Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business.
Kat Schmoyer 0:09
We’re competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.
Megan Martin 0:19
Hey, friend, thank you for tuning in to a another episode of talking small business. I am excited to talk about this, even though sort of weird because I don’t naturally like to plan. But whatever. We’re going to talk today about quarterly planning. And really, even though I don’t love to plan, like it’s still something that we have to do in our business. And I love that we’re going to talk through the perspective of what does planning look like whether you are type A and versus type B, because we can plan even us type beers. But of course, we know that the Type A friends in our life are the planning gurus, aka Kat Schmoyer. My biz bestie is the planning queen. She is the quarterly care girl. And so we’re going to talk about why quarterly planning is the best way to focus on planning and your business and just pick cat’s brain today on her superpower. So let’s do this cat, I would love to talk, like first and foremost, why do you think quarterly planning is a better option over what normally happens in December when everyone starts posting about their planning for the whole upcoming next year.
Kat Schmoyer 1:38
I love it. So quarterly planning allows you flexibility. I feel like whether you’re type B or type A it, it feels daunting to plan out a whole year not knowing what’s going to happen in that year. So while I do think that there’s wisdom to gain from looking at the full year’s perspective, and you know, starting in December, and looking ahead or starting in January, and looking ahead what whenever you’re doing it, I do think that it can be helpful to get that big, high level view of the year. I think the most immediate action needs to be in 90 day increments and not being so married to what’s happening in December in July. Instead in July. Let’s focus on the next 90 days. So July, August and September.
Megan Martin 2:26
So do you think cat that I mean, I’m kind of over here, assuming that we as small business owners have adapted or adopted is the right word here, what people in the corporate world are doing, and we’re trying to, like, slap that into our small business. And that’s why we tend to like plan out a year at a time. So are you here saying like, Hey, we’re small business owners, we don’t need to do what corporate America does, here’s a better opportunity for us to plan in our businesses.
Kat Schmoyer 2:56
I do I also think that I mean, there’s just a frenzy to plan the whole year. I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but like I was setting new year’s resolutions in middle school, you know, like, it’s just kind of ingrained in human nature, like, what are you doing next? Like,
what’s the what’s the new year’s resolution? Like,
what are you working towards next? And maybe it’s because I’m also an enneagram? Three, and that factors in to like the type aimez? I don’t know. Megan would love your like, advisor, did you set a new year’s resolutions and middle school? Absolutely not. Okay, so see, there we go. Okay. Well, I feel like it’s because there are a lot of people that are just in grade, it’s ingrained in us to goal set to look ahead. And so yes, that is something that corporate America does. But I think it’s just also something that our culture, like literally American culture, talks about and does. And so therefore, we try to do it so much in our small businesses. And that’s not the most sustainable thing to do.
Megan Martin 3:54
Okay, so from a type a perspective, tell me what quarterly planning looks like for you. And then I think we can contrast that with what is what does quarterly planning look like for the Type B aka me person?
Kat Schmoyer 4:05
Okay, so for me when I’m quarterly planning, I mentioned before, it is helpful to have that high level view. And so you absolutely want to start there. So right now, we’re mid year. If you have not planned anything for this year, I would say, look at the year as a whole. So July through December, take a look at what’s coming in the rest of your year. Or if you are doing this in the calendar year, and you’re able to do it in December for 2022. That’s great too. But I take a look at high level 1000 foot view of what’s coming up in the next 12 months, and then break it down by quarter. So if I say okay, in this year, I want to launch a new website, I want to potentially launch a course and I want to book X number of coaching clients. Then I want to break that down by quarters and know Okay, what do I need to be doing? In January to make sure that my course can launch in April. And I go about it from that perspective, knowing that understanding all of the puzzle pieces will help me to put the puzzle together, either more efficient, or just in a better order than if I just jumped right into what I said I was going to do.
