Planning for Fiscal Year 2017: Planning and Budgeting is Step 2
By Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
As companies are developing plans for the next fiscal year, it’s essential for retail RDs to be participating in the process. Last week’s article, titled Evaluating is Step 1, addressed the importance of reviewing existing programs and your company’s environment. Today’s article focuses on planning and budgeting as a part of the annual planning process.
There are four steps to developing your program plan and accompanying budget:
- Programs and services. Having identified successful programs as well as new initiatives to pitch in the first step of this process, now is the time to clearly identify those you will move forward and their priority. Gather data related to these programs, and the justification for how they fit within your corporate goals and objectives. Be positioned to clearly articulate why these programs and services are a priority and why they’re important to the company.
- Marketing. While your focus may be on firming up your list of programs and services for next year, how you will market these offerings is an essential part of the process and impacts your budget request. Consider who your ideal customer is as well as the unique selling position of each program and service. Document the unique value of each and how they differentiate your retailer from competitors. Identify the top five to ten ways that will generate the most shopper engagement with, participation in, and profit from your proposed programs and services.
- Operations. Before developing budgets, it’s essential to consider operational needs. For example, will added headcount be needed to implement a new program you’re pitching? Are there any capital investments (technology, equipment, etc) needed to take an existing service to a whole new level? Consider what other departments you will need resources from in order to successfully execute your initiatives, and include them in your planning.
- Budget. Once you have identified your programs and services, marketing plans, and operational needs, you can now assign a budget to your fiscal year 2017 plan. There are two parts to the budget – what you are projecting in revenue and what your expenses will be. While retail dietitian programs are often a cost center, you can capture the value to the company in new customers, equivalent media buys, and similar methods. While the company may not see actual dollars coming in, there is still value to the bottom line in these metrics. For expenses, review what you spent in the past year and identify where it will change in the new year.
Up next – how to pitch your plan. Check back next week to take the final step in securing support and budget for next year’s plan.