When I recommended it, Randi replied, “I just do not have time for a quarterly review!”
I know how she feels. And I bet you do too.
Randi’s not the only one who gets caught up in the day-to-day operation of her business. You’ve got decisions to make, things to get done, and people who want something from you. It’s tempting to stay in reaction mode.
It’s also tempting to remain vague when you’ve had disappointments.
Randi’s reluctance came partly because part of her didn’t want to know where she stood. It’s ok to feel that way. It’s human.
The thing is, it was only when she mustered the courage to really look at how she stood that she realized that she was much closer to her goals than she previously feared.
Step back for a moment and imagine what it would feel like to know exactly where you stand in your business, and where you’re going next.
Feels grounding, doesn’t it? You have more clarity. You can make better decisions.
That’s the big why of a quarterly review.
Think of it as moving from flashlight to floodlight: from focusing on something that’s right in front of you, the narrow picture, to the broader view of your whole business.
Shining a floodlight on your business every quarter will keep you on track. You’ll recognize how far you’ve come, and what you still need to do.
It’s a focusing tool for the coming months, so all your energy and effort are put exactly where they need to be.
It’s important to leave judgment at the door when you do this. Be compassionate with yourself, and celebrate all the successes you had – no matter what happened, they were many!
So how do you do one of these things? Doing a quarterly review isn’t that hard. You’ll have to do some work, but that will pay off big time in your next quarter.
Here’s how I coached Randi through the process step-by-step. Let me coach you: here’s a brief guide to doing a quarterly review:
Step #1: Where you were. Start by reviewing where you were at the start of the quarter. It’ll give you perspective. Also go back and review your goals for this quarter. Once you have a clear sense of how you started, move into the next step.
Step #2: Where you are. Spend the most time on this step. Get really clear on where you are in the achievement of your goals. Collect numbers. Do research as needed. Focus particularly on the following areas:
Your finances: How close did you come to achieving your financial goals? Do the math – numbers will give you clarity! How far are you from that goal, or how much did you exceed your goals? This reality check, even if it’s not always good news, is ultimately liberating – you’ll know exactly where you stand.
Your offerings: Were your offerings successful? Did you receive feedback from your prospects and clients that let you know they were valuable? If you introduced a new offering, or offered it again, were the launches successful? Did you sell as many of your products or services as you had planned?
Your sales: Was your sales process effective? Do you need to make changes? Have you documented the changes you’ve already made, so that everyone involved in sales understands the updated process and can repeat what works with each new prospect?
Your marketing: Did you reach your ideal client audience? Did you increase engagement with them? If you used ads, were your ads successful in either selling your products or services, or did they increase engagement? Were the ads cost-effective?
Your email list: Email is the most powerful way to market online, and your list of email addresses is very valuable. Is your email list growing? Did it grow as much as you planned?
Your mindset and energy: Did you manage your energy well? Did you take time away from your business to rejuvenate? Were you able to see things that didn’t work well as learning, and all part of your journey as an entrepreneur?
Step #3: Where you want to go. Take each of the 6 areas above, and any others you want to add, and set goals for the next quarter. This is easier than you might think, because of everything you did in Step #2. Keep your goals for the impact you want to have in mind as you do this. Then decide that you will do what you have to in order to achieve them. It’s an important step!
Make notes on this whole process as you go through it, so that when conduct your next quarterly review, you’ll know where you started the quarter, and what you planned. You can have a binder or notebook set aside just for this purpose.
Check in on your goals for the coming quarter regularly to see how you’re doing. Keep your goals on your desk or on the wall of your office.
End this process with a celebration of all that happened in the past quarter. Celebrate your successes, and as much as you’re able, approach whatever you didn’t experience as a success with gratitude for what you learned in the process.
You can help to keep the floodlight view alive in your business on an ongoing basis by revisiting your high level goals weekly. Doing so reminds you where you’re headed as you enter the week of new choices and decisions.
By moving back and forth between the flashlight and floodlight on an ongoing basis, it’ll not only be easier to do a quarterly review. It will also keep you focused on the impact you want to have with your business.
Being able to move back and forth between flashlight and floodlight is a really good thing to cultivate. Make a point of doing so regularly. And schedule in that quarterly review – it’s almost time!
This Alchemy Assignment will help you get the most out of your quarterly review!