Megan Martin 5:18
So when you are in December, I know we’re mid year right now. But when we’re talking, you know, when the typical people plan their year, right is in December. So you look at your calendar, and you have, so are you having some sort of like? Or do you actually set hard deadlines for the next year? Like, I’m going to launch a new website on April 1, I’m going to launch my new course on May whatever, you know what I’m saying? Like, are you setting these hard dates in December? I’m just curious to know from a year perspective, what are you doing? I love that question. So
Kat Schmoyer 5:50
I used to, and then I became a mom. And I realized that hard deadlines were really, really, really awful to keep up with. And I would feel like a failure if I didn’t meet those deadlines. So for those of you guys listening, do it based on your season of life, again, pre mom hat, I was absolutely looking at my year and letting my type A come out in full swing. And having all the deadlines mapped out all of the like sticky notes and washi tape on my year calendar. I wanted to see it all. Now in this season of life. It just doesn’t make sense. Because I mean, as you all know, life just gets crazy with kids. And there are so many different things vying for your time and for your attention. So right now, it’s definitely more high level. So I like to have a general idea of Okay, in April, I’d love to launch my website. So that just gets penciled in somewhere in April, knowing that after I see how the first quarter goes, I’ll be able to fully assess the second quarter. Same thing for currently right now, y’all. We’re in July. So we’re stepping into q3. q3 is July, August and September. So I’m assessing Okay, what’s happened and q1 and q2? Did I get something done that I didn’t think I was going to get done? Great. Did I not do something that I thought I was going to do? And now that needs to be moved to q3 like, Where am I at? And so it allows me to have a little bit more flexibility by not having like hard and fast deadlines right away.
Megan Martin 7:17
Okay, so you have, it’s almost like you’re saying you, you could write it down just simply on a list to say, Here’s like the five major initiatives or goals that I want for the year. And then do you just say, okay, when January hits, I’m going to focus on q1, or in this case, right now, we’re recording this episode when q3 starts, are we about to be in q3 is that we’re okay. q3 starts now we’re actually making action steps Is that how you approach quarterly planning, like so at the beginning of the year, it’s not so much like I’m planning out from an action step perspective, everything that’s going to happen my year, I just know what I want to accomplish. And then on a quarterly level, is when you actually plan the action steps.
Kat Schmoyer 8:04
Correct? Correct. So beginning of the year, very macro, high level, a big, big, big picture. And then every quarter, break it down, be as micro as possible, put those due dates, put checklists with things, make sure that you have what you need to actually make it happen. When I teach the quarterly planning, like when I teach my quarterly care process, I talk about assessing time and money with every quarter as well. So just because you might sit there and say like, okay, I really want to launch my website in April or in July, you know, whenever it is that you’re looking, you also need to assess time and money, you need to look at current revenue. And you need to know, do you have the capacity to do what you wanted to do? Do you need to put more weight into some true revenue generating tasks in your business right now. And you also have the time, maybe you booked more shoots, or maybe you booked more custom packages, and you need to put some things off on your own business because of client facing things. That’s okay. We’re doing our business, a lot of us to serve our clients. So assessing time and money, every single quarter when you’re making the micro plan allows you to have a more realistic micro plan. That’s why at the beginning of the year in January, I don’t think it’s a good I think it’s a waste of time, I guess is the best way to say that. I think it’s a waste of time to do all the micro to dues all of the deadlines for the whole year when you just don’t know exactly what’s going to be happening each 90 days.
Megan Martin 9:35
I love that especially as a tidy person. I will just tell you that anytime I’ve ever approached goal planning and I’ve bought into the books, I bought into the programs, I’ve listened to the people talk about it. I mean, before you and I will say that I’ve never heard somebody say that it’s a waste of time to try to plan an entire year at one time because but but all over the books, all of the programs, all the people sharing this, they, they may not mean to say what they like, maybe they are on your track, I don’t know. But what I hear is that you should be planning on a micro level in December for an entire year. And I know for me like maybe for you the type a person, you, you may have loved that you said you were doing that in middle school, you know, now you’ve seen that, okay, as a small business owner, really, that’s not so effective. So I love that you’re sharing this, but for a Type B person like me like that is so freeing, because I have always felt like I never fit in traditional goal setting, like, at the at just when December hits. I don’t make an ideal list for the next year. Like that’s literally not my personality, I if you tell me to like, make some goals, I’ll make them up, I’ll make some great sounding goals. I do that I did that for years. And I never actually did any of it. It was just an exercise in making up some cool ideas. And so for me, I love quarterly planning specifically, because not only does it give flexibility in terms of what did I accomplish, and what didn’t I accomplish, and how can I like flow, as opposed to fight with myself over deadlines, especially in a season of motherhood. But it also takes the pressure off of me trying to create ideas and plans at one time of the year for an entire year, like people who are like me who are type B or enneagram, sevens like that kind of personality type that is off. That sounds awful for me to do. And so I love quarterly planning from a Type B perspective to say like, I don’t have to come up with the ideas until the start of the quarter. Like I can look at the start of the quarter and say, okay, it’s only three months for me to like vision plan for three months is so much more attainable for someone like me than trying to vision plan for an entire year at one time.
