How to Create a Quarterly Plan That Completely Changes 2016

by Dana Detrick-Clark

How to Create a Quarterly Plan that Completely Changes 2016

Was the first quarter of 2016 everything you’d hoped for your business? Did you set lofty goals, without considering the expenses you’d be starting the year out with, and now you just can’t get back on top of your finances or your motivation?

It’s not too late to start again, only this time with a rock-solid plan that will garner the results you need to completely change 2016.

Grab five sheets of paper and let’s get creative!

Page 1: Title this one, “MY DREAMS FOR SECOND QUARTER”.

Let your imagination run away with you as you list the biggest and most elaborate goals, possible or not, that you’d love to see happen this quarter. This can be anything from dream clients, big budget projects, being sent to exotic locations, acquiring your ideal space to set up shop, or amazing new gear. No fantasy is too big for this section. It’s purely creative visualization material, so remove all confines of space, time, or finance.

Page 2: Title this one, “MY GOALS FOR SECOND QUARTER”.

Here’s where we get a little more precise and practical. If you think it’s realistic that you will be finding a new locale this quarter add this to the list. If it’s time to upgrade equipment or rebrand your website, add that to the list. If you know social media needs to start playing a bigger role in your marketing, and are aware of what networks you need to be part of, add that to the list. You get the picture.

Page 3: Title this one, “DEFINITES FOR SECOND QUARTER”.

If you already have clients booked or a project in production, add this. If your social media marketing is in action and will continue with little change, add this. It’s very positive after seeing everything you want to happen, to see a list of everything you’re already accomplishing.

Page 4: Title this one, “TIMELINE”.

This is where pages 2 and 3 start to come together.

List the three months in this quarter with spaces in between (drawing them as boxes also works). Be precise in noting your page 3 items. You may want to add your page 2 goals in a different color. Seeing your plans laid out this way will help you visualize your goals in a clearer way, so don’t be afraid of adding as many details as you can.

Page 5: Title this one, “BUDGET”.

List your resources, from the balances of your accounts to available credit. List your expenditures, from the big things like memberships and leasing for your business, to small incidentals around your office.  If you’ve already had an active balance sheet for 2016, it will just be a matter of transferring that information over.

If not, his may be a big change for you – if you’re a freelancer working from home, you may not see that portion of your mortgage or rent as being a business expense (but it is!). Now is a good time to move your awareness toward separating these things.

Break it down as much as possible. Quarterly incoming/outgoing can give you an idea of the big picture trends, but weekly is even easier to manage and tweak.

Now you’ve created a better system of self-management. You know where you are starting from, what you want, and what resources you have to accomplish it.

What do you do with page 1? It’s good to take an assessment of whether or not we’re really pursuing our passion. Our dreams may seem lofty next to goals and definites, but If page 1 is drastically different in subject and emotion than pages 2 and 3, then perhaps this exercise will tell you where you need to assess your life. And that, in 2016, can change everything.

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Dana Detrick-Clark has made it her mission to help creatives and small businesses like you broaden their reach in less time and with less effort. How does she do that? By providing premium content, creative consulting, and marketing confidence. Contact her today at


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