It's Q2 already! Do you have a plan in place for your sub box business? Having a plan can make the difference of actually making money with your business...or losing it. Schedule a quarterly CEO meeting with yourself and use our framework for your meeting agenda.
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So you wanna launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball. And I'm Renee Gonzalez, your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs wanting to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some fun. hey everybody and welcome back to Subscription Box Basics. I'm Julie and I've got Renee with me and we are back from spring Break and it is the new quarter. Like, can you believe that, Renee? I cannot believe it. I feel like a broken record. P, we always say this, but the year is just flying by already. I know. Even my daughter who's in middle school said that, she said, I feel like everything's going by so fast right now. And I was like, welcome to adulthood.. Yep.. So today's topic is about planning, but this isn't just your normal planning. We're gonna talk about quarterly planning. Because it's the beginning of a new quarter, and guess what? We have some great resources to help you prepare for the quarter and to reflect on the past, and I cannot wait to share this framework with you guys. So we're gonna do that today, and we are going to also give you a link so that you don't have to write down all the notes. You can just print this little p d f out and you'll have it, and you'll be able to use it quarter after. So this is a topic that we recently talked with our box besties about and walk them through this exercise that we're about to walk you through. And if you haven't heard of box besties, that's our small group coaching program. You can check it out at boxbesties.com. We will be having our next cohort starting August 1st, so you can go ahead and join the wait list now. But the reason we wanted to share this is because this is their homework for next week. So I think Renee, we should just go ahead and tell our listeners, like, this is their homework as well too. What do you think? Absolutely. You all have homework within the next week to get completed. It is the perfect time. You can do this and we'll dive deeper into it, but you can do this quarter after quarter. It is important to stay on top of these numbers throughout the quarter and, this feeling and this exercise. So yeah, let's dive into. So the first tip that I wanna give you guys is do this at the end of every quarter. And the reason why you wanna do that is because you're kind of straddling the past 90 days and then looking forward to the next 90 days. But what you can do too, is put it in your calendar as an actual meeting. You wanna treat it like a meeting. It's a c e O day basically. You're gonna grab a pen and paper, you're gonna grab this printout that we're gonna give to you and go ahead and check it out. Now. It's at subscription box basics.com/plan P L a n, and just follow along with us. So the first thing in the four part framework is to reflect. So we're gonna look back on the past quarter, the past 90 days, and we're gonna look at a few things. We're gonna start by looking at your KPIs, which stands for your key performance indicators. Now, you may track a variety of things, but the basics that you absolutely have to be tracking our revenue expenses. And then obviously, you know, how many monthly subscribers or quarterly, however many subscribers you. But also audience growth. What does your email list look like? Are you growing that email list? If not, this is a good time to put that in the game plan. What else are we gonna be tracking? Take home pay. Like this is a business, not a hobby, right? So you wanna actually be paying yourself. So reflect back on the past quarters, key performance indicators, and then next I want you to look at what worked. And what didn't work well, and this is just an opportunity to kind of brain dump all those moments that you were like either high fiving yourself, cuz it was unicorns and rainbows. Or you've just, had your head on your desk saying, Ugh, because there was a dumpster fire going on in your business. We all have been there, but we wanna make sure that we reflect on those things that worked well and those things that didn't work so well. If you can't remember, simply pull out your calendar on your phone and look back at some of the things that you've done. Look back at some of the emails you sent, maybe. What are some of the trends in your business? So it's really important to reflect on that past quarter so that you can make better decisions moving forward. And pulling out your calendar is such a good tip because like we just said at the beginning of the episode, it goes by so fast and you'll reflect and you'll look back in January, seems like an eternity ago, and already you'll, look at your calendar and be like, oh my gosh, I know. Julie, you and me do that. When we sit down and we reflect on the year, or when we reflect on the quarter, we're like, who? How was that only a month ago? So it's really important to have your calendar out, to look back on your social, post, your emails, because you'll, there'll be so much that happened that you completely forgot about right from just a few months ago. Yeah, and it reminds me of when I'm doing my tax prep for my business and every year my accountant says, how many business miles did you put on? And I'm like, oh, that's the one thing I forgot to track . And then I literally go back in my calendar. I don't know why I do this. I'm gonna, you know what? I'm gonna change it this year. I'm going to start tracking it every month. I would go back in my calendar and look to see what trips did I take? Did I drive to Charlotte, did I drive to Asheville? Did where did I drive? And then I have to go in and use like MapQuest or you know, Google Maps and say, okay, how many miles was it from here to here? That's not efficient, and I'm gonna take action. I'm gonna change that right now. And you can take that exact example and use it. Reflecting back on your quarter, not just not, I'm not even talking about your business miles anymore, like your travel. I'm talking about your KPIs. What campaigns did you run? Did you have any big sales? Things like that. Take a piece of pen and paper and just write it all down right now. So then after you've done reflecting, you're gonna shift into our next part of the framework called re. Yes, so and so step number two, recalibrate. And this is really just building each part of this framework really builds upon each other. you're gonna look past at your reflection in your first little part of this worksheet, and then really start to break it down a little further and you're gonna see what can you eliminate. So