One of the elements of SMART goal planning for scaling a business is placing a time-bound restriction by when we should see the results we are working towards.
90 days is long enough for goals to be achievable and impactful, but short enough that success and reward is not too far in the distant future. Occasionally businesses may fail if the people responsible for scaling them are too focused on the end goal, and not paying the proper attention to the steps along the way.
90-day plans are also flexible and adaptable enough that we can pivot or diversify with relatively short notice, something that most of us have learned the necessity of in recent years.
Making a 90-day plan
I still advise sitting down with your team or mentor and making an annual plan – highlighting where you want your business to be in a year’s time, why that goal is important and what activities you need to undertake to get you there. Yes, your ultimate goal timeline, to match your vision, may be longer but clearly knowing where you need to be in 12 months will help keep you on the trajectory you desire.
Part of making this annual plan is that you can visualise your end goal, but also to break down your 365-day marathon into shorter manageable 90-day ‘sprints’.
- Gather your numbers; any previous analytics you have from past plans and any reviews or debriefs that explain how your business scaled, or didn’t over the last year, 6 months or 90-days
- Find time away from your day-to-day duties in your business – a change of location removes distractions and aids creative thinking – personally I like to find a quiet spot outside, often by water
- Look at your vision for the year and break it down into four stages – what can you do in each three-month sprint to help you get there?
- Set a growth vision for the next 90 days. Apply the SMART goal principles of goal planning, especially make it realistic and achievable. Is there one theme you can work on, one priority?
- Clarify your reason why the next 90 days are important and find a way to communicate this to others essential to your success
- Plan for the obstacles that could interrupt or risk your achievement. You can refer to your previous analytics to help with this. The better you can prepare for obstacles, the smaller they’ll be when they crop up
- Decide on the activities for the next 90 days that will bring you the biggest gains, get you closer to the next sprint, give you the highest pay offs. Can you do them? Do you need to look at software, automation, delegation or outsourcing to help you?
- Block out time in your calendar to work on the activities that will scale your business. Give yourself permission to stop working IN your business so you can work ON it. Perhaps even create some intentions or affirmations to help you move away from being busy
- Think about how you will track your progress and measure how successful your achievements have been in scaling your business. This way you can decide if your goals can be bigger, harder or if you can take more risks next time
- Be accountable to your plan – were you too ambitious, or not ambitious enough? Did you change your habits of being busy, so you had time to scale your business? Were your intentions and vision clear and specific enough?
I do hope these steps have been useful in helping you make your 90-day plan to scale your business. If you would like further advice and guidance on scaling your business, please book a complimentary call with no obligation to find out how I could help.