Skip to main content

Compete with Yourself

We have two sayings we're fond of at Monday Morning Flower & Balloon Co. "Keep your eye on your competition but don't become obsessed with them" and "compete with yourself".  The first saying is self explanatory but the second warrants further discussion. Competing with yourself can be pretty straight forward and help you develop a strong business model. Basically look at what you've done previously, both good and bad, and try to take corrective action if it's bad or repeat if it was good. This concept can be extended to most area's of your business including one of the toughest and most boring - Budgeting.

There are lots of articles and books written about budgeting even some great spreadsheet templates available. Nevertheless, if you use the "compete with yourself" concept it's much easier. Of course you need to know what you should target as a percentage of sales for the main expenses, Payroll, COGS etc. Once you know where you want to be you need to figure out where you are. Now that you know where you are you can decide how to make things better versus last years performance - your competing with yourself, pretty simple! Set realistic annual goals, but remember to compare your current performance to last years and adjust to make it better. Most Importantly be certain to look forward at least 60 days for corrections that you can control for Variable expenses and Revenues because the business landscape changes. Remember Budgeting should be a Dynamic process, constantly changing whats controllable in the near future. Budgets should not be static - it's not cast in concrete. Only fixed expenses (Rent, Property Taxes etc) are static and difficult to control.

For business owners who are new to formalized budgeting a great technique is called the "rolling 12 month" budget. To perform a rolling budget you need to forecast next years budget for the month that just ended, so you always have a rolling 12 month budget. For example when January ends for 20X1 use the actual numbers to forecast January 20X2, everything is fresh in your mind and it's the best time budget and forecast the future. This is a great way to get use to budgeting and learn to understand the ebbs and flows of your business. Remember compete with yourself and you'll always win -

Kevin Vinicombe

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Flash Reports, a Peek Inside Your Financials by Georgianne

Oh my.... Is it possible I'm taking the time to not only write a business blog today but I'm writing a blog about a topic that has to do with numbers? Wow, that's almost unheard of here at Monday Morning Flowers where the accounting is usually left up to Kevin and not me.

The last few weeks had Kevin and I traveling up to New England for the East Coast Floral Expo and then back down to Washington, DC for the Society of American Florist volunteer meetings and in both weekends, we spent lots of quality time with other florists. At the NEFE we were able to sit in on quite a few wonderful business seminars and we always take away so much from those events.

So, to the topic of this blog. About 3 years ago, we had a business consultant come into the operation to helps us with the "issues" we were having. Let's face it, it was during the recession and the environment at the shop was very stressful. I expressed a desire to understand what was going on with the com…

Shop to Shop

A lot of talk is happening right now in our industry about wire services, order gathers and the general condition of the flower business. I have many opinions on where we were and where we are going but this blog really isn't about that. My main concern right now is being able to handle my customers outgoing flower orders.
Truth be told, this past Mother's Day holiday became a nightmare. I know for sure, that there were nice, hard working shops out there that really wanted us to fill their orders and we wanted them to fill ours. The problem? Order gathers and even FTD.com completely choked up our computer systems by sending us orders for product that we did not have, below our stated minimums with unrealistic timelines. Yikes, we had orders coming in quicker than we could see if we could even do them to the point that my FTD mercury machine ended up being suspended for a good part of the holiday (not to mention that my modem broke and FTD was not able to get me a new one until…

Incorporating a Little Kaizen by Kevin Vinicombe

A few weeks ago I made a point of discussing our Toss/Work Loss percentage with our Design Team. Over the summer months I noticed that our percentages had been "creeping" up. Basically when those percentages go up it could mean that we are “stuffing“ the arrangements with unpaid for flowers, tossing out too many flowers (perhaps proper rotation methods are not being followed) or we are purchasing too much for our current sales volume. I was trying to find a different approach with the staff and started thinking back to similar situations in my pre-floral career. I remembered the "Kaizen" concept I learned back in college. Kaizen was a concept I had used many times before in my previous corporate life.

Loosely defined Kaizen is the Japanese word for "Improvement" or "Change for Better". It's an ongoing, continuous process that never stops and teaches us to always look for a better, more efficient way to conduct our business. The process of co…