look at. Some of those things that didn't work well, and you're not gonna get rid of all of them. You're gonna do one of two things to most of those things. You're gonna see what can I eliminate? What should I get rid of completely? And then what can I fix? So if there was something that didn't work well, but it is necessary for your business or it's not efficient, like Julie was mention. With her looking back and wasting so much time trying to see what miles she did, there's gonna be those things in your business that you're like, okay, I need to continue to do this, but it is so much of a time suck and it is something that I need to fix. And some of those things that you fixed may be. Simplifying it and making it easier and less of a time suck for a lack of better words. Or it can be something that you delegate and you're like, you know what? I've struggled with this long enough. It's taken enough of my time. It is not in my zone of genius. It's time for me to find someone to delegate it to. And that could be adding someone. In the role of a VA or, wherever you're, lacking or completely taking something like marketing or product sourcing, taking something that really just doesn't fill you up inside and giving it to someone who specializes in that. And I know a lot of us listening and a lot of us when building our businesses, you start off with a small team or as a solopreneur, But and I know Julie and I with our box besties had this conversation too. If, it's not something that lights you up inside and it's not something that is you're giving yourself the best of it, and that could be for your business or personal. I know I had told our box besties, I delegate I, Instacart, I get my groceries delivered. That is something that. Takes up too much of my time. I walk around, even if it's the grocery store I go to all the time. It's just it's, more efficient for me to be able to order online and get my groceries delivered. So think of things both in your business and in your personal life. This is the worksheet for that. This is the time for that. You want to move forward the next 90 days making your. Plan and everything you do as efficient as possible. So you're gonna see what can you eliminate, what can you fix? How can you simplify or delegate those things that didn't work well? And and then we're gonna keep recalibrating. I, think this is a great time too, to tell our story of. When I was first running Sparkle Hustle grow, I was running it by myself. And this was when I launched in late 2016, by May of 2017, I felt like I was drowning. And this is one of those moments where I was like, okay, this is where I need to recalibrate. And that's when you and I started working together. Renee, where I found. Customer service emails were draining me. I loved reading the good ones, but the bad ones would knock me out for the whole day. I'd be, my mindset would be shattered. And so that's when I hired you for the first time. And I think it was, I mean, what was it, like five hours a month or something like that? Yeah I think, yeah, something five, 10 hours a month. We started out slow. And just being able to delegate some of that stuff to you and man, you were so good at that stuff. And made me feel. Okay, I can hand that off. That's a scary moment. But that's part of what this whole recalibrate section is about, is if there's things that are broken. If there's things that you don't even need to do, oftentimes we overcomplicate things. So if you can eliminate something, then great. But that delegation, it can be so, so important. So let's finish out the recalibrate, Renee with the last couple, and then we'll move on to the next section called reboot. All right. Yeah, so we'll keep it going. So on that same recalibrate, the next thing you wanna do is brain dump a list of opportunities that you would like to pursue. And when doing this, we suggest just go big, like wherever your brain goes, whatever you wanna do for your business. Don't be afraid to think long term. Don't. Stifle it to the next 90 days because the next part of that is what should you shelf for later? So you're gonna brain dump all sorts of things like, think big. Where do you see your business long term? Where are you going? Why did you, what is your why behind your business? What is has not been accomplished yet? And then really start to break it down in realistically think, okay, in the next 90 days, I'm not gonna get this all done, so I'm gonna put some of this stuff off and just. Put it down on paper so you don't forget about it, and you don't come to this point next year and be like, oh my gosh, I totally forgot about that. I haven't even taken action on it. Get it in writing. But know that it is okay to say this is gonna be late 2023 or this is gonna happen next year, but really get that stuff all down on paper so you have a vision of where you're going. Love it and we give you permission right now. Not that you need it, but if you need it here, it's, we give you permission that you don't have to do all the things at once. You'll just feel spread thin that way. You probably won't be able to show up as well in the things that you are doing. So I really recommend that you shelf things for later because it makes it easier later to pick up where you left off. It gives you all those ideas and it just takes it off your plate. Like you don't have to do all the things . Absolutely. And I know like hustle culture kind of tells you a different kind of story. What do they say?, wake up in sleigh or sleigh all day and stuff? It's like you have to do that. Do the things that are gonna make a difference in your business. Do the things that are lighting you up and, shelf some of those things for later. It's okay. Absolutely. That's a, this, yeah, this exercise could go one of two ways. You could realize, oh I need to do more. But it's also okay, just like you said, to realize like, I am putting little effort or not my whole self into all these things I need to focus down on the next 90 days and really just kill it on my box sales or, whatever that is. So, Okay, so let's move on to the next part of the framework, which is reboot, which you are just gonna set your goals for the next quarter. And before we dive too deep into that, I want you to remember to set smart goals. You've probably heard that before in college or a business class or just in general. When it comes to goal setting is smart goals are specific, measurable. Achievable, relevant and time bound. And that's the perfect time too to really think about what success really means to you when you're setting your goals. You don't have to chase somebody else's goals. You're not in a race with anybody else. You just need to get really clear on what you're trying to make each month, and then you can back into your other numbers. So