One-third of the year has flown by. By this time, it’s fairly easy to predict 2012 business results. When you have four months essentially behind you, it becomes pretty hard to move the year-to-date needle very far in sales or profitability.
Assuming that you crafted a business plan for 2012, it is a good time to rethink your plans for the balance of the year. Of course, in these fast moving times, one should be constantly changing the ship’s sails to stay on course and/or to look for new opportunities.
Here are a few things at which to take a hard look as you rethink your business plan:
- What are the discernible sales trends? What is growing and what is not? Why and why not?
- Are you accumulating cash or consuming cash?
- Have you lost or gained any key customers? If so, do you know why?
- Are any planned capital investments (including technology and people) still viable?
- Has anything significant changed with competitors?
Your list may be different, but if the year is not living up to expectations, this is a good time to figure out why and what to do about it. Conversely, if you are on track or exceeding expectations, it’s a good time to accelerate your growth plans.
If you read this far, you are probably thinking that this is just basic stuff and, “I knew that.” As I was writing this, I thought the same thing.
I decided to blog about it anyway because, in my experience running a printing business, I can reflect back on the many times I got caught up in the day-to-day and didn’t “change the sails” often enough or quickly enough to avoid a disaster. (Remember: This is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.) Nor did I take advantage of an opportunity—and there are still plenty out there.
Don’t let that happen to you.