This second Pivot Point blog focuses on the March theme of our peer roundtables —  the Quarterly Business Review (QBR). [P.S. – Missed our first blog? Go here to learn about Growing Through Delegation.]

As business owners, we all know how critical planning is. We have to be vigilant in scanning the horizon through the expansive windshield we use to navigate and lead our company’s growth. But we also have to remember that the reflective views from our “side mirrors” hold huge value for us, too. They allow us to see how far we’ve come, confirm what’s working and what’s not, and identify what needs to shift into higher gear to gain traction. We can also get clarity on any signals pointing to a needed detour.


The road to business success is nearly always bumpy; what we want to ensure is clarity in the journey. The Quarterly Business Review (QBR) is critical for measuring progress against the goals you set in your annual plan, so you can stay focused and nimble.

In our peer roundtables this month, we looked at three primary QBR steps:

  1. Conducting a self-assessment
  2. Reviewing and share goal progress
  3. Answering key questions to keep your business growth on-track

Let’s take a closer look here…


The Self-Assessment

The four most critical self-assessment topics that rose to the top in the peer roundtable QBR discussions were:

  • How I’m using time blocking, calendaring and productivity hacks to accomplish my goals
  • How I’m using my expanded knowledge about delegation to accomplish my goals
  • How my well-being and self-care creates a strong foundation for me for goal accomplishment
  • How I’m leveraging my team, network, community and tribe to crush my goals

So my question here for you is, how are you currently doing in these areas?


Review and share goal progress

Now take each goal and assess — is the goal…

  • Fully on track, or
  • Simply in progress (moving but not fully on track), or
  • In danger

Now based on the classification, do you need to reprioritize your goals? Some decisions to reprioritize you can make on your own, but for others it would benefit you to get feedback from team members, a coach/consultant, a fellow business owner, or a mentor. This is for a variety of reasons, but the most important one is: you can only see what you can see, whereas others can highlight any blindspots you may have. What do you do when your windshield’s fogged or you need confirmation that you can change lanes? You enlist the help of others traveling with you on your journey.

For example, with the back-up of my coach, I completely re-worked my 2018 goals based on what I’ve learned and experienced in Quarter 1 (Q1). As a result, I decided to simplify some things in Q3 and Q4 this year. I don’t view any of this as a setback…it’s not that I’m throwing these goals out the window — I’m simply being realistic about my workload and my team’s workload, so I’m taking the time to identify what’s really important to move forward, and making the space to achieve that through a narrowed focus. And most importantly, my team and I feel really good about the changes we’ve made and are re-energized to finish the year strong.

Now I have 2 questions for you on this topic?

  1. Who’s your sounding board for your goals and their progress? Do you share with your team, or do you have a coach?
  2. What goals do you need to prioritize, change, or let go of (temporarily or permanently)? It’s important to remember to put the glass down!

“Be optimistic, but also realistic.”Erin Joy


Key Questions

The third critical step in the QBR process involves a number of key questions focused to keep your business’ growth on track. The four points we’ve highlighted here generated the most lively discussion and insights in our roundtables:

  • What’s changed in your business or industry during Q1?
  • How can you adjust to effectively capitalize on these changes? (See step 2, above)
  • Where and how will you keep your top three goals alive in Q2?
  • Do you need to plan a retreat to focus intensely on your goals and projects?

What became very clear in all peer roundtable discussions was a common undercurrent of finding a balance between recognizing the need to do a QBR, and not beating yourself up if you haven’t been. I want to underscore that wherever you are in this review process is perfect! The QBR offers business leaders an opportunity for growth and recalibration. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I invite you to steer clear of falling into an avoidance trap for the QBR. There truly is no one perfect way to set goals or to track them. The most important thing is doing the work.


My challenge for you:

What might serve as your business’ pivot point for expansion through the QBR and checking-in about your goals relative to your annual business plan? What will you shift?

In your challenges, remember that small and consistent changes over time add up to big change and steady growth.


Erin Joy

P.S.  – Our premier event, the Midwest Women Business Owners’ Conference, is only 30 days away. Join us at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis on May 17th, 2018 to learn more about entrepreneurial empowerment, navigating business challenges, and executing on your vision so you can better grow your business —  all while connecting with other local women business owners!