By Eric Dickmann

March 22, 2023

Profit Planning

The success of a business depends on its ability to earn a profit. Profit is a vital element of sustainability and growth. It should be carefully planned and properly managed. A profit plan determines the operational budget to maximize profit. It focuses on the wise use of resources.

Profit planning involves looking at the key factors relevant to operational expenses like your production and sales expenses. These will form the basis to design a price model for the products to be competitive in the marketplace.

What is Profit Planning?

Profit planning is the process of creating a financial plan that outlines the expected revenues and expenses of a business for a given period, typically a year. The primary objective of profit planning is to ensure that the company generates a profit that meets its financial goals and objectives.

The profit planning process typically involves a detailed analysis of the company's past financial performance, market trends, and expected changes in the business environment. This analysis is used to forecast the company's future revenues, expenses, and cash flow.

Based on these forecasts, the company can set targets for its revenue and profit margins, as well as establish a budget for its expenses. The budget will typically include line items for various types of expenses, such as marketing, research and development, salaries and wages, and overhead costs.

Once the profit plan is in place, the company will monitor its financial performance throughout the year to ensure that it is on track to meet its goals. If necessary, the plan may be adjusted to reflect changes in the business environment or unexpected events that impact the company's financial performance.

According to a U.S. Bank study, 82% of business failures are due to poor cash management. Remember that cash flow is not just the amount of money coming in and out; you have to take timing into account, as well. This  is why profit planning is so important to a business.

In short, profit planning is an essential process for any business, as it helps to ensure that the company generates the revenues and profits needed to achieve its financial goals and objectives.

As a business owner, I believe that profit planning and marketing are two sides of the same coin. Effective marketing is essential for driving revenue growth, while profit planning helps ensure that revenue growth is sustainable and profitable in the long run."

Eric Dickmann

Fractional CMO at The Five Echelon Group

How is Profit Planning Used?

Profit planning is a critical tool that businesses use to set financial goals, develop budgets, and allocate resources. Here are some of the ways in which profit planning is used in a business:

  • Setting Financial Goals - Profit planning helps a business set financial goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). The financial goals could be revenue targets, profit margins, or cash flow projections that the business aims to achieve over a given period.
  • Creating a Budget - Profit planning helps a business create a budget that outlines its expected expenses and revenues over a given period. The budget helps the business allocate resources efficiently and identify areas where it can reduce costs or increase revenue.
  • Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - Profit planning helps a business identify the KPIs that it needs to track to achieve its financial goals. KPIs could include revenue growth, profit margins, customer acquisition costs, or employee productivity.
  • Assessing Risk and Opportunities - Profit planning helps a business identify potential risks and opportunities that could impact its financial performance. By understanding these risks and opportunities, the business can take steps to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities.
  • Monitoring Performance - Profit planning helps a business monitor its financial performance against its goals and adjust its strategies as needed. By monitoring performance regularly, the business can identify areas where it is falling short and take corrective action.

Profit planning is a critical process that businesses use to set financial goals, create budgets, allocate resources, and monitor their financial performance. By doing so, businesses can improve their financial health, make informed decisions, and achieve their long-term objectives.

What Makes Profit Planning Effective?

The major factors that make your profit plan effective are the seriousness and willingness to use it to manage your company’s operation. A plan must address certain elements and be realistic to be effective.

  • The plan must have commitment and involvement of your company’s management
  • Objectives and strategies must address all factors affecting performance
  • There must be a forward-looking process on the trends and development in the market
  • The goals must be consistent and provides a clear sense of direction
  • Lastly, it must include an alternative course of action if the plan proves invalid


Profit planning may seem like just another task for businesses to add to their to-do list, but it's actually a vital component of success. By taking the time to analyze your finances, set goals, and make strategic decisions, you can ensure that your business is on track to not only survive, but thrive. So don't shy away from profit planning—embrace it, and watch your business soar to new heights!

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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