As we just entered quarter #4 for the year, I thought it timely to focus on the power of 90-day business plans to grow your business. In this article, I’m showing you four key areas where you can create leverage to strategise, simplify and streamline how your business generates clients, revenue and time freedom for you.
It’s always great to think in terms of 90-day business plans when it comes to initiative, innovation and implementation. (You know I love the ‘i’s right, as in iSuccess? Just checking!)
Why 90 Day Business Plans?
In every year, there are four runs of 90-days – or in business it’s best to go three runs with a month in between each to take stock, rest, re-energise, most of us need that pause for breath!
Just as with life when we think of the seasons, there’s a time to plant, a time to nurture and a time to harvest.
What have you been able to harvest this year? It’s been pretty challenging, right?!!
Looking back, what’s the most frustrating part of it all? How has your client work gone? Did you manage to keep your business going during the pandemic or are you having to build things up again?
And the most important question, looking forward: what will you do to give yourself the best chance of a bumper yield?
What about next year? What are your goals for 2021? Because, now is a really good time to plant the seeds for the 90-day cycle ahead.
How Chasing Magic Bullets Throws You Off Course
Here is something I’ve observed after working with hundreds of different business owners in many different kinds of industries – size, sector, style etc.
There’s no magic bullet for success. (But there is a way forward, read on…)
So many of us are dragged into the abyss these days, thinking that what we see on social media or in the media in general is the reality. We get sucked into doing what everyone else is doing.
But really, chasing magic bullets is what we call “shiny object syndrome”. We’re pulled towards it because it seems bright and cheerful and/or because it “seems” to be working for lots of people.
But chasing magic bullets is a fool’s errand. Not only does it throw you off course and keep you busy on something new (again!), but the fact is once you “see” the shiny object, scores of people are already chasing it. And it gets you all tired and testy – note that isn’t “tried and tested” which is what you really want to find.
You see with ‘bright and shiny’, business owners think they can jump over the real work. And believe me, I’ve chased a LOT of shiny objects in my day, and I’ve served my penance on a good few.
New fan-dangles actually end up creating more work.
It’s always exciting when you’re doing something new, in part because you have the hope and motivation that this might just work and turn things around for you.
In part though, it’s also because we’re sadly caught up in the “push and struggle” mentality that involves hard work and the need to be super busy. But rather than boost your productivity, keeping yourself busy can be counter-productive.
Leveraging your Profitability Wins the Game
I’m a bit of a radical contrarian in this. I’m a bit of a radical contrarian in this. My whole strategy for independent success is about leverage, and creating high profitability whilst gaining more time freedom.
I know that when you master leverage in your business, things look up. Not because you found the next shiny object, but because the pace slows down.
90-day business plans get you thinking strategically and keep you focused, taking action & making progress towards achieving goals.
So I urge you to take the time now to slow down, to relax a moment, to think freely, to listen to your inner wisdom, strategise, to plan things properly…
When you keep things simple and streamlined, you’re not pulled in lots of different directions; you’re not constantly chasing your tail or running after new shiny objects. You can focus on your goals, set objectives and map out the key results you want to achieve.
If you’re not where you want to be right now, I guarantee it’s not because you’re missing the latest bright, shiny tactic. It’s because you have little or no leverage in your business.
I can help. Because strategic planning and leverage – those things are my genius zone.
Now, of course, this year’s been a very odd and challenging year, I’m sure we can all agree on that. So, the question that keeps coming up whenever I talk to business owners about 90-day business plans is how can they plan for anything right now when everything is so changeable week by week at the moment?
It’s a question about business planning and crisis or risk management, but it also about whether your strategy needs to shift to take account of the situation and any changes in what the market wants and how you can respond. I talked a bit about this in a previous article, check out ‘The 5 Ps of Success in Pushing and Pivoting in Challenging Times’.
And even if the road ahead seems uncertain, the basic business bottom line remains fixed and your metrics remain the same.
