The first quarter of 2017 is past us and the second quarter is upon us. It seems like only yesterday that we were opening Holiday presents and popping champagne for New Year's Eve. But now, we're fully into the swing of 2017 and we can no longer use our Holiday hangover as an excuse.
The success of your company hinges on how you attack the second quarter of 2017. Are you going to remain on autopilot or are you going to work towards greatness?
The key to success, before the start of any quarter, is to accurately and effectively outline your key 90-day goals. These goals should be completed both at the personal level as well as at the company level. Every team member in your organization should have second quarter goals, and each individual goal should directly benefit the company-wide goals you also set.
To help you get the most out of the second quarter, we've included a downloadable quarterly planning template. Use this template to create personal goals for the next 90-days as well as company-wide goals for the same period. Each individual goal, whether it be big or small, should directly feed into the company goals you set.
Let's take a look at the quarterly planning template and discuss each of its components in-depth:
1. Core Values
No, your 90-day plan doesn't start with the goal itself. Instead, it starts with the "why?" You could have the best set of quarterly goals in the world, but if you aren't motivated to achieve them, you'll never get anything done.
This is why you start with your core values. What are your personal values and what are your company values? What areas do you want to get better in? For a company, a core value might be "exceptional customer service." Go ahead and use the template to fill out all of your core values, whether they be one or one hundred.
Let's continue to stick with your "whys?" You have your core values defined, but what is the purpose of each core value? If exceptional customer service really is a deep value of yours, why is it important? Why do you care about it as a core value?
Well, exceptional customer service allows you to create a tribe of happy consumers. You feel good when you deliver a high-valued service. You know that exceptional customer service results in life-long customers. That's your purpose: Creating a positive community around your product or service.
Go ahead and write down the purpose of each core value in your planning template.
3. Target Date
Ok, now we get into the more traditional type of planning. If you were able to achieve maximize your core values and achieve your purpose, how long would it take? How much time do you allot yourself to create a world-class organization with stellar customer service?
Make sure that each core value and associated purpose has a target end date in your planner. This isn't a 90-day target, but is rather, "if everything went exactly to plan, how long will it take to achieve my ultimate business desires?"
Remember that a S.M.A.R.T. goal is time-bound. Setting a target end-date makes sure you consistently moving forward.
4. Annual Goal
From the target date, what do you need to do this year to ensure that you meet your target within 3 - 5 years? This is when you start defining your actual goals. But still, we haven't even got to the quarterly part.
If you want to build a stellar customer service team in three years, for example, maybe your annual goals would be to create a training program and re-train your existing team, and then to find a qualified head of customer service that can hire additional team members.
5. Top Three Quarterly Goals
Ok, now we get the 90-day goals! Taking your annual goals for each core value, distil them down into a quarterly goal. If you want to re-train your customer service staff, a quarterly goal might be to draft the new training material.
This makes it so next quarter you can finalize the training course, the quarter after you can implement the training, and then in the final quarter, you can conduct assessment tests to track its effectiveness.
But even your annual goals start with a 90-day goal.
Since you might have a lot of core values and since a quarter is short, take your top three core values and associated goals and create a quarterly goal for each.
6. Opportunities and Threats
The last step, before you start attacking your newly defined 90-day goals is to identify any opportunities and threats that might affect your goals. Is there anything on the horizon that might cause you to fail? Conversley, is there anything that'll make you far exceed your goals?
Identifying these things before you start is a great way to avoid any pitfalls along the way.
For more information on your quarterly goals, check out the planning template here.