Is it me or is the prevailing 'hustle economy' bleeding us dry?  it's all too easy to think, “If I just work harder, I’ll be successful.” But if we're not careful, in our fast-paced culture, we can easily lose sight of what's important to us and omit to give ourselves the time and space to pursue our priorities on our terms. Paradoxically this can mean our business doesn't spring forward. Spring Forward In quarter 2

In my March Business Review, I took you behind the scenes of my business and talked about my move to the Sussex coast. Stepping off the London property market was a big decision as it's hard to get back on again. And I thought London was 'where it's at.' For years, I'd been telling myself that I had to live in London in order to be successful. But slowly I came to realise that this perception was in fact just a myth. Don't get me wrong, I love London. But it's a tough, relentless place to live, work and build a business. If anywhere epitomises hustle, after New York, it's got to be London.

So I've exchanged the hustle of London for the peace and tranquility of the Sussex coast with the intention that this will help my business to spring forward. And enable me to win at work while succeeding at life, as Michael Hyatt would say.

Because the truth is that for a business to flourish, it needs time and space. When we look at the brands we love, we forget that they were built patiently and steadfastly over years. I often talk about how every business starts out as a tiny seed of an idea. It's how we go about nurturing that tiny seed to germination and full bloom that determines whether it will flourish into a beloved brand. Or whether it lays fallow and fails to fulfill its full potential.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to give yourself the time and space to determine your vision for your business and put together a robust plan to build a strong brand. This is why I place great stock in setting aside time for a quarterly review. Three months is a long enough period to see the results your hard work (and that of your team) has yielded. But short enough to be able to course correct quickly should you find you're results are running adrift.

How To Plan For Quarter 2

I've just completed my Quarter 1 review, and planned out my Quarter 2. Here's what I did:

First off, I went through my Income and Expenditure Forecast (12 month budget against results) and reviewed my results.

Second, I updated my 'key business metrics' spreadsheet.  My trusty Excel spreadsheet is where I track all the KPIs that drive my business and shows me the trends. It's this information that I use to forecast and plan my growth.

Next I assessed my sales pipeline - the number of prospects, who had and hadn't converted into clients and what lessons could I learn from this.

Then I asked myself the following questions:

  • Taking an overview of this information, what worked? Where did my best results come from?
  • Did I accomplish everything I set out to achieve in Quarter 1?
  • What didn’t work? Why didn’t I get the results I wanted?
  • Am I attracting the type of clients I want? Responsible business owners who believe business can be a force for good and want to make a social impact.
  • Am I delivering the quality of client care that is in line with my brand promise?
  • How can I do more of what great brands do?
  • Am I enjoying my business?
  • Did I get the balance between winning at work and succeeding at life right? Or was I too much of a workaholic?
  • What must I do differently if I want to achieve the goals I've set for Quarter 2 and 2017?

I then took this information, and used it to refine my targets and goals and to update my business plan for Quarter 2. My business plan includes my operational (action) plan and my sales and marketing plan.

I then asked myself a series of questions intended to help me spring forward in Quarter 2 and uplevel my business in 2017. These included:

  • Which three tangible targets do I intend to hit in Quarter 2, one of which must be sales (revenue) related. These targets must be aligned to my highest priorities, drive my business results and be a potential game changer for my business. (Note I don't ignore my other 'key business metrics.'
  • Which one or two key project(s) will I complete.
  • Which one of my current marketing activities would, if given more resources/ attention/ adjusted etc. would generate more business for me?
  • Which one of my current marketing activities is not delivering the results I want. Could this activity be modified so that it yields better results or should it be paused or stopped?
  • Is it time to add a new marketing channel into my mix and test its effectiveness?
  • Is there a promotional opportunity that could be a game changer for my business?
  • What one change, however small, would uplevel my customer service?
  • What one change or initiative, however small, that would create great culture in my team?
  • What one change or initiative, however small, that would immediately uplevel my brand?
  • What one habit which, if practiced consistently, has the potential to be a game changer for my business?

Join The Conversation

Question: Do you complete a regular quarterly review as part of your ongoing business planning process? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to tell me in the comments box below.

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I’m Denyse Whillier, a London based business coach and consultant. I guide entrepreneurs from across the globe to achieve profitable, scaleable growth and create businesses that are Built To Succeed™. Built To Succeed™ is my proven success system, developed during my 8 years in the trenches as a CEO, 25 years’ experience at senior leadership and managerial level and training at Cranfield School of Management, the UK’s leading business school. It’s this background that sets me apart and helps my clients to get BIG results.

I’d love to start a conversation. Simply use this link to arrange an informal Skype coffee chat. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether 1:1 business coaching (or business consultancy) would be right for you.