Blog post

How to plan your first business quarter in 2019

December 17, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

2018 was pretty amazing...but I have this feeling that 2019 is going to be EVEN better!!!  

WHY?? 

Science, baby! 

Well...PSUEDO science. 

PARTS of science.  

Primarily the stats, and execution of a hypothesis science. 

0_0 

Today...we are going to be chatting about creating your next quarter plan, executing that plan, and assessing the outcome of last quarter' plan!!  

(Are you more of a watcher than a reader? Check out the YouTube video posted above!) 

Three months equals a quarter

If you're new to business, I'm about to lay down some FACT(s) for you.  

A business year is made up of 12 months...which is four quarters consisting of 3 months each. 

(Heh...math.) 

The REASON small businesses do this is (yes...Taxes...but also) because it creates a certain strategy around planning ALL the things you need to do!!!  

YOU'RE A BUSY HUMAN BEING!!  (Or alien...I won't discriminate.) 

So concentrating on each part of your year in chunks is HUGE for actually making it all play nice in the sandbox! 

what should you include in your quarters?

This is a pretty general list...but let me break it down for!!!  (I'll tell you a little of what should go in your calendar...and also a little of what went into ours for the 2019 year plan.) 

A and B Launches 

Planning ahead is GREAT...but planning TOO far ahead and in TOO much detail can actually HURT your master plan of world domination!! (Just me?) 

SO...this is where A and B launches come in.  

An "A Launch" is a place holder for a MAJOR launch in your business for a product that you've ALREADY created.  For Uncork Your Dork, this looks something like "summits" or "Wham! Bam! Business Plan!" cart opens.  

Our summits take both time AND money to create.  (We start planning those three months in advance!) SO, we want to make sure that is on our calendar WELL in advance.  We don't want to plan a challenge or webinar right in the middle of our epic event!! 

Our "B Launches", on the other hand, are LESS time consuming, but still have a high chance of conversion.  These are going to be events like week long challenges, webinars, or huge collabs. 

These are STILL going to take a little time to plan and organize (so they won't be as easy as "putting up a new YouTube video" or "writing a new blog post")...so you want to have them roughly on your calendar.  You can plan them out fully as that quarter gets closer, though! 

  • OUR RULE #1: There is NO NEED to fully plan out these events yet (unless they are falling in your next quarter).The whole point of the A/B launch is to simply get your timeline in order.  If you're a little "SOS (shiny object syndrome) like me...you'll change your plan half way through 2019 anyways...so why waste your time? 
  • OUR RULE #2: Don't plan more than two A launches a year...with B launches being your filler. 

The NEXT thing you'll want to add to your calendar (after you A/B launches) are:

Any HUGE personal events you might have happening this year

Josh and I are getting married in September...YAY!!!

It may not be business related, but it's going to be a HUGE part of my schedule!! So, I want to make sure my business won't suffer from cake tastings and massages. 0_0 

In addition, my family will be in town, so I want to make sure my calendar let's me take off a little time to spend with them around the wedding date. 

SO...are you going to be getting married, popping out a mini-me, or planning a HUGE family vacay that will force you to take a little time away from the computer?  Be sure to plan ahead for that!!  It will make your time off a little less frazzled! 

Next on our calendar planning adventure?  (This is where it gets fun.) You're going to want to:

break down a few of your goals inside of your first quarter!!  

We'll talk about goals in just a sec (I have a tool for that), but you're going to want to take your goals for your first quarter, and create a schedule for them! 

Our primary goal, for not only Quarter One of 2019...but the entire year, is to launch the YouTube channel and start creating a fun community on that platform.  

SO, our schedule looks like: 

Research Day - Off

Recording Day - Mondays 

Tuesdays - Off 

Wednesdays - Editing Day 

Thursdays - Posting Day (This includes posting not only the video, which will be pre-scheduled) but the blog post, email and all social media).  A lot of this will be pre-scheduled....but this is the day to get that done! 

Friday - Non-channel related

Saturday- Research/SEO day 

Each day has a theme, making block creating and tasks SO much easier!! I'll record an entire month of YouTube videos in one day...then use the rest of the scheduled recording days for Wham! Bam! Business Plan! content and Airtable Hub Club videos.

Finally in this calendar adventure (just call me Mr. Jones), you'll want to add in any new product launches.  

New product launches

I get it, you COULD include these in with your A/B launches.  BUT...it's not something I would recommend. 

Why? 

It's ALWAYS a good idea to focus on the health of your CURRENT products before diving into any new ones! 

