How To Create A Strategic Quarterly Plan For Your Business

How To Create A Strategic Quarterly Plan For Your Business

It’s time for you to learn how to create a strategic quarterly plan for your business!

If you aren’t already utilizing a monthly CEO Day or weekly batch days, this is your sign.

One of my favorite ways to stay on track to hit all of my goals is to create a quarterly plan for my business.

It’s been a super valuable process for me so I wanted to share it with you today.

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What is a quarterly plan?

A quarterly plan is a document that outlines your goals, plans, and projections for the upcoming three months.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve become a bit planning-obsessed recently. I sell an awesome digital Profit Glow Up Planner, and heck, I even host a full 2-day Profit Planning Retreat!

This time of year, a lot of us are in hyper-planning mode. So today we will dig into a concrete framework you can use to plan for success, accordingly.

There are 7 sections I recommend including in your quarterly plan, which I’ll break down for you below.

But first, you might be wondering why you should focus on quarters instead of months or even the entire year?

Why focus on quarters?

Planning in quarters helps you see the big picture of where you’re headed without getting overwhelmed by trying to plan out a huge chunk of time (say, a year) at once.

Yes, it’s nice to have overarching business goals for the year, but planning one quarter at a time allows you to drill down on your goals, create concrete plans, and stay hyper-focused.

Side note: I love a good monthly plan, and my monthly planning process is relatively similar to my quarterly plan setup.

In your quarterly plan you’ll be pulling goals and plans from your yearly goals, and then in your monthly plan you’ll pull from your quarterly plan.

So you’re basically just breaking things down into smaller and smaller chunks as you move into smaller time periods (year → quarter → month).

How far in advance should I do my quarterly planning?

This is totally up to you, but what works best for me is sitting down to make my quarterly plan about two weeks before the new quarter starts.

So when I’m making my quarterly plan for Q3 (July-September), I’d work on it halfway through the month of June.

Keep in mind that this timing may or may not work for you.

You might personally want to make your plan a bit closer to July, but the only way to figure that out is through trial and error.

Play around until you find the timing that works best for you.

First, get your copy of the Profit Glow Up Planner, and then follow along, below!

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7 sections to include in your quarterly plan

Now for the juicy stuff. What exactly should I include in my quarterly plan?

The 7 key sections I suggest including are:

  1. Overarching goals for the quarter
  2. Special events and promotions
  3. Your quarterly content calendar
  4. Social media goals and plans
  5. Email list goals and plans
  6. Profit projections and goals
  7. Any other goals or plans you want to focus on this quarter

Ready to draft up your quarterly plan? Let’s get started!

1: Overarching goals for the quarter

I suggest choosing 3 main goals to focus on each quarter. You could maybe push it to 5 goals (I’ve been known to do that) but it really depends on how much time you have available to work on your business.

It’s always better to do less but with more intention, so choose a few big goals you’d like to knock out this quarter, not fifty. If you’ve already created some sort of annual plan that includes your goals for the entire year, you’ll want to pull from that list for this first step.

For example, if one of your yearly goals is to be interviewed on 10 different podcasts, you might set a goal to be interviewed on three podcasts this quarter.

Here are a few other examples for goals you might have in your quarterly plan:

  • Finish writing the ebook you’ve been working on
  • Launch a new product or service
  • Book 5 new clients
  • Increase your affiliate income by 30%

Of course, goal-setting is a highly personal process. It’s important to focus on the things that will have the biggest impact for your business, no one else’s, and then to set clear, concrete goals to make those things happen.

Questions to ask yourself for this step:

  1. What would I like to achieve or accomplish in the next three months?
  2. What will give me the best R.O.I. for the time I put in?
  3. Which of my annual goals do I feel most excited to work on this quarter?

2: Special events and promotions

Next, it’s time to write down any big events, promotions, or sales you want to run in the next three months. These might be live events you’re putting on for your audience, new product launches, or promotions that you’re an affiliate for.

Write all of these things down in your quarterly plan, including the dates when they’re happening. This will be super helpful in the next section when you plan out your quarterly content calendar.

Questions to ask yourself for this step:

  1. What important things are happening in the next three months that I want to promote?
  2. Are my peers hosting any fun events, sales, or launches that I know my audience will be interested in?
  3. What holidays are coming up in this quarter?

Holidays are great opportunities to host special events or sales, and to use as inspiration for your content calendar. Speaking of…

3: Your content calendar

Now it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty and start mapping out your blog content (or podcast or video content) for the next three months.

This might sound daunting, but I promise that if you use my process below, you’ll see that it’s as hard or stressful as you think it’s going to be.

The first step is to choose a monthly content theme for each of the three months in the upcoming quarter. Your content themes can be anything, and they’ll obviously vary depending on your niche.

As an example, the monthly themes I might choose for my own content are things like email marketing, copywriting tips, or sales pages.

You should definitely use the special events, holidays, and promos you wrote down in Section 2 of your quarterly plan to inspire your content themes.

For example, if you’re planning to launch a new gardening ebook in August, you’ll want your content in the weeks leading up to that launch to be all about gardening.

