“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” ― Thomas
In business “good fortune” can mean lots of different things depending on the phase of
business you’re in and what you’ve set your mark of success to be. No matter your
definition, all business owners want to find themselves in “good fortune”, but then why
do so many fail to plan?
Importance of Planning
In business, we hear “it’s all about who you know” and the importance of networking.
Connecting with others in your industry and growing your community are important
because that is where your opportunities come a knockin’. But what do you do if the
opportunity is offered to you and you’re not ready? This is where your planning comes
Often people think planning ends at setting a goal. They have laid out the desired end
state and think they’re set to go. But a true plan – one that will help you actually
accomplish your goal – needs action items! Whether you break down your plan into 5
steps or 500, you need to know the way ahead.
A goal is saying “I am going to run a marathon in 4 hours by the end of this year.” The
opportunity is finding a race that aligns with your schedule and entry fee budget. The
plan is to set out the training steps to accomplish your goal. Not many people can step
up to the starting line of a marathon and crush it in under 4 hours without having done
any training leading up to race day. The plan to run the marathon might consist of short
runs, long runs, cross training, rest days, and a guide to nutrition.
Planning Your Quarter
Quarterly prep and review are great ways to break down your big annual goals into more
sizeable chunks. A lot can happen in 3 months – but it is not such a daunting task as
looking at the whole year at once. We believe the act of planning and reviewing your
quarter can set your business down the desired path to achieve your goals, help account
for any potential setbacks, allow you to audit what went well (or what didn’t), and help
prevent history from repeating itself quarter after quarter.
In our new Milso Business Manual, we created pages to help guide you through
prepping and reviewing each quarter. Whether you use our resources, someone else’s,
or you do it on your own, we recommend prepping in a simple 5 step process.
- Identify your big goal for the quarter
- Break down your big goal into monthly goals
- Create action items to achieve your monthly goals
- Make note of what you need to plan around this quarter
- Set additional goals outside of your business (finances, personal, self
When you look at the next three months through a simple worksheet with the
framework to reach your big goal for the quarter, you will feel confident in your ability to
Life gets busy and time slips away from us quickly. When you don’t stop to review how
the previous quarter went, you can’t accurately prep for the upcoming quarter. That is
why we recommend reviewing your quarter as well! Your quarter in review should
include at least the following 5 questions to reflect on.
- What was your initial big goal for the quarter? If it changed, start with
your original goal and make additional notes on the new goal.
- What major milestones did you hit this quarter? Whether you planned to
hit the milestone or if it came out of left field, track what you accomplished and
make note of how and why they came to be so you can work on replicating them.
- What goals did you achieve during the quarter? Are they the monthly
goals you laid out at the beginning of the quarter or did they come from a
- Which goals did you miss this quarter? Missing a goal is not a failure. If
your goal was to read 5 more books a month than last quarter and you only read 4
each month, wouldn’t you still find it a win that you read 4 more than you did the
previous quarter? It is important to look at what you missed so you can assess
your goals moving forward
- Why did those things happen? Every now and then we get lucky and things
just happen, but most of the time our successes (and misses) come as the direct
result of actions and events in our world. Tracking the reasoning why your goals
were met or missed helps you make more educated plans moving forward.
Planning Large and Small
There is no project too large or small for a plan. Planning on a small scale for individual
projects can look like working on your email marketing strategy, setting up a new
product line, expanding your offerings to include new services, or creating systems
within your business to make the backend smoother. As you work on an individual
project, we recommend using a project tracker to keep your details in one space with
your objective clearly defined. A project tracker worksheet (like the ones included in the
Milso Business Manual) should include your objective, applicable deadlines, a space to
brainstorm, mini goals and task lists to break down your project, and a place to track
your contacts and collaborations for this project.
As a business owner, planning should be a regular part of your life. It doesn’t have to
consume your time or be meticulous, but having an objective and the roadmap to get
you there allows you to reach for bigger and better goals with each passing season.
Don’t wait for good fortune to just land in your lap. It is the product of opportunity and