It is that time of year when everyone seems compelled to make forecasts. The experts insist on giving us their version and they decide either to be safe and predict more of the same or to be outrageous and predict something extreme - Canadian dollar at US$0.59 or oil back to $100!
We should ignore them all; they're useless. I have worked on many; in plans and projections for my own businesses and for clients.
It is useful to remember before starting that they are all part of the fiction we are writing to convince ourselves or someone else what we hope will happen. It would be better to describe them as "reasonable expectations." All we know for sure is that the forecasts will be wrong. We just do not know by how much or in which direction.
So if we cannot predict the future, what can we do?
Our primary objective should be to understand our business environment - the competitive landscape and the economic conditions. The real issues to understand are the trends, the causes and effects, the alternative scenarios we need to be prepared for and the most likely ones to occur.
Then we have something we can work with.
Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson
Visit also: LearningEntrepreneurship.com:
- The Seven Biggest Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
- Find the Exit before it's an Emergency
- Deciding When to Launch Your Business
- The Four P’s of Salesmanship: “You wanna buy a book?”
And check out two new books by Uncle Ralph, "Don't Do It the Hard Way" and "The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans." available online or at your favourite bookstore. To learn more or buy a copy: Click here