The needs of the market change at a dramatic rate. This means that your business must also continually change to meet those needs. To make the most beneficial changes, you must make predictions on what’s likely to happen in the future. This is where business forecasting comes into play. Forecasting is the practice of foretelling future events. It may entail compiling historical data like past sales and creating a mathematical model to help predict the future. Here are some reasons why forecasting is crucial for your business.

1. Expanding into new markets
Forecasting is absolutely necessary when you are venturing into new markets or setting up subsidiaries in new locations. Expanding into new markets, especially international ones, comes with so many risks and uncertainties. But through forecasting, you can determine your chances of succeeding in the target market, find out who your potential customers are, and estimate the level of competition you’re likely to face.

Once you establish that you have a chance of cracking your target market, you can embark on the process of assembling the necessary resources and the right talents. Partnering with a reputable global PEO like New Horizons Global Partners can help you successfully expand your business overseas. This company will help you set up a team of professionals that will guide your business to grow and handle all payroll responsibilities on your behalf.

2. Investing your money wisely
A continuous flow of money is the lifeblood of your company. So, you must put your money in areas that have the potential of generating excellent returns. And the best way to identify these areas is through forecasting. Whether it’s financing an upcoming product launch, bringing new talents on board, investing in the development of existing staff, or enhancing your digital marketing strategy, every company has profitable areas worth investing in.

3. Setting measurable short-term and long-term goals
Goals offer a clear idea of what your business is striving to achieve. Creating short-term goals to attain long-term goals is an important aspect of any successful business. Forecasting helps you set both short-term and long-term goals. There are three forms of forecasting you can use based on your business’s size and type.

The simplest of the three is the qualitative approach, which is often utilized by new businesses that have little or no historical data. The second one is the quantitative approach that’s commonly used by businesses that have been in the market for quite some time and know the patterns that have been successful in the past. Causal modeling is the most complex of the three approaches. It analyzes different sets of data to establish if there is a causal relationship between them. With these three approaches, you can set measurable short-term and long-term goals regardless of the size and type of your business.

4. Take advantage of real-time data
Modern businesses obtain real-time consumer data from a wide array of sources. With sales forecasting models, you easily estimate future demand for a specific product or service leveraging real-time consumer data. Some of the sources of consumer data include sales reps, online surveys, and market tests.

5. Promotes collaboration and coordination
Forecasting isn’t one person’s responsibility. Instead, it requires collaboration and coordination of all team leaders. Getting all concerned parties to participate in the process of predicting future events automatically encourages collaboration and coordination. It also guarantees adaptability to fast-changing conditions.

6. Plan formulation
Forecasting is an important part of planning because planning premises consists of some predictions. In fact, forecasting is the basis on which planning happens. Planning under all conditions and in all instances involves a considerable degree of projecting the future in the view of current circumstances and environment. So there is a close relationship between forecasting and planning. Adequate planning, be it short term or long-term, departmental or overall, relies on forecasting to a greater extent.

Forecasting helps you plan the next steps for your business. It helps you gain a clear understanding of what measures you need to put in place to grow. It allows you to come up with smart short-term and long-term goals. It also enables you to make intelligent investment decisions and promotes a team spirit and coordination in the workplace when heads of departments participate in the process of forecasting.