Every new year is filled with 12 months’ worth of business opportunities and possibilities for growth. However, you can only make the most of what lies ahead if you take some time at the start of the year to forecast your future and plan ahead for it.
If these seems like an overwhelming feat, rest assured that you’re not alone. It can feel like a lot of pressure to consider what your company’s future holds, but the truth of the matter is that you’re fully prepared for this. You have a wealth of experience behind you to use for planning purposes, as well as a list of goals that can help you navigate the next year.
Let’s explore some ways you can forecast your business effectively and accurately in 2020.
1. Use your tools wisely
There’s a good chance you have plenty of tools already at your disposal that can help you to forecast the year ahead. Review your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database, your social media platform, your website analytics, and anything else you have in your back pocket that can give you more insight into your performance from this past year. Keep an eye out for gaps in data that could use room for improvement, as well as the things that seem to be trending upwards for you.
2. Ask for feedback
Quantitative data can only tell you so much, so it’s important to gather as much feedback as possible about your performance from the past year. If you’ve already been getting customer reviews and testimonials, good job--you’re already a step ahead of the game. Consider requesting feedback from your creative partners as well. Your clients only see the final result of your hard work, but your industry peers are more likely to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
3. Reevaluate your pricing
A lot can change in 12 months, including the market demands in your area. When you’re busy forecasting the year ahead and making goals, it’s also a good time to take a look at your pricing structure. After all, it plays an instrumental role in your bottom line. Keep an eye on competitors to see how they’re pricing similar services or products. It’s not just about the costs, but also the way you bundle your offerings. Take some time to adjust the packages and products that have not been selling.
4. Set new goals
The goals of last year likely won’t apply to the upcoming year; that would defeat the purpose of growth. Assess how you improved and reached your goals in 2019, taking careful note of any objectives that weren’t quite fulfilled. Rework them, along with any new goals you have, to stretch yourself further and prioritize the areas in which you wish you improved more. For example, if you wanted to reach 10,000 Instagram followers in 2019 but only hit 8,000, push yourself to reach for 12,000 or 15,000.
Business forecasting aligns well with goal-setting because the whole idea is to figure out where you want to go and set up a system that will help you get there. The reality of your past experiences and your current business situation should support your forecast so you can go in with an accurate look at the year ahead.
Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, Calif. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE and current international president for WIPA.