21 March 2023

Forecasting in Business – 6 Productivity Hacks

Productivity hacks for finance

Forecasting in business is key to success, but it can take up a lot of time. We all know it’s important, but we’ll do anything to put it off!

Rather than procrastinate – here are six tips to speed up the process and be productive when it comes to business forecasting!

  1. Start with your costs

When coming up with a financial plan, expenses are often the most effective place to start. It’s key in giving you an accurate picture of potential future finances and success and a key part of an efficient business forecasting process.

When making a forecasting model, it’s important to consider all expenses so you can get the most accurate prediction of profits and losses. Fixed costs like rent and utilities are easy enough – they don’t change too much month-to-month. Variable costs such as cost of goods sold should be based on margins and quantities for an effective evaluation plan.

  1. Give your forecasting processes a refresh –

Adapting to a changing market requires agility, so why not take your business forecasting methods up a notch?

Is your current process slowing you down and making forecasting unduly cumbersome? It may seem counter intuitive, but take some time out to examine your processes, ask yourself where some new strategies can come in, and make sure you’re up-to-date with the latest trends and tools.

Going forward, it might be worth considering the potential of monthly or even weekly forecasts. That’s how you can get ahead and stay there – by unpacking different scenarios using current assumptions each period, then revising them as needed with decisive accuracy.

  1. Set Clear Goals

Whether you’re an accountant working with a client, finance manager of a large organisation, or owner of a startup, establishing well-defined objectives is key to successful forecasting; ensure you’re clear on the vision and mission of the business and all key players are aligned in this view. This will save time down the line and ensure more effective forecasting from day one.

And here’s a top tip- our brains are hardwired to complete tasks that fuel our dopamine (Our reward hormone) -so If you’re focused on growth and future sales, you’re more likely to whizz through the task of forecasting quicker! You can start straight away by using our free cashflow calculator to get that feelgood buzz

  1. Don’t rely on excel!

Though 90% of businesses lean on Excel for forecasting, it’s important to remember that this powerful tool has its limits. It cannot provide the collaborative or multi-dimensional modelling capability needed by many organizations today in order to remain agile and prepared for multiple scenarios. Excel is also a static tool and so for example amending an accurate sales forecast remains a very manual and one dimensional task. This will ultimately slow you down, and may even cause you to make mistakes- all lowering your overall productivity.

  1. Use cloud based forecasting software to do the heavy lifting.

Whether you’re a business owner, business advisor or Finance Director, we’re all time poor, so take advantage of the latest tech trends and make business forecasting software a key part of your business toolkit. Unlock new opportunities and enjoy faster, more efficient operations with this innovative technology!

  1. And finally…..expect the unexpected!

If the pandemic has taught us anything in business, it’s to anticipate unexpected future events.

And there’s significant competitive advantage to be had in regular forecasting and also taking the time to understand your customers’ future needs as well as keeping an eye on market trends. Implementing smart software solutions will give you the insight needed for making informed decisions quickly, giving you valuable insights into changing trends that keep your enterprise on track towards success.

We all know the importance of forecasting in business planning for the health and future sustainability of any business, and Clearview is a smart forecasting tool to help you get into the habit of forecasting regularly and being on top of the business at any given time. By making your financial forecasts easier and more effective, our simple approach ensures that you can confidently create integrated, professional results for internal use or sharing with external audiences. Let us support you in making the most out of your business!

Use Clearview to improve your productivity. Sign up for free now.