Are you driving your car by only looking through your rear view mirror? I would hope not; otherwise there would be a lot more accidents. Funny thing is especially at work we tend to do exactly just that: Steering your life and success based on the past. We attempt projecting our future by just looking at the past.
The end of the year is coming up and fall season means strategic planning for the upcoming year must commence. In this process we often rely on past performance providing a view into how we will do in the future. Not only is it unsatisfying being part of such a process, it is extremely questionable going into the new year almost blindfolded.
What’s the alternative? Here are a few pointers that should be able to get you better results:
- Speak with all your front line people. This ranges from outside and inside sales, project managers, and customer support. A fresh outlook into how your customers look at the current line of business and perhaps 6 months out will do wonders for your financial decision making.
- Consider calling your key customers by yourself to offer insight into how you currently view the market place and then also asking these business leaders for their input.
- Make a habit of tracking the housing and car markets. What is the trend here? Usually, your business will do pretty well if one or both markets are overall making great deals.
- Make a habit of following the Wall Street Journal and / or similar publications. Scan for the overall mood and also mainly the consumer confidence.
Happy strategic planning!