Kat Schmoyer 11:55
It’s also going to be even more efficient and like whether you’re type A or type B that that part to me doesn’t matter in terms of just the efficiency of Okay, you can actually assess like right now in July, you can say what’s happening in July, August and September. And maybe you still have a few question marks towards like the end of the quarter. But I’m willing to bet even the tight be people, you have a pretty good pulse on at least the next two months, at least the next 60 days, whether that’s in your family life, whether that’s in your business, it doesn’t matter, you have a pulse on things. And so you’re able to say, Well, what have I been doing business wise, that seems to be working? What do I think I want to move into next year you’re able to get those ideas, but then you’re also able to assess on the personal side, like the family side? What are family rhythms? What are things that are realistic. And so making the 90 day plan, making that quarterly plan isn’t just the fun idealist like you said, Megan, like, let’s not just generate ideas, but let’s actually be realistic with these ideas based on the time constraints, and what’s happening in the personal life and in your business.
Megan Martin 12:56
Well, and not to mention that, but also looking at the previous 90 days, and what were what was the results that what were the results of your business, right? Like what are people purchasing? What are people saying they want? What are people saying they need, and to be able to have that flexibility of working in 90 day sprints allows you to take data, like the most recent data you have of what’s working and what’s not working and make pivots, if necessary, through the next 90 days, where as we’re looking, if we’re like waiting an entire year to look at data to make decisions, then we could have left a lot of money on the table in terms of being able to move quickly with the market, which I know we talked about in a recent episode of pivoting, right, we talked all about this in the pivot every episode about the fact that the beauty of small business is that we do have the ability to pivot fast if necessary, and when the market demands it. And so I love that quarterly planning also lends itself to that same concept of quickly being able to move when we see opportunities and not, you know, having to throw away a whole year’s worth of a plan that we spent forever in the micro in December, you know?
Kat Schmoyer 14:10
Absolutely, absolutely. This is why I feel like revenue is a missing component and so many whether you’re type A or type B but in so many business owners quarterly planning process or just goal setting process, money scares people money makes people feel nervous. And then when we’re looking at money in our business, I don’t know I think some people just either maybe don’t know where to look or how to you know, navigate that. But revenue is a huge component of the quarterly plan because you have to know what’s just happened to know where you need to be. And now I say all of that with a caveat that I am very like money driven. I Meghan and I have talked about this before like I love to look at my profit and loss like I’m very motivated by Okay, what do I need to get next in order to hit this next money milestone, and some of that is To my detriment, some of that is that would be a whole nother podcast episode of like, just, you know, mindset shifts and money conversations that like I have, and like Matt and I have in our marriage, but as a business owner, looking at our revenue is vital. And when you do that, and the 90 day increments, just like Megan said, you’re able to look at what did work in the last 90 days? Where is money coming in? And how can you lean into that in the next 90 days, you can also potentially save yourself from heartache of like all of a sudden, it’s October, and you realize you’re short your revenue goals for the year? Well, if you’ve been assessing that every 90 days, you would probably start to see a trend that Oh, wait, we’re not doing exactly what we thought we were going to do. So I need to get a little bit scrappy, I need to figure out what new revenue generators I can do where I need to tweak this marketing plan. And it just will allow you more confidence in the overall growth of your business, if you’re keeping a pulse on the revenue and assessing your goals based on revenue as like a foundation.
Megan Martin 16:01
Yeah, absolutely. I love that you bring up revenue, I think it again, money does scare people. And but yet, we are literally in business to make money. So having, you know, a pulse on not only like what’s going on in your life, but what’s actually working from a revenue perspective is so important. Okay, cat. So tell me a little bit more about tell us about how do we make quarterly planning happen? Like what do we do? Or what do you do when you sit down to make a quarterly plan for the next 90 days? Like what should we be doing in order to make this successful?
