Trading. BUY, BUY, SELL, SELL.
(I'm picturing 'Wolf Of Wall Street' right now).
Calendar. Days, Weeks, Months, Year (but you knew that).
(Paper or electronic? Mine's on my phone, just in case you were wondering).
Trading + Calendar = Buy, Buy, Sell, Sell by Day, Week, Month, Year?
It's exactly that.
It's how you plan out your business activities.
So you can see when you need preparation, action, and analysis, to deliver your sales and profit.
What's in it?
(Except that night out you have planned.
Oh, and Auntie Doris birthday.
Keep those for your personal one).
So not LITERALLY everything, but everything YOU need for YOUR business.
All the useful information in one place.
Making it easy to see and make decisions.
Logical. It wouldn't be much of a calendar otherwise, would it?
It will have months, weeks and days*.
(* We like days for Social Media, it makes it super simple).
But did you know, there are three ways your Financial YEAR could run?
- Calendar (Jan-Dec)
- Tax (Apr-Mar)
- Fiscal (Sep-Aug)
Which one are you?
2. Key Dates & Events
Now you've decided the format of your year, next you need to add in all the Key Dates and Events. This is more than just the day they happen, but also all related relevant dates.
So for example, when is Christmas this year? Obviously December 25th!
But the exact day of the week it falls will impact the last day for posting your Christmas orders. You need to have this date on your calendar!
Or Mother's Day? When do you need to launch your products for this occasion?
You need that date on your calendar.
How about Black Friday & Cyber Monday? By knowing when they are, you can work out what to promote and how to make it profitable.
3. ProductS & ServiceS
Key Dates and Events in your calendar? Check.
Now let's use those dates to plan when to:
- Launch a Product or Service
- Focus on a product category
Picture the scene.
You run a business selling hats (and you have a Trading Calendar).
There's not much point talking about your Easter Bonnets. (Sensible).
In the UK it's getting colder, so you launch your range of Knitted Hats, in line with your competitors. (Good plan).
For your Australian & New Zealand customers, you launch your Straw Hats as it's the start of summer for them. (Genius).
See how what you can sell and promote can vary?
But you didn't miss a single customer because you considered them all.
(The buy, buy, sell, sell part).
Use your Trading Calendar to:
- Plan what sales you will take this year and see what you made last year, all in one place.
- See what your like-for-like (LFL) sales will be, by seeing when key dates fall.
+ HERE'S A HANDY EXAMPLE
Comparing this year's sales to last year's sales, looking ONLY at what you have made from activities or products which were available the previous year as well.
1) You added a new product range last year.
It means that sales were UP totally by 15%.
But if you look at the sales of the products you had last year, then totally these are DOWN 2%.
From this, you can see that your new products are driving your sales.
2) Your sales week runs Monday to Sunday.
This year Christmas Day falls on a Monday. Last year it was a Sunday. So you have an extra day of sales this year.
To be able to compare how your week was like-for-like, you would look at your sales from Monday (18th) to Sunday (24th) THIS year and Sunday (18th) to Saturday (24th) LAST year.
- Understand when you peak and trough.
Using the quieter time for creating, designing or preparing new products and stocks.
5. Markdown & Promotions
Sometimes we have to promote our products at a discounted price.
It could be for many reasons; clearing old stock, driving sales or matching competitor's offers.
Your Trading Calendar helps you understand when you should run a promotion or sale:
- Key dates. Plan in a promotion for Black Friday or a sale for Boxing Day.
- Product launches. Out with the old and in with the new = sale.
- Sales plan. Strategically react and add promotions to help drive sales.
6. Social Media
Hands up who's winging it on Social Media?
Throwing something on to Instagram or Facebook, so that you've done something.
Guilty as charged.
And do you know what? I think if I had planned them, it would have taken LESS time and effort, my posts would have looked more considered and my brand image more consistent. Hmm.
You've used your Trading Calendar to plan out when you market your products.
When you shout about a launch, announce your sale or focus on a product area.
Then you spend one morning writing ALL your social content and marketing for the month ahead. Scheduling your posts, knowing that what you're putting in front of your customer is considered.
With them at the centre, you'll be more likely to drive successful marketing or promotions.
And what does that mean?
More sales and profit in YOUR pocket.
ready to Plan?