Planning is Necessary for Success
So many businesses, and especially agencies, treat planning as something that you do in January. You put together your year plan, and that’s the last time you look at it. What you need to do is build your planning into a very simple system.
At the end of every month, check where you are relative to your plan. Then, look at where you are right now, and decide if you need to adjust your plan for the quarter. Don’t worry about the whole year. Don’t worry about two quarters. Just think about the weeks remaining in the quarter.
If you’ve exceeded or missed your goal, do you need to adjust the quarter? Look at your revenue, your profit, your client growth, your staff growth. Are you ahead? Are you behind? It shouldn’t take long. Put it in your calendar. Do it on the 30th of every month or maybe the first couple of days of the next month, after your bookkeeper has closed the books.
Once a quarter, re-forecast the whole year. At the end of the quarter, based on what happened in the first quarter and what you know is in the pipeline, re-forecast your whole year.
Take time to look at your sales, your profits, your staff growth, your customer growth, and what’s in your pipeline. Then, decide if you need to adjust things because it’s the plan that determines your actions. Without determining your actions, your plan is meaningless.
Making the plan is irrelevant. Tracking the plan is the thing that creates opportunity. Knowing where you are relative to the plan determines the day-to-day actions that you take to hit your plan.