Updated: Nov 9, 2020
One of the most challenging disciplines for entrepreneurs and small businesses is strategic planning and revenue forecasting. Many things make planning hard, not the least of which is fighting the fires immediately around you. In revisiting your strategic plan, step outside the current madness for a minute, and consider this.
Start your blueprint back at the beginning.
Many strategic planning efforts are “save as” versions of previous years. You may calculate a nominal change in the percentage of growth or perhaps forecasting for a flat or decreased year, but your activities remain the same. It’s not enough to move your financial targets without reconsidering the world and your new place in it.
Start with a blank page this year and go back to the fundamentals:
Is your industry or category growing, treading water, shrinking, or potentially becoming entirely obsolete? If your answers are the latter options, you may need to reinvent your business.
Who are your key targets and customers? Not the ones that bought from you in 2019, but rather the ones that will be spending money in 2021.
Are they increasing or decreasing their spending on what you do?
Are they increasing their spending in other product categories or support that you could offer but haven’t been promoting?
Does your staffing/resource plan map to your sales/revenue plan? For example, if you do tech support or managed services, are 80% of your techs trained in a system that isn’t in demand while the other 20% are overloaded with requests? Can you cross-train them to open up your bandwidth for services that are in demand?
Are your sales opportunities one-time deals or ongoing recurring revenue propositions? If your immediate opportunities are one-time only, are you leveraging contractors and strategic partners for these rather than staffing with full-time employees who will be without something to do in 3 or 4 months?