The Beginners Guide To Business Forecasting

When you check your weather app to see what you should wear on your upcoming trip, you are forecasting. The temperature you see on the app is derived from a complex set of processes, all rooted in data analysis. By relying on past and present data and patterns as well as identifying outliers, the app can predict the future temperature of your trip. You rely on this app to be able to make informed decisions. So how can you apply the same principles to your business, and make equally informed decisions for your future.

Business forecasting is a planning tool that helps management in its attempts to cope with the uncertainty of the future, as defined by Business Dictionary. This means that merchants can predict what inventory is needed, gauge how much money you are expected to make, and optimize your workforce from past data.

Investing in your future is essential. As technology and forecasting software continues to penetrate the brick and mortar world, predicting the future has never been so accessible.

Let’s get started!

A Look Ahead with Sales Data

With a robust iPad POS System you can maintain and store historical data week over week, month over month, and year over year to benchmark your progress and better understand the factors contributing to the growth of your operation. The more data you collect the easier it is to identify trends and inconsistencies.

Understanding sales data lets you know what items are the most popular with your customers, what you may need to work on an upsell strategy for, or what you may need to discontinue from your product mix.

Factoring in Labor

Being able to accurately forecast business costs–including labor costs–will help your business thrive. Labor costs are an integral part of any business, and understanding how to calculate a viable formula for this critical expenditure can mean the difference between profit and loss. Set a cost percentage goal to determine a percentage for labor cost calculations. The number is usually around 26 percent of your total revenue. This figure can vary up or down but it’s a good jumping off point to getting a handle on labor expenditures.

Owners and managers have the ability to see projected labor costs and the percentage of sales, enabling them to set schedules in a way that ensures profitability and business success. Revel’s intuitive iPad POS System Point of Sale platform incorporates labor percentages based on the data you’ve entered and displays a color-coded report so you’ll always know just where you are in relationship to your goals.

Considering Inventory, Too 

With inventory forecasting, you can improve discrepancies that are a result of human error and make sure that product doesn’t run out before it can be replenished. A perpetual inventory management system tracks your stock level so that you can take the guesswork out of how much inventory you’ll need the next time you place a purchase order. Whether you’re receiving shipments, scanning barcodes, or entering SKUs, reducing the opportunity for human error by integrating your inventory tracking into your point of sales means that you’re getting an exact account of your current stock levels.

When real-time inventory reporting is deployed, you have a much more precise idea of what you should be ordering and when. That data can also help you forecast and clarify which purchasing decisions you should make, whether you’re tracking changes from month to month, season to season, or even year to year. The ability to project labor costs and sales percentages gives you total flexibility over employee scheduling to ensure you’ve never over or under staffed, assuring efficiency in the workplace.

business forecastingWith a Revel iPad POS System, approach the unknown with confidence. By sourcing a whole catalog of data you can better develop your strategic plans to empower you to be the most competitive in your marketplace.  Learn more about Revel Systems real-time reporting and how you can forecast your future.