December should be your planning month to prepare for 2013 and maximize your opportunity for success. Planning, forecasting and goal setting are critical to any company, large or small.
CEO Advisor, Inc. works with CEOs and business owners of small and mid-size companies on strategy, growth, business planning, sales, sales management, marketing, funding, mergers and acquisitions and the key to a successful year is strategy and planning. Conversely, if you are not committing time and focus on planning, forecasting and goal setting for the upcoming year, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.
Planning doesn't mean just updating a brief business plan and going back to your daily routine. Business planning is a critical aspect of your business that enables you to rethink, adjust, plan, research, strategize, prioritize, focus and allocate resources to your largest opportunities, while minimizing wasted time, energy and resources.
Planning takes discipline, expertise, the ability to strategize, update and mobilize around a focused effort. Execution is the follow-on implementation of your 2013 Plan in a well thought out, concentrated effort. If you are not executing on your Plan, you are wasting time and money, missing opportunities, flushing valuable resources and causing irreparable harm to your company, many times on a permanent basis.
Creating a monthly financial forecast of Sales, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS or costs directly related to providing your product or service), Gross Profit (Sales minus COGS), Gross Profit Margin (Gross Profit divided by Sales), Expenses (Overhead), Net Profit and Net Profit Margin (Net Profit divided by Sales) is paramount to effectively running your business.
Additionally, a financial forecast enables you to compare your actual financial results to your forecast, proactively make needed adjustments to your business, eliminate wasted time and resources, increase gross margins and maximize your profits.
Without a monthly forecast, you are flying blind throughout the year with no metrics or financial goals. This, again, will have you leaving a lot of money on the table that will never be recovered. Forecasting is a straight forward process and a key part of planning for the new year that can be one of the biggest drivers of success and profits.
Goal setting should entail all aspects of your business including, a) Company goals, b) Management goals, c) Employee goals, d) Financial goals, e) Sales goals, f) Sales per Employee goals, g) Gross Profit and Gross Profit Margin goals, h) Net Profit and Net Profit goals, i) Optimizing Financial Ratios and others measureable goals to grow your business to the next level.
Without setting measurable goals, you and your employees may spend the majority of 2013 going day to day in a constant cycle of reactive tasks instead of proactively focusing on and accomplishing your goals, executing on your Plan, and maximizing sales and profits.
When I meet with CEOs of small and mid-size businesses throughout the year (and I meet with approximately 200 of them annually), they typically cannot answer the simple question, "What are your goals for this year?" They throw out short answers such as, "Grow the business", or "Sales", but cannot go beyond this and answer the question distinctly with their four to eight primary goals to drive their businesses forward.
This is due to a lack of planning, forecasting and goal setting and is a major deterrent to success and profits. CEO Advisor, Inc. provides expertise and experience to quickly and effectively assist you in planning, forecasting and goal setting for 2013. For a free initial consultation, contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO at 949-759-8676 or email MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com.