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How to Prepare Your Business Forecast

 

Just about every SME’s that I meet doesn’t have a business forecast, some have a cash flow forecast but that’s about it. At least those with a cash flow forecast will be able to track cash and that’s important. But how do you manage a growing business without a forecast? In my experience with great difficultly.

  • How do you know if you are going to make money or even stay in business?
  • How do you secure debt or equity funding without a forecast?
  • Will you have enough stock, staff, capacity and resources for future sales growth?
  • How do you make sure that projects are delivered on time?

Successful businesses are fantastic at anticipating future trends & problems and then solving them. The business forecast is the very best tool to help you do that.  A good business forecast covers everything from sales to cash, through to production & stock, capacity, resources and timescales that will really help you maximise performance, sales and profit. Make money, save time and reduce stress.

Working with Kent SMEs it is clear that many businesses aren’t sure how to prepare a forecast for the coming period. Neither are they comfortable with managing the business against the forecast. Even a re-forecast can prove really difficult for them. But it isn’t hard to construct a robust ‘living’ forecast that used regularly, can really help you make good decisions and achieve successful growth at a time when the business may be burning lots of cash as it grows.

Even if your accountant prepares your forecast for you, you’ll need to consider:

  1. Sales / revenue by product stream – either monetary or unit whichever is easiest
  2. Capacity and resources – these will vary each month – even a holiday chart can help
  3. Cash – money in and money out (regular and ad hoc)
  4. Stock holdings, minimum and maximum levels
  5. Margins
  6. Capital expenditure as well as growth cash
  7. New products, launches, major events and timelines
  8. Marketing activity

So to help Kent companies I have designed a new one-day workshop ‘How to Prepare Your Business Forecast’ and its running in November and December – perfect timing to get you ready for a flying start to 2014!

Events are being held in Ashford on 18 Nov, Brands Hatch on 25 Nov and Canterbury on 5 Dec. Full details of the course and what you’ll learn are available by clicking on your preferred venue.

A special offer for Business Bunker readers and listeners

A 50% discount if you use promotional code ‘VIP’ when booking – just look for the ‘promotional code’ link under the ticket information.

I look forward to meeting you at one of the events and helping you forecast and deliver a successful 2014!