At the beginning of each month, I take a quick look at our net sales for the same month in the previous year. Then I divide that number by the number of days we will be open for business that month and arrive at a daily sales goal so that we can stay on target (or hopefully exceed that target) for growth of PJP over time.
And if you are thinking here that all of that sounds actually nothing like me, just know that I’m as surprised as you are. Probably whatever I’m doing by figuring this number out has some sort of real name like “The Warshaw Theory” but whatever, I just use my iPhone calculator.
Because while Jeanne and I could give you 152 new business ideas we would like to try in the next 12 months before we would even sit down and pour over a profit and loss statement, the only way that our brains register PJP success is by watching the sales growth line move steadily upward. March 2016 was actually up 27% from March 2015…and when we are tired and grouchy and wondering if we are making any progress at all to World Pie Domination, that knowledge helps our attitudes by 27%-ish.
Which is all just to say that now we are down to the final days of April and knowing that we have some big numbers to post in the next few days to beat April 2015 sends my competitive heart into overdrive. You how sometimes you see the guy on the sidewalk dancing with the Little Caesar’s sign to catch the attention of all the traffic on Nifong during rush hour? That was probably thought up by some store manager hellbent on beating last year’s sales numbers.
Earlier this evening, I just happened to read an article about Chipotle’s continuing decline in sales and their first posted loss since becoming a publicly traded company. In fact, Chipotle is down 27% in the first quarter compared to last year. Yet, I doubt Steve Ells is sitting home and crying tonight and blaming himself and questioning whether if he would just give the guacamole away at no cost, people would come back. Rather, Chipotle plans to open 220 new stores late this year all around the country. He is either crazy or genius…but I bet he isn’t working on his calculator to figure out how many dollars and cents will knock him out of his slump in May (he probably has people for that).
Which makes me think that really, my quest to prove PJP is growing isn’t really about numbers but a way to find a benchmark to measure our forward progress. We feel the growth and we know it is there, but when the month comes that doesn’t outperform the data from 12 months ago…how will we react? Who knows…but I’m leaning towards the free guacamole/self-doubt approach. And it should really be the “open 220 new stores” approach.
I don’t know. Something to think about.