fbpx

Strategic forecasting: A crucial tool for any small business

Could your small business survive another pandemic? Are you prepared to tackle the next tech revolution to ensure your business’s sustainability and success? If you’re even slightly worried about either of these possibilities, we have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that your business is at risk. If you’re not prepared for the unexpected, the next big shift in the business world might see your company left behind.

Luckily, there’s good news too. Businesses big and small across the globe are leveraging the power of strategic forecasting to guard themselves against whatever the future may bring.

And look, we’ll level with you – you’re not going to be able to predict the next world-rocking event. No-one can do that, despite what a billion clickbait articles may tell you. Strategic forecasting is less about gearing up for specific events, and more about preparing for any eventuality. Even that might sound too good to be true, but trust us, it’s extremely doable, and could save your small business from redundancy.

Here are some practical examples of how you can utilise strategic forecasting in your small business.

USE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS’S EXISTING DATA TO STRATEGICALLY FORECAST FUTURE SHIFTS

You might not realise it, but you have everything you need to get started in strategic forecasting at your fingertips. All the data you accumulate as part of your everyday business can be analysed and used to gain crucial insights. Take a good, hard look at all your data on market conditions and consumer behaviour, and you’ll be able to predict future trends.

For example: Does your store get busier in summer? Is your consumer behaviour tied to the market in any way? These simple questions can help you determine your strategy when any of these elements change and cause your consumers to change their behaviour.

If you’re selling high-end products, you can use existing data to know exactly how much to pull back when the economy slumps – and vice versa.

You should also be constantly monitoring your current data. Watch for emerging trends so you can respond to them immediately. If you make blue and red widgets, and blue starts to outsell red at a steadily increasing rate, scale back your red manufacturing. In some cases, it really is that simple.

Armed with these insights, your small business can more effectively allocate resources. You can adjust your product development planning, pricing, target markets and more, maximising your chance of success.

IDENTIFY NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WITH STRATEGIC FORECASTING DATA

Just as you should be constantly watching your own business’s data, you should be 100% up to date with industry and market trends. Glue yourself to news sites like your teenager is glued to their phone, and you’ll be first to know about the next big thing.

Another example: Who could have seen ChatGPT coming? Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about it now – we’re sure you’ve heard enough about the rise of AI in the last few months. However, it’s a great example of a new ‘product’ that has taken the world by storm. If AI can help you streamline your business, you need to incorporate it into your business practices now. Because if you don’t, your competitors will, leaving you in the plain-old-normal-intelligence dust. Wait, what’s the opposite of artificial intelligence… Organic intelligence? Either way, it’ll be dusty.

On the other hand, if you bring cutting-edge into your business first (and you do it well), you’re almost guaranteed to give your business a significant competitive advantage. New technologies and best practices are made for a reason, so use them wherever you can.

CREATE A SMALL BUSINESS THAT IS RESPONSIVE & AGILE IN TURBULENT TIMES

Here’s where we come full circle: Could your business survive another pandemic?

But the reality is even scarier – we don’t know what the next catastrophe will be, or when it’ll happen.

Honestly, we’re not even going to throw ideas out. Who could possibly have guessed that the entire world would be locked down for so long? Whatever comes next will be equally unimaginable. So rather than preparing for a specific disaster, the smart move is to ensure that your business is able to quickly respond to whatever may happen.

Depending on what your small business does, there are a few ways to do this. Consider expanding your revenue streams by entering new markets and addressing a broader range of consumer demands. Build reserves of vital resources to maintain productivity in any circumstance. Explore alternative supply chains to mitigate risks associated with potential disruptions in logistics. Remember the Evergreen fiasco in the Suez Canal? You never know when something like that will happen again.

Get the funds you need to future-fit your small business

Naturally, these things can cost money. At the very least, you’ll need to invest some time into research, data analysis and other facets of strategic forecasting. The old adage really is true – time is money.

If you’re looking to build a more robust company, there are other costs to consider. Branching out into new markets and diversifying your portfolio ain’t cheap. But investing in your future success is just as crucial as ensuring profitability now, and you’ll kick yourself if you aren’t prepared when the next shoe drops.

Strategic forecasting is essential for your small business’s survival. And, if you do it right, it can lead to a wealth of exciting new opportunities. Who knows, you might even stop using the word ‘small’ before ‘business’ in your Google searches.

If you don’t have the cash on hand to prepare for the unexpected, the GroWise Capital team is here to help. We’ll work with you to identify the best way to respond to your strategic forecasting data, giving you the funds you need fast – seriously fast. In 24 hours – sometimes as quickly as 45 minutes – you could be using your funding to branch out into new markets, while securing your business model against any future catastrophe.

Get in touch with us today. We’re waiting for your call.

Share the Post: