I like to think of Quarter 3 as the Summer Quarter. Usually, I want to spend more time with my family, but it’s also busy season for weddings. So I’m sharing how to plan quarter 3 with enough time for everything you want to do. Also, you can grab the free Quarter 3 Checklist below.
Know Your Schedule
If you want to be able to plan effectively you need to know what types of events and activities are going to take up your time. For me, I like to pay attention to my wedding calendar to determine when I’ll need to focus heavily on client work.
One of the best places to start when planning your third quarter is to look at your personal calendar. My family is one of my highest values so if there are commitments I need to be present for I can make sure that it happens. Also during the summer is when we like to take our big family vacations. When vacations are planned, it’s essential to get up to date on client work. This summer we’re headed to Jamica so I’m making sure to get ahead.
Do your hours change during the summer? My schedule is significantly different from summer to my kids’ school months. I have more work usually because it’s wedding busy season, and the kids have less work. It’s really important to figure out what hours I’ll be working and be very clear with the family when that will be!
You need to figure out what hours you’ll be working and be very clear about your work hours. When you work from home, setting these boundaries ahead of time helps stop confusion. Everyone clearly knows when you have to work.
Create Systems in Your Business
The systems in your business support the easy flow of your work days. They make everything else easier.
Workflows for clients
Having workflows and systems in my business are essential. During wedding season it’s crazy important. If you’ve ever had a really busy time in your business you know just how important it is to create workflows that support you. In my client management system, I have all the to do’s I have to get done every time I work with clients.
I also have set business routines that get done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. All of my routines are stored in Trello, but I might be moving them back to Asan (more on that another time). I make sure to create calendar triggers for my weekly and monthly tasks so that I can be reminded to schedule them into my day.
Review Quarter 2
The best way to get clear on where you need to go is to take time and review what you’ve done so far in your business. I always take time to look at the previous quarter and get clear on what went well and what needs to be worked on. I have a google sheet where I store stats for my business and I study the sheet before I plan my next set of plans. I’m able to see if there’s any patterns or commonalities between the months.
Plan Quarter 3 Goals
Goals are really where the magic happens each quarter and they help determine where you’re bringing your business. I’ve found that the more clear I am on what I want to accomplish each quarter the better I do overall.
Definitely Get S.M.A.R.T.
This is one of the most important times of years to use smart goals if you don’t always use them. Summertime can move really fast. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Develop a Plan
After you determine your goals you’ll want to create a plan of action to reach your goals. I like to include when I’ll get these done. A really great book for breaking down setting quarterly goals is the 12 week year. The nice part about that is you don’t have to wait for a new quarter to come up with goals and a plan. I just like the consistency of following the actual quarters.
Look at your Quarter 3 Goals Daily
This one I’m totally stealing from other creatives. I’ve heard it from so many, so I can’t claim this as my great idea. However, I’ve found that it’s pretty awesome for keeping me motivated, and on track. Knowing exactly what I’m working towards when I’m in the middle of it and it seems far off really helps me understand why I need to keep moving.
Create Content and Marketing Calendars
Once you have goals for the quarter it’s a lot easier to plan a marketing calendar ahead of time. I try to make sure there’s a plan in place for what’s going to be promoted ahead of time. So if I’m doing mini-sessions or holding a sale on products I know what type of posts I need to create before it’s timeshare.
My marketing calendar is used to help inform my content calendar. This where I list anything I plan on focusing on for that month. For example, if I know I’m going to increase my prices during that quarter I want to make sure I share when it’s happening. This way if I have couples who are thinking of booking they can still get the current prices.
My goal is to regularly share useful content for both my couples and other business owners. I use my editorial calendar to keep me focused and to plan out posts that go along with my goals for that quarter. As much as possible