Kat Schmoyer 16:39
Definitely assessing every 90 days, I feel like that seems kind of like a duck, you have to like, assess and like make the plan. But you really do even if you maybe you did this a little bit opposite. And you sat down in January, and you were like the old me, and you had all the sticky notes and all the washi tape and you made all the deadlines for the whole year. That’s great. Okay, but let’s make sure we’re like looking back and assessing that. Or if you’re more like Megan, and you’ve never done that before, I have no desire to do that, like now would be a great time to start look at the next 90 days. And like I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I actually think it’s really helpful to take that macro view first before going micro. So right now in July, take a look at July through December. And just get a quick pulse. This doesn’t need to be the color coding, this doesn’t need to be the deadlines. But just get an idea like what’s happening each month in your business, what’s going on, on the maintenance side, what’s going on. On the marketing side, I like to put everything in those two categories, because maintenance is how you are keeping the business moving. I’m not just maintenance in terms of like your QuickBooks or you know, reconciling your books or anything like that. But maintenance in terms of fulfilling on your customer promises. And so what maintenance tasks are on your plate, and then what marketing tasks are on your plate marketing, bringing new leads to the door. So take a take a quick look assess marketing and maintenance for the next six months, and then narrow that down to the next 90 days. What is happening and I mentioned before starting with revenue and looking at time, so assessing where you are with revenue and where you want to be. And then looking at time, what do you realistically have on your plate, and then your goals, y’all are going to stem from those things. So I’ll go back to the website example. Because I’ve used that a few times already. If you really want to launch a new website for yourself, look at time and money. First and foremost, don’t just give yourself a goal that doesn’t necessarily feel as realistic. So once you assess your time and your money, if you find like Okay, you know what, I do have the capacity right now, to work hard on my website and to get my website launched by September one, then put that as one of your quarterly goals, but make sure that you’re assessing what you’re doing in the revenue and in the time side of things first, you can also break it down by month, which I am also a huge proponent of so for example, say one of your quarterly goals needs to be very specific to revenue generating, like you know, that you need to really assess bookings and what is happening revenue wise and your business, then break it down by month and say okay, I need to book two coaching clients in July, three coaching clients in August and one coaching client in September and then that’s your goal, that’s literally your quarterly goal is to book that in those monthly increments. And so your maintenance and your marketing, like all of the things that you’re doing in your business are driving to give you those coaching bookings that you’re looking for.
Megan Martin 19:43
Okay, so tell us how can you kind of summarize for me when you’re looking at time specifically because I know revenue is a part of this, but we I feel like revenue just allows you to make decisions should I move forward with a project or should I I focus more in maintenance because I need more revenue. Right? Okay, so that helps us make good decisions if we should move forward or not. But time I feel like people. I feel like people are so funny about time, right? Like, and what is that principle that you know, you’re going to give yourself, however long you give yourself for a project or a task, you’re going to fill the whole entire, what is that principle called? You know what I’m talking about? I know what you’re talking about. I’ve no idea. It’s like the Pareto principle, I’m pretty sure if we get it wrong, we’ll link it in the actual principle that it is we’ll link it in the notes. But I feel like people really struggle with over an under estimating time. So when you are sitting down to quarterly plan, and you make a goal, say we’re going with the same example of I want to design and launch a new website this quarter, how do you look at time and figure out how to schedule in the micro action steps to get that goal accomplished?
