In This Week's Episode~
Hey, it's me, Teresa! If we haven't met yet, you can read more about me here on the site.
It's Q2, 2021!!
Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to know exactly what works for your business and what doesn't so you can have a stellar 2nd quarter?
In today's episode, that's what I'm sharing. Doing your Quarterly Business Review is often overlooked by online business owners. It's easy to think your company isn't big enough yet and park this process on Someday Isle.
Don't let that be you! Embrace this incredible process and begin to experience the success that comes with it.
It doesn't have to be scary, either. Get the details on how to set up your Quarterly Business Review inside!
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Happy second quarter 2021! Let's get that rolling - but hold up! Let's go back and look at the first quarter of 2021 so we can finish the second quarter even stronger.
It's time for the Becoming a Profitable CEO podcast. It's all about providing you with the tools to succeed on this ever-evolving business building journey. My mission is to make sure you know, you are not alone, that it is possible and that you yes, you can do this.
You matter. The world is a better place for having you in it and your voice is needed. I'm Teresa Cleveland and I believe that we can all make a difference and that having a successful online business is one of the best ways to do that. Let's get to it.
Hey, welcome, welcome. I am so happy you're here for week 14 of 2021. I'm excited to talk with you about this second quarter, but of course, we have to go back and look at the first quarter in order to really finish strong in the second quarter.
But before we get started there, let me back up a little bit and be very transparent, as some of you have noticed and reached out. I've been MIA for about a month or so, and I just want to touch on that real quick. For me, it's been about a month and a half ago that I scheduled a time with my doctor to adjust my meds. You know, I wanted to make sure that we didn't have any big projects going on or anything like that, because unfortunately, it takes time for everything to even out and find out if we've got the right dosages.
So that's where I've been for the last six weeks or so. And I'm so glad that we did it that way because I felt kind of blindsided. This is the first time that it really affected me the way that it did. So it was definitely an adjustment. Everything's good now. Everything seems to be working the way it's supposed to. And because I don't want to be like I'm back, hold up, not really, well, maybe and all that mess because you don't deserve that and honestly, neither do I.
So, I'm going to go ahead and take another week off of the business building episodes. I just wanted to jump in here and get this quarterly review out to you so that you can put it to use. I'll be back on Monday, April 19th, with new business building episodes. And in the meantime, our guest episodes will be back next Thursday, April 15th. With everything that's been going on, the release of the episodes have gotten off track, which didn't feel good either.
My team has been phenomenal, but there are still some things that I'm responsible for that I just wasn't able to get done. I was actually sleeping more than I was awake, which was really crazy. Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. I appreciate those who have reached out to see if I was OK. I was very touched by that. So thank you. Thank you for that and all of the well wishes.
All right. Let's talk about first quarter. Yeah, baby, we did it! Did that seem to fly by or am I the only one that felt that way? So how did it go? How are you feeling about it?
Let's go ahead and dig in and talk about doing your internal quarterly review. This is going to really help you as you shape your second quarter. So we're going to talk about what it is, what to include and just some of the fundamentals of that.
We're not going to go into specific details because, as you know, our businesses look different and we operate differently. I like to schedule mine during the first full week of the new quarter. So in April, July, October and January. And that last quarter might feel a little tricky at first, but you do want to complete the quarter in order to have true data. So while I do my annual planning October for the following year, that's really more big picture.
When we're scheduling things and all of that, it's in the quarterly reviews and our monthly reviews that we really, really refine our processes and the tasks and everything that's going to support that plan that we've put together. So real quick, if you haven't listened to Episode 24 of the podcast, I would definitely recommend that you go back and listen to that, because I shared about the monthly CEO days, which I think are vital in helping us meet our goals and see where our company stands on a monthly basis and helps tremendously in the quarterly review.
Now, while your quarterly business reviews are similar to your CEO days, they're going to give you a fuller view. They're going to allow you to see trends. You're going to get a deeper understanding of your business that will support you in creating or adjusting your strategy for the coming quarter and year. So, side note here, be sure to complete your CEO day for March, the same as you did for January and February prior to doing your quarterly review. Okay? Because you want all three of those months available as you walk through this.
All right. So while I don't think we should live in the past, I believe it's imperative to look backward in order to move forward purposefully. So knowing your strong point, your weak point, your gaps, and you're able to address them so that you're growing your business as strongly as you possibly can. It's kind of like taking inventory, right?
So if you think about it, it's just a helpful process in everyday life. Take going to the grocery store.
