Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself - FP Advance

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

BY brett

Quarterly review | FP Advance

timeGolden goals

All the business books that I love recommend working in 90-day cycles. It’s enough time to set a reasonably meaty objective and to achieve it, whilst still doing business as usual at the same time.

The recommendation is that you set between three and seven goals each quarter (and less is more, so three or four is fine for most small businesses). These goals are important projects that will make your business better and are in addition to whatever financial target you might set for the quarter and your business-as-usual client work.

Gino Wickman refers to them as ‘Rocks’ in his excellent book, Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business. ‘A Rock is a priority that will take more than 14 days and must get done this quarter’.

These quarterly goals or Rocks should also be moving you along the path to achieving the 12-month goals in your annual Business Plan.

That part is pretty straightforward.

icon__0017_analysisCheck yourself

The key to making this goal setting a hugely beneficial part of your business process is to check your own work at the end of each quarter by completing a formal quarterly review.

Here are the issues and questions we work through at FP Advance with each review:

  1. Review previous quarter’s Rocks

    • Did we hit all of them?
    • If not, why not?
  2. Review Business Plan

    • How are we progressing against the annual plan?
    • What’s going well?
    • What’s not?
    • Is there any remedial action required?
  3. Review Management Information (MI)

    • Did we hit our quarterly turnover target?
    • Analyse the profitability ratios
    • Analyse the productivity ratios
    • Analyse the client selection ratios
    • What is the story our MI is telling us?
  4. What did we do well this quarter?

  5. What could we double down on in the next quarter?

    • What is working really well that we should be doing more of if possible, rather than looking for new ideas that may or may not work?
  6. What did we learn?

  7. What could we do differently moving forward?

  8. Set Rocks for the next quarter

    • Between three and seven goals for the next quarter that:
      a.) Will advance us toward our 12-monthly goals in the business plan
      b.) Other projects that are important to help us build an even better business
  9. State of the Nation (SOTN) update

    • Update the team on the results and highlights from the previous quarter
    • Update team on plans/goals for next 90 days

The Learning

Here is some learning from our own experience, and the experience of taking our clients through this process:

Hit your targets

It’s imperative that you hit all of your Rocks every quarter. That’s the standard. It’s why they’re called Rocks.

As you first attempt to set Rocks it’s possible you might actually miss some, it’s not a perfect world and it can take a few attempts to realise the weekly focus your Rocks require. However, this is the point of doing the quarterly review. If you find yourself consistently not achieving your Rocks you’ve got a management and execution problem.

At your quarterly review you might discuss ways to ensure you are all more accountable and delivering on what you said you would do.

It’s usually a weekly meeting issue. Either you are not having your weekly leadership team meetings, or you are not being honest when you note whether Rocks are on-track or off-track every week. Both of these things are fixable.

Stick to your guns

Don’t change your goals part way through a period. If you find yourself way off track with a Rock and you can see it won’t be hit, then so be it. Leave the Rock as it is and then review why you got so far off track at the end of the quarter. A lot of businesses will change the goal if they are miles off track and so they never get to the end of the quarter and learn from whatever error they made. This is no good.

icon__0014_targetStay on target

Like everything else in running your business, this process is simple, but not always easy. Disciplining yourself to conduct the review at the end of each quarter is the first step. Being honest about what’s working and what’s not is the other key.

As we move closer to the end of the first quarter, I recommend scheduling some time for yourself and the key decision makers in your business to sit down and follow this quarterly review process. It’s powerful stuff.

Let me know how you go.

“If you find yourself missing your quarterly goals you’ve got a management and execution problem.”



  • Hidden

0 comments to " Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself "

Leave a Comment

Want to know the secret weapon that the best Financial Planners have in their arsenal?

Sign up and you’ll receive my weekly blog straight to your inbox. (You can unsubscribe any time; we won’t be offended, but I don’t think you’ll want to)

Subscribe to Newsletter and Next Level Freebie - Blog side bar (AC)

  • Hidden

ABOUT BRETT DAVIDSON When you work with FP Advance you work with me, Brett Davidson, directly. My motto is ‘advise better, live better’ and I practice what I preach. I’m straight talking and get to the heart of an issue quickly. There’s no beating about the bush, just a focus on helping things improve. Ask my clients – what I teach works.