I hope this title freaked you out just a little bit; gave you a fleeting sensation of “Sunday night feeling”.
Why? Because I want you to win in FY20. Perhaps enjoy a level of success you have not achieved before. And that type of success requires action … now.
Those who have worked with me in the past will know that I am a big believer in starting the Merchandise Planning budget process well in advance. November is my preferred kick off, with ongoing review from there.
Most often, however, I see businesses leaving their run too late, and a soul destroying cycle eventuates…
In the short term, familiar justifications perpetuate dealing with the urgent over the important
first comes all-consuming December trade,
then focus on end of season Sale,
then the flurry of new season launch.
Before we blink Winter is over, it’s June Sale and the new financial year is here!
But instead of bursting across the line with focus, clarity and control, many businesses limp into the new year battered and bruised. Stock positions are too unhealthy to profitably support the first few months’ sales, and there’s already an overstock looming in Q2.
The new year has barely begun and the ominous question (that no one dares say out loud) starts to gnaw – can this budget even be achieved?
While a new year can mean a clean start when it comes to new year’s resolutions, the same is unfortunately not true here. Everything won’t just fall into place because it’s the start of the year. KPIs won’t suddenly switch trend lines overnight on the 30th of June.
What will make all the difference is what you DO NOW to lay the foundations for the best possible start to the new year. That means influencing the trend line and stock health as you approach the end of this financial year.
We know this is true, and easily recognize it in other facets of life.
Take a sports analogy … the season only starts on 1 July, but the team that will win is the one who trained in the off season, watched videos of their past matches, learned from their experiences, strategised, had the right players in the right positions, built their muscles and fitness, ate right, monitored their vital signs, showed discipline and focus, sold out to their goals, coordinated their efforts to leverage the power of the team – all well before running onto the pitch for the first game, well before the whistle sounds.
How does your pre-season regime look?
How do your vital signs look?
Would you rate yourself as a favourite for the win?
If this topic isn’t at the top of your list, perhaps it’s time to re-prioritise to win. Run, don’t walk.
Start early, stay dynamic
This checklist may help you get on the right path:
Have you conducted a thorough review (quantitative and qualitative) and taken learnings?
Have you assessed your stock health?
Do you have a strategy that everyone knows about, has bought into or contributed to, that is expressed financially in a Merchandise Plan?
Do you have the right expertise and capacity within the team to execute the strategy?
Merchandise Planning KPIs
Are you measuring and managing the critical KPIs that will position the business for an optimal transition to the new financial year?
Are you staying nimble and flexing your plan based on new information?
Make FY20 your year of Plenty
I'll be unpacking these checklist concepts in my next blog topics on "Planning Matters"