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Starting a new quarter can bring in a mix of emotions for us. For some, we’re excited to see what’s to come, but for others, it’s a reminder that maybe we haven’t accomplished as much as we had hoped these past 6 months.
No matter where you are on that spectrum, it’s time to do a quarterly review to help you plan your best quarter yet!
In this episode, we’re going to go through my quarterly strategic planning process that will help you reach your goals, stay focused and true to your priorities.
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(Note: This is a formatted AI-generated transcript to make it easier for you to read through, but is not an optimized blog post. Please excuse any spelling or grammar errors and filler words – it’s just how I speak LOL)
Starting a new quarter can bring in a mix of emotions for us. For some, we’re excited to see what’s to come, but for others, it’s a reminder that maybe we haven’t accomplished as much as we had hoped in these past six months.
No matter where you are on that spectrum, it’s time to figure out what you can do this upcoming quarter to ensure that you have the best quarter ever, but that starts with taking a look at the previous one.
So in this episode, we’re going to go through the different things that you need to review before you even start to plan out for the next quarter, so that way you can actually reach your goals, stay focused and true to your priorities.
Are you ready? Let’s do this.
Quarterly Planning Intro
Hey, I’m Lucy Reyes, your host of the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, where I’m on a mission to help online entrepreneurs like you focus on all the right things and kiss overwhelm goodbye.
Here, you’re going to learn strategies that will boost your productivity so that you can scale your online biz and impact lives sooner. It’s your time to shine! So let’s get started.
Hey, hey. Welcome back to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast, episode five. And welcome to a brand new quarter.
We have officially entered the second half of the year. So I figured it was the perfect time for me to share an episode on some things that you need to review before you even start planning out your quarter for your business.
So this episode is actually going to be pretty tactical, so you definitely want to pull out a sheet of paper for notes or better yet, if you’re like me…
Open up your Trello planning board, which is where I personally do all of my planning, or whatever it is that you use, sticky notes, whatever other project management tool that you use and get ready to follow along.
And if you’re a Level Up Your Biz with Trello student, your Annual at a Glance board is actually the perfect place for you to do your quarterly strategic planning and to do the steps that I’m about to cover in today’s episode. Okay.
So my quarterly strategic planning starts with reviewing the previous quarter and there are a few things that you really need to do before you even think about getting started with planning out the upcoming or the next quarter. And that is exactly what we’re going to be talking about in today’s episode.
So the first thing you’re going to want to do is as you’re getting started with the planning for the upcoming quarter is to review the previous one, starting with all of your previous quarter totals, including revenue, profit, expenses, total blog traffic, if you have a blog, number of email subscribers and any other important data that would be helpful for you to track for your business.
So if you’re selling digital products, then you’re going to want to know how many digital products you sold in the past quarter. If you had any launches, you need to pull out those numbers too.
If you have an Etsy shop, then now is the perfect time to pull up your Etsy shop sales and see if maybe there was something that was more popular than something else. Same thing goes if you have a service based business and you’re trying to get clients.
Anything that’s important for your specific business, now as a time to pull up those numbers. And for all of my non numbers or data lovers out there, I’m sorry.
But this is a critical part of the process because you need to know your performance before you can even make any decisions about the upcoming quarter. Okay. So be sure that the first thing you do before you even move forward with any type of planning for this quarter… You need to know your numbers.
Questions to Ask Yourself During the Review Process
Now once you’ve completed your data check and your review, and you’ve probably tracked it into something like a spreadsheet, the next thing you’re going to want to do is, like I said, pull out your notebook, or a Trello board and answer these questions.
What went well?
What went well? What didn’t and what could I do better?
Now, these are all super incredibly important because they’re going to help you craft a real strategy for the upcoming quarter.
So to give you an example, and some context, let’s briefly go through each one of these questions in a bit more detail.
- What went well?
- What are some things that you’re proud of that you did this past quarter?
- What were some of your wins?
Take a moment to celebrate! We don’t do that enough.
As online entrepreneurs, we are so hard on ourselves and we are our biggest critics, so you need to know what you did that went well. You need to celebrate your wins no matter how small or how tiny they may feel. It’s still worth celebrating.
And then the last thing you want to know is, what’s something that you did that you would do again?
So these are all questions really aimed at helping you really think back into this past quarter to see, okay… what worked? What can I do again?
What wins did I have and what wins do I want to have again this following quarter or whatever that is? Right. Anything that went well, you need to write it down.
What didn’t work well?
The second question is what didn’t? What didn’t work well, and why not?
You need to get specific here. You can’t just say, well, this didn’t work. Right. And then just write down as this didn’t work. You need to know why, you need to know why it didn’t work.
And if you don’t know well, take some time to figure it out. Take some time to look at your numbers and maybe review the strategy over again. Take a moment to really try to figure out why it didn’t work.
It may not be just one thing. It may be more than one. It could be a couple of things that made that whatever thing, not work.
Another thing you want to ask yourself are what are some things that you probably won’t do again?