Look at your message: does it need to shift focus?
Is your marketing still generating leads for your business?
Are your enrolment conversations still converting into a good proportion of sales or sign ups?
Is your delivery model still appropriate?
(Now in that last one we’ve most definitely seen changes as people stopped meeting in person and started doing more online. Have you responded in how you deliver your services?)
I’m a big advocate for sustainability and continuity in business, and I believe 90-day business plans can be of tremendous benefit to you whether it’s to continue to build and grow or whether it’s to take a new direction and pivot.
Equally, it’s important to diversify so your eggs aren’t in one basket, so to speak. If you can find a way to add an additional stream of income to your business, you’re more likely to remain in the profit zone in the forthcoming months.
Look at where you are seeing the most success, and think of other ways you can deliver on the thing your clients want right now. We’ll look at this in a future episode I have planned, where we explore how to create visible value and a perceived positive value for money for your clients.
Because the relationship between what you’re doing and your financials will help you to prioritise the most profitable areas of your business, it’s a fruitful area to explore. It’s absolutely essential to a leveraged business where you earn the most for the least effort – earning more whilst working less means you can grow faster.
If you’re going to push hard the next 90-days, make sure it’s on products, programmes and services that are selling well, despite the current climate. Or make a shift in your choice of delivery model – that is, identifying the one thing that is always profitable for you and how you can deliver it in a different way.
90-Days to a More Leveraged Business
A business that is hyper-productive yet balanced (in work-life terms) is set upon five points of leverage: the first being strategy.
The second is about leveraging YOU, getting really into what you’re all about. Many business owners lose this internal compass once they get busy and it shows up in all of the three other leverage points: Marketing, Sales and Delivery.
Unless you have systems inside each of these areas that have been tested to work consistently, your business will feel very hard work, a fast moving treadmill or an uphill struggle, (pick the metaphor that’s where you’re at and how you’re feeling!)
If you want to plant the seeds for a successful harvest in 2021, you want to spend each 90-day cycle installing simple systems that help you grow and scale your business going forwards.
Leveraging YOU – a system to clarify and focus the why, what and how of your business.
Leveraged Marketing – a system to generate a flow of leads into your business.
Leveraged Sales – a system to pre-qualify leads and convert your most ideal prospects into clients.
Leveraged Delivery – a system to transform how you help clients get the results they want.
I go through each of these in detail in my book Leveraged Consulting in the Digital Age, but the common theme they all share is the concept of putting profitability, processes and people to work for you in your business – even if it’s just a little bit of streamlining and outsourcing to start off with.
Once you’re clear on where your key leverage points are, you can pick your priority areas, get momentum and achieve significant results in each cycle of your 90-day business plans.
Typically, 80% of business owners I speak to cannot confidently say they have more than one of these systems handled effectively. And it’s the reason why you will consistently struggle to grow and scale your business. (Unless you’re ready to make a shift.)
Each of your 90-day business plans can focus on getting one system working or can look at streamlining your process across all four leverage points, so you’re making incremental improvements across your entire end-to-end client relationship journey.
Mentoring for Success
Over the past 5 years I’ve been helping businesses to level up and implement these simple leverage systems, from big corporate organisations to small business owners and solo professionals. And the sense of relief and joy is quite amazing to experience.
When you’re ready to start planting the seeds for success in this quarter so you can reap what you sow in 2021, I got your back, so to speak.
Book yourself in for a FREE Discovery Session with me.
It’s a 30-40 minute private Zoom call where we’ll get to know each other, look at each of these five leverage points for your business, and come up with a step-by-step plan over the next 90-days for applying the leveraged systems that are right for you right now. It’s a great call.
Schedule a discovery session to nail your best 90-day business plan for this quarter, click here to book a slot >> jayallyson.com/contactme/scheduler.
P.S. You can grab my book on Kindle promo right now on Amazon here – Leveraged Consulting in the Digital Age covers this in way more detail.