We all have the same 24 hours in a day but how we use them makes all the difference in the success we see in our business. In this video I share 6 steps that. How to Write a 90 Day Business Plan Life and business plans can change a lot in a short amount of time. That is why I always suggest planning in 90-day inc. When sent on a day that is not a Business Day, the next Business Day. If an attorney signs a Proxy Form on your behalf, a certified copy of the power of attorney under which the Proxy Form was signed must be received by the Registrar at the same time as the Proxy Form (unless you have already provided a certified copy of the power of attorney.
I’ve recently become a convert to planning my business activities in ‘90 day sprints’.
It’s a combination of what I think is best for my business right now, plus the extremely volatile climate we are all experiencing at the moment due to the global pandemic meaning that businesses nowadays are needing to be much more flexible and adaptable to change.
Typically, what I would do before would look like this:
Do a big annual planning day & set goals, projects and tasks to complete throughout the year
Check in around 6 months
Do a review & plan at the end of each month
But what I would so often find is that by the end of the year, things had changed so much - either in the external environment around me, my personal life, my priorities, or my business - that many of the projects I’d committed to at the beginning of the year were no longer relevant.
Then this year, thanks to COVID-19 screwing with everyone’s plans, it has now come to the 6 month mark through 2020 and I’m already finding things that are no longer relevant or that have developed in a different way that expected.
And so from now on I will be moving towards doing my planning and goal setting quarterly - rather than just twice a year.
I will still do my big annual planning day (Olivia and I do this together and it is so helpful and also a lot of fun!), but rather than being really specific with projects so far in advance and just checking in after 6 months, I will now be moving my focus to the next 90 days in front of me.
This may not work for all businesses, but if you are looking to stay really flexible right now - this could be a good move for you too!
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What is a 90 day plan (or ‘90 day sprint’)?
Creating a quarterly planning practice is not a new idea; lots of big businesses do this and as I say, it really depends on your industry and what works for you. Think about it - the fashion industry has been doing this forever, planning and running their businesses by the seasons.
If you’re someone who plans a whole year in advance, you probably find that things lose relevance towards the end and it can also be really overwhelming to look at everything that needs to get done at the start of the year - leading to paralysis.
If you’re someone who plans month to month, you probably find that your planning sessions come around so quickly that it feels like you haven’t had time to achieve anything yet, or that you’re flying by the seat of your pants with no big picture concept for your business.
Planning 3 months (or 90 days) at a time is the perfect amount of time for both making projects and actions/tasks seem more manageable and focused, while also giving you a stretch of time to really make an impact and see things working.
The term ‘sprint’ is just one I’ve pinched from Agile methodologies, to describe a development cycle within a set, short time period. Usually, in Agile development, a sprint will actually be between 2 - 4 weeks, but it’s a useful phrase to get across the concept of creating a short-ish alloted time period where you will focus on specific projects and review afterwards, in order to be more adaptable.
Before you get started
There are a few things I’d suggest having in place before getting started with your 90 day plan:
Your annual business overview & goals
It’s really important that you do already have at least a rough overview of what you hope to achieve in the year as a whole. This is your ‘big picture’ that should be used as your guiding light for setting specific goals for each 3 month segment of the year. I would still advocate for having a full (or half) day at the end of each year to go in-depth into your business.
Not sure where to start? I have a 2020 Goals Planning Workbook here with everything you need!
If you’re starting this for the first time, review the last 6 months
If, like me, you’re only just starting to think in 90 day sprints now, it’s a good idea to take stock of the last 6 months and complete a 6 month review to analyse how far you’ve come. Or wherever you are currently up to in the year at the time of reading this!
Check out my 6 month review post and resource here.
When planning, take yourself out of your normal work environment
I always find it incredibly useful when doing any forward planning exercise to take myself out of my normal work space and into a different environment - even if it’s just a different room in your house (we are still in lockdown right now, so I imagine this might be your only option anyway as it was mine!). Switching up environments can really aid creative thinking, and you won’t be tempted to distract yourself with normal work stuff.
