Forecasts are not made to predict the future, but to set goals based on historical and present financial figures. With the evidence available forecasts are made to give business owners, companies and partners an idea of where they are headed and what roadblocks exist. Forecasts are not meant to be another boring document that will be breezed over in a routine staff meeting, but ought to be ongoing inspiration for all levels of management who will be continually consulting and reimagining the ideas presented in it. Don’t let your forecasts fall flat on their audience thereby completely failing to do their job of casting vision, but make them be informative and therefore compelling so they spur people on to meditation and action.
Three things that will give you informative and compelling forecasts
- Have a reason for change. If you really want to compel people with your forecasts, given them a bigger reason to look forward to when considering the financial state of the company. What is the trajectory that you’ve been on, and how has it changed over time? Is there an inspiring story in your midst that you may not have even seen until you sat down to draw up a forecast? Whether your goals are things like large expansions, new markets or cutting costs with new technologies, your employees and partners want to be inspired to changes through forecasts, so give them something to put their hope in.
- Aim for transparency. The credibility earned by the forecaster is of the utmost importance in presenting compelling and informative forecasts that will actually be heard, seen, and interacted with. Make sure that through presenting forecasts all viewers are aware of what your sources are, what your goals are, and that your histories are accurate and trustworthy. Forecasts ought to be open for critique for the betterment of your business and its partners, and if there is anything that seems hidden or unclear, your chances of using forecasts as an honest stepping stone for the improvement of your finances and company are far slimmer.
- Visualize everything. There are those weird people out there who love to drool over numbers all day, but to most people the sentiment that a picture says a thousands words – or digits – hits home. Whenever you can bring figures to life with visuals, do it, and people will be more likely to not only get a clearer picture of the story you’re telling with your forecasts, but they will also interact with it more. Visualizations will help them process the information more quickly and make sense of the impact that the changes you propose will have on the overarching goals for the company at large.
If you aren’t sure how to make the best possible forecasts , and suspect that some new and improved technology might help you achieve these three starting goals, visit Questica to learn about our budget software. We are experts in providing the most cutting edge forecast and budgeting tools and in training companies to leverage them in ways that are most helpful for your business.
Our OpenBook software will also provide you an opportunity for enhanced visuals of your data and help transparency in your budget. We understand that transparency enables better ideas, better conversations and better financials. Don’t let a tool as powerful as forecasts go untapped because the task is too daunting. With the right technology, it can be easier and more collaborative than you could ever imagine. Want to see the software in action for yourself? Go onto our website to request a demo or sign up for one of our free monthly informational webinars, today.