This will generate interest in your ebook, establish your expertise, and give you a chance to grow the waitlist for your book.

After you’ve chosen a theme for each of the three months in this quarter, start jotting down ideas of blog posts you could publish within each of those three themes. Spend at least 5-10 minutes brainstorming.

Questions to ask yourself for this step:

  1. What questions does my audience ask me about these topics? What do I see my readers struggling with?
  2. Which of my blog posts on this topic have been really popular in the past? Can I write something similar but with a fresh approach or new perspective?
  3. How can I share value while also generating interest for a special event or launch that’s coming up?

Come up with 5-8 blog post ideas for each of your 3 main content themes.

Then, select your best ideas from the list and slot them into your content calendar for each month.

Read this if you need some help writing awesome and super speedy blog posts!

4: Social media goals and plans

Next up we’re tackling social media. In this section, you’ll want to write down your current social media stats and how much you want to grow your accounts in the upcoming quarter.

You might also list your social media goals that aren’t related to numbers. Things like:

  • Post on Instagram 3 times per week
  • Do one Facebook Live per week
  • Start using Tailwind to grow my Pinterest account

Questions to ask yourself for this step:

  1.  How many new followers would I like to gain on each social platform this quarter?
  2. Which social media platforms do I want to focus on growing the most this quarter?
  3. How do I want to show up on social media this quarter?
  4. What types of content do I want to create, share, and post on my social accounts?

5: Email list growth and plans

This section is similar to the last one, only we’re now turning our attention to your email lists.

I truly believe that setting goals and writing them down is the first step towards making them happen, so you’ll definitely want to do that when it comes to your list.

Questions to ask yourself for this step:

  1. How many new subscribers would I like to gain this quarter?
  2. What opt-in freebies would I like to create?
  3. How often would I like to email my list?
  4. What types of things do I want to share with my email subscribers in my newsletters?

Once you’ve completed the email list section, we’re moving onto the fun stuff…

6: Profit projections and goals

If you’ve been making money from your business pretty consistently, you should have a good idea of how much you can expect to make over the next few months.

For this section, remember to take into account any special events or promos that are coming up. You would have written these down in Section 2 of your quarterly plan.

For example, if you’re releasing a new course soon, you can expect to have a surge in income during that month.

Questions to ask yourself for this step:

  1. How much money do I want to make from my business this quarter?
  2. What special events or promos might increase my earnings?
  3. Is there anything that might decrease my earnings?

For example, leaving an affiliate program or reducing your number of clients.

What income goals will I set to challenge myself this quarter?

If you like, you can set three goals for your income: A realistic goal, a stretch goal, and a super-stretch goal.

For example, your realistic goal might be $20,000. Your stretch goal might be $25,000. And your super-stretch goal might be $30,000.

7: Any other goals or plans

Finally, I always like to include a catch-all section for anything that doesn’t fit into the other six. So if there’s anything else you’d like to track, plan for, or set goals around, write it down in this section.

This might include things like:

  • Plans for expanding your team or hiring new contractors
  • Personal goals and plans (travel, health, etc.)
  • Goals like reducing your expenses by a certain percentage or reaching a specific number of podcast downloads

What’s next after I create a quarterly plan?

Now that you’ve written your quarterly plan, you’ll want to store it somewhere safe where you can refer back to it every month.

I keep mine in my digital Profit Planner, which you can get here.

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If you’re more of a pen-and-paper person, you could also create a written quarterly plan and pin it up in your office where you can see it. But I prefer to keep things in a digital dashboard to stay more organized.

I suggest taking a few minutes to review your quarterly plan at least once every month. I usually pull mine out at the beginning of the month to refresh myself on my goals and what I’m working towards in my business right now.

Quarterly Plan For Profit

To help you design a quarterly plan that works for you and your business, check out the Profit Planning Retreat.

This was a live virtual event I hosted, where I revealed my full, step-by-step planning system and shared behind-the-scenes looks into my actual business finances.

I recorded the sessions, so you can catch them all! Get your access here!

virtual summit Q4 profit planning retreat for content creators_

Have you ever created a quarterly plan for your biz? If not, are you going to try out this method?


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  1. This is a great resource, Chelsea! I must admit, I don’t do much planning or goal setting but I’m going to give it a try 🙂 Your template will make it super easy for me to jot down everything!

    1. Chelsea says:

      Thanks Shaylee! Let me know how it turns out and if you have any Qs <3

  2. Ahhh! You have seriously got my butt into gear for the new year already! With this post and your batching post, I’m unstoppable! ;)Starting to plan out my first quarter already! xo

    1. Chelsea says:

      Wahoo! I know this year has big things in store for you, girl! <3

  3. Sheila Joy says:

    Loved this Chelsea!! You laid everything out in a way that’s easy to understand and actionable. The questions are really going to help me when I sit down to plan. I also love the idea of stretch goals–so smart!

    1. Chelsea says:

      Yay that’s what I like to hear!! Glad you found it helpful girl, and I’d love to see your Q1 plan when it’s all finished <3

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