Check Your Assumptions

The first half of this year has been jammed packed with product launches and new marketing campaigns and at the end of the day, I haven’t had as mush time as I would like to blog.

Now that I have had time to catch my breath, I am trying to do a little retrospective. Jim Holland put together a great post on the subject back in June that highlights some great questions to ask during a moment of pause.

One area I would like to comment on is the subject of  examining your strategy and seeing if anything has shifted – especially looking at your assumptions.

During planning, all sorts of assumptions are made when it comes to market forecasts, costs, and business impacts. Sometimes, a lot of thought goes into this analysis, sometimes, it’s the back of the napkin, and sometimes, it’s a thumb in the air.

However it was done, it’s easy to forget what magic went into those numbers to make the business case work. If you stop and revist these assumptions, you may find that what seemed like a slam dunk a year ago isn’t looking so straight forward.

I recently ran across a perfect example that highlights the danger of working with old assumptions while shopping for a new car – a bit random but relevant.

We were in no rush while shopping and spent a lot of time looking at dealers and different car models. While trying to find a way to compare costs, features, etc, I noticed some fine print in the fuel cost calculations:

The annual fuel cost calculations were based on $3.00 a gallon? I honestly don’t remember when gas cost $3.00 but I know it has been some time (2008?). So here’s the question, what does the annual cost look like with today’s fuel prices? What if gas goes back up to $4 or more?

Continuing to make new decisions on old assumptions can not only artificially inflate your numbers but also leave you with a pain at the pump when trying to fuel your business.

So here’s the question for you, when’s the last time you checked your assumptions?


Image credit: scui3asteveo