How to structure your 90 day plan for your business
Below are the steps I’d recommend completing for your 90 day plan, but if you want a super simple workbook to take you through the process, sign up for the free download below 👇🏼
Review the last 90 days
If you’ve just completed a 90 day sprint and you’re looking to set up for your next one, obviously the first step should be to review how the last 3 months have gone and reflect on any changes that need to be made. If you’re starting for the first time - skip this step and see my above notes about ‘before you start’!
Set a vision / theme for the next 90 days
Where do you want to see yourself and your business in 3 months time? This is your vision and it’s important to this process so you have a focus and direction for the next 90 days. You could ‘theme’ your sprint as well - for example focusing on ‘customer relationships’, ‘engagement’ or a specific launch.
Set your intentions for the next 90 days
Intentions are similar to affirmations, but affirmations tend to talk in the present tense like ‘I am X’ or ‘I have Y’; I’m not a fan of this because sometimes it can feel like you’re just lying to yourself, or it can feel a bit false. Intentions are phrased more like ‘I will X’ or ‘I can Y’, so it’s more like setting yourself a commitment. I think intentions are important for your cultivating a mindset and understanding who you need to be in the next 90 days to achieve your goals.
Decide on your goal(s)
You can have just one goal for the next 90 days if it’s a big one and needs a lot of focus, but I would say have no more than 3, otherwise you’re going to overwhelm yourself with too much to squeeze into the quarter. You should also make a note of ‘why’ this goal is important to your overall vision and yearly plan for the business too.
Set your criteria for your Goal(s)
This is something I don’t see many people doing, but is SO helpful for keeping you motivated. Write down how you will actually know whether or not you have achieved your goal or not, and if you want to go one step further - break it down into poor, okay and excellent levels of goal achievement.
For example, if my goal is to ‘improve engagement’, I would put my ‘poor’ criteria as ‘no improvement’, my ‘okay’ criteria as ‘+3% growth’, and my ‘excellent criteria’ as ‘+10% growth’. Then at the end of each sprint you can mark down whereabouts on the scale you reached, and celebrate or analyse accordingly.
This is similar to setting SMART goals (where you are making them specific and measurable), but giving yourself more leeway and understanding of what success means for each one.
Define your projects within each goal
Each goal will likely require up to 3 ‘projects’ for you to undertake in order to achieve it. So for my ‘I want to improve my engagement’ goal, my projects might look like:
Engage more with comments & DMs on Instagram
Create more valuable content for Instagram posts
Show up on Stories every single day with interactive content
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Write down your action plan for each project
Each of these projects now will require their own action steps too - so again for the ‘I want to improve my engagement’ goal example, my action steps for project #2 might look like this:
Do research into content my target audience engages with most
Come up with a focus & 30 day content plan each month
Create a set of template graphics to save me time creating content
Set up content plan & Instagram scheduling tool
Write captions in advance each month
Write your actions into your 3 month calendar
Once you have all of your actions written down for each project, within each goal (or you can just stick to one goal if you don’t want to overwhelm yourself!), it’s time to add these action steps and tasks into your calendar, filling out your time over the next 3 months.
Your daily 1% (tiny habit)
Something else I’ve added into the workbook and into my own process too, is to write down one daily habit or activity that I need to do consistently each day to help me move towards my goal. This is concept I’ve adopted from a combination of business & habit books I’ve read recently, but below are a few examples of daily habits you could commit to based on the ‘Engagement’ goal example and projects:
Spend 30 minutes each day commenting on posts by my target audience
Show up every day on Instagram Stories showing my face
Direct Message 20 people each day on Instagram
You don’t have to do ALL of them - just pick one for the entire 90 days, and stick to it, and see the results compound.
The 1% Rule by Tommy Baker
Atomic Habits by James Clear
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
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Reflecting on your 90 day sprint once it’s over
Once the 90 days are up, you’re going to want to look back at your initial sprint plan and check in on the criteria you set for each goal, and analyse whereabouts you’re sitting on the ‘poor’ to ‘excellent’ achievement scale.
For each goal, whether you the results were ‘poor’ or ‘excellent’, go back and analyse exactly which tasks and activities you did that made you end up with this result, and look for any lessons you can take for what didn’t work so well.
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I’d also recommend you look through all your tasks and make a note of what you therefore think you should stop doing, do less of, keep the same, or do more of to further refine your strategy and keep momentum.
Have you considered planning your business around a 90 day system?
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