start with that monthly profit goal. Don't start with the pie in the sky. I want a hundred subscribers or I want 500 subscribers. Okay, that's fine if you wanna get to those milestones. But why, like what is it about that number that makes that your goal? A better way to set those goals would be to figure out first, again, what that monthly profit goal is, and then back into how many boxes do I need to sell each month to hit that goal. So that's what I want you guys to. Really think about that. And if you're not sure where to start with that, start with what is that take home pay that you need to pay the bills, like at the very least, what do you need to bring home? And then we wanna recommend that you use the strategy that Renee and I love. It's called the Good, better, best strategy. It just makes your goals kind of this more like the, like a range, like a moving target. You get really excited when you hit that good one. You start, you know, getting motivated to hit that better one. And if you can hit that best one, it's like, This huge celebration, like you hit this big reach goal, but you don't feel like if you don't hit your one goal, you don't feel completely deflated because you've set your good, better, best goals. I know, Renee, you and I do that anytime we have launches. We did that when we ran the box business. It's just, I feel like it takes a little bit of the pressure off, but it's also in the same breath, like this motivat. Totally. And I think as you march up to that, good, better, best goals celebrating each new subscriber or each new, just each new a dollar you add per box to your profit margin. If you really take the time to celebrate all the little wins that lead up to the big ones, it fills your bucket so much more as you're getting there and really reminds you while you're doing it. Fun along the way rather than just having a, I need a hundred subscribers, but you're sitting at 57 and you're it's weighing heavy on your heart, right? So if you really celebrate each little milestone on your way to your good, better, best, it really helps keep the momentum going and helps you feel better about it too. I agree. And those, when you break something down into smaller milestones, you might wanna share that with your support system too, whether you have your own box best. Whether your family is your support system, I know that I always shared outside of my team, I always shared my goals, like these milestone goals with my daughter McKenna and my husband Kenny, and would say, okay, when we're gonna, when we hit the good goal, we're gonna do this. We're gonna go out for ice cream, and when we hit the better when we're gonna do this. And then so we'd kind of. Create these like rewards for each of the milestones. But if you do that in advance, it's just such an intrinsic motivator. So I don't know if you do that, if you share that with your family or anyone else other than me. But box besties, I know they're sharing their goals and that's what. Our homework to them was for this week is to go through this exercise and then share their goals with us next week. So if you guys nail down some like amazing goals, we would love to hear about it. You can always message us on Instagram so that we can cheer you on. Yes. Let it let us be your support system if you don't have one, cuz it makes everything so much better. Absolutely. And the last little part of our four part framework is results. And if you're looking at the worksheet or you're hearing us talk, you might notice they all start with r e cuz we love a good alliteration. Yes. We, tried to, I tried to get Renee as part four, but , so I am here as your, support system for part five. But part four is, And it is super important that you do this, like Julie said at the end or beginning of every quarter. But don't stop there. Make a running appointment with yourself. You are a C E O. You are running your business. Have a weekly date with yourself to do just this track, your KPIs that Julie mentioned. Really track yourself towards your goals and. Take time to celebrate your wins, both big and small. Because if you do this every single week, if Monday you start off your work week and you are meeting with yourself and you're seeing what worked for the week and what didn't work, you're gonna be so much more well equipped to move into that week and move into that month and move into that quarter cuz you really have a handle on your business and what's working and what's not. So if you do all of this, do not forget this part because this is so pivotal in really helping you work towards your goals and know when things aren't working and when they are, so you can really double down on what's working. Yeah, if you just look at your numbers once a quarter and something got messed up in the first month of the quarter and you let it ride out for two more months, trust me, I know how that can impact the bottom line. That's a story for another day. But if you make a mistake on something or if something's just not going as planned, then you need to be able to pivot quickly. You're a small business. You don't have layer upon layer of permissions and. You get to call the shots. So if something's not working, then you can go ahead and identify it quickly through your results and then pivot from there. So that's our four part framework. It is reflect, recalibrate, reboot, and results. And if you wanna take it one step farther, Renee so you can get the printout., you can use it every single quarter, as your meeting agenda when you sit down for that c e o meeting with yourself. that u l again is subscription box basics.com/plan. We will put it in the show notes so that you can get it. It's an instant download and then we'll also email it to you, and if you want to take it one step further, For a little bit of accountability after we email it to you. Click reply when you've scheduled out your c e o meetings with yourself for the year. Like if you scheduled those now, you're not gonna forget come next quarter or come Q4 when it's like game time and you really gotta have your ducks in a row. So hopefully this will be helpful for you guys. I know sometimes when we're solopreneurs, we don't have a team, or if we just have a small team and we're expected to lead. Having something like this printout can be such a game changer. When you plan the work and you work the plan, you can expect to see better results. And we are here for you guys. And, do not just listen to this episode. And that is it. Take action. Go to the URL that Julie mentioned, subscription box basics.com/plan. Do the work. We are here for you and we're cheering you on. It's gonna be a good next quarter for everyone. Yes. Wishing you so much success in q2. Thanks for listening today, guys, and we'll see you in the next episode. Bye bye.