Forecasting isn’t only for budgets, you can use them as a part of your strategy in your business. You can use them for sales, yes. However, building a forecasting strategy around certain events, holidays, seasons, or trends that are coming up and planning both your content, marketing and collaborations around them will get you in front of the right people at the right time.
What expectant revenue have you got coming in? Do you have credit owing from a client? Do you have a membership or subscription model in your business? Do you have a launch coming up of a new product or service? If you know that you have an upcoming launch for a new product or service, can you forecast ahead to line up some media attention? Perhaps you host a number or webinars, or be interviewed on podcasts, maybe you create a lead magnet and start to warm up your audience and let them know that you will have an upcoming launch and they will be the first to hear about it. Start looking at how you can pre-empt your sales by doing your due diligence and forecasting potential campaigns.
Can you plan specific launches around Summer, Winter, Spring & Autumn? If you are a product based business can you forecast upcoming launches for example, the Christmas season and make sure that you put yourself forward for the Christmas gift collection round up in Magazines? Magazines will often have long lead and short lead times, so forecasting for specific seasons will allow you to get ahead and make sure you’re featured when the Christmas season rolls around. Take note of how early shops start advertising for Christmas, keep that in mind when you want to promote your product or service.
What specific dates or holidays are coming up that you can leverage to amplify your brand, collaborations and specials? If you can identify dates and holidays that align with your business it’s a great way to piggy back off the traffic. For example when I was a makeup artist there would be specific campaigns and content around World Lipstick Day, the same goes for any industry. Or you could find a quirky holiday that you can utilise in your copy to make your audience laugh, be a little different and try to be creative. Check out Days Of The Year you’ll be surprised with what comes up, who knew there was a dedicated day for banana splits.
Even though we look at our SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) Analysis, often we swept “pandemic” under the rug with a “that will never happen”. So now that it has, we need to forecast the risks associated with this an identify a Plan B.
Can you implement alternative plans in place if isolation and closure of businesses extends longer? How can you predict future demands? When it comes to risk, you need to ask yourself the hard questions, to give yourself a buffer and to learn to manage these risks and better prepare for them if they were to arise.