A business plan is a comprehensive document outlining the strategies and actions a business will take to achieve its overall goals and objectives. It typically includes a detailed analysis of the current market and industry, a SWOT analysis, specific goals and objectives, and a detailed plan of action for achieving those goals. But the time frame of a conventional business plan is generally one to three or even five years. As a result, a small business, often with a consultant, will do the hard work of creating the business plan and rarely refer to it.
This article will discuss the benefits of using 90-day goals, how to set them effectively, and strategies for achieving them.
I remember a book I read years ago written by Wendy Evans: “How to Get New Business in 90 Days and Keep it Forever.” The critical point of the book (as I recall) is that if you don’t keep in touch with your customers every 90 days, they will forget you.
That is also why a 90-day plan is so helpful, as most people need to have a sense of the finish line to stay motivated, and 90 days gives you enough time to make real progress towards your goals. It’s also short enough that you won’t lose focus. But even better, with a quarterly approach, you have no time to procrastinate. You are on a short schedule and must focus on getting things done.
A 90-day business plan is a shorter version of a traditional business plan that focuses on the immediate future, typically the next three months. It is a helpful tool for businesses to set and achieve specific goals in a shorter timeframe.
While it is beneficial to be continually reminded of your vision and mission (i.e., your big ‘why’) and regularly review your SWOT analysis, the main focus of the shorter timeframe is on achieving your goals.
If you want to achieve success, setting goals is essential. However, one of the most effective methods for reaching your goals is to set shorter-term objectives that allow you to focus on more minor accomplishments that build up over time and lead to long-term success.
90-day goals are specific, measurable objectives a business sets to achieve within three months. These goals usually focus on a particular company area, such as increasing sales, improving customer satisfaction, or launching a new product. They are often used to keep the team focused and motivated and to track progress toward longer-term objectives, even if it is just you.
By breaking down significant, long-term goals into smaller, more manageable chunks, 90-day goals give you a clear plan for achieving your desired outcome. You can use these objectives as markers or milestones to measure your progress and stay motivated along the journey. Additionally, focusing on short-term achievements rather than the overall goal can help reduce stress and keep you focused on small wins that will yield more extensive results when combined over time.
With shorter timelines between successes, staying motivated and remaining accountable for the progress toward a larger goal is more manageable.
Here are some specific benefits:
Your goals should be clear and easily understood by all members of the team involved in achieving them. They must be in writing to give both clarity and accountability. Goals are much more likely to be achieved when they are in writing, so make sure they are documented, even when you are a one-person business.
Here is a 6-step process to set your goals:
For many individuals, setting 90-day goals and achieving success can seem overwhelming or unattainable. However, with the right strategies in place, you can achieve your goals.
Having said that, do not go overboard, or it will be overwhelming and, consequently, unattainable. As you start this process, do not have any more than three primary goals to focus on for the quarter. Then, perhaps use the 80/20 rule business hack to make a choice.
As we mentioned above, creating a timeline for each step required to reach your goal is essential. By breaking down the tasks into smaller achievable steps and scheduling time for each, you will have a better chance at success. It is also necessary to stay organized throughout the process. Developing a system of checklists or reminders can help keep you on track and ensure no detail is overlooked.
Here are five strategies to adopt in the process:
There is a link below for a free ’90-Day Business Goals Journal’ that you can use to monitor your progress. In this journal, you can define the goal and list the actions necessary for achievement together with the name of the person responsible and the due date.
You can then break this down further and list the tasks for the first 30 days, to whom they are assigned, and the due date. There are weekly checkpoints and notes to reflect on your progress during the first 30 days and any changes needed to stay on track to reach the goal.
This is repeated for the next 30 days and the 60-to-90-day period.
In conclusion, setting 90-day goals is an effective business hack to stay on track and motivated. Short-term goals keep the momentum while enabling you to adjust along the way. By breaking big projects into smaller, more manageable tasks, you can focus your resources where they are most needed. It is also essential to be realistic when setting these goals to have a better chance of succeeding and achieving long-term growth for your business.
This article is part of our series on Business Hacks. Other articles in this series include:
The 80/20 Rule: A Powerful Business Productivity Hack
Unique Selling Proposition: Why Your Small Business Must Have One
Online Hacks for Local Businesses
Marketing Magic: Use a Marketing Calendar to Boost Your Results
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