Q1 Action List

Now is the time to look at your short list of Q1 goals, and ensure you are on track to meet your objectives.

It’s also a good time to book your ‘Q1 Review Meeting’ on your calendar with just yourself or your team.  I do many of these with business owners I work with early in April.

I don’t care how big or small your business is – I like my clients, either with me or without, to spend most of a full day for their quarterly reviews.  These are extremely important to ensure the big things are getting done.  Also, given the current business environment, it seems like our growth strategies can change at hyper-speed, so quarterly strategy sessions make sense.

So if haven’t done so, schedule these on your calendar – preferably offsite to allow you to focus.

I like to start off with some deep breathing and a few minutes with a basic gratitude discussion or thinking – where we are now, what good things have we recently done with this business, etc.  Stay on the positive side.

After reviewing a few highs and get a few lows on the table – customers issues, product difficulties, production / quality challenges, personnel challenges, etc.  This can help identify and prioritize improvement areas.

Review your financial statements (see previous posts) – quarterly income statement compared to last year and to target, balance sheet, big balance sheet accounts, 5-8 key indicators – actual vs. plan, etc.  Also, review the softer attributes of your business.  Spend some time thinking about your shareholders, employees, customers, and vendors.

Look at your mission and longer term vision.  It’s easy to get caught up in the strategies and operational details.  Ask – what does my business look like in 5 years?

Write your goals for the upcoming quarter.  After looking at your long-term business vision, make a short list of specific 90-day objectives – list the 5-7 most important things to do next quarter.  I used to put this list on an index card, so it was easy for me to keep these things in my mind.  Now I use an excel spreadsheet I call the Weekly Accountability Template I stole from someone else.  I look at it twice per week to make sure I’m on track and moving the ball forward.

As a business owner, you need to work on high impact projects to continually develop your business.  So, if you’re reading this now, take out your ‘2015 Q1 90-Day Objectives’ on your index card and make sure you’ve made or you’re making progress on these 5-7 most important things to be done by March 31st.  We all still have 2 weeks left in the quarter – plenty of time to make serious progress.

Again, it’s easy to get caught up in the operational part of your business – but make sure you’re moving the ball down the field, getting the 5-7 most critical items done each quarter.

If you need any help looking at your numbers or want advice or strategies to improve your business processes to build a more profitable and valuable businesses, let me know – I love helping business owners improve their businesses.

As always – Think Profit!