You can ABSOLUTELY add your product ideas to your launch calendar, but they should ONLY be created and launched if you're calendar and already healthy products approve of the situation.  

(Yay for NOT wasting time on products that haven't been researched and developed properly!!)

In addition, I recommend that you DON'T plan a new product launch for your next quarter unless you've already spent a fair amount of time researching it. Add your NEW product launches for at least three months out to give yourself time.

What tools do i recommend for all of this???

I...love...planners.  THANKFULLY based on the insane amount of videos and blog posts on the topic, I'm not the only one! Here a few of the tools (both digital and paper) that I've learned to love over the last few years. 

Happy Planner

This is the THIRD year in a row that I've grabbed this baby!! Although I HAVE tried Erin Condrin in the past...this $20 agenda that can be picked up at Michael's ALWAYS tends to win the race. 

There is TONS of room to write. 

TONS of room to decorate (if I'm feelin' a lil' craftsy). 

Additional pages to use at your will. 

And yes....stickers.  It comes with stickers. 

Next up on my list of caveman tools to light my fire? 

THE BULLET JOURNAL! 

I LOVE the bullet journal!!  I don't know about you guys, but I take a lot of courses, watch a LOT of webinars, have a shit-ton of ideas, and do a fair amount of non-business related doodling throughout each quarter. 

Instead of keeping a bajillion notebooks laying around the house, I've combined it all PLUS my agenda, into the Bullet Journal. (You can COMPLETELY nix the Happy Planner and use the Bullet Journal for every piece of planning you need to do!  I just like having a traditional journal for easy jotting...). 

The Bullet Journal, created by Ryder Carroll is ANY notebook of your choice...a pen/pencil/marker....and you braaaaaaaaains.  (No...he isn't a zombie.)

The most important page in a bullet journal is index page.  As you add new sections to your bullet journal, you'll keep track of them in the index!  Here is a link to Ryder's video breaking it all down for you!

I'll be doing a walkthrough of how I use the Bullet Journal in the Uncork Your Dork business shortly!! Be sure to subscribe to the UCYD YouTube channel and keep your eyes peeled

"A success path is LITERALLY a visual guide that walks your readers from START to FINISH.  Think about it like a board game for your business!!"

Click to Tweet

Next on the list? 

2019 PowerSheets 

I LOVE goal setting...and these little babies are the absolute MOST to say the least. (Movie reference anyone? Post below if you know the answer!) 

PowerSheets, created by Lara Casey, is an agend-like system that will help you uncover what you LOVED and HATED about your last quarter...what needs to change in the upcoming year...AND helps you start laying out those steps you need to take. 

What I love most, is that this isn't a "make the goal...then slowly back away" kind of system.  You'll schedule what's called "Tending Days" each week to make sure you're still tackling your goals and keeping them front and center.  

Airtable 

If you're new to Uncork Your Dork, WELCOME!!  I'm about to introduce you to, POSSIBLY, the best tool you'll ever meet for your business. Airtable is a FREE spreadsheets system (don't be scurred) that will help you organize all of the bits and pieces in DETAIL that we've been going over. 

So far, in this process, we've only really tackled "adding stuff to the calendar".  Airtable is where you'll take EVERYTHING you've added (summits, challenges, launches, YouTube, etc.) and really start planning and organizing everything you need to get that done.  

Inside of my Airtable system (which I've been using for nearly FIVE years) I keep track of: 

  • My youtube video idea index, scripts, SEO information and publishing schedule. 
  • My ENTIRE blog...from posts, to SEO, to publishing schedule, to promotion plan. 
  • My summit attendees, dates, headshots, free downloads, sales stats (and dear LORD, so much more.)
  • Affiliate links for products that I LOVE to promote.
  • Virtual Assistant tasks lists...
  • And TONS more.  Literally...I work with over 24 bases to keep my projects, events and products organized.

Airtable is SUPER easy to use, but there is a bit of a learning curve to get it set up!! That's why I've put together a quick training for you!!  Click the image below to access: 

  • A link to set up your free Airtable account 
  • A video that walks you through the basics of Airtable. 
  • A 30 minute training on setting up your first base and organizing your ENTIRE blog sales tactics. 
  • and a one-click button to copy that exact base from my account into yours!  
  • ALL FREE!!!  

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post as much as I've enjoyed writing AND filming it!!  Make sure you're subscribed to the YouTube channel....and tell me below, what big plans do you have on the agenda for 2019???  

I can't wait to see how much ass we are ALL about to kick!!!  😀 

  • What plans do you have for your first quarter of 2019??!! Tell me below so that the UCYD community can cheer you on!!

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