Embarking on a startup journey is like exploring a dense and uncharted forest.
With each step, you’re threading through a maze of possibilities, challenges and fears of unknown.
For such a journey, all you need is a structured plan that help you navigate through the unknown paths.
30-60-90 day plan for startup is a such plan that is like a trusty map and flashlight—it doesn’t just illuminate the path ahead but also helps you mark out clear, actionable routes towards achieving your goals.
This plan is your guide through the thickets of uncertainty, ensuring you don’t lose your way.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through crafting a 30-60-90 day plan for startup that not only helps you navigate the complexities of starting a new venture but also sets you on a path of growth, adaptation, and success.
So lace up your boots, and let’s start this trek together!
What is 30-60-90 day plan for startup?
A 30-60-90 day plan for startup is a structured framework designed to map out the specific goals, strategies, and actions a startup intends to implement over the first 90 days of operation.
This plan is segmented into three distinct phases: the first 30 days (the learning phase), the next 30 days (the implementation phase), and the final 30 days (the growth and evaluation phase).
Each phase focuses on different priorities, allowing for a phased approach to business development and growth.
First 30 Days: Also known as the learning phase, this period is focused on orientation and understanding. It involves getting to know the business’s core operations, market, competition, and customers. The aim is to absorb as much information as possible, setting the groundwork for informed decision-making.
Next 30 Days (31-60): This phase is centered around the implementation of initial strategies based on the insights gathered during the first month. Actions might include refining the product or service, initiating marketing campaigns, or streamlining operations. The goal is to start putting plans into action and laying the foundation for growth.
Final 30 Days (61-90): The last phase is about evaluating the outcomes of the strategies implemented in the previous phase, making necessary adjustments, and planning for future scalability. This period focuses on growth, optimization, and preparing for the next stages of the business journey.
Now let’s discuss in detail what are the key tasks that need to be undertaken in each phase of 30 60 90 day plan for startup.
The First 30 Days – Laying the Foundation
The primary objective for the first 30 days of the startup’s journey is to lay a solid foundation for the business. This period is crucial for understanding the business landscape, integrating into the startup ecosystem, and preparing the groundwork for future actions.
Below are the key tasks for the first 30 days:
Familiarization with the Business Operations, Team, and Culture:
The initial week is dedicated to orientation and onboarding. This is a critical time for anyone joining the startup, whether a founder or an early employee, to deeply understand the business’s core operations.
This includes grasping the startup’s mission, vision, and objectives, as well as getting a clear picture of the products or services the startup intends to offer. Understanding the business model, revenue streams, and the market it operates in is key.
During this time, familiarizing oneself with the team is equally important. Startups often have small teams, making each member’s role crucial to the business’s success.
Getting to know each team member, understanding their strengths, roles, and how they fit into the wider business objectives fosters a collaborative and cohesive work environment.
Integrating into the startup’s culture is another vital aspect of the first week. Startup culture can significantly impact the pace at which the business grows and adapts to challenges.
Embracing the culture, values, and work ethic that the startup aspires to will set the tone for the work environment and influence the company’s evolution.
Setting Up Essential Tools and Systems:
Equally important during the first week is setting up the essential tools and systems needed for the business to operate smoothly.
This involves selecting and implementing project management software, communication tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and any other technology that supports the business’s operations.
The aim is to establish a tech ecosystem that facilitates efficient work processes, collaboration, and data management.
Choosing the right tools from the outset can save time and resources in the long run. It’s crucial to select software and systems that can scale with the business, avoiding the need for significant changes or migrations down the line.
This step also includes ensuring all team members are trained on these tools, ensuring everyone can use them effectively from the start.
Completing Detailed Market Research:
This research aims to gather insights into the industry landscape, market trends, competitor analysis, and potential customer needs.
It’s about understanding the environment in which the startup will operate and identifying opportunities and threats within that space.
Detailed market research helps in:
- Assessing the size of the market and its potential for growth.
