Friday, September 21, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

End of Year Planning Time is Here

The famed return flight of the swallows to the chapel courtyard in Capistrano is celebrated in both art and song.  Each year, their return heralds a new season, a reawakening of life, a mark in time.  Similarly, the desks of distributorland experience a similar return sometime each November or December.  It’s the late afternoon flight of the planning sheet.

Most of our brothers in the wholesale trade compare planning more to the annual reappearance of buzzards in Hinckley, Ohio than the romantic fluttering in Capistrano.  And some distributor folk would rather watch buzzards circle over their sun-blistered body on a Mexican fire-ant hill than face the planning beast.  Truth is: very few people like end of year planning.

If you hate planning, this article isn’t going to change your mind.  Instead, let’s just say it’s a necessity of good business.  And, in turbulent times (like today), a strong annual plan is critical to success. 

We believe that if you break end of the year planning into 6 easy to stomach steps, it’s easier to handle and possibly even a little more fun.  Along the way, you may even discover the quality of your work improves.  Over the next few weeks, we’re going to walk you through the half dozen things we feel are important to end of year planning.

Some of you insist on knowing what these points are so here’s a sneak peak. 

1)      Sales Forecast

2)      Detailed Expense Budget

3)      Employee Enhancement

4)      Marketing Initiatives

5)      Manufacturer Relations

6)      Technology

One thing we promise you will notice as you move through this series of articles is the ever present thoughts around targeting and the measure of value.  Here’s why.  We’ve already said we have better things to do this time of year.  If the activity doesn’t impact our business, let’s head off for some Holiday Cheer.

Distributor Planning Made Easy.  Check out our Distributors Annual Planning Workbook:

1 comment:

Steve Dilts said...

Hi Frank-- I can't think of anyone else who could wrap "sun bleached body on a fire ant hill" and "holiday cheer" into the same article! Good stuff, and looking forward to the rest of your series.