Making a business more plannable • 6 August 2008 • The SnowBlog
Making a business more plannable
No gems of wisdom here, I'm afraid. I'm after your ideas. So I'm all for planning. I like to know what's happening, quite far in advance; I like to be ready, and to have everything under control. But there are curve balls that affect the running of a small business / small publisher. Here's the list I have in mind at the moment:
- suppliers going bust
- customers dramatically changing their MO
- cash collections
So for instance, I would love to be able to forecast, reasonably accurately, when and to what extent books are going to be returned. I don't mind if they're high (well I do, of course) but if I know a few months in advance I can prepare for it. At the moment, though, I just get completely random emails not linked to time or promotions or pub date or anything - truly random - requesting returns from retailers and wholesalers.
Another example - sales. Oftentimes I don't know whether a retailer is going to promote a title until after we've gone to print. It's bonkers!
There are lots and lots of other examples of real life getting in the way of smooth business planning. So I'm asking you other small business managers out there - retailers, publishers and others alike - how do you do it?