Alright, well, the fourth quarter is upon us! Q3 is over and I wanted to shoot this quick video to ask you, how did you do? Like, did you hit your targets? And do you have a good plan going into the fourth quarter? And do you have a good planning process. So I figured this would be a good time to share a planning process that has worked really well for us in our agency, we’ve kind of been doing since the inception. And it’s really helped us go from from a start up to the point where we do seven figures, we made the Inc 5000 List of fastest growing companies the last four years in a row. And so it’s worked well for us. And so I just want to share it with you. Because I find it to be one of the most powerful things we do very simple to move our agency forward.
And so at the end of each quarter, at the beginning of each year, we set targets, right, we’re really clear, we have an intention. This is where we want the business to go. This is how many clients we want to have, this is how much recurring revenue we want to earn. And then we break that down into quarter targets, we break that down into monthly targets. So ideally, at the at the beginning of the third quarter, you set some very specific goals for yourself, you set some goals in terms of how much revenue in terms of how many clients, what I want you to do, right now, if you haven’t already done it, it’s just been a couple minutes reflecting, right? How did you do? Did you hit your targets or not? Right, it’s really important that you spend a couple minutes to reflect. Because while setting goals is powerful, and it’s one of the great things that will move you forward, if you don’t take time to stop and to check in and see if you hit them or not it becomes a wasted exercise, it really kind of breaks down your belief that there’s any value in doing it. Because if all you do is set a goal out into the ether, and then you know, time passes, and you don’t check back in. It was a waste of time, right?
And so I just want you to kind of pause and whatever target you set for yourself in the beginning of the quarter, just check in like, did you sell those many clients? Did you get that revenue to where you want it to be? And if not, it’s a great opportunity just to kind of recalibrate, okay, there’s an opportunity for me to reset some intentions here and to kind of focus going forward. But if you hit it, right, and a lot of us did, if you hit that target, I want to really encourage you, you need to celebrate, you need to do something to acknowledge that and to celebrate it. Like if it was a big goal, maybe go out for a weekend on the beach somewhere, maybe you take your family out somewhere nice. It was something small, maybe buy yourself something. But what I know to be true is that what you celebrate, you get more of right, you can attract more of that into your life.
And so what a lot of us entrepreneurs, what a lot of us agencies tend to do is we run really hard we accomplish a goal. But we don’t do anything to acknowledge it. And that kills your momentum, right? Even little wins, you need to celebrate and acknowledge that progress. That’s the first thing is, you know, if you hit your targets or not, make sure that you’re you’re celebrating those and that you’re acknowledging them. And you know what, even if you didn’t hit your target, there’s probably something to celebrate, there’s something that you did, there’s something that you implemented, there’s some action that you took, and just taking a couple minutes to acknowledge the progress can shift your momentum. Because if all you think about is the negative, like I didn’t hit the target or I didn’t do the activity, or I didn’t get that project done, then it kills your motivation, it kills your momentum. And it’s probably not going to serve you well going into the into the new quarter.
So that’s the first piece. How did you do? You know, make sure you acknowledge it, make sure that you kind of work through it. And then every quarter no matter what happens, you learn things, right? Sometimes you learn something that works really well, and you want to do more of it. Other times you learn something that you try that just didn’t quite work out, right. And another thing we know to be true is that if we don’t learn from our mistakes, we’re destined to repeat them, right? So you know, quarterly, at least quarterly, you want to spend a couple minutes, maybe you know, 15, 20 minutes, just reflecting what did I learn? What worked? What didn’t? Workshop that, put it into a document somewhere so you can chronicle it. And there’s power in just thinking it through, there’s even more power in writing it down. And you can really start to figure out what works best for you in your life and in your business.
So I really want to encourage you to do that. Now from there. The other thing that we do is we always reset the story snapshot. So the snapshot is what’s the current lay of the land. And you can look at 100 different data points on this. But really, the most important snapshot in our agencies is how many clients do we have? And what’s our base recurring revenue, right. And that number is iterative, right? Some time we land a client, and the number goes up, sometimes we lose a client and it goes down. But ideally, we want that bass recurring revenue to be going up, we want the number of clients that we serve to be going up.
So you want to take a couple minutes and snapshot this. And whether you put this into a Google doc or whether you put it on Evernote, or you save it on a document that’s on your desktop, I want you to really mark this down in a place that it’s easy for you to reference. So at the end of the year, as you’re looking back, it’ll be really easy for you to see, this is where I was, and this is where I’m at now. And was there a momentum up? Or was there possibly momentum down? Really, that’s the most base thing you need to know. So spend a couple minutes getting really clear on on your current snapshot, and then shift the focus to the goals.
This is the fourth quarter, which is really kind of a fun time. You know, we start at the beginning of the year, and we have targets but it’s just it’s so far out into the future. Sometimes it’s hard to keep ourselves mentally engaged, doing the work, doing the activities. Where the fourth quarter, October, November, December, it’s really easy, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can see the finish line. And that is a great momentum builder.
So I really want to encourage you, spend a couple minutes marking down what your goals are to end this year. And you know, really, to me, the only goals that really make an impact and make a big difference are how many clients will you have? And how much recurring revenue will you have. And it’s really easy based on your current snapshot. If you’re at $30,000 per month in recurring revenue, and you want to sell 18 new clients or you want to sell 15 new clients, then by the end of the year, ideally you want to be at let’s say $55,000 or $60,000 a month in recurring, right, I want you to get really clear realistically based on your sales process based on what you’ve been accomplishing where you’re going to be, how many clients, how much recurring revenue. And from there, what are the key projects? What are the things you’re going to have to do in order to make that a reality? Do you need to roll out a new version of your website? Do you need to conduct a certain number of webinars? Do you need to make a certain number of cold outreach emails and conduct a certain number of strategy sessions. Get really clear on what those key projects are that are going to move you to the accomplishment of that goal.
And the last thing I’ll say is get clear on your KPIs, your key performance indicators. Like, to me the most important KPI when it comes to growing and hitting sales targets is how many strategy sessions are you conducting? If you don’t have 10 to 15 strategy sessions per month, even at a 30 to 40% close ratio, you’re probably not going to get the momentum that you need. So get clear on what those KPIs are. Put a mechanism in place where you can clearly track it and hold yourself accountable. And when you do this on an ongoing basis, on a quarterly basis, you can really build consistent momentum within your agency.
So I’d love to hear from you. What do you think about this planning process? Would you like me to share a document to help you kind of guide this for you, to help you track this and help you do this and start to build this momentum. If so, just type in comments “Quarterly Planning Process”, and I’ll get something over to you. Other than that, I’m excited for you. Let’s crush the fourth quarter and I’ll talk to you soon.
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I started my local internet marketing agency in 2011. We started with ZERO clients and ZERO revenue. Now, we bill $425,000 per month ($4.5 Million per year), and grow every month.
There are three keys to that kind of digital agency growth:
► Choose a niche and focus intensely on serving it.
► Position yourself as THE expert in that niche.
► Serve your niche clients better than any competitor can.
In fact, our business is growing so consistently that we have awards to prove it. We have made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing US companies four years in a row—2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.
You can watch a video where I explain how we grew our agency to the Inc. 5000 list by clicking here.