By Audrey Isaac, 100 Candles
As wedding professionals, we know to start checking our weather apps weeks in advance for upcoming events. We plan rain and/or snow backups plans, because we see the issue coming and want to make sure it’s been taken care of beforehand. But are you doing the same thing for your business? Forecasting is critical to the success of a small business, and for those who don’t have a plan can find themselves in a place that they cannot recover from.
Not meeting sales goals? It might be because you aren’t setting them effectively for yourself and your team. Look back on where you were the same time last year and you will probably find that you were having the exact same issue. It isn’t because your business is failing, it is because you are not properly setting it up for success. You need to communicate with your team exactly what goals they need to meet, but then also give them the tools and the knowledge to reach and exceed them. The only way to foreshadow and think through these issues is to evaluate what happened the year prior. Then you can share them with the team with a clear focus instead of “just increase sales.”
Challenges and Pitfalls
Forecasting can be a great way to alleviate some of your stress. You can effectively see where your company might encounter an obstacle by taking a look backwards at previous years. Look into things like, what time of year you normally see a dip in inquires or revenue, and create a plan ahead of time for a push on marketing and advertising to combat the problem. This will help minimize any future damage or setbacks. The next year you can look back and see what solutions worked and which ones didn’t, that way you are improving year after year.
Stay on Track
Creating and implementing your plan for upward growth is necessary, but are you sharing that information with your employees? Do they know what your five or even 10-year plan looks like? This is extremely important so that they know what they are working towards with you, and can visualize the growth and know what role they play now and what role they can see themselves in in the future. Sometimes business owners and employees alike get too focused on the day-to-day tasks, and it can get mundane and even a little boring. But they need to see what track you’re on and where you’re headed so that they remain passionate, creative and striving for success.
Forecasting should not be saved for just at the end of the year. You should implement it as a practice each and every month to look back and assess your successes and failures. If you always wait until the end of the year, you are so far removed that you will forget. So add forecasting to your ‘to do’ list, you will be happy you did.
Audrey Isaac is the spokesperson of 100 Candles, a wholesale market for candles and lights. Since 2002, thousands of wedding and event professionals have entrusted 100 Candles with their wholesale candle accounts. For more information, please visit https://www.100candles.com/.