You want to know what you shouldn’t have repeat. And I can tell you from my last launch in what was it, at the beginning of quarter two, there’s a couple of things that I know myself, that it’s like, ugh. I’m not going to do that again.
And it might not even be something that didn’t work. It might just not, it might just be something that’s not aligned with you anymore, or it could be something that you don’t want to do because maybe that was stressful. Right.
Maybe it was stressful. Maybe it’s just something that you’re like, man, that was, that worked pretty well, but that took a lot out of me and you just don’t want to do it again.
That’s fine. It’s your business. You don’t have to do it again if you don’t want to, or you can tweak it to make it more aligned with you.
And then that kinda leads me into the next question which is, is there anything that stressed you out? So still under the “what didn’t work?”
You want to know if there’s anything that stressed you out? Is there anything that made you feel like you wanted to pull your hair out? Because if so, then that’s a very good sign that something in that situation didn’t work out.
It may have been that you didn’t plan out ahead enough. Right? Because sometimes we get so excited and if you’re like me, you get an idea and then you want to take action on it right away. And you don’t realize how much work it actually takes to get that idea out there.
So maybe, it’s, you know, something that needs a little bit longer of planning or maybe it’s something that just a strategy wasn’t quite right yet, or maybe it wasn’t the right time or maybe it was just causing you to work more than you thought.
Whatever it is, if it stressed you out, it’s a good signal that that’s something that probably shouldn’t happen again. Okay.
What could I do better?
And then lastly, what could you do better? You are probably already your biggest critic, so this one might not be as hard, but instead of being hard on yourself, think about what could you improve on? So still, you know, tying in those questions that we just reviewed.
What are some things that you could improve on and did anyone provide you with any constructive criticism like did anyone critique you?
Now I know that sometimes it may feel like receiving feedback and if it’s not positive feedback, it’s kind of like a gut punch, right?
Like you feel like man, like I thought I was good and now this person is telling me that I’m not good. And we tend to really let that bring ourselves down and we get so upset, and we don’t like it.
But instead, you should welcome constructive criticism, welcome it, open your arms to it, because if someone’s telling you, then at least they’re telling you.
Otherwise, you could keep going and doing the same thing that, you know, apparently isn’t that great or isn’t the best that it could be. And you don’t know.
And you don’t know, so it’s better to know so that way you can improve on it. Okay. is there anything new or different that you’d like to try?
Maybe it’s a new strategy that you learned, or maybe you’ve been working towards something and maybe you just want a different goal or whatever it is.
Is there anything new that you’d like to try or do differently?
So my recommendation would be for you to get as detailed and as specific as possible when you’re going through and answering these questions so that you can truly begin to craft a good strategy for the upcoming quarter.
Quarterly Planning Review Summary
So these are the things that I review before even starting my quarterly planning. I review my numbers, any data that makes sense for my business. And then I answer these questions.
Yes, it may seem like it’s an extra step, but it is super critical for you to review, what worked, what didn’t, what could be done better, your numbers, all of that.
And if there’s anything else that you already are reviewing for the previous quarter or anything else that you feel like would probably be helpful for you to review then add that to your list too. Okay. Because it is still so important that you do a review before you even move on to your next planning. Okay.
So that is today’s episode. Hopefully you have a ton of good stuff that happened in the previous quarter. And if not, then you now at least know because you wrote it out on paper, you have it visibly yelling at you telling you what to do this next coming quarter or what not to do.
And remember to get pretty detailed and as specific as you want with this exercise, because it will come in handy whenever you’re trying to do your quarterly planning.
So, like I said, once you’re done with this, you’re going to have a pretty good idea of what you should be planning out for this next quarter. So that way it can be a super, super successful one.
I personally cannot wait to hear what your review included. I want to know it all. Okay. Yes. I’m a little bit nosy. I want to know what worked for you? What did it? I love this stuff. I want to know.
So in fact, I want you to take a screenshot of you listening to this episode, post it to your Instagram story and tag me at @cheerstoblogging, and let me know what was one of your big wins for the previous quarter?
I want to celebrate with you. Okay. So this is me holding you accountable for actually taking a moment to celebrate something good that happened because something good happened.
You cannot and let me repeat, you can not say nothing good happened. I didn’t have anything, you know, maybe I didn’t have any sales or I didn’t have an increase in blog traffic, or I didn’t get a new client.
No, I don’t want you to just focus on the negatives. There is something good that happened last quarter and I want to know what it is.
So take a screenshot, tag me on Instagram and post on your Instagram stories. Post what your one big win, even if it’s not a big one, it’s still a big one to you while your one win for the previous quarter was so that way I can celebrate with you and I can root for you for this upcoming quarter and share.
And before you go, make sure you subscribe wherever you’re listening so that you know, once the next productive chat is released.
To view the complete show notes and all the links mentioned in today’s episode, visit cheerstoblogging.com/episodefive.
Thank you so much for listening to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast with me, Lucy Reyes.
If you’re enjoying the show, I would love it if you could leave me a rating and review on Apple or wherever you’re listening to the podcast to help it reach new audiences so that way we can help more online entrepreneurs like you.
Talk soon and cheers to your productivity and success!
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