4 Resources for Quarterly Planning
A good plan starts around a very basic idea. It says: “I’m going to accomplish this goal in this amount of time.” For a business, this plan might mean you want to increase sales in the next quarter. However without a comprehensive plan that details what you’re going to do to get those sales, you run the risk of never reaching your goal. A good plan should also include a timetable and milestones so you know you’re heading in the right direction.
So how do you come up with one of these beautifully detailed plans? It might be tempting to fire up your spreadsheet or word processing program and create one, but you might not be pleased with the results. Figuring out the sorts of things it should include can be tricky. With that in mind, here are 4 resources to help you out:
Achieveit. These days everything is smart - your phone, your tablet and even your TV. Your goals should be just as intelligent, and that’s where SMART goals come in. SMART is more than just a description, it’s an acronym, meaning your goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. It’s a great framework for weeding out which goals will directly contribute to your success in the next quarter and which are merely nice to have. More importantly, it’s a framework for putting together a plan that will help gauge how well you are achieving them.
Smartsheet. There’s a lot happening with your business on a daily basis, and planning gets much more complicated the farther out you try to project. A lot of things can happen in even a few short months. Your business plan needs to be robust enough to handle these changes. Smartsheet’s templates include a number of different plans for different areas of your business and introduce you to new ways you can create a plan that takes into account both your short and long-term goals.
Venngage. Not every job you take on is like an assembly line where you steadily churn out product for the market. Many of them are projects, and projects, especially creative ones, are an entity in and of themselves. Time management, workflows and production pipelines are all different in a project structure, and you’ll need special planning to compensate. If that weren’t enough, each project will have its own unique set of challenges. This set of templates covers a number a different types of projects and gives you a basic outline of how to approach them.
Keap. When you go into business for yourself you’re told you need a business plan. The problem many entrepreneurs have is that they create these plans and then leave them in the drawer, never to be seen again. With Keap’s strategic planning kit you can go in-depth with your business plan, creating one that will provide you with insightful ways of thinking about your business. Just as importantly, you’ll create one you won’t want to leave in the drawer.
There are some who say it’s the journey, not the destination. You know that philosophy only works if you don’t have a deadline. You also know that the route you take will depend greatly on the destination you’re trying to reach. Strategic planning is the key to staying on the right road, and these templates may be just what you need to create a great trip itinerary.