What is a Quarterly Business Plan?

A quarterly business plan is a clear and systematic roadmap that demonstrates how a specific business firm or organization develops a logical strategic plan at the end of each quarter especially for business owners and managers who are looking for action-driven results. This plan is an effective quarterly business planning tool with the aim of accelerating the growth, >development, and performance of a new or already existing business through setting the appropriate goals and objectives for every quarter which can fit into some more.

According to a conducted statistical study, 24% of business owners made lemons into lemonade by restructuring their business model to accommodate the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic as 61% business firms developed new products or services while 51% companies and organizations donated time, products or services. Additionally, many business owners turned toward technology to combat the economic effects of the pandemic and other business owners do know what they need for their business to survive.

Thus, all kinds of CEOs, business executives, project managers, product developers, and other key individuals in a specific business firm need to effectively create a compelling and standardized quarterly business plan every quarter for the continuous development and growth of their business activities and projects.

Different Types of Quarterly Business Plans

Starting a new quarter can be exciting and fun for you and your team, but it can be complicated when it comes to having different ideas for what you should concentrate on. Deciding what to achieve can take up so much time that your team wasted lots of hours on what all of you should need to actually do. Wayne Chirisa said: “Every effective winning strategy is mapped out by focusing on the desired end goal.” So, you need to focus on your desired end goal while making your quarterly business plan. There is nothing more significant to every business management team than planning. Without a strategic plan, there is no business; without business, there are no customers. That’s why strategic planning wins every time. First, you need to know the different types of quarterly business plans. Read the following details carefully:

1. Quarterly Startup Business Plan

Are you planning to establish a startup business? If you need potential investors to consider funding your startup business, it is crucial that you prepare quarterly business plans. Quarterly business planning will help you to monitor whether you are attaining your business objectives every quarter. Also, it can help you attract new funds, identify where you are now and in which direction you wish your business to grow, reach certain key targets and manage business priorities at the end of each quarter. By adopting a continuous and regular quarterly business planning cycle that keeps the plan up-to-date, you are able to expand your chances of success in your startup business. If you have a clear vision for something unique and meaningful and a strong determination to create more possibilities in your startup, then you will need to create a comprehensive quarterly startup business plan that must be presented to prospective investors and business partners.

2. Quarterly Sales Business Plan 

What happened in the sales and operations of the business? Why did it happen and what is likely to happen now? What changes should the business management team consider or implement to influence future performance? These questions are crucial for analysis of quarterly sales results and for developing a comparison of the results to the sales plan is a time-sensitive and urgent process. It involves an in-depth analysis of external data such as competitive threats, market trends, macroeconomic risks and internal factors including historical performance, sales readiness, product roadmaps, and others. In order to help sales representatives, business project managers and team leaders need to know the business performance against their sales plan, reporting well-detailed results of sales operations on a quarterly basis. Also, the sales operations must work with other functional groups like channel sales, marketing, product and sales enablement to go through an expedited version of the typical annual sales planning process aimed on variances. Thus, creating a quarterly sales business plan is an integral strategic planning tool that business owners and managers must accomplish to assess what is working, what is not working and what feasible results will be to determine when change is necessary.

3. Quarterly Business Review Plan

Commonly known as a business review plan or an executive business review plan, a quarterly business review (QBR) plan is simply a once-per-quarter review plan with your customers which contains a thorough discussion of the business and how they can support them well. This type of quarterly business plan should be strategic rather than tactical in nature because it guides the business owners and managers to gain a deeper understanding of the future plans of customers and to strategize as to how you can deliver more value according to those critical factors. Preparing this plan helps in establishing trust which will solidify your relationship with the customer. So, consider interacting more with your customers regularly so that  you will have more time and incentive to bring a much greater hands-on approach. Remember that strong relationships are fundamental to your unceasing success at every stage of your business growth. Some advantages of creating this quarterly business plan are allowing you the opportunity to emphasize the ROI of your product, opening up transparent discussions around the overall health of your customers, and more.

