Forecasting for businesses is more than just guesswork. There is a complex process that goes into formulating accurate forecasts. Data, experience and research are used to create realistic assumptions.
Forecasting is complex and not always accurate, but running a business without relying on forecasts is not a sensible choice since you need this information to manage your cash flow, sales, costs and expenses. Your forecasts may not be very accurate or detailed at first but you will get better results as you keep collecting data. For instance, a forecast for your online sales can be created by looking at traffic, conversion rates and the average amount of a sale. The longer your website is online, the more relevant data will be available to create better forecasts.
These are some of the benefits of using business forecasting:
- A forecast can help you avoid overspending your budget.
- You will get an idea of the goals you need to reach in order to break even or generate a profit.
- Forecasting shows you if your marketing strategies are working or need improvement.
There is no need to spend money on an expensive forecasting solution. If you are just getting started with forecasting, these five apps should provide you with all the tools you need:
- Google Docs offers a simple way to create forecasts. Check the Microsoft Office website to find some free templates you can use with Excel.
- Do you use Quickbooks for your accounting needs? This tool also offers a cash flow forecast feature.
- If you want an online solution, the You Need A Budget app could be your best option. All you have to do is upload bank statements and the app will create a budget for you and show you how much cash is needed.
- Pulse is the perfect tool if you need to share forecasting information with other members of your team. This cash flow app lets you see your budget in details and provides you with helpful collaboration features.
- If you need something more advanced, Master PlanGuru is an option you should explore. This app offers several forecasting methodologies to cover a broader range of possible scenarios.
If your forecasts consistently show that you miss your goals, it is time to make some changes to the way you promote your products or services. It might be time for a brand new website. Contact us to find out more about the website creation services we offer and how we can help you improve your cash flow with the right promotional vehicle for your brand.