Now that the business plan has been refreshed, the year’s business goals have been set and the marketing plan to achieve them is ready it is time to put them into practice.
It is crucial that progress is monitored throughout the year, but how this is done will depend not only on the goals but on the nature of the business.
A dash board of key indicators is a useful tool for monitoring progress. It should include financial information such as the bank balance, cash received, amount paid out, outstanding debtors, overdue creditors and stock held.
Other useful information on the dashboard to include might be the value and number of orders and quotes, number of visitors, inquiries or responses by source, whether direct sales, website, email, social media.
For example, those who sell products online might find it helpful to use a dashboard to monitor their weekly sales and cash receipts and check them against those projected in the plan.
Other businesses such as distributors and retailers might monitor their management accounts on a monthly basis but check their stock on a daily basis. Stock sold, new stock and returns.
This is done by having appropriate systems such as bar code scanners which will be covered in a future blog.
The frequency of monitoring will be a matter for each business.
However, if there is a marketing plan it is important to monitor the impact of campaigns and to be open to making adjustments according to their performance and progress towards the goals.
There are two essentials to remember when goals have been set and the actions begun.
First, is to monitor progress regularly.
The second is to be flexible enough to make adjustments if goals are not being met.