Does planning feel like a game of chess? You’re not sure what your next move should be? And no matter what move you make you wonder if you’re walking into a trap! You’ve completed your plans for 2018 in a neat document and it’s filed away on your computer unopened ever since. Day to day stuff has now taken over and you’re busy working away. Here are 5 moves to help you to learn to live your planning.
1. Plan it!
- Set aside time once a month to review your planning docs.
- The end of the month is a good time as you can review progress for that month.
- Put it in your diary at a time that suits you and block off the time.
- Treat it as an appointment with yourself.
- Make it a regular date, e.g. last Friday of the month at 3pm.
2. Review your sales
- Fill in your sales planning doc with the sales for this month.
- Did you meet/miss/exceed your targets?
- Will his effect your sales for next month? If so adjust them.
- Does this effect your buying for next month?
3. Review your finances
- At a minimum, review your cash flow to date and forecast.
- Review your income and expenses docs making sure all is accounted for.
- Review your monthly management accounts, if you have them.
- Book a call with your accountant to discuss any issues.
- Use this real time information to help with your sales planning as above.
4. Review any other key metrics for your business
- What is key for your business?
- Other key metrics could be:
- Online sales
- Stock inventory levels
- Staffing numbers vs sales levels
- Sales per sq. ft.
- Average Transaction Value
- Social media engagement
- Customer Relationship Management
5. Plan Review Do
I love this image because it is so simple. This circular action shows the ongoing process of planning and how it is not a stand-alone activity. It is only effective when you review your plans and then put the outcome of that review into practice.
I hope this has been helpful to you. Writing about it has made me think again about my own planning and review process. I will be making my appointment with myself to work ON my business as well as IN my business.