ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

Pre-Planning: Beginning Your Strategic Planning Process

Yes, I know it's the middle of summer. It's time for golf, days at the beach, and it's time to begin your planning process.

Beginning the planning process is really a misnomer. If you are planning properly, the process is ongoing and your plan is your daily working document for the agency. Regardless, during the late summer months you have homework to do in preparation for your next strategic planning process. By the time your six months results are fixed, you have a really good idea of your revenues and expenses for the rest of the year. The pre-planning function is to project your expenses (by line) for the remainder of the year. Then, using the projected annual expense for each line in your operating statement, create projections for each expense in 1996.

Will you require additional staff? Do you expect to give raises next year? Will your benefits package costs you more or less in 1996? Are your occupancy costs fixed, or will they also increase next year? Review the trending of each line of operating expense over the last year or two to determine whether you should budget additional expenses in those lines for next year.

The results of this pre-planning process will be a better realization of your profitability in 1995, and will develop the minimum revenue requirements for 1996 to break even. This minimum revenue requirement will become the basis of your strategic plan later in the fall. If you have any questions regarding the projection process for 1995 or 1996, please call us. We'll be happy to help you.