Kat Schmoyer 20:58
This is a really good question. And I’ll also I’ll start with the disclaimer, that my own personal one of my quarterly goals for the month of May was to launch a new website, and it didn’t happen. So I want to say that to let you guys know, like, I’m not perfect at doing this assessment, and then making a goal that actually happens, okay, there’s grace in all of this. And sometimes there are new opportunities that present itself to you to your business, to your family, whatever it might be, over the course of the quarter. And the goal that you set even just, you know, in July doesn’t happen in September. Does that make sense? Like it’s okay, if that happen. So I say all of that, like, give ourselves a permission slip, and not to make it seem like I’m so perfect at doing this day in and day out. But when we’re thinking about that, so in terms of time, the first thing that you need to do is look at all time. So for me for my business, I use Google Calendar, we also use that for our family. So like our personal time. So I will literally Open Google Calendar and make sure all of the calendars are on so I can see what’s happening in the business and what’s happening in our family. And I use that to show like, oh, okay, Wow, it looks like in June, I have a handful of weddings. And Mike is going to be done with school. And then we have the conference in July, like I’m assessing all of these moving pieces on all fronts, because we are solopreneurs, or a lot of you guys listening are probably solopreneurs. So you’re wearing a lot of the hats in your business and also in your family. So you want to assess the time on all spectrums, before giving yourself a goal that doesn’t feel realistic. And then after you look at those moving pieces, look at the full calendar, personal and business, then you can really assess and say, all right, does it physically look like you have the actual time on your calendar to get the website launched by September? Or do you need a little bit more time? And I feel like Megan, you’re really good. And I’ve learned this from you of I feel like you pencil in dates a lot. I mean, we put it on your calendar, like you’ll be like, Okay, this is launching on x day. But you also tend to say like, well, we’ll see like, maybe it’ll be pushed back a week. Or maybe it’ll be you know, whatever. And you’re super flexible. And I’ve even learned from you like, just because I block it off on Google Calendar. And I make it like hot pink and like launch calendar and like this is what’s happening. If I need to have flexibility within there. I’m still the boss. It’s still my business. So I can do that if I need to.
Megan Martin 23:24
Yeah, absolutely. That is 100% how I run my business. I do not do hard deadlines. No. And the times that I have done hard deadlines. I hate myself during those times, like I don’t turn into a nice person. So I am super cautious about hard deadlines, especially as a mom and a business owner like it always goes to crap. When I put a hard deadline and like my kids, it’s like, without fail, my family will get sick right before our deadline. But I love just keeping that perspective of flexibility. And I feel like that’s like the theme of this whole quarterly plan. Talk right is flexibility of it. Why? Go for it go for it girlfriend.
Kat Schmoyer 24:12
I was just gonna say one thing to within that like, I think not only flexibility, but just what you said about like, you don’t do well with hard deadlines. And you know that, not just about your personality, but just about like what’s happened in the past that you can see, hey, whenever you’ve tried to create more hard deadlines around some of these things, it hasn’t felt right. It felt icky. It hasn’t made you feel like a nice person. And I am the opposite. Like I enjoy. I’m very motivated by give me this deadline. Even like in college I was really motivated by I’m going to work extra hard because I know this is due tomorrow versus like if I have the flexibility. I tend to like keep putting it on the backburner like it’s really hard for me to prioritize if I have too much flexibility in the deadlines. So I share that because I know that you guys listening are going to be some of you are going to be similar to Megan, some of you guys are going to be similar to me. And so the point of this is finding what works for you. And don’t try to square peg round hole it. Megan knows, she doesn’t want to see the project management Trello board that I create of the next launch with all the deadlines and all the checklists and Google Docs linked and like X, Y, and Z like that would stress her out. That’s not her brain. I want that like I thrive in that environment. I know that if I were to necessarily project manage my next launch, and all of the ways that Megan does it, I wouldn’t do well. And it probably would never happen, I would like keep putting it on the
So I share that too. Again, give you that like permission slip, like I said before about like the flexibility with grace with yourself. But also have flexibility to find a plan that works for you figure out how does your brain best operate when it comes to making the goal a reality? And then try it for a quarter and decide like did this actually work? Or do you need to tweak the system for yourself so that you feel really excited? And the goal doesn’t feel stressful? or it doesn’t just keep getting put on the backburner? If you’re not, you know, prioritizing it enough.
Megan Martin 26:12
Yeah. I would love to hear from you cat about how micro Do you really get during a quarterly planning session? Like for me, thinking about the idea of sitting down once every 90 days and actually like, like writing my to do lists for 90 days? Like that is so unattainable in my brain? So how, like, how micro are we getting? Or do you? You know, do you leave more micro work for maybe like weekly perspective or daily perspective? Like I would love to hear like, what are you breaking down during the quarterly planning session?
