Being an oracle or seer isn’t exactly on your priority list as a business owner. I get that. But using experience, perspective and the almost limitless supply of online information to predict, estimate and foresee the disruptions that end up shaping our world is absolutely essential to any successful entrepreneur.
Indeed, there aren’t any crystal balls or tarot cards that can predict the likes of Facebook, Google or Amazon rolling in and dominating their respective industries, but one thing is for certain: each of those successful companies had an element of foresight attached to them.
They were able to predict and understand that with the rapid growth in technology, there were new problems on the way. And that meant new solutions needed to be worked on before anybody else could realise the potential.
So why is business forecasting so effective and how do you start making it a part of your business?
Fortification Through Forecasting
Being a business owner means that you have loads of responsibilities on your plate. The planning, effort and the hard work put in to maintain that business is already a struggle on its own, so finding new ways to keep it growing, improving and well-fortified will take up even more energy, time and dedication.
As a business coach and someone that’s all too familiar with the highs and lows of running a business, I know how difficult it can be to manage everything on that brimming plate of yours. But without seeking new avenues for growth and progressing your business to move ahead of your competition – you leave yourself susceptible to risk.
The less risk, the better. Right?
Although forecasting and prediction isn’t a cure-all for some of those risks, it certainly makes a huge difference if you’ve prepared yourself and your company to deal with the constant changes that are bound to come your way.
Ultimately, adapting to a mindsight of prediction will strengthen the fort that you create around your business. It forces you to plan ahead and formulate contingencies that will help strengthen your company – should some form of change occur.
This way, you’re always prepared for the inevitable and ensure that you are always moving towards the goal of finding new solutions before they’re needed.
3 Benefits That Come With Forecasting
As you begin to consider an approach that makes effective use of forecasting, it would be wise to know some of the benefits that come with using it.
Firstly, it gives you the opportunity to formulate a more structured approach towards your business strategy. By using insights, trends and patterns to predict any new changes in the world (disasters, pandemics, new technologies/infrastructures, war), you can better prepare your business for any major changes and plan out how you’re going to deal with any problems that you might face.
Secondly, you’re able to estimate an increase or decrease in demand based on patterns and insights that you’ve gathered through historical data, or through predictive trends. This will allow you to plan ahead for an upcoming increase or decrease in sales; so you’re able to speed up or slow down production and employ or let go of staff to deal with changes in demand. The ability to be and remain dynamic is a powerful weapon.
And last, but certainly not least, with forecasting you’re able to allocate the necessary time and resources for emerging possibilities, rather than relying solely on guesswork and gambling. It allows for calculated risk-taking and prepares you to deal with the outcomes that could be either damaging or beneficial.
Research has also proven that businesses that prepare for the future outperform average ones by 200% higher growth and 33% higher profitability.
3 Ways To Approach Foresight
Okay, so I can’t give you a crystal ball or a black mirror to use for scrying, but I can provide some tips that will help get you started with making effective and promising predictions.
Listed here are a few of the methods that can be used to get started with forecasting. Remember that not all forecasting is based on looking into the future for possible change, but gathering insights through any form of data that will ultimately come to affect the future of your business.
Use The News – the news acts as a great source of recurring trends and patterns that indicate changes in the environment, industrial landscape and technology.
By using the news to predict certain shifts in behaviour based on impending change, then you’re able to work on promising solutions or strategies when changes occur. Think about how companies like Apple saw the changes in technology with regard to music, bandwidth and connectivity, in turn creating the iPod, iPhone and MacBook; or Canon looking past analog film and exploring digital photography, giving us access to the amazing DSLR cameras of the day.
Look At Quantitative Data – with quantitative data, you look at existing data based on purchase statistics, historical shifts and current technology. You can use your company data to discover patterns and coincidences that help you mould new strategies, additions and solutions.
With this approach, you can look at trends and changes in population, culture, technology, the environment, etc. and make predictions to take action based on the data that you’ve collected over time.
Use Qualitative Data – this type of data isn’t too focused on stats and figures, rather you gather opinions, knowledge and thoughts from your staff, leaders, customers and executives.
Using collected data from these sources could bring a lot of insight for your business; what changes could benefit the company, ideas for new services, suggestions to improve the customer experience, and even external predictions and thoughts into what might happen in the years to come. Listen carefully to outsiders and insiders to make better predictions.
Start Looking Ahead
Being aware of the knowledge that history might hold, the information that the present keeps hidden and looking into where the future is heading will help you formulate new decisions to enhance and improve your business.
Historically, certain patterns and events end up repeating themselves; currently, there are new technologies creeping in and slowly changing the way that we do things; and while the future might be filled with ambiguity, the futurists, innovators and Elon Musks of our time all have a vision and idea about what the future might hold – so watch them carefully and prepare for the inevitable.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but if I did, it would show me that you and I are capable of doing great things together.
My foresight tells me that your business could make use of some new insights, changes and improvements that only a business coach like myself could offer.
So, take a glimpse into the future and see yourself working with me to make that business of yours remarkable, impactful and transformative.
Do it. Or Don’t. The choice is yours:
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