4. Restaurant Business Development Quarterly Plan of Action

Some restaurant business owners are turning to preparing a business development quarterly plan of action than making a full annual business plan of action because it is a strategic approach of dissecting annual business planning into smaller parts like setting a meeting once every three months or four times per year to set goals, establish metrics and review the accomplishments of the previous quarter and points of business growth. If you want to concentrate on efficiency and maintain your restaurant management team properly on their way to hitting goals, designing a clear and realistic quarterly plan of action is an important and more convenient way to track long-term goals and objectives over a shorter period of time. Construct shorter-term plans in progress that should be checked on a regular basis. This will be easier for restaurant business owners and managers to track the progression of their restaurant business goals over a 90-day period than over 365 days of conducting an annual planning strategy.

5. Real Estate Quarterly Business Plan

Finances, transactions, social media, target audience, client relationships, marketing strategy, education and personal development are some of the primary aspects of setting business goals in a real estate business. In order to achieve your business goals as a new real estate agent, you need to maintain a transaction backlog of the deals you close and to be well-informed on what you have already done so that you are able to forecast the possibilities in the future. Use your quarterly tracker by breaking down your number of transactions, gross commission income, expenses, and profit by every quarter. Also, use historical trends you have noticed in your business so that you are able to make a proper forecast and develop your quarterly business plan. For instance, you tend to sell more in the summer season than in the winter months. This means your summer season displays more transactions and commission income compared to the winter months. Splitting your goals into smaller quarterly chunks is easier to manage and will help you maintain your concentration on what’s at hand in your real estate business.

Basic Elements of a Quarterly Business Plan

In this section, you will learn how to construct an exceptionally-written and comprehensive quarterly business plan. However, a quarterly business plan has different elements. Include the following elements for you to create a profound piece of writing:

Executive Summary: One of the basic elements of a quarterly business plan is the executive summary. It provides a brief summary of the document which highlights the quarterly goals and objectives of the business owner that will be discussed in the overall business plan. Target Market Analysis: This section is helpful in understanding the recent trends of the target market. Include comprehensive data and statistics that will disintegrate the trends and themes inside the industry. Analyze the market so that you will be able to envision your potential customers such as their buying habits and types of services they prefer and need. Quarterly Goals and Objectives: What does the business owner hope to achieve in every quarter? This is a crucial part of the quarterly business plan as it contains significant information concerning the specific goals and objectives of the business executives, operation managers, and team leaders. Operational Plan: Construct a list showing the flow of activities involved in the business firm every quarter such as the brand and product research and development, product launch, etc. Indicate operational milestones with deadlines and costs for each milestone. Incorporate the essential areas and functions that must be fulfilled in this section. ]Sales Strategy: Show how you will sell the products that you are currently developing or implementing the services that you want to provide for the people. Be clear and specific as you include your sales targets. Financial Section: Write a simple overview of your business finances. Add your quarterly business profits and loss statements, break-even analysis, and key projections for every quarter.

How to Create a Quarterly Business Plan

Based on a report, 50% Of Small Business Firms Survive For At Least Five Years, While 80% Survive The First Year. As the business competition continues to be stiff, business owners should have a positive outlook on the future while facing a wide array of challenges along the way. While creating a business plan at the end of each quarter, it should be systematic as it will give you the framework to map out the integral activities, strategies, marketing and sales plans, and other factors for every quarter. Below are some easy-to-follow tips that indicate how to create a clear and systematic quarterly business plan for your company:

  • Step 1: Conduct an In-Depth Research and Develop a Target Market Analysis

    G. Scott Erickson, the author of New Methods of Market Research and Analysis, said: “Marketing analytics suggest a different emphasis, utilizing all the information resources available to a firm in order to explore marketing-related questions… Marketing research texts still tended to center on communication-oriented research projects, especially surveys. There is an explosion in observation research evident in data collected on web behavior, social media activities, transactions and their context, geo-location tracking, and similar advances. The growth in ongoing relationships between business firms and identifiable individual consumers is covered as a significant trend.” So, take sufficient time to conduct an in-depth Research and develop a thorough analysis of your target market.