Kat Schmoyer 26:47
Great question. So it kind of depends on what the goals are for that quarter. So let me give you like a couple of different examples here, y’all. If you have a goal for the quarter, that’s very project specific. So that website launch scenario we’ve used or launching a core something that like it has its own deadlines and due dates in and of itself, that I do get specific I just mentioned before, like, I love me a good project management Trello board. So I will break that sucker down. And I will get my workflows and checklists ready to go, I will put due dates on the actual card. So I’m getting notified, like when things are coming up, I’m translating the Trello board onto my massive quarterly plan calendar, like I have, you know, a straight up like printable wall calendar on my wall, where I’m able to, like visually see it all. So I do micro that very, very intensely. But that’s for a specific goal that is very project heavy, okay, so there are a lot of other two dues associated with that project, if the goal is something not quite as specific, so something that’s more like, you know, what, you maybe don’t have the time to handle a website launch or to you know, work on a new project in your business, but you’re really focusing this quarter on the maintenance and on the marketing. So you know, you really want to try to onboard two clients per month, this quarter. And you also want to make sure you’re maintaining work with existing clients, well, you know, whatever that is coaching, wedding planning, whatever it is that you’re doing, then my quarterly plan isn’t necessarily as micro, it’s broader, because my umbrella project is to book two coaching clients for the month of July. So what do I need to do to make that happen? Is that utilizing my blog is that posting on Instagram story? Is that sending out an email sequence to my list? Like, what am I doing? And so it’s a little bit broader. And therefore, yes, I’m gonna give myself tasks that are specific to try to bring that goal to life. But I don’t have to, like micromanage that goal quite as much as a true project management goal. Does that make sense? Megan? Absolutely.
Megan Martin 28:58
I feel like from my perspective, a lot of times when I’m hearing from or learning from people who share content around time management, productivity, goal setting and planning, I feel like all in a similar realm, right? I feel like I see them doing a lot of what looks like busy work to me. And that also sort of turns me off, you know, like, I don’t want to spend my time doing busy work to plan my business to do work, you know. So talk to me about, you know, how do we keep quarterly planning and planning in general in our business simple so that it’s not it doesn’t turn into another project that is so time consuming.
Kat Schmoyer 29:46
We’ve talked about this so much on our own of like, what is organization for organizations sake, you know, in this line, and I don’t I don’t know where it is. I do think it’s a gray line. I don’t think there’s a hard and fast you know, Oh, you’ve gone too far. But I do think and I’m going to speak to you type a friends out there, because I obviously am one of you. So I’m preaching this to myself, I do think that I, I am comforted by the plan. So I tend to fall back to the plan. If I’m stressed out in my business, I’m going to want to create a new Trello board to help me organize the stress. Sometimes it’s helpful, right? Sometimes it’s like, Okay, all right, we need to just like reorganize all of these to dues what’s happening when. So sometimes, yes, that is helpful. But sometimes it’s a waste of time. And I could have spent that hour actually working on something on my to do list, versus making myself feel better by reorganizing and color coding the list. All right, I hope I’m not alone. And that you guys will have to let me know. So all that to say, I think you need to understand yourself, when it comes to planning to best know that line, right, and be able to shift your mindset and stop yourself when you feel like you’ve taken it too far. And you’re either planning for planning sake, organizing for organizing sake, like going about it from that way, or flipping to the totally other side of the spectrum and just not doing it and therefore not seeing traction in your business because you’re not making any sort of plan or any sort of goal. I love the quarterly process. I hope by now y’all can, you know, see that 90 days, I think is a really solid chunk of time. But even if that feels too much for all my tight be friends out there, you can literally just start with a month on my quarterly calendars every single month has a monthly theme. And I did that on purpose, not only for the tight be friends, but also for myself for Taipei friends. Sometimes we just need to remember what is my focus this month? What is all of my energy in extra effort being driven to and sometimes that is your client work. And that’s okay, it doesn’t always have to necessarily be massive growth or new project launches. But knowing that can allow you to better assess when you can add in other goals into the mixture and also be able to look back over even just 30 days if 90 days feels too long. And see what did I focus on? Like, what was I doing this month? I hate I hate ending a month or even ending a week me like what did I do this week? Like what just happened? So I feel like having that focus can like really make it as simple as possible. Like, what is the focus for the month of July? What is the focus for the month of August and start it right there?