- Understanding the competitive landscape, including direct and indirect competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and market positioning.
- Identifying gaps in the market that the startup can exploit.
- Gathering data on potential customers, their behaviors, preferences, and pain points.
Identifying Target Customer Segments:
With the insights gained from market research, the next step is to identify specific target customer segments.
These are the subsets of the market that the startup’s product or service is best suited to serve.
Targeting the right segments is crucial for the effectiveness of marketing efforts and for product development. Identifying target customer segments involves:
- Analyzing demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics of potential customers.
- Understanding which segments are most likely to benefit from the startup’s offerings.
- Prioritizing segments based on their size, accessibility, and the value they represent to the startup.
Developing initial strategies includes:
Armed with a thorough understanding of the market and clear identification of target customer segments, the startup can now develop its initial marketing and product strategies. This involves deciding how to position the product or service in the market, how to communicate its value to the target audience, and how to deliver it in a way that meets customer needs and expectations.
Developing initial strategies includes:
Defining the unique value proposition (UVP) of the product or service and how it differentiates from competitors.
Outlining key messaging and branding strategies that will resonate with the target segments.
Planning marketing channels and tactics to reach and engage the target audience effectively.
Tailoring the product or service features, design, and user experience to meet the specific needs and preferences of the target segments.
Days 31-60 – Implementation and Growth
The focus of Days 31-60 in the startup’s journey shifts towards implementation and growth. Having laid the groundwork with comprehensive market research and strategic planning in the first 30 days, this phase is about putting those plans into action.
Given below are the key tasks of this phase:
Launching Minimum Viable Product (MVP):
The MVP is a version of the product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide a feedback loop to guide future development. Launching an MVP is crucial for testing hypotheses about the product and the market with minimal resources.
It allows the startup to learn what resonates with customers, what doesn’t, and how the product can be improved before investing in full-scale development.
Starting Marketing Campaigns:
With the MVP ready, the startup begins executing the marketing strategies developed in the earlier phase. This involves:
Launching targeted marketing campaigns designed to reach and engage the identified customer segments. Campaigns might use digital channels like social media, email marketing, content marketing, or traditional methods, depending on where the target audience is most active.
Brand building activities to start establishing a market presence. This includes creating and distributing valuable content, engaging with audiences on social media, and leveraging PR activities to generate buzz.
Gathering Initial Customer Feedback:
Customer feedback is invaluable for startups, especially after launching an MVP. This phase involves:
Collecting feedback from early users through surveys, interviews, and direct observation. This feedback provides insights into what customers like about the product, what they don’t, and what additional features they might expect.
Analyzing feedback to identify patterns and common themes that can guide improvements. It’s crucial to distinguish between one-off comments and feedback that reflects a wider trend or issue.
Iterating on the product based on feedback to make it more appealing to the target market. Continuous improvement is key to staying relevant and competitive.
Days 61-90 – Evaluation and Adjustment
The final stretch of the 30-60-90 day plan, Days 61-90, is centered around evaluation and adjustment.
This phase is critical for assessing the outcomes of the efforts made in the previous two months and making strategic decisions for the future.
Evaluate the startup’s performance against the goals set at the beginning of the 90-day plan, particularly in relation to product development and marketing initiatives.
Analyzing Customer Feedback and Product Performance:
This stage involves a deep dive into the data and feedback collected from customers during the MVP phase. The startup should:
- Aggregate and analyze customer feedback to understand their experience, satisfaction, and the perceived value of the product. This helps in identifying what’s working well and what needs to be improved or added.
- Review product performance metrics, such as usage patterns, retention rates, and customer acquisition cost, against the objectives. This analysis reveals the product’s strengths and weaknesses from a performance standpoint.
Adjusting Marketing and Product Development Strategies:
Armed with insights from the analysis, the startup is now in a position to make informed adjustments to its strategies. This could involve:
- Refining the product based on feedback to better meet customer needs, which may include adding new features, improving existing ones, or removing elements that do not add value.
