Entrepreneurs

Council Post: 11 Smart Ways For Leaders To Assess Accomplishments Each Quarter

One of the best ways to keep a business innovative and growing healthily is for leaders to set tangible goals for their teams. To motivate teams to accomplish these goals, it helps to assess the progress toward meeting them on a quarterly basis. This way, at the end of every quarter, they can look back together, track how far they’ve come, see what still needs to happen and prepare for the quarter ahead.

To help, 11 members of Young Entrepreneur Council shared tips for assessing accomplishments at the end each quarter so that you can plan or revise strategic goals, gear up for the next one and keep your company on course.

1. Look At The Hard Numbers

Sales goals are important and should be adhered to, but things happen. No one planned for the pandemic. It affected our customers, which affected our business and our bottom line. Quarterly meetings are a great way to look back and adjust goals accordingly going forward. My tip is to not panic when business is slow due to unforeseen circumstances. Likewise, don’t get too excited when business is booming. Look hard at the numbers. Discuss what worked and what didn’t. Then strategize for the next quarter, the next year and three years out, knowing that you will very likely make adjustments again at the next quarterly meeting. – Jeff Keenan, LeadsRx

2. Show How Individual Tasks Contribute To Larger Goals

Every quarter, we set up rocks at the highest level, then break those rocks down into separate deliverables and timelines for different departments. We break them down further for different teams and, ultimately, individual employees. All teams review their goals either weekly or monthly, depending on several factors. They analyze their to-do items, issues and solutions to ensure that all individual goals are met. Regardless of how big or small an individual goal may be, each employee understands how it contributes to the overall organizational goals. This empowers them to prioritize their work and achieve their objective. Each quarter ends with a review. New rocks are set for the new quarter, and incomplete tasks from the previous quarter are carried over. – Liam Martin, TimeDoctor.com

3. Measure Both Revenues And Costs

Measure more than revenues; measure costs as well. Many measure revenue but are not looking at the full picture. Are your costs increasing? How is your overall output? What are your metrics for intangibles? Many elements of a thriving business need to be measured, outside of revenue, and finding the right metrics to measure is just as important as your input and output. Audit your metrics to include costs, revenue and intangibles that can be monitored quarterly. Regarding these intangibles, engage your team and see if they would be interested in helping generate new metrics for measuring success. Healthy growth is about much more than numbers, and metrics need to represent more than dollars and cents. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

4. Break Quarterly Goals Down Into Smaller Increments

Our team works backward by setting quarterly goals and then assessing all monthly and weekly goals to be whatever will help us hit the quarterly metrics. We regroup weekly to assess the progress and whether we’re on track to hit monthly and quarterly goals. Breaking them down into smaller chunks makes the goals seem more manageable and less daunting to hit. Small wins are the fuel. I practice the same method in my personal life, especially with finances. I break down goals and regroup with myself and my spreadsheet every Friday to see where my businesses and I are, relative to my overall metrics. – Codie Sanchez, Contrarian Thinking & Entourage Effect Capital

5. Look Beyond The Quarter At The Bigger Picture

Quarterly assessments are good insofar as they fit into a bigger yet accurate picture of the future. It’s your bigger picture that determines what you decide to fine tune in your quarterly business meetings. There are important and urgent things to watch closely from quarter to quarter; and there are even more important investments that don’t need the same type of quarterly supervision because their timeline between execution and result is much longer. A good example here would be sales and marketing. Sales reps have quarterly goals that they have to achieve, so they call and meet prospects; in a couple of weeks, the prospects buy, leave or go cold. The marketing team, however, needs months to qualify leads from cold traffic as sales-ready leads. You can’t kill your seeds before they germinate. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS – Integrated Marketing Solutions

6. Consider The Return On Your Investments

Whether you spent time or money, see how much of the worth of your investments is returned back to you. At the end of the day, that’s one way to assess whether the time and money you spent this quarter are actually worth sustaining for the next quarter. It is a good way to know what kind of time and money are being wasted and figure out how to correct it next quarter. – Daisy Jing, Banish

7. Study Your Key Performance Indicators

Each quarter, you’ll want to measure your accomplishments and success using KPIs and other specific trackers. This is the only way to ensure that your business is making progress and that your conversions are increasing, rather than staying the same or decreasing. Measuring your business’s quantitative and qualitative achievements allows you to move forward and improve your current strategies. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Ask About Your Team’s Favorite Work-Related Changes

When it comes to tracking your brand’s accomplishments, it’s important to go beyond typical goal posts, such as how many new customers you have. It’s a good idea to also track other highlights. One way to do this is to encourage team members to talk about their favorite changes that have happened related to work. Getting a shoutout on social media from another brand or getting featured on a blog are also great accomplishments. Hiring new people and celebrating birthdays and work anniversaries are important too. Mentioning these in your quarterly review adds depth and meaning to your company mission and creates meaning for your employees, getting everyone to pull in the same direction. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

9. Look For Deviations From Your Usual Numbers

You need to set up a few basic KPIs that are relevant to your business over the long run. Tracking things such as the number of users, new sales, guest posts published, backlinks gained and other measurements are important. As you go over the numbers every quarter, you’ll get a sense of how to see growth that can be verified. This is also helpful for your team, as they’ll have goals to meet and will know what they need to do. Any significant deviation from your usual numbers can give you a clear idea that something’s off-course. And knowing this, you can dive into areas that need support. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

10. Put It On Your Calendar

If reviewing your goals isn’t on your calendar, it simply won’t happen; so set recurring reminders to review your goals each quarter. Sometimes, these meetings may involve major stakeholders or team members. We use a variation of the methodology found in Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up to set yearly goals, have quarterly check-ins, monthly one-on-ones and weekly huddles. Each week, we meet with our part-time chief financial officer and bookkeeping team; each month we meet with our regional managers and conduct metrics calls; each quarter we report our numbers; and each year, we conduct performance reviews. Having a framework for planning and tracking progress is key to making progress toward KPIs. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

11. Have A Standing Meeting With Your Board Of Directors

For me, accountability is the best way to force myself to clearly look at my organization’s accomplishments and areas for improvement on a quarterly basis. As such, the first month of each quarter, I have a standing meeting with my board of directors. Having to present to them and share our wins and challenges ensures that I’m reviewing all areas of the organization regularly, from staff and facilities to revenue. This also gives me the chance to get regular feedback and input from outside of my team. Often, you get stuck in an echo chamber of similar voices, but meeting with outside advisors helps you see and respond through a new lens. You get the added benefit of being nimble too. If you wait until the end of the year to review your results, it’s too late to be proactive and make necessary changes. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity

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