Welcome to this week’s installment on planning and forecasting for your business! Head over to our Youtube channel and take a look at this article from Productive, Actionable Research, and ProjectManager.com learn more.
For this week’s planning segment, let’s talk a little bit about why we need to do planning and forecasting. Believe it or not, a lot of our clients really don’t engage in a formal planning process when we first start working together, even though we talk to them about it all the time! We suspect that’s true in a lot of businesses.
A lot of businesses are actually just somebody is good at a thing, so they started a business doing that thing. So they sort of created their own job, so to speak. It takes entrepreneurial skills to step out of that, to run a business that does that thing that they were good at. It’s very different to run a business that does something than it is to do the thing. That difference, that entrepreneurial skill set, is called planning–you’ve heard us talk before about working on the business versus in the business.
So why do we plan? Why do we forecast? It is to take the business to the next level. We do it to plan the future, and if anybody doesn’t understand that after the last 12 months, we would highly recommend that you reconsider running a business! In the last 12 months, we’ve seen everything that we thought to be a certainty change in the matter of about two weeks, though it took some people longer to get used to it than others… It’s not that you can plan the future or that you know what can happen. The value is in the practice of going through various scenarios.
The fact of the matter is people who don’t formally plan are constantly planning in their head or even subconsciously. They know that something can happen, so they’ve worked at something in their head for if and when it does. That is a planning process, and good business people are good at it. However, that is not the same as bringing your team together, even if your team is just yourself, and going through a planning process. If you don’t have a team, we suggest you engage a professional to go through that planning process with you.
Why else do we do it? Maybe you’ve got excess cash. You need to go through the process as to what to do with that money. We all wish we had that problem… but where you put your money has a direct impact on how well your business will do. Planning also helps you anticipate changes in the market. There’s a little bit of research that is involved before you can do your planning well.
Take a look at the articles we mentioned above! We’d love to talk with you about how you can formalize your business planning, so give us a holler!