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How To Set Quarterly Goals

April 29, 2023

You know it is important to set goals. So now what?! How do you set quarterly goals? Where do you even start? Boo, I’ve got you!

  1. Review 

Review the past year and/or quarter. What went well? What goals did you meet? Which goals did you miss? Why did you hit or miss your goals? Look at your numbers: Was your revenue where it needed to be? How about bookings and sales? Take a moment to look at the data so you’re making fact-based decisions, not feelings-based ones. What do you want to continue going into the next year and quarter? What do you want to change?

  1. A 5 Year Target

Let’s start with a 5 year target. Yes, it can be hard to plan this far in advance. However, there are two questions that can help send you in the right direction. What do you want your life/business to look like in 5 years? How much revenue do you want/plan to bring in? Answering these questions will give you a bit of a north star to set your compass by. Make this specific and measurable.

  1. A 3 Year Picture

This 3 Year Picture should get you more than halfway to your 5 Year Target. So if your goal in 5 years is to bring in 150K in revenue for the year, in 3 years you should be bringing in 80K-100K.

  1. A 1 Year Plan

Let’s take the information we’ve gathered from our Review, 5 Year Target, and 3 Year Picture to make your 1 Year Plan.

  • What numbers do you need to hit? 
  • What would you like your weekly schedule to look like?
    • How many hours would you like to work each week?
    • How many hours does it take to maintain your current business?
    • How many hours does that leave you to focus on your quarterly goals?
  • Add a portion of your personal schedule to your business calendar.
    • Birthdays, holidays, vacations, and any time you want to spend out of office for personal reasons.
  • Add previously scheduled work commitments to your calendar.
    • Conferences, sessions, retreats, workshops, etc.

Remember: we need to add the most important things first. (The video below is a great illustration of why we put the most important things first and then add in the rest.)

Now that you’ve answered those questions, what goals would you like to accomplish this year? Brain dump, my friend! Write them all down. Dream BIG.

How did that feel? Are you excited? Okay, let’s review what you’ve written down. How many do you have? If you have more than 40, you need to move some of those over to a “Dream Wait List.” Those goals and dreams will be available and waiting when you’re ready. For now, you should have fewer than 40 goals on your list for the entire year.

  1. A Quarter

Okay, let’s talk about this coming quarter. I typically focus on 1-2 areas of my business. In past quarters I have focused on:

  • Systematizing and maintaining my business 
  • Maintaining my wedding photography business and pivoting into brands
  • Maintaining brand photography and building the Quarter Co
  • Launching my new website and becoming a better writer

What 1-2 areas are you going to focus on? Why are you focusing on these areas? How will working on these areas help you move forward?

Things to consider when picking your 1-2 focuses:

  • The Eisenhower Matrix 

  • Is it feasible? 

You already know what your calendar holds and how much time that leaves you to work on your quarterly goals. Do you have the time, energy, and resources to focus on this area of your business? For example, a wedding photographer wouldn’t want to plan on launching a course in the middle of their busy season. 

For each of the areas you’re focusing on, pick 3-5 correlating goals. These goals should come from the list of goals and ideas you wrote down when you were creating your 1 Year Plan. 

For example:

You’re focusing on your wedding photography business and getting things automated, some of your goals may look like this:

Wedding Photography:

  • Meet with 3 local wedding planners
  • Write 6 blog posts with tips for future brides
  • Take a lighting course for better reception images

Systematizing and automating your business:

  • Add entire wedding workflow into your CRM with automatic triggers
  • Create an auto-responder for inquiries that come in over the weekend with a link to helpful blog posts
  • Create a packing checklist for weddings

With my Quarter Co. ladies, we take this even further. We break these goals down into big steps and little steps with deadlines. We create definitions of success and decide how we’ll celebrate those successes. 

It can take 6 months to really get the hang of quarterly planning. So don’t give up. Learning to quarterly plan is a process but a process worth going through.

It can take 6 months to really get the hang of quarterly planning. So don’t give up. Learning to quarterly plan is a process but a process worth going through. 

Your plans are only as good as your accountability. Don’t leave the success of your business up to chance. Remember, people pay you for what you do, not for what you plan to do. Do you crave built-in accountability, coaching, and community to help you reach your quarterly goals? Click here to join the waitlist for the Quarter Co.. 

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