Companies don’t except for their operations to encounter economic and political interruption. And in such an unpredictable business landscape, chief financial officers need to accurately predict the future. Those who don’t, find it difficult to operate, plan and deliver valuable performance results. In such landscape, finance teams need the most reliable and relevant insights into risks and opportunities that their businesses are about to face.

Usually, teams set up their financial plans, forecasts and budgets at the beginning of the organisation’s fiscal year. Unfortunately, many fail to revisit their budgets and forecasts and some even abandon these completely throughout the year. Which often leads to a heap of problems and can drives businesses to failure through cash flow and production problems.

By undertaking good and frequent business forecasting and planning, organisations can help minimize business risk and prepare for any events in the future.  Here we discuss how business forecasting and planning can help to increase your business performance.

Why forecast?

Virtually every decision we make whether in business or in our personal lives, we use some kind of a forecasting. Even the most minute business decisions are based on a form of forecasts, for example, if you pick supplier A because you assume that his good track record your product will get to you on time.

Forecasting, if done correctly, is incredibly important to a business. Much like a map helps you to plan a journey, a financial forecast helps you to set your goals and carve a path you are going to go.

It is a crucial part of the strategic financial plan, sound predictions of demands and trends are no longer extras, they are necessary to help business cope with trends, seasonality, demand changes, competition and swings of the economy. Business forecasting and planning is essential to help managers deal with all of those troubles and more! The more you know about your future, the more you can prepare.

Forecasting brings numerous benefits to your business:

Expenses

If you have a business plan with set goals in place, a forecast can help you to control your everyday spending in addition to controlling your long-term expenses. In a case of expansion, it allows businesses to distribute their resources without putting pressure on their bottom line.

Futuristic approach

A forward-looking forecast can help you keep track of your long-term view of your business. This type of forecast can help you see what expenditures need to be made to grow your business in the long term while keeping all of the existent issues at bay.

Forecasts for investment

Lenders and investors still look at your financial plan, and one of the most solid pieces of sound financial future is a forecast.

It can help steer your marketing

A forecast will show you which trends and how much demand has been generated by your marketing and advertising campaigns. A forecast will provide you with the information you need to know if the strategies you’re putting into place are actually delivering increased revenue or not.

Identify hardship

A forecast can help you predict when the bad times are going to strike and how. A good forecast will identify the potential issues with your expenses, overheads and income and many different scenarios before it happens!

Spot trends

A solid forecast can show you which items sell the best on which time, and help you capitalise on those trends. You can create more campaigns and capitalise on them while one item is popular and reduce the stock of the one that isn’t.

 

Even at the best of times running a business is hard. Managing finances of a complex business model at all times is difficult enough, and it is easy to lose track of your bottom line. A forecast can give your business a solid foundation for success.

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