Why I love a good plan.............
The end of the year is still a few weeks away [though by the amount of Christmas adverts on the TV at the moment you wouldn’t know….], I always like to have my plans for the new year, done and dusted by the middle of the month. So today I’m taking a good look back at the year, and putting my plan for Breckland Orchard for 2014.
It’s probably all those years of ‘training’ at big FMCG companies, that has forced a subconscious discipline on me……I love a good plan! I know many of my friends who run small food companies don’t like setting out a plan, as they feel it will always be wrong, so what’s the point of working to something that inevitably will be wrong. But to me that would be much like setting off on a journey and going where your fancy took you.
My Sales and Marketing Plan is a chance to review what’s worked and what hasn’t this past year, to do more of those things that have worked, and to do less/none of [or correct] those that haven’t gone as well as they could. The actual delivery of the plan is down to us in the company, and it’s a back bone for us to work to through 2014. The plan always looks very colourful and bright when its written down [and always handwritten rather than typed] because that works best for me.
The Financial Plan is just my best stab at what the year ahead will bring – we’re still a relatively new company, with strong growth, so inevitably its quite hard to forecast what is going to happen a year in advance BUT….at the same time having a rough plan of what I expect helps me to navigate the year ahead and helps me plan with my suppliers. Having a plan going somewhere is better for me than no plan at all……..And for Soft Drinks the UK weather patterns have a major impact on how the summer sales will look…….and I’m not a meteorologist by any means, so whatever I plan will need adjusting closer to the time.
My plans tend to be one-pagers and not that complicated. I also try to do them in a day……and then reflect and think about them for a week or so…perhaps run them past some folk that I trust for a second opinion. Plans should help you, not be burdens that distract you, so I want them to be dynamic, sharp and pithy…….not endless pieces of paper that will get filed away and then brought out next year. So there goes – I really do love a good plan!