90 Day Sprints

I work in 90 day sprints. What is a 90 day sprint I hear you ask? Put simply, each quarter I take 3 days out of my business to work on my business. The time is used to review what I have been doing and assess what is working and what isn’t working. It is also used to plan what it is I want to do next. I then I apply all I have reviewed and worked on over the 3 days to the next 90 days and repeat this process quarterly.

While fast paced, this model of working has been an absolute game changer for me. It is so easy as a small business owner to get caught up in the day to day working in your business when there is a very big need to work on your business in order to be able to grow it.

I find that physically removing myself from my business is the best way to tackle the 3 days away from my business. Unfortunately, being physically around and available will often distract you from the “working on” the business and pull you back to “working in”. If you don’t have the capacity to physically remove yourself, perhaps try to block time in advance and advise staff and family of your intentions to help minimise distractions.

Where you place these 3 days (or however many days you can manage) within in the year is up to you. I know some people like the idea of aligning these sprints with business quarters as it allows them to also take time to do the behind the scene administration that is required to keep your business afloat (i.e. BAS, tax etc), therefore holistically approaching their overall business planning. I deliberately steer clear of these times, as that’s when I find client work is at its heaviest. It will vary for each business.

The 90 days will generally allow you sufficient time to test your offering and how you have packaged it to your client.

If it is successful (and you will need to have your own pre-determined measures for success in place), great! You have a new offering for clients.

If it fails it is usually for one of three reasons:

1. You didn’t provide enough value for people to think it was worth it
2. You didn’t sell it very well or
3. It wasn’t the right time for the market.

To me failure is no big deal, you ditch what doesn’t work and you move on. There may be time again in the future to test again at a more appropriate time when you have had time to review and reconsider. Sometimes we have an idea that we think is great but for whatever reason the market doesn’t agree, and it is a flop. The beauty of taking time out to review and asses is that you are able to kill off these ideas and take time to recreate something that the market will want/need instead.

However, in saying the above, there is no hard and fast rule about the 90 days. In some cases, the 90 days may need to be extended. For example, I launched Thriving Women Perth. As Perth is a completely new market to me and I am not based there, I have allowed some extra time to enable me to develop the connections and audience I need to trial it in a fuller capacity. Realistically I will most likely allow a full year before I make a decision on this particular program. But for most of my Melbourne-based programs and packages, as this is where I am located and I already have an existing audience, 90 days is generally sufficient for me to test the waters and have an idea if it will be successful or not and be able to make a call accordingly.

I encourage all small business owners to take time out of their business to work on their business. For me the benefits of doing so have been absolutely vital;

  • It has kept my business fresh
  • It has allowed me to try new ideas (and quickly cull them if they weren’t working)
  • It has allowed me to pivot when ideas are not working or when a need in the market changes

If you would like to know more about how this works; you would like some clarity in your business; or if you would like to meet me, see below links on ways to work meet/work with me:

Lunch with the Queen

Clarity session

Be enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic every day.

Em x

Looking for something else?

Emma also has a podcast.