How BPM Software Can Help with Business Forecasting
If you’re planning an important outdoor event, you pay attention to the weather forecast. Likewise, when planning for the future of your business, you must pay attention to the business forecast. That way you can anticipate problems and act (or react) accordingly to minimize problems and maximize success.
Of course, no one can see into the future, but you can make accurate predictions based on relevant data and past history. Your workflow software can be a strong ally in collecting the data that fuels your business forecasts. But it all starts with a review of your business plan.
Reviewing Your Business Plan
Business plans aren’t carved in stone, and yours has probably evolved since the day you first opened your doors. But if you haven’t revisited your business plans in six months or more, you’d be wise to get it out and read it. Does your business plan still make sense in light of what you have learned over the past several months? Are there parts of your business plan or objectives that you have forgotten about or let slide? It’s good to remind yourself why you went into business, even if how you run your business isn’t quite as you had imagined it when it was only a concept. Once you have reacquainted yourself with what you do and why you do it, reviewing your workflow software is the next step in learning to make informed business forecasts.
Workflow Software Helps You Forecast with Accurate, Relevant Data
If you use workflow software and don’t take advantage of it to collect data, you’re missing out. And if you don’t use workflow software at all you’re missing out even more. Workflow software allows you to take key business processes, like order collection, and streamline them so they’re as efficient as possible. With the right workflow software, you can collect key data at multiple points throughout the process – data that may be useful when preparing your business forecast. Suppose that your order fulfillment workflow aggregates geographic data, alerting you to the fact that you sell heavily in a region you hadn’t even considered. This data will become important in your next quarterly forecast.
Understanding Your Target Market Is Essential
Other data that your workflow software collects on your target market is essential to accurate business forecasting. The better you understand your target market, whether it’s housewives, truck drivers, or accounting firms, the better you can make your business forecasts. Fortunately, your workflow software can go a long way in helping you understand your target customers. In fact, the right workflow software will make it easy to delve into data, make sense of it, and create reports that are informative and useful for planning your future. If for example, you learn that an increasing number of customers placing large orders are doing so on mobile devices, you can help ensure resources are devoted to shoring up your mobile strategy.
Forecasting That Is Pragmatic Rather Than Wishful
Business forecasting shouldn’t be the same thing as wishful thinking. Rather, it should be based on history and data. Your workflow software can collect data and help you understand your business history more thoroughly, so you can create business forecasts that make sense and that produce actionable conclusions. Business forecasts based upon what people hope will happen, without data to back up those hopes, can fail and fail spectacularly. But business forecasts built on pragmatism and real life data are more likely to pan out. Assuming you have planned for forecasted scenarios (and have developed contingency plans for the unexpected), the forecasts you create with the help of your workflow software will help your company move forward with confidence.
PerfectForms is workflow software that makes it easy for non-technical users to design and create automated workflows that not only streamline business processes but also collect important data as they proceed. With its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface, PerfectForms allows the people who are most invested in workflows to design them to their specifications, helping them work more efficiently and learn more along the way.
Data you collect from your workflows can be sent to databases automatically, collected for future reporting, or used to determine the next steps in a process. And finally, did you know you can sign up for a free trial of PerfectForms? Learn for yourself how easy it can be to automate workflows and collect critical data, so you can make better business forecasts starting today.