Without forward movement, your business plan is just a bunch of words, numbers and punctuation marks on paper. It’s practically meaningless when you think about it. It’s like having an outline for a book you’re never going to write. You need to keep yourself in check (in other words, hold yourself accountable). You can do this by developing a quarterly action plan and following through on new business goals every few months.
What Is A Quarterly Action Plan?
We at TruMethods believe your quarterly action plan should be made up of the following four components: goals, action items, focus and accountability (this last part is most important, but we’ll get to that later on). Ultimately, what you need to know is this: Your quarterly action plan is how you’ll transform your business plan into a thriving business.
Set Goals Every Quarter
Keeping yourself accountable begins with setting goals. What do you want to accomplish? Think about the direction you want to take your business. Write down your revenue goals, your sales goals and your sales activities. Every goal you set for your business should be reasonable. Remember: You’re setting these goals to achieve them.
Explore Action Items
After you set your goals, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to achieve them. Sit down and explore action items with your team — create a list. I want you to then take that list and cut it down to a few action items (no more than five). These action items could be anything from optimizing your processes or improving your sales focus to increasing your AISP for a better pricing model. Do your best to establish your priorities.
Focus In On Your Priorities
Now it’s time to focus on what you have in front of you. Gather your team together to review your goals. Get them on board with the execution of your quarterly goals. Open the floor to questions. This part is important to remember: They need to understand your quarterly action plan as much as you do. Break your team up into task forces, each focused on one action item. Monitor progress by scheduling weekly meetings with them.
It All Comes Down To Accountability
Make a person or team accountable for each action item. This is the only way things will get done. The assigned member or team needs to feel as though they’ve been granted ownership of something. Remind them: They’re in charge of raising red flags on items.
Accountability is key to ensuring that all the goals you’ve set are achieved by the end of the quarter. Without accountability your plan will remain just a plan — plain and simple.
Outlining a business plan is only the beginning. To set things in motion, you’ll need to identify quarterly goals before carrying out the actions necessary to fulfill your vision.
If you're interested in learning more about business planning and creating actionable goals for your business, download our free Business Planning Blueprint.