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5 Uncertainties Business Owners Face: Are You Forecasting Change?
Posted on 23rd March 2017 in Business
Written by Freya Hughes
Whether you’re doing it for the first time or you’re a more experienced business owner, when you’re scaling the wall to success there will always be rocks along your path ready to trip you up. Rather than stumbling through blind, let us be the ropes that secure your upward ascent. In this blog, we have a look at 5 key things which could make the difference between finding yourself sitting up all night worrying, to predicting your first million with a glass of champers.
1. Unstable markets make your predictions harder
Here at FUTRLI HQ, Brighton, UK, we’re all too aware of the coming instability of Brexit and we’ve been helping our customers to scenario plan different possibilities for their business. Similarly, the Trump administration is making waves across the US, and world, and news of that they’re contemplating a tax reform will undoubtedly cause concern. While we have no idea what any government will throw at us next, it’s essential to not only keep an eye on news sources but to react to the information you’re absorbing. What will this mean for business? What is the worst case? Are you customers affected by the change? Will it impact staff? If you don’t, you’ve effectively “turned off”, even though the TV might physically be blaring out more news. A quick way of keeping up with all of these changes and alterations is to build the news into your routine and make sure you’re reading across multiple channels from global sources to industry opinion pieces.
2. Maintaining your cash position
We’re aware that this isn’t always the simplest of tasks. If you find a high percentage of your sales are on credit, there’s a greater risk of your cash flow suffering. Keep a handle on your financial incomings and outgoings by testing out FUTRLI today. If you’re able to play out scenarios in your head for your business but aren’t sure you can afford to make them happen, have a look at our Scenarios section. This feature allows you to input your own data with real-time predictions, giving you confidence in each decision you make, therefore more control over where your money is actually going. A good example here is if there was a chance of an economic downturn. If you’ve played out some possible outcomes for this before it happens you’ll be able to use what you’ve learnt to protect your business. Be it investing or finding an investor, amping up stock or cutting it back, you can act now and pivot your business before external factors prevent you from making your own choices.
3. The upward trajectory of technology
While it’s exciting for most, the near-constant upgrades to our devices and software can make for an intimidating change for some. Your product may be as good as it can be for now but keep track of advancements in your industry and apply them when you’re able. Considering (and planning for) multiple eventualities will not only help you feel prepared for what’s next, it’ll force you to look at the bigger picture, and therefore understand the direction your business is taking. If you’re not on the Cloud for your accounting and financial planning already, just do it. Forecasting is easy when you’re using FUTRLI and, quite frankly, if it isn’t easy, it won’t get done. You’ll find a company with the ability to Forecast their next moves will execute them confidently. Don’t be left behind; technology has been developed to work for us, not the other way round!
4. The unknown
This might seem broad because the ‘unknown’ can indeed be anything. Will your manager quit tomorrow? Will your supplier demand payment before the week’s out? Forecasting is such a fundamental part of effectively running your business regardless of the unknowns. If you look up and ahead by Forecasting your future, it will allow you to not only ask yourself where you want your business to be, but allow you to follow through with the best plan. If you’re more of an ‘act now, think later’ kind of person, you’re worrying us, please test-run a Forecast and just see how much cash (and pain!) can be saved with the smallest of considerations.
Change is always around the corner and when it comes knocking, you’ll need to look at the financial implications first. If you don’t know where you stand, your team will notice. As a strong leading force in the business, you need to figure out where you are so you can make adjustments to your Forecast. If you’re confident in your financial standing, this could be the right time to branch out – or conversely, economise and save your pennies. Identifying and utilising opportunities is where your focus must lie, and the all in one functionality of FUTRLI will save you precious time to do so, as it takes mere seconds to explore different scenarios across your P&L, Balance Sheet and Cashflow.
5. Great business, no recognition
The age-old conundrum of how to get your name out there. Marketing is a key part of how some businesses grow, be it adverts, social media or organically introducing your connections to your service. But it’s not the only way. Networking is a sometimes fun, usually solid way to get to know who is who in your immediate area. Going to local networking events will enable you to meet the competition (don’t write them off, they could be key collaborators in the future) and help you communicate what you’re all about. Building great partnerships with people on the same journey as you is fundamental. You’ll be able to share ideas, knowledge, and even customers. Perhaps you’ll befriend your next manager or business partner over your lukewarm coffees…get out there, collaboration beats struggling alone.