A new quarter is the ideal time to check in with your business to maximize success. I always find quarterly segments to be perfect for finding clarity, setting goals, and staying on track throughout the year.
Their 90-day time span allow for progress to be made and give you ample time to effectively analyze the ins and outs of your business.
It’s all-too easy to drift from your course and lose sight of your brand’s focus, so in today’s blog post, I’m offering some help.
Ensure game-changing progress over the next three months with just four simple things to do at the start of each quarter.
1 // Rest
To ensure strategy—instead of impulse—is the guiding force behind your decisions, start your quarter off by resting from your business.
Pressing pause and taking a step back is especially beneficial if you often find yourself sifting through new ideas. It’s so easy to jump on something exciting right away--even when it isn’t the best choice or direction for your business. (The term “shiny object syndrome” sums up this scenario quite well.) Scheduling time away is a great way to combat this.
Depending on what your schedule allows, set aside a few days (or a weekend) to unplug and give your mind time to rejuvenate and get a new perspective. This fresh look will help you progress with your best entrepreneurial endeavors during the next 90 days. If you have more time to step away, consider taking a week-long retreat.
Just be sure to let enough time pass to help you unplug and clear your mind so you can get a fresh perspective and come back with a more objective mindset.
Sometime around the last week in the month before a new quarter is usually the most beneficial since it’s on the rise of the next 90-day segment.
Take a break from your brand, ideas, goals, projects, and everything surrounding your business. During your hiatus, do your best to avoid thinking about anything business related--even when it’s tempting!
Also, keep away from inspiration during this time. Try to unplug completely from the world surrounding your brand and industry.
After you return from your break, you’ll have much more clarity to help you move in the right direction and come up with ideas that best align with your brand’s goals and mission.
2 // Reflect
Next up is reflection. After you take time away from your business, take a close look at how things have been going.
Reflecting at the start of a new quarter gives you the opportunity to get the best use out of the next 90 days. It gives you a bird’s eye view of your business so you can find ways to work effectively, set good habits, and identify problem areas.
First, list out different areas and components of your business and ways to assess the current state of affairs.
Next, identify what’s been working and what hasn’t been so you know where to improve and what to continue doing well. If there are areas where you’re not hitting the mark, try to pinpoint why. Make sure you spot struggles and hangups, too, because roadblocks can be detrimental if left unconquered.
Then, brainstorm strategies to make the upcoming quarter even better, and outline ways to overcome struggles.
Consider reflecting on the following key areas of your business:
Productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of work time
Motivation and enthusiasm
Consistency with showing up
Marketing and relationship-building
Goal-reaching abilities and outcomes
Products and services
Brand messaging and website copy
Brand and website design
Being unique, original, and creative in your industry
3 // Refine
Next, revisit the core of your business, and establish your goals for the next quarter.
Revisit your business’s foundation and core.
Take a look at your foundational goals, the “why” behind your business, and what you hope the future brings. Use them to determine the best direction for your business. State, define, or revise the innermost coggs and components of your brand. They are essentially it’s heartbeat and what makes it tick.
Refocus and refine.
If any of these building blocks have changed or shifted gears, be sure to redefine them. This way, you can apply those refinements in the coming quarter. Honing in on a direction will help you make progress towards the right things so you won’t get lost down a rabbit trail.
Create goals and a plan.
Establish what you will focus on during the next three months. Then, set specific goals for the upcoming quarter, and create a plan that will allow you to achieve them. Start with larger goals, and break them down into monthly and weekly chunks. Then, break those down even further into action steps that you can assign to each day.
4 // Rekindle
Once you’ve tended to the core focus of your business and have set your course for the upcoming quarter, it’s time to jump back into the flow of work.
This is the perfect time to put good practices into play, establish effective habits, and create a routine that will propel you forward for the next 90 days.
Quality resources, tools, and methods make all the difference for an effective quarter, too. So utilize them to rekindle your drive and return to your business with even more astuteness.
Here are some of my favorite tips to keep yourself going strong over the next stretch:
Stay motivated and inspired.
Utilize resources to help you along the way: (Shameless plug) The Ponder Trail blog and website is full of helpful tricks and strategies to help you stay motivated and equip yourself with insights on growing a creative business. View the archives here.
Surround yourself with encouraging people: If you have people in your life who can support you, or if you seek out new friends online in communities for creative entrepreneurs, having a few friends to chat and brainstorm with about your business is some of the best fuel out there. (Feel free to reach out to me, too, via my contact page or on social media! I’d love to hear from you and chat about all things creative business.)
Find an accountability partner to keep yourself on track: Sometimes it’s helpful to report to someone other than yourself. Seek out a fellow creative to partner up with so you can both benefit from helping each other make progress and stay motivated.
Celebrate small wins through micro goals: Each time you accomplish something, take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Running a business is hard work, so keep yourself going by building momentum with every little job well done.
Keep a to-do list so you can see progress: Checking off tasks and tracking progress is an amazing way to build momentum. There’s nothing more encouraging than looking back and seeing a trail of dedication that got you to where you are today.
Establish productive habits.
Create a morning routine and follow a daily schedule: I always suggest establishing a morning routine and a schedule to guide you each day. Since implementing these two things in my own workday, my business has benefited greatly. And my overall productivity has soared like never before!
Maintain a tidy workspace to enable a productive day: When you keep your desk tidy and at a minimum, distractions go down, and efficiency goes up. It’s a simple habit that takes only a tiny bit of effort yet yields a great impact.
So there you have ‘em! 4 simple things to do at the beginning of each quarter to maximize success. Which tips did you find most helpful? Are there any other things you do every 90 days to help propel your business forward? Leave me a comment below!
You might also like . . .
Want even more?
Enjoy what you're reading on the blog? Subscribe to the Ponder Trail Newsletter for weekly action steps on implementing strategy and purpose in your business.