How do I feel more positive about my future when sales are so bad?

Dear Aunty,

I need a dose of Aunty B to cheer me up.

What happened is this: I presented my budget to my board last week and it was based very scientifically on what I thought the team could achieve in this difficult climate. I don’t want to burn them out so the figures were actually lower than last year except for cash, which I thought might cheer them up.

But, no, I got told to go back, look at last year and add 10% to everything. I got a bollocking and now my cheeks and bottom are smarting. There is no way I can do a 10% increase on everything and now I am starting the new fin year feeling like I’m already behind the eight-ball.

Jamie L



Dear Jamie L,

That’s because you and your board are not just behind the eight-ball but under the bloody billiard table!

Now to give you credit you did send this to me three weeks ago, but that was still the end of June. That means in about mid-June you just sat down and fiddled with a few figures and served them up to the board hoping they would tick them off. And all the board has done is told you to up your figures, which is just as tardy.

So there you both are looking in the rear view mirror and basing your figures on what happened last year and the year before.

What about this year and next? How are you adjusting to changing market conditions? Where is your strategy, showing that you are aware of the impact on your revenue and profit and have a plan to redress it? Your problem is you have no story, so the board has looked at last year’s story and tried to dress it up.

I have a good mind to put you over MY knee. Start working on a strategy immediately. Then go and present it to the board. The board can understand a new story even if the results are not as good because it makes everyone, including you, feel better about the future.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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