You plan your meals for the week, you make your list and then you go to the grocery store. You come back and you're putting things away, you know, just like, oh, my gosh, I already had some of this. I already had some of that. And, you know, basically, you've just spent money unnecessarily, right, because you just didn't take inventory. And sure, you can use it in the future, but chances are you're going to follow the same pattern going to the grocery store. Right? We all have habits. And before long, you're going to have an abundance of food. And before you know it, things are going to become expired and you're not going to have benefited from it at all.
And of course, that's a lower-level example. But I'm sure you can relate, right. How many things in our business are we spending money on? Because we haven't taken the time to take inventory or look backward to find out what's working, what's not working and things like that.
So of course, when I'm talking with online business owners about the quarterly review, you know, the question inevitably comes up, what does it even look like?
I like to start with an agenda just so I can make sure that I can focus on each section and not overlook anything. So if you're a one-woman show at this point, it's a pretty simple thing, right? At this stage, you get to start with a blank canvas and develop your flow and get it in place. And kudos to you for doing it right, now, because it's going to make things so much easier when you do begin bringing on new team members.
And for those who have teams, one of the first questions I hear is, well, who should attend? And like so many things in business. The answer is it depends. If you're new to doing these, I would recommend, starting with you and your director of operations, your online business manager, your right-hand person, whatever it is that you call them, and then you'll be able to develop this into what you need it to be as you move forward because as you grow, you're going to have those times where you think, oh, well, I want to include this and you know what? We don't really need that part anymore. So it's going to change as your business changes, and that's OK. So depending on your company and your team size, as you get this process lined out, you're going to invite your key players or your team members to be a part of this important meeting so you're all on the same page. Now, it's important that anyone that is attending should know that they should be bringing ideas for the coming quarter as well.
So back to the agenda. Over time, you're going to refine it, like I said, to meet your needs. So starting out, you're going to want to include the usuals, right? Revenue, sales, email marketing, social - like look at which platforms that you're getting the best results on and the least, the engagement that you're getting either on social through your email platforms, your podcast that you're doing, anything like that. And of course, you want to make sure that you get your expenses in there as well.
Also, I think this is overlooked, but your customer service. Look at those emails or calls or how your customers communicate with you and see what are they raving about. What are they complaining about? There's a lot of gold in there. So, again, I would strongly suggest going back to Episode 24 of the Becoming a Profitable CEO podcast, where I go more in depth about a variety of the things to include. And I'll also say that if you're already doing your CEO days every month, it's going to make your quarterly business review go so much smoother.
And of course, if it seems overwhelming, you can always hire someone to help out with this as well. As business owners, especially when it's just us trying to get it all done by ourselves. I think we forget sometimes that we can hire someone for one-off services even if we're not ready to hire full team members yet. You can always reach out to me here at The Purposeful CEO. We can come in to help you get this set up or you can even choose to have us come in once per quarter until things really start moving smoothly.
I love helping female online business owners learn where they can tighten up their operations to support them as they move forward. And our clients say that they love having fresh eyes on things, like a new perspective. And I'm sure that's because, as you know, we get so close to our own stuff and don't see it all, or we become overwhelmed, or we start beating ourselves up, or any of the other things. And that's definitely not what your quarterly business review is about. You're just using it to get to the next best version of your business.
Next up, what do you need to have prepared so that it's on hand to keep things moving during the actual process?
I recommend, without a doubt, your mission, vision and values. You've probably heard me talk about the fact that I think that your mission, vision and values - that's your compass. It lets you know if you're on track, off track and all the other things.So looking at this first will help you ground everything. And it gives you something to measure against to make sure that everything is aligned.
So, mission, vision, values. Also your three monthly summaries from your CEO days for the quarter that you're reviewing. So here again, at the beginning of quarter two, we're looking at the first quarter. So that's January, February and March. And that's why I think it's so important to do that CEO day for the last month of the quarter prior to doing your quarterly business review.
That way you've got everything on hand. If you've been in business for a year or more, you'll want to pull your quarterly review from the same quarter last year. And if you weren't yet measuring those or doing those, I would try to pull as much data as you can from that period, like sales numbers, things like that. I can't recommend highly enough to take the time to do this. Don't give in to that urge to just skip it.
It's really important for you to see where you've been so that you can better guide where you're going. And, of course, any other reports that are related to your company's performance over the last quarter that can provide any insight. So that is, at the very least, your mission, vision and values, your three monthly summaries from the quarter that you're reviewing, any reports for the same period last year, and then any other reports that are relevant.
Go ahead and have those printed. And understand that if you have team members that are attending, you and or your right hand will have created a summary of your findings so that you can discuss those at the meeting. And if you have people on your team who are responsible for managing different areas like marketing and sales, things like that, then you want to make sure that they've reviewed everything that they're responsible so they're prepared to discuss the items on the agenda as you move through the meeting.
