The next 90 days will determine the fate of 99% of business in Australia. Many will fail, some will survive, but you can thrive. The secret? Taking action with a 90 day business plan.
This quick guide to making it to 2021 and beyond will:
- give you an easy to follow action plan that you can start working on TODAY
- ensure your whole team stays on the SAME PAGE with an insanely simple plan
- set you up for success by prompting you to make quick decisions and take fast action NOW
Taking quick action matters
Global management consulting firm Bain & Company found that during a downturn, only 10% of businesses were able to outperform market trends. Those companies grew by 14% over a ten year period. While the other 100% were stagnant or lost income. The secret of that 10%? Taking aggressive action: fast.
Watching and waiting to see what happens is highly risky
With the future so uncertain, it’s not possible to plan beyond the next 90 days.
So it’s time to take a short-term view instead.
Will you be raising a glass because you achieved your goals on New Year’s Eve? What do you concentrate on between now and then to make that vision a reality?
Regardless of how the pandemic has affected your business, you can create a 90 day business plan for Q2: September to December 2020. Read on to find out how.
COVID-19: A disruptor or accelerator?
Who would’ve thought Australia would be in recession in 2020? But here we are.
The RBA expects the economy to shrink by six percent by 31 December 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought some businesses to the brink. Hospitality, tourism, beauty and entertainment industries were slammed.
Whereas other industries have benefited from the virus. Digital marketing, health equipment (masks, sanitizer), leisurewear, technology, home furniture and other industries experienced soaring sales.
Whether you are pivoting, booming or have experienced no change to your business, your next 90 day plan can help you stay on track during an uncertain future.
If covid has disrupted your business
If you’ve suffered an impact thanks to the pandemic, your next 90 day business plan can help future-proof your business. Let’s face it: not all businesses will survive this recession. So if you don’t want to be shutting up shop by summertime, it’s all in the planning.
It’s perfectly acceptable to simply tread water at this stage. Setting unrealistic goals for 180-degree pivoting or spectacular growth will only make you feel a failure. Simply playing a conservative game is often the wisest course of action.
Some potential goals for your next 90 days could include:
- review work-from-home policies and procedures to optimise productivity
- explore ways to build a cohesive team while working remotely
- check in with staff regarding mental health (a given regardless how you’ve been impacted)
- review use of freelancers and consultants instead of committing to permanent employees
- review staff training costs and seek deferrals postponements to free up budgets
- create a new Q2 forecast and budget with new assumptions
- ensure cohesive pandemic response policy should a workplace outbreak occur
- explore automation and SaaS solutions for greater procedural efficiencies
- reconsider use of office space and conduct a cost-benefit assessment of moving to hybrid remote/co-working space to reduce commercial rent costs
- communicate regularly with customers and staff about what’s happening in your business
- allocate small percentage of funds to project team responsible for exploring innovative new models (encourage a decisive and fail-fast model for speedy outcomes)
- establish new emergency contingency funds (or access previously allocated funds if necessary)
- evaluate the marketing budget and consider best ROI benefits for future spend (weighing up the risk that decreasing marketing means decreasing customers, leads and sales) and invest in earned marketing rather than paid marketing
- prepare marketing to campaign for awareness around your reopening date, if relevant
If covid has accelerated your business
It’s exciting if you’re experiencing a boom in your business. But how do you manage growth without overstretching? Rapid acceleration puts pressure on business, and the infrastructure and procedures to ensure quality control may suffer. As a result? Mistakes, slow delivery and bad, corner-cutting habits may arise.
Some potential tactics for your 90 day plan could include:
- evaluate the need to bring in more staff to maintain high quality standards of service and quality
- consider bonus or reward schemes to thank and reward hard-working staff
- check in with staff regarding mental health
- ensure staff communications and adherence to standard operating procedures
- explore automation to maximise efficiency as you grow
- evaluate data to maximise sales for your top earners
- ensure accurate forecasting and financial management if the boom is showing signs of peaking
- use unforeseen income to establish contingency funds
- consider ways to invest for future efficiencies and diversify income streams
- explore earned media via PR, case studies and social media for increased market awareness (everyone loves a success story)
If you’ve pivoted during the pandemic
Will your new business model be a temporary or long-term arrangement? Consider how your new direction sits alongside the remainder of your offerings. Evaluate the opportunity to create separate arms of the business for standalone brands with different target audiences. Decide how to focus your attention if and when things settle down. Don’t overcapitalise on fads, particularly in the product space. You don’t want to be stuck with a warehouse full of masks or sanitiser as restrictions ease. If necessary, remove old offerings from your portfolio and retire (or sell) them.
Creating your 90 day business plan
Step one: set priorities
What are the important areas to focus on? And what will take precedence? Importantly, what will you empower your team and business to say NO to, so that you can focus on the core priorities? How will you communicate this to your team so everyone’s engaged and energised to work towards this goal?
Step two: agree goals
Use a collaborative process by engaging your team in the goal-setting process. Keep goals simple and smart. Avoid setting too many.
Each team should have its particular goal, all supporting the broader company goals.
Goal setting doesn’t have to be complex. It can be done in just ten minutes. Ask yourself (or your team):
- what is the start line?
- what is the finish line?
- when is the deadline?
For example: Go from three warm leads per week (start line) to six warm leads per week (finish line) by the end of 2020 (deadline).
Step three: evaluation
A good many business plans are written, never to be seen again. Keep your 90 day plan fresh in the minds of yourself and your team by:
- mentioning it regularly in meetings and planning sessions
- evaluate it weekly and monthly
- use tools like Asana and Slack to report on progress
- celebrate minor wins as you move towards the broader goal
- deciding quickly how to change things if it’s not working (more on this later)
Step four: specify tactics and procedures
Who’s doing what and by when? Your business goals will only be achieved if everyone’s clear on their action points.
The simple act of blocking time in the calendar can increase your chances of getting the work done. Using Eisenhower’s not urgent, but important framework (made famous by Stephen Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) can help you and your team focus on the priorities.
How can you communicate responsibilities to staff and teams? How can you use internal comms to get everyone on board? What must happen in order for the goal to be achieved?
Step five: be flexible
Times are uncertain. So if you charge mindlessly towards your goal without being willing to adapt and evolve, your failure may be epic. Better to be the blade of grass than the oak tree in a storm.
That’s the importance of the regular check-ins to assess progress. This will allow you the foresight to make fast decisions if tactics aren’t working as you’d hoped.
Get your 90 day business plan template
Download your FREE 90 day one-page plan template and get started today. You’ll get:
- a simple and easy framework that can take as little as ten minutes to complete
- a plan to get all your team on board
- a goal setting process that gives clarity for the next 90 days