Business Planning – Why it is Imperative to Plan for the Year Ahead

    Foremost Golf Business Development Consultant, Steve Bird, has three strong tips to help prepare for next year.

    Planning ahead for your business is always important, but in the current retail climate, it should be an absolute priority. With so much uncertainty around, you can stack the odds more in your favour by influencing the things you do have control over.

    Setting aside some time, away from your business, will enable you to evaluate how this year has gone and also where you would like to take the business in 2022.
    Below are several key areas to cover in your plan:

    A marketing plan is now more essential than ever

    Consumers have a huge amount of choice on where they buy their products from. COVID has given online retailers a massive boost and they don’t intend to let these new customers simply return to their old ways of shopping. If you have a bricks and mortar shop, you have no other choice than to fight back with effective marketing.

    Constantly convey your expertise, value, after-sales service and facilities, and make sure you are always adding to your database. Ensure adequate staffing/time in the rota each week for looking after newsletter, social media and video content, as well as regularly updating your website. Also, planning an array of engaging events throughout the year will directly benefit both turnover and customer loyalty.

    Don’t get caught out at the back of the queue for stock

    We are used to dealing with competition when it comes to sales, but we also now need to have a plan in place on the stock side too. The trend over the last number of years of purchasing little and often with lower upfront commitments is no longer a viable one (thanks to a perfect storm of huge demand and supply chain issues) and only ensures you will be at the back of the queue. Suppliers are having to do their own complicated forecasting and need pre-book commitments to guarantee stock will arrive.

    If you are in a retail & marketing group like Foremost you will have access to ‘stock planning software and programmes’ that will help you get the right balance in your buying and forecasting for the coming year. It is also worthwhile to take advice from your Business Development Consultant to ensure you strike the right balance and make more right decisions than wrong ones going into the next season.

    Motivated, reliable staff are worth their weight in gold

    One of the biggest challenges in, not just ours, but all industries at the moment is maintaining a consistent, trustworthy, effective team of staff. They should be your greatest asset, so make sure there is focus in your business plan on developing them but also keeping them happy so you don’t lose them. You must make sure you are having regular team meetings, appraising them every 6 months, praising and rewarding them for jobs well done and make them feel empowered and proud to be part of the team. Making sure you invest in your staff is not just vital for your bottom line, but also your work/life balance.
    “Train your staff well enough that they could leave, but treat them well enough that they want to stay” (Richard Branson) GR

    Foremost Golf provides an ‘Education & training’ service to support all its members. For more info please visit

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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.