You would never organize a large outdoor event without consulting a weather forecast beforehand, nor plan a long car journey without checking the predicted time of arrival, so why would you choose to run your business without the same degree of insight? Forecasting has become an essential part of any business plan, and there are few Financial Directors who would be prepared to put their hands in their pockets and fund a new initiative without seeing a predicted return on investment and key performance measures. If you don’t yet have a forecasting tool in your business’s armory, here are three reasons why you should.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
Predicting future trends puts you in an excellent position to rise above the competition and secure valuable audience share. Forecasting software could show you which products historically sell more quickly at certain times of year, or it can give you a strong indicator of products that are slowly going into decline or outsiders that are about to become the next big thing. Anything that gets you even the slightest edge over the competition will help give your business a more robust base from which to gain market share.
Make Better Business Decisions
While there is much to be said for gut feeling, it’s no good unless paired with hard data to back it up. Forecasting tools and techniques give you a reliable measure of the market, trends, and audience behavior, which all feed into your business strategy. You may be sure to your core that something will make a significant difference to your business, but having stats and figures behind your conviction will help budget holders make better-informed choices, quicker, and with more confidence.
Sometimes a forecast won’t show you an opportunity; instead, it will present you with a threat to your business. That may be an upcoming economic downturn, a historical trend, seasonality issues – regardless of the size and impact of the threat, how a company responds during a time of adversity can contribute just as much to its success as when everything is going well. If you can prepare for a rocky period, you will be at as much of an advantage over the competition as you would if your sales were flying. Minimizing the impact of lost sales is crucial to your bottom line and can be the difference between surviving or thriving.
Your business’s future depends on you being able to predict it. Forecasting tools should be at the forefront of the decisions you make and the strategies you implement. Don’t get left behind; integrate forecasting into your business today.