By Eric Lofholm
In the first fiscal quarter of each new year, it is prudent for franchisees to prepare a profitability plan for the coming months, especially with respect to your sales and marketing endeavours. Doing so can give you a notable edge on your competition, particularly given the extraordinary number of business owners out there who do not bother with this strategic tool.
The key ingredient for successful annual planning is your own mindset. The first step toward successful financial planning for your franchisee is for you to have an intent to complete that plan. What doesn’t get scheduled, after all, doesn’t get done.
Whether you develop your tactical plan at the start of the year or at a later date, the importance of doing so cannot be overstated. Here’s how to set yourself up for annual planning success.
Asking yourself the right questions
The process of creating your profitability plan is largely a matter of asking and answering a series of questions that will help you identify the year’s sales, marketing and other financial goals for your franchise and then the steps you’ll need to take to achieve those goals.
You should ask yourself the following questions about your annual sales goals.
- How many leads do you want to generate?
- How many appointments will you set with those leads?
- How many sales will you need to make?
After defining the overall annual goals, you can break them down into smaller time frames—i.e. by quarter, month and week—to make it easier to define the concrete steps for achieving your goals. It is a good idea to keep a notebook for writing down goals and questions as they arise.
As you develop your annual plan, the following are some examples of the types of sales and marketing goals you can include:
- Ultimate outcomes for the year.
- Annual revenue projections (i.e. sales results).
- Marketing strategy and tactics.
- Ultimate outcomes for each month.
- Monthly revenue projections.
- Monthly projects.
Then you can break each of these goals down into more specific areas, such as the aforementioned lead generation, appointment setting and sales. And for scheduling purposes, you can also break each category down further by week or day.
Supplementary goals in other areas
Once you have set specific marketing and sales goals for your franchise, you may also find it helpful to set other goals in other areas of your business and/or your personal life. For example, you might set out to hire more staff to work in your franchise, adopt new tools for business automation or develop new promotional programs.
To be sure, achieving personal goals can help you achieve business-related goals. If you haven’t been getting enough sleep on a regular schedule, for example, you should consider getting into a more consistent sleep cycle, which will help make you more productive at work. Similarly, you may want to set goals with relation to your personal finances, health, relationships and spiritual development.