Friday, December 10, 2010

How Year-End Planning Can Help You Year-Round

For the last two days, I've shared ideas from speaker and author Mark LeBlanc, on how to grow your service business with a "defining statement" and by using his "Target 25" concept.

Today, here's part three of my three-part interview with LeBlanc, on year-end planning that can help you year-round ...

Kevin Donlin: Final question. We’re nearing the end of one year and heading into another. In your experience, how do effective business owners plan for the year ahead?

Mark LeBlanc: Overall I come at planning a little bit differently. I think we are best to throw away the concept of the calendar year and the annual goal.

I operate on a rolling 12-month period so December just happens to be the 12th month of a rolling 12-month period, but I’m always looking at my numbers for the last 30 days and the last 12 month rolling period. Then I compare the rolling 12-month period, not simply the calendar year.

Accountants and bookkeepers are notorious for giving you year-to-date numbers. That makes sense now in December, but if you’re looking at year-to-date numbers after January and then two months, January and February, the year-to-date numbers really don’t mean anything until you get to December.

So if you’re comparing 12-month rolling periods every 30 days you have a better set of numbers in which to make better decisions with, and I believe the secret to your success lies in the phrase “every 30 days.”

A lot of people are spending December getting ready to get ready for next year. Meanwhile, I’m out making sales.

We fall into the trap of, “If I’m off track for the calendar year, I’m going to get ready to get ready for 2011," when I believe that I can market and sell to hit my target number every 30 days.

Kevin: Mark, thanks. That gives people new insights -- they’re not going to slack off and spend December getting ready to get ready, as you said. Excellent advice.

Mark: You’re very welcome. I think, especially at this time of the year, we look forward to January 1st, of course, but why have one New Year’s celebration a year when you can have 12!

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