Episode 44: Jennifer Denney – End of the Year Business Reviews & Planning … are We Doing It Wrong?

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My guest today is Jennifer Denney – her second time on the show! This is a relatively focused episode around the topic of business reviews and planning. She talks about her philosophy around end-of-the-year reviews and what she thinks of them.

This takes us into a fuller, more robust approach to year-round planning which takes into account a great number of things including the ever-changing landscape and team involvement. And there's something just as important as what to planning what to do – I'll keep that secret so you're encouraged to dive into this dynamic episode! Enjoy!

Jennifer Denney, Founder of Elevated Marketing Solutions and Indiana Business Owners.

Jennifer Denney is the founder of Elevated Marketing Solutions and Indiana Business Owners.  She has been in digital marketing for over 15 years and it’s an absolute passion of hers. She is very data-driven and loves to analyze data from many data points using various tools. Side note though, she also went to art school.

One of her strongest attributes is her ability to take on any challenge.  She is not unnerved by something that she has not done before.  

If you would want to connect with her on LinkedIn, be sure to tell her you listened to this podcast (so that she knows it is not a random connection invite.) You can also check out her agency Elevated Marketing Solutions.


  • Intro
  • Our Topic – End of the Year Business Reviews
  • Time of year – November is Matt’s time to look at the big rocks ..
    • What’s working and what’s not.
  • Natural to review at the end of the year.. it’s great.
    • BUT.. don’t forget daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.
    • You can’t do it once a year and then forget about it.
  • Things are moving way too fast to plan to far out.
  • End of the year – big chunks
    • Can be overwhelming..
    • Need to break down to the quarterly, monthly, weekly..
    • Need to plan for all the dots in between.
  • Matt’s idea for a product..
    • Launching it all at once would make a big splash..
    • But maybe we need to break it into pieces and launch it over the year.
  • It’s hard to know what’s going to happen quarter over quarter.
    • We need to be flexible and loose.. in case you have to change course.
    • Plan to fail ..
    • Evaluate often.
  • Making a list of what you are NOT going to do.
    • Just as important.
  • The difficulty planning to far ahead.
    • 5 years.. forget it. haha
  • Matt’s experience this year
    • Couldn’t have predicted the business we go and the direction we went.
    • This year monthly maintenance contracts became my biggest chunk of business.
    • Adjusted our plan mid-year..
  • What is the PROCESS for Jennifer to do all this planning.
    • Formal process – project management system, Asana.
    • Starts with Annual planning
      • What are the big chunks to accomplish for the year.
      • Start with what did we accomplish ..
      • A literal task.
      • Attended a conference
        • Digital Masterminds
      • Assigns tasks to her team as well – to review their work, personal etc..
      • She’s reviews her teams and hers to marry the two.
      • Choose specific dates as to what gets done when.
        • Those are turned into tasks.
        • Monthly or weekly ..
    • Quarterly
      • Broken down from annual
    • Broken into Months.
    • Weeks are less planned, but based on what’s been accomplished and what needs to be accomplished.
    • Dailies.. based on weekly goals.
    • ALL in Project Management System.
      • Tasks give you accountability
    • She has weekly 1:1s with her team.
    • How Matt does his daily planning which he didn’t think of as planning. haha
      • Daily updates from team in Trello (or Slack)
        • What did they do..
        • Any roadblocks?
      • So I’m managing the team, projects daily and weekly.
  • Getting out of the daily and not forgetting the bigger nuggets
  • Always have to spend time to work ‘on’ your business.. no matter how busy you are.
    • For Matt, weekends is for working ‘on’ the business..
  • Weekend work – a GOOD THING!
    • Less distractions or fires.
    • We don’t know how to turn it off if you are a business owner or leader.
      • Planning and strategizing.. because we like it!
    • Burn out, take a break.
    • If you are feeling energized?.. take the time to work on your business!!
  • The takeaway.

Jennifer Denney's quote

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Matt Levenhagen
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