By Kevin Dennis, WeddingIQ
As the owner or manager of a growing business, you shoulder the responsibility not just of current day-to-day operations, but what will happen in the future as well. While a crystal ball would be super helpful, magic is not an option. You need to apply your expertise and your past experience to looking ahead and anticipating what is likely to come next so you can be totally prepared for the next opportunities and challenges. You need to learn to forecast like a pro.
Business forecasting, or looking into the future to predict what is to come, doesn’t have to be a daunting, overwhelming task, however. If you approach it wisely, it can easily become a routine – one with the power to help you navigate towards future success.
One of our most valuable forecasting tools is our CRM software. It enables us to create a comprehensive database of our leads and our active and past clients. Part of knowing what to expect in the future is having an extremely clear view of what occurred in the past. Our database helps us see the areas and circumstances under which we were most successful, and to take note of the situations that were challenges.
What to Include
Set tangible goals or benchmarks in your forecast, like a monetary goal you hope to reach in the future, or a number of events you want to book in a given time period. You could also include the amount of money you anticipate your couples will spend per event. Figuring out where you want to go, then comparing it with the reality of your known and anticipated expenses and obstacles can help you create a plan that will help you overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities.
When forecasting, it is important that your predictions be realistic. Don’t just anticipate the good times. Build in padding for the more difficult times as well. Being conservative with your income estimates and a little guarded about prospective success will ultimately help you find balance.
The Biggest Mistake
The single biggest mistake that most businesses make is not forecasting at all. Maybe it’s easier not to think about the future, or maybe you’re afraid you won’t like what you find. The only path forward, though, is one that acknowledges the successes and failures of the past, and attempts to prepare for them in the future.
Are you ready to guide your company through its next phases of growth? Start forecasting today!