- Tweaking marketing strategies to improve reach and engagement, such as targeting new customer segments, adjusting messaging, or exploring new marketing channels.
- Optimizing operations and processes based on lessons learned during the initial implementation phase to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Planning for the Next Phase of Growth:
With a revised strategy in place, the focus shifts to planning for the future. This involves:
- Setting new goals for the next period, which may include targets for revenue, customer growth, product development milestones, and market expansion.
- Developing a roadmap for achieving these goals, outlining key initiatives, timelines, and resource requirements.
- Identifying potential challenges and opportunities that could impact the startup’s growth trajectory and devising strategies to address them.
Tips of Making an Effective 30 60 90 day plan for Startup
Here are some essential tips to consider when drafting your 30 60 90 day plan for startup:
1. Start with a Clear Understanding of Your Business Goals
Before diving into the specifics of your plan, ensure you have a clear understanding of your long-term business goals. This clarity will help you tailor your short-term objectives to align with your overarching mission and vision.
Consider what you want to achieve in the first year and work backward to determine what steps need to be taken in the initial three months.
2. Make Your Objectives SMART
For your plan to be effective, your objectives for each phase (30, 60, 90 days) should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART).
This framework helps in setting clear targets that are both ambitious and realistic. Specific objectives eliminate ambiguity and make it easier for your team to understand what success looks like. Measurable goals allow you to track progress and evaluate performance.
3. Incorporate Flexibility
While it’s important to have a structured plan, startups operate in a fast-paced and often unpredictable environment.
Your 30 60 90 day plan for startup should be flexible enough to adapt to unforeseen challenges and opportunities. Build in regular review points to assess progress and make necessary adjustments.
This adaptability can be the difference between sticking rigidly to a plan that’s not working and pivoting quickly to seize new opportunities or mitigate risks.
4. Focus on Building a Strong Foundation in the First 30 Days
The initial 30 days should prioritize activities that lay a strong foundation for your startup. This includes setting up key operations, building your team, and establishing your company culture. Don’t rush into execution without getting these basics right.
A solid foundation ensures smoother operations in the subsequent phases and sets the stage for sustainable growth.
5. Prioritize Customer Feedback and Market Validation
From the outset, prioritize gathering customer feedback and validating your market fit. Use the insights gained to refine your product, service, and marketing strategies.
Engaging with your target audience early on helps you understand their needs and preferences, which can guide your product development and marketing efforts. This customer-centric approach can significantly reduce the risk of developing a product that doesn’t meet market needs.
6. Develop a Detailed Action Plan for Each Phase
For each 30-day segment, develop a detailed action plan outlining specific tasks, responsible team members, and deadlines. This breakdown makes it easier to manage the workload and monitor progress.
It also ensures accountability, as each team member understands their responsibilities and how their work contributes to the overall objectives.
7. Include Metrics for Success
Define clear metrics for success for each phase of the plan. These metrics will help you measure the effectiveness of your strategies and make data-driven decisions.
Whether it’s user acquisition numbers, revenue targets, or product development milestones, having quantifiable metrics allows for objective assessment of your startup’s performance.
8. Embrace Learning and Continuous Improvement
Finally, approach your 30-60-90 day plan with a mindset of learning and continuous improvement. Each phase of the plan is an opportunity to learn more about your business, market, and customers.
Be open to feedback, willing to make changes, and proactive in seeking out ways to improve your strategies and operations. This approach fosters a culture of agility and innovation within your startup.
Remember, embarking on a startup journey is like being an explorer charting unknown territories. It’s filled with excitement, yes, but also brimming with challenges that require your wit, courage, and a solid plan in hand. Your 30 60 90 day plan for startup isn’t just a list of objectives; it’s your personal guidebook, your North Star, helping you to not just dream big but also to anchor those dreams in reality. It’s about setting the stage, taking action, and then adapting to the world as it unfolds around you. So, lace up your boots, set your sights on the horizon, and step forward with confidence.