Catering A New Year, A Fresh Look

John Cohen | January 16, 2012

The start of a new year always offers a chance to examine the year we finished and look ahead at how we can make this year an even better one. As a small business owner myself, I know how important it can be to review what went well and what didn’t, and plan out strategies for the coming year.

Some questions to ponder as you enter this reflective sojourn may be: Could we have been more efficient? Could we have done more business? Should we have taken less business? Did we take profitable business? What am I not going to do this year? Do I need help? Did I manage well?

Even if you aren’t a strong numbers person, take some time to review some reports on your business to determine how successful you were. It’s not always the bottom line that tells the story. There may be hidden trends in your business that you don’t see unless you really look at the numbers and think about what they mean. If you’re a Total Party Planner customer, some of our automated reports can help you. Some key end of year reports to review are

  • Menu Item Popularity – what sold well and what did not.
  • Profit Summary – what types of events were the most successful.
  • Sales Forecasting by Client – who were our biggest clients. Take some time to send a thank you note if you have not already.
  • Sales by Referral – who brought you the most business. Don’t forget those thank-you cards too!
  • Inventory Cost Changes – can we save money with better purchasing?
  • Lost Revenue by Cancellation Reason – are we consistently losing events to a competitor? Are prices too high?
  • Accounts Receivable – ensure your receivables are up to date. Check this report weekly if not daily.

The important thing to remember when doing this kind of exercise, is that once you have concluded what you need to focus on this year, write it down. Then tell someone about it. This helps make it become more real. The plan isn’t going to unfold by itself, so set yourself up for success this year. I know you can do it! Good luck!

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