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  • #977860
    Calcul8or
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    I have a problem.

    When I put my rose coloured glasses on, every single business in the whole entire universe becomes a potential customer.

    However, given that rose coloured glasses are neither the most practical nor the wisest choice of eyewear when trying to navigate the wild and whacky world of business, it is undoubtedly in my best interest to fine-tune my target market, and to get some kind of idea as to who my customers are likely to be, together with an idea of what thrills them about my offering, as well as what terrifies them.

    So, with these things in mind, I have a question for you :-)

    To begin with, I’ve made a list below of business functions that are common to most businesses, and my question is as follows: Of the following categories, which areas of your business require the greatest attention?

    Project Management – eg: The ability to record projects, track their progress, issue quotes based on pre-costed items from a range of suppliers, and among a few other things, be able to check on a daily basis tasks that need to be performed today, and any outstanding tasks, and have also to have visibility for all upcoming tasks.

    Sales Forecasting/Budgetting – eg: We know our sales can be affected by seasons, holidays and a whole host of other things. Looking at our monthly sales this year, it’s interesting to note the similarities with last year. We set some targets at the beggning of the year as well. I wonder how we’re going? If any of these thoughts are in the slightest bit familiar, then you’re not alone. These are the kinds of questions big businesses ask on a daily basis. In fact, many of them have entire departments dedicated to answering just those questions every day by no later than 7.30am every morning so that everyone knows the answers by the time their first latte of the day slowly seeps into their brains. Would a way to anticipate the future (to the best of your ability), so that no customer is ever dissapointed by being turned away, or that you are never left with more widgets rapidly approaching their best before dates than you can poke a stick at, or a way to track your performance against goals and budgets help you and your business?

    Planning – eg: Once we start tracking and forecasting sales, we need to ensure that we organise our resources in th most optimal way to meet those demands that allows the flexibility to make last-minute changes.

    Rosters/Scheduling – eg: Is it a nightmare trying to organise fill-ins when someone calls in sick? Would it be great to have everything you need in the one place to help you organise your workforce?

    Inventory – eg: Is there a better way to make sure you only have as much stock as you really need, rather than tying up more money than you need to? Do you know what your stock turns are, or which lines account for most of your sales, and how to avoid stock outs?

    Marketing – eg: Do you have the means to see the impact that your promotions have on sales? Is there a way to maximise your ROI?

    Customer Service – eg: Are you able to quickly and easily access information about anything a Customer may ask about? What areas could do with some improvement?

    Cash Flow – eg: Does your Debtors’ Ledger look better than your bank balance? Nuff said.

    Taxation – eg: What would be the most productive way to handle your tax?

    KPI & Performance Reporting – eg: No time to analyse the numbers, even though you know how crucial it is that you do?

    Are there any other areas that I’ve missed?

    Your feedback will help me greatly in defining my business better, and will as always, be enormously appreciated!

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1102423
    JacquiPryor
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    Of the following categories, which areas of your business require the greatest attention?

    Mine would have to be marketing at this stage, followed by sales forecasting/budgeting & planning.

    #1102500
    JacquiPryor
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    Of the following categories, which areas of your business require the greatest attention?

    Mine would have to be marketing at this stage, followed by sales forecasting/budgeting & planning.

    #1102426
    Safe Skies
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    Hi

    I think you need to look at what type of business and at what stage they are at, I think you need a few staple products that people can use and then up sell your custom made products.

    I would be interested in the tax and sales forecasting tools.

    Good luck

    #1102502
    Safe Skies
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    Hi

    I think you need to look at what type of business and at what stage they are at, I think you need a few staple products that people can use and then up sell your custom made products.

    I would be interested in the tax and sales forecasting tools.

    Good luck

    #1102427
    Calcul8or
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    Safe Skies, post: 114289 wrote:
    Hi

    I think you need to look at what type of business and at what stage they are at, I think you need a few staple products that people can use and then up sell your custom made products.

    I would be interested in the tax and sales forecasting tools.

    Good luck

    I think you’re absolutely right, Safe Skies. I didn’t think so at the beginning, but the feedback I’ve been getting is very much along the lines of what you’re saying, and I am grateful to you and everyone else for making me see that :-)

    JacquiPryor, post: 114241 wrote:
    Mine would have to be marketing at this stage, followed by sales forecasting/budgeting & planning.

    It looks as though both your requirements are very similar. The Sales Forecasting models that I have either worked with or created in the past all relied on historical data and trending to extrapolate likely future trends. This was then tempered by any planned marketing or promotional activity, with estimated sales volumes.

    For instance, in my time as Inventory Manager for a very large FMCG company, we would calculate the next 3 months’ requirements based on a moving average of previous months, factor in seasonality, and then add what the marketing/merchandising department had planned by way of promotions.

    In other incarnations, it was a matter of sanity checking forecasts made by sales & marketing, ensuring that there were sufficient stocks for their stated requirements, and then to bop them on the heads when their budgetted sales targets weren’t met and we were left with more stock than we needed with more on the way! Ofcourse they bopped us on the head if they actually met their targets and there was insufficient stock, and therefore lost sales.

    The advantage smaller businesses have is that the people in charge actually care about the money being spent and minimising wastage. So, you’re more likely to pay stricter attention to the details, and do the best you can to ensure you don’t have excessive or insufficient stock, and tread as fine a line in between as you can manage.

    So, in deference to, and in agreement with your suggestions, could I please request both of you to send me a brief outline of what would be useful for you, to see what we can come up with?

    :-)

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1102504
    Calcul8or
    Participant
    • Total posts: 481
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    Safe Skies, post: 114289 wrote:
    Hi

    I think you need to look at what type of business and at what stage they are at, I think you need a few staple products that people can use and then up sell your custom made products.

    I would be interested in the tax and sales forecasting tools.

    Good luck

    I think you’re absolutely right, Safe Skies. I didn’t think so at the beginning, but the feedback I’ve been getting is very much along the lines of what you’re saying, and I am grateful to you and everyone else for making me see that :-)

    JacquiPryor, post: 114241 wrote:
    Mine would have to be marketing at this stage, followed by sales forecasting/budgeting & planning.

    It looks as though both your requirements are very similar. The Sales Forecasting models that I have either worked with or created in the past all relied on historical data and trending to extrapolate likely future trends. This was then tempered by any planned marketing or promotional activity, with estimated sales volumes.

    For instance, in my time as Inventory Manager for a very large FMCG company, we would calculate the next 3 months’ requirements based on a moving average of previous months, factor in seasonality, and then add what the marketing/merchandising department had planned by way of promotions.

    In other incarnations, it was a matter of sanity checking forecasts made by sales & marketing, ensuring that there were sufficient stocks for their stated requirements, and then to bop them on the heads when their budgetted sales targets weren’t met and we were left with more stock than we needed with more on the way! Ofcourse they bopped us on the head if they actually met their targets and there was insufficient stock, and therefore lost sales.

    The advantage smaller businesses have is that the people in charge actually care about the money being spent and minimising wastage. So, you’re more likely to pay stricter attention to the details, and do the best you can to ensure you don’t have excessive or insufficient stock, and tread as fine a line in between as you can manage.

    So, in deference to, and in agreement with your suggestions, could I please request both of you to send me a brief outline of what would be useful for you, to see what we can come up with?

    :-)

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
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