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Grow Your Business With A 90-Day Plan

Written by: Jordan Schanda King, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

A lot of business owners are winging it when it comes to implementing projects and managing tasks. And that’s why that to-do list of yours continues to grow. It can weigh you down, eat at your productivity, and it can be frustrating to feel like you’re never getting it all done.


This is where consistent quarterly planning can help you keep your sanity and be more productive.



When I onboard new clients, we always start with a half-day strategy workshop where we map out a 90-day plan. This workshop can get a bit messy as we try to capture all the things going on in their business and organize them by priority. But once we’re done, we can break everything down into manageable tasks.


Think about how amazing it would feel to know exactly how you’ll be spending your time each month. Even better, imagine having a to-do list broken down into two-week sprints. This kind of planning has a lot of benefits:

  1. You know exactly what to work on (and when) because you’ve already taken time to map out the importance of each project and assign it a specific timeline.

  2. You don’t have to worry about EVERYTHING on your to-do list, only what’s happening in your current sprint. This gives you a much more manageable list of tasks to keep track of compared to a rolling to-do list (which can be super distracting).

  3. Resetting your to-do list every two-weeks allows you to more closely monitor your progress and adjust course before too much time has passed.


Let’s walk through the planning process I use with my clients during our strategy workshop:


8 steps to create a 90-day plan


1. Big picture context

We always start with big picture context. This includes all your hopes and dreams for your business, whether it’s one year from now or ten years out. Your big picture can include revenue goals, new products you want to launch, the fact that you want to eventually sell your business, or even fun projects you have on your mind. This context is essential for identifying and addressing gaps in your strategy. For example, if your product suite doesn’t align with your revenue goals that’s a gap and something we can only identify in the context of your big picture goals.


2. What’s not working

Next, we talk about what’s not working. We talk through any problems you’re having, goals that aren’t being met, and even parts of your business that are working but they aren’t working for YOU (think hitting revenue goals but working too many hours). This is where we list all the problems and identify opportunities for improvement. Examples of actionable tasks that come up during this part of the process could include optimizing client onboarding, restructuring your group program, tossing something from your product suite that is preventing you from scaling, or brainstorming and implementing a new marketing campaign. Whatever it is that’s not working, that’s what we want to capture here, along with ideas for fixing the problem.


3. Current backlog

This is always a fun part of the process because EVERYONE has a backlog. This is the not-so-sexy-stuff that’s on your to-do list that has been piling up for months (or years). Usually, this list is made up of a lot of one-off tasks like a website audit, fixing typos on your program handouts, or writing (and actually sending) a pitch for guest podcast interviews. We look at all this stuff that's not getting done that needs to get done and decide if it’s a priority in the next 90 days. If not, voila your to-do list gets shorter!


4. SOPS and automation

Next, we think about what in your business needs a standard operating procedure (SOP) so you can see if it needs to be optimized and what parts can be automated. Rather than attempt to do them all at once, pick one SOP to start. I highly recommend starting with your client onboarding process. You want it streamlined and you want it to wow your clients, especially if you have a high ticket offer. Here’s where the actionable items come into play. Your 90-day plan would include an item for creating a SOP for client onboarding. You would then have subtasks for documenting what you’re currently doing – as imperfect as it may be. Then you can identify opportunities to optimize (again, think of ways to really surprise and delight your clients), and then see if you can automate or outsource certain parts of the process to take some tasks off your plate.


5. Organization

Organization is one of the last things any of us want to work on, yet it’s often the most needed. When I say organization, I’m talking about your Canva account, your Google Drive, how you store your passwords, and a process for asset management – the stuff that often gets overlooked. If you can’t make it a priority to organize your assets and content – and keep it organized – maybe you have a VA that can help you. This is especially helpful if you’re planning to scale in the near future, hire a team, or bring on people to help you. We can’t effectively do our work on the backend of your business if your content and assets aren’t organized. Like with SOPs, since this isn’t the most fun project, I suggest picking one piece (like your Canva account) and organizing that during each quarter.


6. Upcoming projects

Now we get into the fun stuff – the stuff that’s actually on your mind, your upcoming projects, your launches, etc... This is anything that is a priority in the next 90 days. This could be events or launches that you already have scheduled on your calendar (really anything with a deadline or set date in the next 90 days), or any project that you want to be working on during the upcoming quarter (such as a rebrand, creating a new freebie, or creating a Facebook group).


7. Backlog

The last big bucket of tasks is your backlog, which is different from the current backlog mentioned above. As we go through this planning process, tasks, projects, and ideas will come up that aren’t going to fit into this 90-day plan, but you’ll want to keep track of those on a backlog for your next quarterly planning meeting. You’ll essentially be creating one big backlog by combining the items from your current backlog that don't make the cut for this 90 days, with all the other new ideas that come up during the planning process that aren’t a priority for this quarter.


8. Next two weeks

Putting together a comprehensive 90-day plan takes some time. Even after a half day of thinking through it, you likely won’t have your finalized plan. You’ll need to let it simmer, and then you’ll need to break it down into even more detail. So, to give yourself a buffer to finalize and implement this new plan of yours, we’ll want to account for projects that need to be done in the next two-ish weeks. Because we don't want things to get lost or to miss deadlines, these upcoming projects and tasks get tracked separately.

Putting it all together

When you get to the end of this process, you will likely have a very long list of tasks and projects. Remember – you can only do so much in 90 days. So take some time to review everything on the list and ask yourself if it’s a non-negotiable for the upcoming quarter. It’s better to do a few things well and celebrate your success than look back and see a long list of unfinished projects from the previous 90 days. Start small and know that you can always pull from your backlog or move a project up on your timeline if you run out of things to do (as if).


With just a few hours of planning each quarter, my clients are able to focus on a manageable list of tasks so they can grow their business faster and with less distraction.


Commit to implementing 90-day planning and you'll find you can keep your sanity and be more productive too. Download this free 90-day planning workbook to get started now.


Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Jordan Schanda King, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jordan Schanda King is a serial entrepreneur and expert at business optimization. Since starting her first business in 2013, she has published a book, founded and co-founded multiple businesses, developed and led group programs in three industries, filed copyrights on multiple products, and successfully sold a business. Now Jordan runs a Contract COO agency, Easy Scaling, specializing in full business management for women who are scaling their service-based businesses. With an all-female team of VAs, OBMs, Copywriters, Marketers, Social Media Managers, and Tech Gurus, they help female founders scale without burning out so that they can build a sustainable business that they love.

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