Your Half-Year Check-In
If we go back 6 months ago…
Are you where you thought you’d be right now?
- How is your 6+6 forecast going (i.e., your 6 months of actuals and 6 months of forecast)?
- Are you on track to hit your targets?
- What are you planning to do to get back on track?
It’s likely some of you won’t have this information to hand, nor even know where to start (because you haven’t started).
Some of you will know where to go to get the information from, will quickly review it, then bury it away again until November and hope for the best.
A few of you will know your EXACT current position. You’ll be aware of any issues because your business has already alerted you to these, and you’re acting to catch-up.
Whichever one you fall into, it’s not too late, help is at hand!
For any business to understand where it is, it needs measures in place to determine how far on or off target it is, these are your:
- Alerts – activities leading to outcomes such as leads or enquiries.
- Alarms – the outputs themselves: profit, gross margin, sales numbers.
If you’ve not already done so, it’s paramount you have a rolling (not static) 12 month Forecast Plan that gets reviewed and updated every 13 weeks:
- 3 + 9 forecast shows 3 months of actuals and 9 months of forecast.
- 6 + 6 shows 6 months of actuals and 6 months of forecast.
- 9 + 3 is (you’ve got it) 9 months of actuals, 3 months of forecast.
At each month end its good practice to track your performance against the forecast to see if you’re on track.
As the year progresses, the forecast for the year should become more accurate the more it comprises actual months and fewer forecast months.
By making this routine, everyone will be united and focussed on the end goal.
And you’ll never miss target – you’ll just run out of month!