I wish I could tell you the exact things to include, but that's the beauty of owning our own businesses, right? Your business is different from my business, even if we do the same thing. You know, the way that we operate and our audiences are going to be different it's the way that they engage with you, the way that they engage with me. There's just going to be differences in there. So we want to look at this specifically regarding you and your business.
We look at it over here at The Purposeful CEO as us, our business and the way that we're doing things. We're not comparing ourselves to anyone else, and neither should you. This is about where you've been, where you're going, and then developing the most effective plan to help you get there.
All right. So now it's time for the quarterly business review itself. So we're going to look at our numbers. We're going to notice any trends or patterns, missed opportunities. Like, what's working, what's not working, what's missing.
And if you have team members that are in your meeting, and you want to remember to use your coaching tone, right? So it's things like "tell me more", "I see that you did thus and so, like, what did you base that on?" You know, one of the things my team, even when I was in corporate America, my team, we would always joke because they knew something was going on when I was just like, "All right, so help me understand what happened here." And they knew that I wasn't coming at them like, "oh, my God, why did you do this?" You know, it's just like I really do want to understand. And of course, we can always ask, "so what are we going to do differently next time or this coming quarter?"
And whether you have team members who are attending or not, I just want to remind you that we need to remember to talk to ourselves this way as well. Right? Again, this is not about beating ourselves up. This is just about moving forward to be even more successful.
So here's an important note, too. I think. About success. So sometimes when we've had a successful result, we have a little short celebration like "yay, that's great!" And then we want to move on to the next thing.
What I would advise you to do is to look at that success and say, "How do we replicate that and are there any ways that we can make that better?" Also, is this process documented? Another thing to look at is"Yes, okay, we got a great result here, but did we sacrifice quality along the way? Because that can definitely happen and sometimes without us even realizing it. So I definitely think that's something important to ask ourselves and or our team.
So as we move through this, you could probably see that when I'm doing a quarterly business review, I'm not just looking at the numbers. Right? This is where critical thinking comes in. So we're not just checking off boxes. This is really exciting stuff, if you think about it. We get to look at everything that's happened in the business over the last quarter so we can find out what we've done well, how can we improve and not just in numbers, but also how we interact with our customers and clients. Right? How can we surprise them and exceed their expectations? What can we do to wow them? That's all about the customer experience. And it's one of my favorite things. I cannot wait to have that discussion with you soon.
Okay, so here are some other things that you can look at as well. Where did you focus your time and resources over the last quarter? Did you stay on target or did you bounce around a little bit, trying some different things as you became aware of them? You know, its business. In the day to day business, anything can happen.
And you want to look at your best-selling products or your services. Take a look at the things that didn't sell well. And it doesn't mean that you have to retire them, but you want to look at that so that you can really dig down and find out why they didn't sell.
And this one I read about recently and I liked it so much. We're definitely adding it to our quarterly business reviews. And that's What was the biggest surprise in the last quarter? That's both positive and negative. Is what happened that you were just like, oh, my gosh, like this epiphany. Right?
And then, of course, what was the biggest lesson? And when you look at the biggest lesson that you've had over the last quarter, you know, okay, so that was the lesson. So now what will you change? How will you implement that into the way that you do business now? And again, add anything in there that makes sense for your business.
There is no right or wrong here, especially as you're just starting to put these in place. I believe the only wrong thing is not doing them at all.
All right, then. So let's just have a quick summary. You're going to determine when you're going to have your quarterly business review, who's going to attend and what they're responsible for. You're going to create your agenda and then you're going to distribute that accordingly to whoever needs to be there.
Gather and review your documents prior to the meeting and anything that needs to be summarized. And then you're going to actually hold your quarterly business review. And then finally, you're going to implement the necessary changes based on the findings of your quarterly business review.
You've got this. I know that you can implement it, and I cannot wait for you to experience the changes that it's going to bring in your business. Just imagine what you're going to be able to do, armed with all of this data, all of this information that is going to support you as you support your clients. Like I said, it's exciting stuff.
Well, that's it for this week. I am wishing you an exciting and productive quarterly business review session. And just a quick reminder that next week, on Monday, I will not be doing a business building episode. But our guest episodes do resume next Thursday on the 15th. And then I'll be back with business building episodes on Monday, April 19th. I thank you so much for your patience and understanding as I navigated through this last month and everything that's been happening.
And as always, you're welcome to come join us in our Facebook group. You can get there by going to ThePurposefulCEO.com/Facebook. I look forward to being back on April 19th. And until then, let's go make a difference.
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