When you’ve decided to make a change or kick off a project, it’s easy to want to dive straight in and get started. After all, looking ahead is the right way to approach things; you can’t change the past.

I used to work with a company that used to make quarterly marketing plans and against each campaign they’d put the target number of leads, opportunities and revenues. They would do this every quarter, but they would never look back to the previous quarter to see how they actually performed against target. They would sweep things under the carpet and move forwards.

Before you start, you need to measure where you’re starting from. Sounds super obvious, doesn’t it? Yet, not enough companies do it. Sometimes they can’t measure the key things, other times they can’t be bothered.

Knowing where you’re starting from allows you to review and measure how far you’ve come at a later date. Instead of drawing up a plan every quarter, figure out how successful the last quarter really was. Then you have the information you need to learn from it and make a better plan next time.