Forecasting is an important aspect of online marketing and pretty much in all facets of life. With a forecast, there’s a concrete plan that puts self-assurance in our stride. Without it, the best we can do is ‘get by’ and that’s not very proactive. Forecasting tells us when it is best to shop, when to wear a winter hat, and when to expect a change in business trends.
It certainly requires discipline, imagination, and good communications skills. The payoff is big—greater efficiency, more productivity, and superior customer experience.
Unfortunately, not many businesses forecast and make predictions about what will happen in long run. Forecasting should be the number one feature of your workforce management practice, if it is not already. It must precede and will influence so many of your decisions you make: schedule breaks and lunches; approve time-off requests; hire and train more staff; and, to automate some responsibilities in order to streamline operations and increase efficiency in the office.
Here are a few tips to help you with your forecasting efforts:
- Stop repeating old behaviors that don’t work. I am referring to the strategies that don’t generate good leads and managers keep putting them in forecasts in hopes that lightening will strike down.
- Get the management team to adopt a purposeful and result-driven marketing and sales funnel where they set targets for every stage of it.
- Monitor each stage (weekly) to identify where the targets are not being met and intervene early enough to make a difference.
- Don’t search for answers. Generate your own by doing some hallowed research.
- Know your customer. This tip is obvious, but a little reminder never kills. Without knowing what your customer is buying NOW you will never be able to figure out what they will buy 12-24 months in the future. Look at what is flying off the racks, talk to your team, including your front line staff.
Important Tip of the Day: Forecasting can be divided into two parts – headcount and volume. When we know what volume will be needed, then we can determine the optimal time to hire and train to meet the workload.
iRISEmedia.com is a digital marketing agency and SEO company, specializing in Social Media and internet marketing. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and social media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.