Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.
Sickness, seasonal sales, staff holidays, public holidays, and let’s not forget accounting and tax deadlines. If you’ve been caught out by the perfectly predicable pantheon of events occurring and recurring, then maybe your planning is lacking in an easily remedied way.
There are known unknowns and the unexpected expected. Take the month of the year. It’s March. Well, it could be. It’s an eleven-to-one shot that you’re reading this in March. Given enough time, it’s a statistical inevitability that one twelfth of readers will cast eyes on this post for the first time in the month of March.
It’s also a statistical inevitability that if you are reading this in March, you’re most likely to be reading it in bed, coughing and wheezing with a seasonal flu. Whether the man or woman variety, flu cases annually peak around this time of year. They did this year, and they will next year too. Apologies if you’re sneezing in Singapore, Sydney or Santiago; Southern Hemisphere peak flu month is August, so just make an antipodean adjustment as necessary.
So if you’re a business owner, you’ll make sure the staff have all had their flu jab, and you know when to stock up on staff hot toddies and hot water bottles. You’ll also be ready to hot foot it to the phone to get some cover in, and make sure they’ve had their flu jab too. Planning for things that come around regularly is easy, and helps your business run smoothly.
Of course though, that’s not how it happens.
We always get caught out, because, no matter how often March comes round just after February and just before April, we always get caught out, and we always know the reason. The human touch.
Yes, no matter how sophisticated the software, or how mammoth the wall planner, if we don’t get round to a spot of data input, either with a keyboard or a crayon, we’ll still be asking what day of the week it is; when is Easter this year; and why did you let Bert and Jenny, and everybody else from the delivery department away on holiday at the same time as launching that big new product sale.
If we don’t sort out the entirely predictable, we’ll be predictably flummoxed when the entirely predictable hits us right between the eyes.
Now, of course, you’ll have your business plans mapped out for the future and, with our help, you’ll have your future profitability and cash flow projections nailed to the penny for the year ahead.
What though about all those unexpected things that derail your best laid plans? How unexpected is the unexpected? Not as unexpected as you’d expect, actually.
Statistics show how long people stay in jobs (so you can plan for replacement); there are tables on sickness and absenteeism (so you can staff up accordingly); insurers will even tell you how often your premises will burn to the ground (ok - that last one’s probably better planned to prevent than planned for the eventuality).
There are the foreseeable unforeseen events like legislation changes or technology replacement. Things that happen regularly that might have an impact on your business - like elections, rate revaluations and holiday periods.
It’s all very well saying past performance is no indication of future prospects, but there are trends that can always be spotted, and prepared for in good time. Whether it’s changing attitudes to diesel engines or sugar consumption, or climate change that impacts on your decision whether to manufacture fur coats or fur bikinis, you can always run your plans past us at Springfords, and we’ll help by spotting the trends in your numbers. No matter if it’s March or August, we’ll sniff out a sneeze, before it gets to be pneumonia.
There’s not much that can’t be planned for, and there’s not much planning you’ll regret - that’s a known known, for sure.