Companies that are most likely to reach their financial goals in 2014 have already achieved them. How? The leaders have already invested a considerable amount of time planning their strategy, and putting that strategy into writing that reveals the exact financial goals of their organization for 2014. I have found from experience that companies who go through a rigorous planning process have an uncanny ability to meet and exceed their goals because they have already achieved them on paper. Additionally, companies that incorporate long term plans of five to ten years have a strong tendency to move in the direction of their long term goals and make it happen. The whole process requires discipline. It is very hard to think about a business in all phases and set smart, logical, and flexible future action plans that move organizations ahead. If you have not already gone through this process, I urge you as company leaders to start now. At a minimum incorporate the following in your plan:
- Sales/Marketing plan– Everything that follows in a future plan begins with the sales and marketing plan. Determine the exact growth percentage and sales dollar goals of your organization and the resources needed to attain those goals.
- Operating plan– Once the sales plan is set, the operating plan can be thought through and finalized. What will it take in dollars and capital to manufacture the product to be sold? Or what types and dollar amounts are necessary to provide the service offering of your company ?
- People plan– The right people in the right places is critical to achieving the sales and operating plans. You must be rigorous in your analysis of your people. They will determine the success or failure of your plan.
- Financial plan– You should have a financial plan that shows anticipated sales, operating expenses, profit/loss and cash position by month, quarter and year.
Once the above plans are in place, a monthly review of actual results versus the plan should take place throughout the year. Also, the plan should remain flexible and adjusted as necessary to account for changing business conditions to keep your organization looking forward.