How I Transformed My Business (And Mindset) In 90 Days
The plan you need to succeed when you transition from employee to entrepreneur
Launching a business is hard. Launching a business solo is extremely hard. The E-Myth Manager Revisited explains that it’s because you go from being the Technician — a technical expert in your field to an Entrepreneur — a business owner. No longer are you trading your knowledge and expertise for a salary; you’re doing everything from planning, marketing, sales, retention, budgeting, hiring, pitching and lots more.
All this multitasking (and doing things for the first time) is a lot to be responsible for, and learning how to dedicate enough time to all of it can be challenging and overwhelming.
If you’ve done any start-up training or if you have a mentor, you likely have a 12-month, three year and possibly even five-year business strategy. These are important when building because they give you things to work towards and goals to hit. However, according to Parkinson’s Law, the longer you give yourself to do something, the longer it takes.
“Simply put, Parkinson’s law means that if you allocate 8 hours to complete a certain job it will take you exactly 8 hours, even if the task can be done in under 4 hours.”
With your 12-month, three and five-year plans, it’s tempting to start fantasising about that massive house we’d like to buy or the fancy re-brand we envisage having because it’s so far away, we imagine that we’ll have it all figured out by then.
Introducing the 90-day business plan
When I first launched my social media and podcast agency in January 2021, I had all these grand ideas of what I would achieve in my first year. Fast forward to September, and wow, the time has flown, and although I’m proud of the things I’ve achieved so far, I am barely scratching the surface when I look at my 12-month strategy.
Because actual paying work comes first, I drop my internal strategy plans when a meaty lead comes in, going right back to being the Technician role I mentioned earlier. Putting off the 12-month strategy is easy because I still have months left until the end of the year, right? I’ll find the time to make my website more SEO-friendly and set up that monthly newsletter another day. Wrong. I learned that another day means another distraction, and things never get done.
So to hold myself more accountable and break all of my tasks into a more manageable and linear timeline, I built a 90-day action plan. It works as follows:
Make a list of where your business is right now.
- How many active clients or customers do you have?
- How many leads do you have?
- Are you happy with your current marketing endeavours? Go into a bit more detail for each part.
- Social media
- How much of your budget have you spent?
- What challenges are you facing?
Where would you like your business to be in 90 days?
Tip: don’t think of this like three months; think of it as 90 days specifically. So, if I start my plan on the 30th of September, my 90 days will take me to the 29th of December. Put this in your calendar.
In 90 days, where would you like your business to be?
- How many new clients would you like?
- Would you like to launch a regular business podcast?
- How many new leads would you like to have within this time?
- Would you like to increase engagement or exposure on social media? If so, detail those key performance indicators so you can track your progress.
- How many new subscribers would you like to have?
- Would you like to be stronger in one particular area, e.g. your website ranking on Google?
Now it’s time to detail how you’re going to get there. Do you want to launch a business podcast?
It’s time to work out precisely what steps you need to take during the next 90 days in detail:
- Set a budget for equipment
- Set a budget for branding and marketing
- Build a show calendar
- Determine availability of guests and resources
- Set up training for guests
- Set up distribution networks, e.g. SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts
- Write and build podcast page on the website
- Establish podcast name and tone of voice
- Agree show format, duration, hosts, guests
- Will you be showcasing full or partial episodes via YouTube?
- Build a plan for podcast cross-promotion on all other marketing channels, e.g. email, website, social media
A key thing to remember
Don’t spread yourself too thin. As you can see with the podcast example alone, building anything from scratch is a lot of work. You may decide to invest this time in one thing and do it thoroughly during that time. This is important if you already have active clients or a team you’re leading, you only have so much energy to invest, ensure you do so wisely.
A quote I use when building a social media presence for clients is
“It’s better to have an amazing presence on one channel than a rubbish one on many”.
This is good advice for all business endeavours and reminds me of another quote I also say a lot:
“Behave like you’re established, and you soon will be!”
This means spending time working on what matters most from the perspective of your key demographic.
This plan has completely changed my mindset and my working pattern, and I’ve become obsessed with my 90-day plan and look at it every day. Even though 90 days might seem like an extended deadline, it’s a lot shorter than 12 months.