the end of the month to do month ahead planning specifically for this reason, because getting the clarity on like what your focus is for the month, what are the actual projects you're working on, why are you working on them?
It's so, so, so important, such a game changer. So let me know if you have any questions here to help. Send me a DM chat with me. Happy to talk through it, and I'll see you on the next episode.