In this week’s planning and forecasting segment, we want to refer you to an article from the Business News Daily magazine called “Why Small Businesses Can’t Ignore Forecasting.” We couldn’t agree more! Forecasting is critically important for your business no matter how big or small you are. Most large corporations have entire departments–that’s what they do all day long–plan, plan, plan. Most small business executives can’t spend all day long planning because at some point they have to run the business, but you need to be spending (we’re going to estimate) 30 to 40 percent of your time planning, depending on the size of the business you’re in and the size of your staff.
The whole purpose of planning is to avoid surprises. And in the process of planning and forecasting, which is simply putting your plan down in numbers in a spreadsheet, to get you thinking about your business and what you will do if something else happens. Every time you plan, you get better at it, because forecasting is something you will not be good at the first time you do it (or the second time you do it, or the fifth time you do it), but you will get better! And it will become second nature to you because you begin to form a process of planning. Planning is critically important to avoid surprises and to find opportunities that you’re not going to find if you’re too busy operating the business. It’s the process of working ON your business and not IN your business, which you may have heard us say before.
If you need any advice on planning and forecasting within your own business, we’d love to talk with you. Give us a holler!