Planning ahead

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Annual planning meeting 2012

The 2012 CNRG planning meeting in October

It’s December, and we’re beginning our summer vacation planning.  Through creative use of airline points and scheduling opportunities with our son at camp, I may end up in Istanbul, Turkey, northern Italy and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, all within a few weeks.  It should be interesting experience.  A $1,000 (taxes and fuel surcharge) Aeroplan points trip should buy me several business-class flights with a ticket value of about $12,000.  Inexpensive hotels can be lined up, shared with my wife for the European part of the trip.  In Zimbabwe, I must be careful to remain a tourist, not a journalist, as there are special, challenging registration requirements and the last thing I want to experience is an African prison.

Planning, planning.  What about the business and marketing strategies for 2012? Too few businesses  bother to put as much effort into their business/marketing plans as their owners think about their vacations.  This year, our annual planning meeting did not try to “resolve” the financials for the year — I am working on these matters with our bookkeeper and spent several hours on Friday to review our profitability, trends, and potential.  Financial projections should be ready this week.  Current indications are promising — though this month (January) doesn’t look overwhelmingly good, the business appears to have a balanced portfolio with core clients and a diversifying income stream.  Several “once a year” projects appear to be repeatable; meaning we can budget income sources at various times during the year, generating top up revenues.

Notably, we are focusing increasing resources and commitments to community projects and partnerships with relevant associations.  Our philosophy is to support the associations and community groups without worrying about financial return; this occurs, naturally, through the relationships we build.  I will also write another book this year.

In the meantime, I can take a break from the business planning to co-ordinate the personal stuff.  This is a healthy balance.  How is your own business/personal planning balance scorecard?

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