Most of you know from reading my column that I believe in goals. Just the other day, I rode with a manufacturer’s rep and as we began to get to know one another, I was telling him of a time when my goal was to be in the “$100,000 Club.” Not even sure if that “club” still exists but when I had a store in a larger market, it was the goal!
Flash forward, and we have goals for 2014. These goals can be as simple or as complicated as you wish for them to be. But, if you haven’t planned for the upcoming year, it’s not too late to start.
Depending upon your organization, the goal may be different. If you work for a big box store, it is good for you to have goals and objectives. If you are in a small independent store, it is imperative.
The big box store will have goals given to them from corporate. We small guys will have to give it a go on our own. There are thousands of websites, book and videos on planning. You can use any of them to find ideas and how to execute your goals.
Our business lives revolve around sales, right? It makes no difference if you have one store or 4,500. Goals have to be quantified and initiated with sales.
Only you know what your sales are. Only you know what your “true” objectives should be. Only you know what your market share is and should be. A recent new acquaintance of mine is in a separate business that has very little similarities to the parts business but she still has sales goal for 2014. Whatever the facts are, if you plan on staying in business you have to plan for a sales increase or market share increase.
Those two go hand-in-hand although they are two different things when it comes to planning. If you are planning on a sales increase, there are two things you need to remember: price increases and attrition. Annually, our price increases are about 3 percent to 5 percent, or even higher at times. That translates to an automatic sales increase if you do not add any new sales. So that 3 percent to 5 percent does not really count. If you really wish to have a true increase, typically you have to start at about 7 percent over the previous year’s sales. Attrition though has to be thought of, as you will lose customer base market share over the next year.
Keeping the market share means that you will lose some customers due to various reasons: death, taxes, competition and or them just closing the doors. Again, only you know your market and what replacement customers are out there.
Either way, there are two things to remember here: “A poor plan poorly executed is better than no plan at all” and “Plan your play and play your plan.”