With turbulent changes in the market and shifting consumer needs, agility is a must-have ability for organizations now more than ever. If businesses plan to establish long-term success, they must be able to strategize for the future and drive growth.
Planning ahead for predicted revenue and business initiatives can be complicated, depending on how granular you go. Business operations and financial investments hinge on current market conditions that can change at a moment’s notice. Still, there are countless tools and easily implemented processes to help your endeavors along the way.
Business forecasting is a valuable tool that helps companies develop better plans of attack and reduce the potential of future failures or losses. Forecasting uses past and present data to predict future outcomes, allowing business leaders to proactively make better, more informed decisions. Knowing which data points and analytics are most important is a big part of good forecasting practices, giving businesses a competitive advantage.
Now that the second half of 2023 is here, it is time to plan for 2024 and beyond. Here are different areas where business leaders can get their forecasting started.
Look Closely at Your Payments Process
A continuous cash flow is at a company’s core—if there’s no money coming in, there won’t be growth. All businesses want to maintain their scalability and profitability, so they need insight into their cash flows, sales, demand, etc., to understand what is or will be the most beneficial for customers and where to put the most effort.
Financial forecasting provides a window into a company’s financial performance future by looking at historical and current data. This enables them to adjust strategic goals or services for the short- and long-term. However, due to external factors, painting an accurate picture of a business’s financial future can be challenging, especially for service-based businesses, since their revenue and business offerings are uniquely tied to time and space.
For service-based companies, payments platforms that provide this type of data are key. This is one service provided by Regpack—a payments and onboarding platform that was designed specifically for service-based businesses. Their advanced forecasting and analytics tools have helped businesses achieve 97.2% accuracy and probability of payments coming through.
With access to statistics on user actions, businesses can easily identify operational strengths and weaknesses through real-time data filtering and triggers. This enables custom sales and payment report creation and graph generation—turning raw data into actionable insights in only a few clicks.
The service industry has unique reporting and forecasting needs, but every business must be proactive to stay financially sound. Features like Regpack’s simplify gaining the insights needed to strategize better services and optimize business cash flow.
Ensure a Healthy IT Environment
Predicting what will or can happen next allows businesses to avoid negative results before they even occur. As new technologies help companies advance in their respective industries, new threats become more sophisticated and jeopardize organizations’ security health. Cybersecurity Ventures even predicts that the costs for damages caused by global cyber threats will increase 15% yearly for the next three years, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025—up from $3 trillion in 2015.
A healthy IT environment is crucial in organizations and enables efficient workflows and streamlined processes. In a landscape where cyberattacks can happen from anywhere at any time, data protection should be businesses’ utmost priority. The right forecasting practices can help business leaders and C-suite executives theorize the best ways to protect all their data and combat future attacks with resilient security efforts.
Invest in the RTO Experience
Not only can IT bolster a company’s defenses against cyberattacks, but these services can also add value to businesses by improving employee productivity and experiences.
By now, many employees have returned to the office, either entirely or through a hybrid schedule. While some enjoy returning to the physical workplace, others are resistant, leading to morale issues. Of course, high rates of employee disengagement ultimately lead to low productivity and business growth.
Forecasting can help companies predict churn rates, but it can also help companies find strategies to prevent churn altogether. If return-to-office initiatives are creating backlash that may result in employee churn, companies can weigh the values of in-office staff with the potential financial losses tied to employee churn. Many are finding that today’s best RTO strategy is, in fact, a hybrid solution. But hybrid workplaces are only successful with the right IT investments that can keep businesses secure and stable while enabling employees to work efficiently and collaboratively in or away from the office.
For companies to be at the top of their game, IT has to be involved in important business decision-making meetings—like RTO strategies and business forecasting. This creates opportunities for IT leaders to advocate for the type of technology and processes required to ensure efficiency, oversight, and security.
Calian IT & Cyber Solutions places a heavy focus on forecasting through the lens of IT. Their goal is to transform managed IT services into a true utility for organizations. Their Calian Services Insight dashboard provides direct insights into their services so customers can monitor, analyze, and help predict future IT needs.
Forecasting is all about being proactive so you can lead the changes happening in the marketplace rather than simply reacting to them. But robust forecasting is only accomplished with the right technology and an eye on the holistic scope of your business—including cash flow, cybersecurity, employee experience, and more.
Forecasting for your business’s future is the key to ensuring your business has a future regardless of the spikes and dips of the market.