Make Planning Adjustments NOW for a great 2010!
With 25% of 2010 gone, now is the time for you to review your operating plan and see what changes, if any, need to be made. Although this has been a rough year so far, all of the folks that I talk to tell me that things are going somewhat better than 2009. That being said, now that the first quarter of 2010 is gone, let’s review the operations plan and make changes for the next 3 quarters.
I trust that you developed an operations plan in December 2009 for 2010. Assuming that to be true, by taking a review of your firm’s performance in Jan/Feb/March 2010, you have some idea of what changes you need to make. For instance, you may wish to increase product forecasted sales if indeed you did experience a sales increase in Q1. Analyzing each of the various product categories to determine how each category contributed to your overall sales process. In some cases, you may need to reduce expected sales, in other cases, you may need to increase those forecasts based upon Q1.
As we continue throughout the year, watching the plan and making quarterly adjustments will allow you to “come in on target” by December 31. After all, now is not too early to be planning for the fall season. Although your business may not have a seasonality component in it, i.e., a clothing store that has winter clothes, you still need to determine what you expect the businesses performance will be based upon the data collected in Q1.
Most of our clients and many business people that I talk to, throughout the region and the country, are telling us that business has picked up. In some cases, the pick up has been substantial, in others, a moderate amount, but an increase non the less. We would not suggest that you reduce anything that you are currently doing, if anything, probably increase the marketing effort to try and make up for part of last year, 2009.
Managing the plan, increasing your marketing and watching the till are the key measures needed to insure a profitable 2010.