TO BE CONTINUED WITH THE BOOK: SUCCESSFUL MARKETING PLANS IN A WEEK. BY ROS JAY AND JOHN SEALEY.

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WEDNESDAY: FINDING YOUR OBJECTIVES.

  1. YOUR CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS:

These are the things you absolutely must do well in order for your business to succeed.

  • Reducing costs.
  • Improving customers services.
  • Speeding up lead times or delivery times.
  • Developing new products.
  • Improving quality.
  • Increasing the size of your business base.
  • Improving after-sales services.

For example, when it comes to reducing costs, critical to your success will probably be fairly precise factors such as reducing delivery or sales costs.

Use your competitor comparison table.

Double-check your facts.

The author says again, don’t forget to list your critical success factors.

  1. YOUR OBJECTIVES:

the answers to your questions about products or services.

the information about your customers.

the information about your competitors.

and your SWOT analysis.

Set your timescale.

How far ahead are these objectives supposed to be set?

Are we talking next week’s plans or next year’s?

Start with a one-year plan, unless there’s an obvious reason not to, and revise this later if necessary. You will be reviewing your plan regularly, as we will see on SATURDAY, and every so often it will need a full update.

Set your priorities.

Your sales forecast:

To you estimate what your sales will be, you need to consider several factors:

  • The market.
  • The product or services.
  • The competition.
  • The customers.
  • Contract payments.
  • Seasonal payments.

DRAWING UP THE FORECAST:

The important thing is that you should register a profit. If you don’t, it’s no good tweaking the figures. You will have to adjust your entire operation until the forecast shows that you will be in profit.

Weekly or monthly??

Most businesses forecast monthly sales and find this sufficient. But if you’re in a fast-moving market, where you have to respond quickly to new trends, you may need to forecast on a weekly basis.

What does sales forecast look like?

A sale forecast can be just about as simple or as fancy as you like. To begin with a simple version, all you do is draw up a table with the next 12 months (or 52 weeks) across the top.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR SALES FORECASTS:

  • The number of units of each product you expect to sell.
  • At what (average) price you expect to sell each unit.
  • Income earned and cash due as separate entries, especially where payments may be slow or delayed.
  • Sales of each product to each customer type, where you are selling into more than one market.
  • Sales by geographical location.

SUMMARY:

Today we made real progress towards creating a marketing plan. You know where you are right now and, even more vitally, have set your objectives based on your critical success factors.

The important issue now is to determine what needs to be placed and enabled, focusing on things that are absolutely essential to your current and future success. Then it’s a matter of knowing where you are going. So set yourself challenges, but make them realistic ones, and draw up a sales forecast, based on what you expect your sales to be and not on fantasy.

 

With respect.

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