If your company takes midyear planning rather casually, this could be your year to make it a more formal event. At Springfield ReManufacturing Corp., based in Springfield, Mo., midyear forecasts are similar to their year-end counterparts except they usually contain less ratio analysis and don't get into a full-blown five-year look into the future. Planning is a year-round event at SRC, but it kicks into high gear in April, when sales and marketing people receive guidelines for presenting their midyear plans to company leaders and board members in late June. Here's a checklist of some key areas and questions SRC's teams cover in their midyear presentations:

  • Market analysis. What are the current business conditions we face as a company? Are there new government regulations, economic conditions, or technological breakthroughs that will affect us and our relationship with customers over the next 12 months?
  • Year-to-date performance. Summarize our business activity from January through April. Present your totals in units and dollars (or some other numerical form) and explain any deviations from our original plan.
  • May-December projections. Present the projected sales plan for the rest of the year in both units and dollars. Remember, your goal is at least X% growth. Then compare your expected year-end numbers to our plan's original year-end numbers and discuss any deviations, favorable and not so favorable.
  • Price increases or decreases. Describe the progress you've made toward any planned price increases or decreases and come prepared to explain any changes.
  • Promotions/advertising. What promotional and advertising programs have we already executed? Are there any in the pipeline? If so, bring us up to speed. Then summarize your budgeted expenditures and give a status report.
  • Budget review. Compare our actual sales expense for the current year (January through April) to our planned budget. Be sure to includes salaries, travel and entertainment, sales concessions, and anything else that applies. Then project what our status will be by the end of the year.
  • Competitive data. Identify and describe any major competitors for your product line or service and explain their marketing programs. Support your findings with comparative data such as size of customer base, number of employees and locations, pricing structure, net sales, G&A expense, net income, square footage, distribution methods, reputation, and image in the marketplace. Be sure to include product or service comparisons revealing our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats.
  • Contingency planning. Summarize contingencies for the current year, explain which ones have been executed, and provide due dates for those in the works.

Copyright 1999 Open-Book Management Inc.