Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding & portrait photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!

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Quarterly Planning System for Creative Entrepreneurs

March 31, 2020


For the longest time, I took things in my business on a month by month basis! I think a lot of people start out this way but today I’m walking through 3 reasons why you should consider switching to quarterly planning instead of monthly or yearly planning for your business! I love quarterly planning because it allows me the opportunity to refresh or even have a clean, fresh start in business on a quarterly basis so that I can better adjust to how life is going rather than sticking to something that I set at the beginning of the year and going full steam ahead without reevaluating whether that is still the best path! I don’t necessarily entirely rework ALL of my yearly goals but it does give me a second to pause, think and consider whether this is something that I do TRULY still want to pursue.

Three Reasons to use Quarterly Planning in your Creative Small Business

  1. Your income fluctuates by season

    If you’re a creative entrepreneur that works in the wedding industry, chances are your income is seasonal. That means that what you’re pulling in in the spring is going to look different than in the fall! Our income very much so varies depending on if it’s engagement season or not!

    I love using quarterly planning because this allows me to better understand how my income is going to be coming in on a quarterly basis and account for the fluctuation! You might make WAY more in Q1 than you do in Q2 and that’s totally ok! I encourage you to break down your yearly income goal into quarters and make sure that you weight some quarters more heavily than others based on your own numbers. Take a look at last year and see how much you brought in for each quarter to help you set goals for each quarter in 2020!

  2. Breaking down goals into quarterly increments allows flexibility

    Things in business change, quickly. Some things work and others don’t and I think it’s on us to be evaluating what works and doesn’t and to lean into our strengths as business owners!

    Re-evaluating my goals on a quarterly basis allows me the flexibility to pivot and go in a different direction if my passion is leading a certain way or to tweak things as I go each quarter rather than worrying about the yearly outcome.

    It’s also much easier to break a large goal down into quarters and to take things at chunks at a time. Studies also show that it’s best to really go after a goal for a 90-day period! Plus, it makes it more realistic when you’re shooting for a more immediate outcome rather than saying you’ll get to working on a goal at some point this year.

    If you would love to hear more of the in’s and out’s of how I implement this in my own business, be sure to hop on the email list below to get bi-weekly practical photography business education sent straight to your inbox!

  3. It gives you the chance to reset & start fresh each season!

    I’ve always been someone that thinks about LIFE in seasons! Your business and your life are never completely separated and switching to a quarterly system allowed me to account for seasons of life that I knew were going to be busy to adjust what I was doing in business. And vice versa, seasons of business that I knew were going to be a little bit crazier to adjust my expectations for life! I now take a more holistic approach to planning things for my life and business at the same time rather than separating them out. When I sit down to plan the quarter I’m looking at both of them at the same time. I use a tool called Powersheets to do this as well as practically using The Productivity Zone’s Fresh Start Systems to give my business & life a thorough decluttering each season rather than trying to tackle a huge mess at the end of a year!

If you’re thinking of switching to a quarterly planning system in your business but aren’t quite sure where or how to start, definitely reach out with any questions that you have at manalisontakkephotography@gmail.com.

If you’d love to dive deep into this topic to help plan out your business goals, then take a look at mentoring sessions, they might be just what you’re looking for! These are perfect if you want to be re-inpsired, dream big for your business but also put pen to paper on how to make those dreams a reality! We’ll work together to put together a plan that’ll get you started in the right direction as well as accountability to keep you on track as you start implementing it and help you tackle any roadblocks that come your way.

If you’re not quite ready for a mentoring session but would love to hear more of the in’s and out’s of how I implement this in my own business, be sure to hop on the email list below to get bi-weekly practical photography business education sent straight to your inbox!

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