January was made for fresh starts and big dreams. If you’re a planner like me, you’ve undoubtedly made lists of new additions to your product line and plans to exhibit at trade shows this year.
But have you planned out the steps it will take to get there, ensuring your dreams will come true?
Today I’m sharing the steps I take when creating a custom production schedule for my clients.
Now, break out your favorite planning tool and follow these steps to create a custom business and production schedule for yourself.
FIRST, I ADD THE MOST IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES FOR THE YEAR
The most important dates are the ones that your business revolves around. These could include:
Launch dates for retail sales
Release dates for wholesale sales
Trade shows to attend
Deadlines for sales reps
Vacations (scheduling downtime is a must!)
THEN I START TO PLOT ALL OF THE TASKS AND MINI DEADLINES NECESSARY TO HIT THOSE BIG GOALS
Get as detailed as you want here. This is the nitty gritty of your business operations. The more info you input, the better your chances are for staying on track. Complete the tasks for each deadline one at a time. Tasks will include (but are not limited to):
When to request quotes and order samples from manufacturers
FTP (files to printer) deadlines for your catalogs, mailers, and products
Mailing dates for your catalogs and show mailers
Sales meeting dates for your Rep Groups (Your reps may require new product samples for their meetings — make sure you place orders in time to meet their requests.)
Target shipping dates
Web site updates
It’s a lot to think of and will take time to plan it all out, but trust me, you will be so happy you did. A production schedule will become the most valuable business tool you have.
Want a helping hand? Book one of my Strategy Sessions and we’ll create your schedule together. I can’t wait to get started!