How Are Your Marketing Proguessions Working Out?

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In case you’re wondering (and I’m sure I’ll still here from some of my VA readers) that’s not a typo in the title – I’m trying to create a new word by running guess and projection together to illustrate a point that alludes most of the business owners I’ve worked with over the years.

Revenue ProjectionsI believe that there is real power in revenue projections for the small business, even if you feel like all you are doing is guessing. But, no one in ten business owners I talk to takes the time to project the future. Instead they go out there and see what happens week to week and then add it up at tax time.

Projections, particularly aggressive ones, are like goals. If you set a goal, even if you don’t really have a clear idea of how you are going to reach it, you often start doing things that make the seed of the idea come about. It’s just the way the universe works. (It’s not hoping or praying, it’s intention and attention)

So, use this to your advantage and create an annual revenue plan right now. Don’t look at this as a financial statement requirement (although banks love them when they loan money) start to think of this as marketing goal setting and give your goal the focus it deserves by also tracking how you are doing on a weekly or monthly basis. Big companies use something called a Gap analysis to measure the gap between all kinds of things – budgets, revenues, brand awareness. You can do the same thing with your revenue projections. Our goal – our reality this month = the gap (or the bridge). This is a simple way to turn this often intimidating set of tools into a game.

I could give you post after post about all the wonderful things you should have in a marketing plan, but if you don’t first have some “where am I trying to get to” goals for sales, your plan won’t drive you very far.


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  1. Yes!

    My annual revenue projections are the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. It lets me tell my staff how they are doing and focuses my marketing on the stuff that gets me results!

    I can’t recommend this enough.

  2. Revenue projections are absolutely critical to growing a business. As you said, you need a goal to hit.

    I think you need to go a step further though. You need to build out a concrete plan as to where those revenues are going to come from. A bridge report showing what you need to bring in to hit your projections.

  3. Proguessions and the tracking plan are all tools of comfort for our projections and goals. Once we have them in place, we wonder how we were intimidated by the idea or how we got along without them.

  4. Excellent advice John.

    When I became VP of a sales division 25-years ago, sales projections were a requirement that became a wonderful habit. My monthly goals were modified to meet annual projections. When we had an off month, the following month’s target was bumped up. And when we surpassed our monthly mark, I suggested increasing our annual target.

    From an operational standpoint, I could not function without projections, especially in a down market. My wife’s dance school is a luxury and has been mildly affected by the current market conditions. Last September we looked at expenses that we could cut or reduce, which is a good habit in any economy. Revenue did not increase, but our profit margin grew. She feels well prepared for this coming season.

  5. I have checked my progress with my business and financial plans each month. I have goals that I shoot for, see if we are on track, and make changes if not. I don’t wait for tax time to realize we didn’t make as much money as we should have!

    Nate Stockard

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