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The Q1-09 door is closing – Are you on target?

March 27th, 2009

     Between a DJIA that dropped into the mid-6,000 range, a continued loss of jobs, ponzi schemes that seem to be coming up left and right, there is certainly no shortage of news events to distract us from the job at hand. While I am normally one to go through every peripheral news source and scan for info that might give me cause to adjust forecasts or gain some insight into sales channels, it seems most of the news lately has been more of a distraction. I’m not exactly sure when the switch was flipped, but it seems for the most part I have shut most of the information out and have retrenched and narrowed the focus to only what is happening in my specific industry. Right or wrong, that’s my approach right now.

      Not sure if it’s a source of validation, but we are coming up on the close of Q1 and have only a few days left to get last minute orders out the door. I am pleased to say that Revenues will hit our expectations, employee morale is good, Operating Expenses have been kept in check, and we will actually pay out nominal bonuses in Q1. No, I’m not particularly worried since hopefully nothing that will occur in the last 3-days will change what has already happened in the first 87-days of the Quarter. Staying focused on our target was not something that started in the last few weeks, but something that started in the first week of January. Monitoring open orders, monitoring incoming shipments to see what might be late, contacting customers to confirm order activity, reviewing A/R activity to monitor collections…and the list goes on. Nothing can be left to chance in this environment and you have to proceed as if the entire existence of the company and achieving your annual goal will hinge on what happens each week, and cumulatively, each the month.

     We’ll close the Quarter next week, we’ll validate our assumptions regarding Q1, and determine if we need to alter those assumptions in any way going into Q2. Don’t get me wrong, it’s something we’ve already had discussions on and incorporate into our weekly discussions. Where are we against Budget? Slightly off, but then again, I’ve written about the Budget, how that document is dated from the time it’s published, and where I then put a heavier reliance on the Forecast in order to incorporate unforeseen elements in the market that weren’t there during the budgeting process.  With respect to your company’s results, hopefully you already know where you’re going to finish and are already far into discussions for Q2 activities….because it’s already here.

Thanks for reading. . . .

Jeffrey Ishmael

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