  • Step 2: Identify the Areas of Focus for the Quarter

    What are the essential areas of focus that you need to do to accomplish your quarterly Goals? Which initiatives are most urgent? If you focus on too many things, you may not be able to dedicate your proper attention to each. Some examples of areas of focus are improving sales performance, hiring and onboarding new staff, developing a brand new product, initiating a key project, elevating internal processes and improving customer service. You must further determine the impact on your business firm or organization within your area of focus. Identify the who, the what, and the when. Who will be involved? What is the bandwidth of those resources? What should happen to start working on this area of focus? When do you expect to wrap up your focus on this area? Will it extend beyond the first quarter?

  • Step 3: Determine the Strategic Position Every Quarter

    Strategic positioning is a fundamental method to promote clear understanding of how companies and organizations possess power in their respective fields in their industry. You should be able to determine the strategic position of your company every quarter to guide you in figuring out where your company or organization needs to go and how it will get to its destination that you want. Start a Strategic discussion with the business executives, project managers, product developers, brand strategist, and product marketers of your business firm to determine key strategic matters, as well as collect Data about customer insights and target market.

  • Step 4: Conduct a Review or Preview Session

    Eric Jones said: “A quarterly planning meeting sets the tone of objectives for the next quarter. It’s important to revisit annual plans and break down the goals into smaller chunks because it helps teams to review targets and benchmarks in quarterly plans. You can also recap the last quarter to identify mistakes, efforts, and achievements that will further help in deciding the best plan of action for the upcoming quarter.” During the quarterly business meetings, conduct a review or preview session on your company or organization. How did you perform over the last three months of your business’ development and how are you going to perform in the next three months? The central focus is always on efficiency and business development.

  • Step 5: Review and Execute the Quarterly Business Plan

    Carefully review your entire quarterly business plan and ensure to fully include all the crucial points in your plan. If you notice that you overlook some sections that require additional points, we recommend making some edits and revisions in the document. After the revision, you can now finally execute the quarterly business development and strategic plan for at the end of each quarter.


Why do we need quarterly strategic planning?

As a strategic plan clearly demonstrates a direction for your business to take every quarter, quarterly strategic planning will help business owners to optimize their focus in order to attain their goals and objectives. Thus, quarterly strategic planning can really help your business or organization in developing the proper quarterly goals and targets. Plus, it helps everyone to concentrate their hard work and efforts into accomplishing them carefully.

What are the key elements in a quarterly business plan that should be included?

The key elements that should be included in a quarterly business plan are overview, objectives, deliverable outcomes, target audience, sample quarterly business plan, research methods, quarterly timeline, and budget.

What are the main purposes of a quarterly business plan?

First, a quarterly business plan plays a critical role in developing effective strategy for quarterly growth and improvement. Second, it clearly measures the future financial needs of an entrepreneur on a quarterly basis. Lastly, it attracts investors like angel investors, and lenders in funding their businesses.

What is the difference between a business plan and a marketing plan?

A business plan is written with the purpose of supporting the overall growth and development of a specific company or organization. It is composed of solid business goals and objectives, strategies, financial plans, description of the products and services, operations, and many more. On the other hand, a marketing plan provides comprehensive details about the marketing and selling of products and services of a business firm.

Therefore, writing a quarterly business plan will definitely help you in elevating some elements of your business and take it to the next level at the end of each quarter. To guide you in your journey through a successful quarterly business planning, you can learn and apply the tips aforementioned here. Plus, we have included several quarterly business plan samples that you can download including simple quarterly plan examples, quarterly sales business plan templates, quarterly business review plan samples, business development quarterly plan of action templates, restaurant plan samples, real estate business plan examples, startup business plan templates, and other quarterly business planning templates and action plan samples.