Megan Martin 32:24
Yeah, I feel like as somebody who has type B and planning does not come naturally to me. And I would never spend my time creating a new Trello board when I’m stressed out. I feel like for me, I can say, honestly, that I started quarterly planning what like, a year ago, I guess, when you know, when you started working in my business to help me on some of these things. I started the you know, cadence of focusing on quarters at a time. Thank you for your help in that. But, um, I will say from my perspective, for someone who doesn’t love planning, and it absolutely does not come naturally. To me it has it has been a confidence booster. Because I not only have like, less scatterbrain You know, when I’m just sitting down, like, oh, what should I do today, you know, like in making things up, but I can look back and say, Hey, we had a we had a focus last month it was to do X project, we got that project done. And I can see the traction like you were talking about, I can say hey, we accomplish something, and especially being able to look at it with the revenue lens, or look through it, the revenue rent lens, like I can say, Hey, you know, in January, I focused on for myself personally, this January, I focused on creating a new website for my business. And that was a lot of time, it was very time consuming to do that new website because I like whole revamp brand new from scratch website. That was a giant project. And if you look at the revenue in January, and in February, I did not bring in that much, right? But instead of just like blindly looking at those revenue numbers and saying, oh, man, like I didn’t bring in much money that stinks. Like I can say I can look at what my quarterly plan was what my monthly focus for January and February was and say, Hey, I wasn’t actually doing profit generating work, right? Like I was working on a project that hopefully in the long run will will prof like bring in more money right through the door. But I feel like it also gives me that perspective of through the revenue lens of saying okay, like let’s let’s look at and celebrate what we accomplish. Let’s look at the dollar signs of what we accomplished and what led to more revenue and what maybe pause the revenue and help me make those decisions moving forward for the next time that I quarterly plan.
Kat Schmoyer 34:57
I think that’s such a good example. And we’re really helpful for all of us when I mean, I hope if if you have them in quarterly planning this year, I feel like you could even just give yourself 30 minutes and take a look back at the last six months, right and to just do what Megan did like, rather than beating yourself up, take a look at Oh, well, but this happened because of this. And like, look at the full picture of all of those things. And know that you know, your time is limited. And so if you are putting more effort on projects, there might be a little hiccup on revenue. or hopefully, if you are putting more of your efforts on revenue on client facing work on launching a new digital product, whatever it is, then hopefully there’s, like surplus right there. But regardless, it can still give you a really good understanding of what you’ve been doing. And I know, I know, we keep saying any grams are the type a Type B, whatever, but my personality, whether that’s because I’m a three because I’m type a I don’t really know. But I care a lot about what I did. Like it matters to me. And so being able to look at that is really powerful for me to say, Wow, like, Yeah, I did get this done. Like in May, I didn’t get my website done, but look at these other things that I was doing. And that’s why the website didn’t happen. Yeah.
Megan Martin 36:14
Cat, I would love to hear from you a really quick, rapid fire. What is your favorite tool for planning your business? And why should we use it
Kat Schmoyer 36:22
Trello all the way and it’s free. So if you don’t have a Trello account, you absolutely need one. There’s all sorts of other systems that are similar. I know some people are like team Asana or Team clickup. I’ve been with Trello for going on eight years. Now. It’s grown with my business scaled with my business, it’s a really great way to organize all of the moving pieces. I have some free resources on my blog, too. So you guys are welcome to take a look at those grab some free Trello boards to get you started to.
Megan Martin 36:54
Alright friends, well, we will link all the resources including the tools that we mentioned. And of course, I’ll link a cat’s quarterly calendar that you can hang on your wall to kind of look at from 1000 foot view, as well as those free Trello boards. I use Kats Trello boards and I absolutely love them. They have simplified business for me. And even if you are the type B person like me, you can even simplify them more than what cat does. To be able to again keep making traction in your business. And if you’re type A then go wild and color coded all day whatever makes you happy. But regardless of what your personality type is, I hope that this episode was encouraging for you and I encourage you to give quarterly planning a try. We will wrap this episode up. Thank you for tuning in and we will catch you in the next conversation.