Quarterly Goals – the key to my Wedding Business Success
If you’re a member of the I Do Crew Pro Community you’ll know that I’m a big fan of quarterly goal setting. Yes, I plan out my year in advance, but I review the plan every quarter and I only work on one big goal at a time. And by big goal I mean, something that will move my business forward in a significant way. If I smash that goal out in 30 days, I may move onto another goal in the same quarter, but not until I’ve checked off the first one.
If you want to start smashing your goals out of the park – quarterly goal setting might be the way.
Planning my year 90 days at a time
I haven’t always planned out my year, 90 days at a time. In fact it’s something I’ve only been doing for about two years. But it’s a productivity strategy that I won’t be letting go of any time soon!
For me, having a focused quarterly goal means not feeling scattered – jumping from one project to another and never finishing anything.
Now, I tick off 3-4 big projects every year, whilst staying on top of all of the other work I need to do in my business.
You may have time for ticking off several goals concurrently, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have clients as yet, or a lot of other work competing for your attention. But if you do find that months go by and you’re not actually completing anything, the one focused quarterly goal strategy might be for you.
Which brings me to an important distinction – goals that drive your business forward are projects. The repeatable tasks you do in your business, like posting to social media, blogging and responding to customer enquiries, are part of your processes or workflows.
And you need time for both in your business.
What are Projects?
A Project begins with a quarterly goal, that is broken down into milestones and then tasks to ensure a specific outcome by a specific date. It’s about creating something new or implementing a change. And it’s a temporary activity in your business – one that is designed to achieve a singular goal. It has a start date and an end date and a defined set of actions to guide you towards completion.
Here are some examples of goals that could be turned into projects:
- Launch your website
- Do a Styled Shoot
- Write Copy for your website
- Design your Packages
- Create a workflow for on-boarding new clients
- Design a template for your weekly newsletter
What are Processes?
Processes are the things we do repeatedly. You may have also referred to processes as workflows. Examples include;
- Batching content for social media
- Research, write, publish, and promote a Blog Post
- Managing customer enquiries (leads)
- Onboarding clients
- Producing a regular Podcast
Processes are established procedures for ongoing work.
- When you’re just starting out you will create processes for your business and over time you may find yourself needing to revise them. Creating and revising processes are projects.
- You may also have processes for some of your projects – for example a process that you follow each time you do a Styled Shoot.
Just keep this in mind:
- Processes are essential for standardising repeatable tasks in our business.
- Projects are how we launch, build and grow our business.
As you can see there is a significant difference between a Project and a Process but they do have one very important thing in common. Both are made up of tasks and every task that you need to complete must fit into the time you have available for work.
You need a schedule!
Knowing what time you have available to work on tasks is essential to ticking them off so you can run your business and achieve your longer term business goals.
Not scheduling in time for everyday business tasks and project tasks is one of the most common mistakes I see people make when it comes to managing their time.
I’m a big fan of Michael Hyatt’s ‘ideal week’ theory and this has helped me to balance running a wedding business with clients, whilst ticking off the tasks associated with my quarterly goals.
The theory behind the ideal week is that you ‘design’ your perfect week – one that allocates time to all of your personal and business activities (including time for routine tasks and time for goal orientated tasks).
You can learn more about how to do this for yourself in this blog post by Michael Hyatt. I also love Cailen Ascher’s A/B Week Schedule which is part of her 3 Day Work Week theory. You can download a template for creating your own ideal schedule following Cailen’s approach here on her website.
Why you don’t achieve your goals
Too often I see people set a bunch of unrelated ‘goals’ but really what they have is a bunch of unrelated milestones and tasks. And ticking off a bunch of unrelated milestones and tasks is a slow train to ticking off a goal. A better approach is to outline each goal as a Project with milestones and tasks with due dates. And I have a freebie to help you with this!
Quarterly Goal Setting Workbook
Download my Quarterly Goal Setting Workbook to be guided through my 5 step process for turning each one of your goals into a Project, so you can start ticking off your goals, rather than a bunch of tasks that aren’t related to one another.