Business Planning biorhythm

For the many businesses that have their trading year ending in March, and as I write this we are in the mid-Summer, we are fast approaching the mid-year point in which the usual sales push and expense constraint starts to happen.  For the senior executives of a company the holiday break was probably broken up by thought of some of the challenges back at the business even if it was just a thought before going to bed.

Slide1One of the considerations to this Business Planning biorhythm is that for a large slug of these businesses the course of the final outcome for this year is over and the growth results are probably already decided, so it’s a matter of profit management through Cost Transformation programmes.

But here is the irony, cast your mind back to 12 months ago, 2 years ago, 5 years ago.  Did you react in the same way at this time of year?  So think of the biorhythm, things that happen at certain times of year, the natural cycles of cause and effect and how you take them into account when controlling your business.  Yes, a wrong decision can still be made, but at least that is your choice and you are proactively managing the business.

A quote that I remember from a response that a Sales General Manager gave at a business review to the question of ‘Will you hit your annual targets?’…”Yes, but not within the confines of this financial year!”.  The simplicity of the each part of the biorhythm is key and the role that Executives and Managers play at a cycle point.

The nature of the business planning biorhythm is that a reduction in one thing has a knock-on to another which has a dramatic effect to another.  The cyclical fashion of planning is that a lot of this is predictable and therefore you have a choice to manage the risk mitigations as part of everyday business operations.  It also highlights that Business Plans are living documents that should be regularly reviewed and the whole business has visibility on the critical metrics.  The ideal position is that you have rolling business plans and active management.

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