This week, we see more changes; some schools and outlets re-opening, a relaxation of meeting up in open spaces, and (one we’re particularly excited about) the Premier League is set to restart in a few weeks!
On the football theme, it reminded me of a quote from Alex Ferguson, that is very timely right now:
‘We never lose, we just run out of time.’
I say it’s timely, because we’re now already 6 months into 2020. Of course, none of us could ever have predicted the 2020 that we’re having, but time doesn’t stand still.
One area we focus on is Forecasting – starting with the end in mind and working backwards.
Please answer these questions (honestly):
- 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 actually 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 taking action 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 some kind of measures in place to determine how far on or off target it is, these are your:
- Alerts– which are 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!
Investor | Business Mentor at Advocate | Author of I don’t work Fridays