How to Map Out Your 90-Day Plan & See Growth
As a small business owner, you probably have goals mapped out for the future: where you want to be 2 years, 5 years, even 10 years down the road. And you should have these goals.
But with far-off goals and plans, it’s easy to get caught up in not feeling like you’re moving fast enough. After all, if it takes 5 years to accomplish one of your goals, it’s going to take a long time to get there. If that’s all you’re looking at, the big goal, you’ll lose momentum long before you reach it. And chances are, you won’t reach it at all.
That’s why having a map for the next 90 days is so important. You have to know what it is you need to do in the next 90 days to move the needle so you can get a step closer to your goals (and then a step closer in the next 90 days and so on).
But before you map out your next 90 days, you need to know where you’re starting. I call this is your Roadmap to Revenue, which is a Business Assessment quiz. I use in my membership community that determines what you have in place in your business and where the holes are so you can take action where you need it most.
Then, it’s time to reverse engineer your goals so you know what needs to be done in order to meet those goals. If your goal is to earn $5k a month, you need to have systems in place, you need to market yourself, and you need to have a clear pricing structure in place (among other things).
The three pillars I focus on in my clients’ businesses are operations, revenue, and marketing. All the other parts of your business flow from these three areas.
Operations includes your financials, administrative actions and your team; marketing includes content creation and social media and revenue is your client/customer service and product development.
Where do you need to focus to see the growth you want?
You can’t do everything at once. Trust me, I’ve tried! But you can prioritize the tasks you need to take on in order to meet your goals, and where you’re starting now makes a big difference.
If you’re brand new to business, you need to have packages with solid pricing as well as a discovery call template so you know what to say and how to say it when you get prospects on the phone. If you already have a few clients under your belt, you may need to refine your onboarding or offboarding systems. And if you want to scale, really nailing down the operations of your business is imperative. Making sure the foundation of your business is strong is important, but I recommend focusing on revenue generating activities first.
Find the two or three big tasks that need to happen in the next 90 days in order to get that much closer to your big goals.
Create the task list that gives you momentum
What does your to-do list look like? Too many business owners rely on long to-do lists that don’t actually help them create the momentum they want. Once you know what you want to focus on in the next 90 days, list all the things you need to do to make that thing happen.
For example, if you’re developing a new product or service, some of the things on your list might be:
Research viability of the service (talk to your audience, check out competition)
Outline the new service (what’s included, who is it for, how will you communicate, what are your boundaries, what are the outcomes)
Determine pricing (develop a formula, set up payment system)
Outline marketing (create sales page, add to scheduling system, outline your sales call, create social posts and emails)
Hone in on onboarding (auto-responder for new clients, create onboarding questionnaire)
...and so on. This is only a partial list of what you’d need to do to prep a new service for market. And it’s just one more reason why you need a detailed task list, based on your 90-day plan, to get it all done. Once you’ve walked through this process once, it’s repeatable for new products and services in the future.
What happens when you get stuck?
No matter where you are in business, you’re going to get stuck at some point in your 90-day plan. You’ll be unsure of what to do next or your launch won’t go as expected or you’ll lose an essential client you were counting on for your revenue goal. It’s okay, because it’s just a season and there’s a lot you can do to continue the forward momentum.
Eat the frog. Sometimes just getting that task you really, really don’t want to do is the key. It’s often the scariest thing that we don’t want to do, but no one gets to where they want to be without taking risks and doing the scary thing.
Use affirmations. I add affirmations into my daily practice because it helps me to keep looking at the positive. If this is a challenge for you, Google “daily business affirmations” for help!
Work smarter, not harder. You don’t need to put in 50 hours a week to see movement in your business. Often you need to develop better systems and automations that will free up your time so you can work on the more important tasks.
Maybe you need help
You have your 90-day plan and your task list. You’re feeling the momentum slow down, even though you’re eating the frog daily, using positive affirmations to see the brighter side and your systems seem to be working. But you’re still not seeing the growth your 90-day plan sets you up for.
It might be time to get help--either from some 1:1 support or from a community of like-minded business owners. I love working with a coach, but it can be pricey. That’s why a close-knit community of peers is a perfect go-to for early-stage and growing businesses.
Community can help your business grow, and give you the support system you need to stay at it, even during the difficult days and weeks. We all have them, and talking about them with one another can give you the solutions you need to move forward.
When the 90 days are up
Once you work through the goals in your 90-day plan and assessed what worked and what didn’t, it’s time to set new goals and tasks for the next 90 days. This is a completely repeatable system, and one that you should replicate for the life of your business. Even when you’ve met your 2-, 5- and 10-year goals, there’s always the next 2, 5 and 10 years to think about.
What’s on your 90-day plan? If you’re struggling to develop yours or to stick with it, you’re invited to be part of Systems By Design, a private membership community for service-based business owners.
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