How Do You Know Which Way To Go? (Forecasting 101)
You can't know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. I’m sure someone must have said that before, I just don’t know the author of such a pearl of wisdom. In planning for a new year it is important to look back at least at your last two years of results and the overall position of not only your business, but your industry as well.
If you ask a business owner, “How much do you expect to grow your business by this year?” They may not have a logical answer. Sometimes people pluck a number out of thin air. 10% always sounds like a safe, nice, round number. But where did they get that number?
If you say you want to grow your sales by 10% this year and you operate a medicinal and/or recreational cannabis business in Massachusetts you may be using a little too much of your own product. The industry as a whole is expected to grow so dramatically that even the most poorly run operation should grow by many times that number.
If you say you want to grow by 10% and you sell typewriters (not the classic collectibles) you’re probably setting yourself up for a huge disappointment.
A quick rule of thumb is to look over at least your last two years of sales results. Identify your largest accounts and those with the most potential to grow. Set an objective and devise a plan with real action steps to get you to those numbers. Sprinkle some industry knowledge on top and you’ve got the recipe for a successful year.
These are just the basic concepts, but implementing them now can produce big dividends down the road. It's up to you if the road is made of yellow bricks.