Post Turkey Day Reflections
For many people, the day after Thanksgiving is a painful reminder of how little time is left before Christmas. Or, it's a day dedicated to frenetic shopping in order to save a few bucks and get a head start on Santa.
Not for our CFO, Dru. Today, he's putting the final touches on the draft of our 2010 budget. To some degree, it's a wish list of things we'd like to do along with the basic costs of running the business. For example, shipping and freight expenses are a necessary evil. New barrels and a brochure are more discretionary, although in the case of the barrels, they're absolutely paramount to producing high quality wines whereas a brochure we can live without.
In the past, the budget was built on projected revenues, which means projected sales. It was always pretty easy predicting next year's sales as they were based on the prior year's sales and available inventory. But this is a new era. The rules have changed. Logic and historical data are important but not entirely reliable. So we're employing the Plan for the worst and hope for the best approach. Plan A is our perfect scenario. Plan B is like an audible in a football play adjustment. And Plan C well I don't want to go there.
Next week we'll have the benefit of our sales team who will be out here for our national sales meetings. We've encouraged them to be brutally honest. Please don't tell us what you think we want to hear, tell us the truth. (Unless you don't like the sailboats on the labels in which case, I'd recommend an outright lie!)
Three days of meetings will be peppered with laughs, pats on the back and of course plenty of time for eating and drinking. Hopefully a few lightbulbs will go off that will inspire and motivate everyone for the coming year. But mostly, we'll be grateful for getting through one of the most challenging business climates in U.S. history. We'll thank our lucky stars that we're alive and kicking, with a full team of employees, planning for better times ahead.
Back to those post Thanksgiving reflections. It's not about how many days are left until Xmas. Or, how many helpings I should NOT have had yesterday. It's a time for showing gratitude and appreciation for the hardships our ancestors faced. For saying thanks to everyone who made a difference this past year at Dry Creek. And for thinking about our CFO, who's hard at work crunching the numbers.
In a word, thanks.
This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!
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