The changes that make the difference in your business planning process
Unfortunately, many businesses fail to thrive and to survive. For example, in the US (and elsewhere), the primary cause for business failure is poor planning (U.S. Small Business Administration, 2015). Planning, which includes budgeting, forecasting and project management, is crucial for businesses to survive. In the absence of good planning, businesses lose overview and control, which most likely leads to failure. Nevertheless, many companies still rely on Excel or tools that are ill-suited for companies in growth. Many people lack the skills to perform their budgeting and planning in Excel sheets.
At Bizview, we are interested in making life easier for businesses by adopting a more streamlined and effective planning processes. However, not all businesses know where to start. What are the main steps that a business must take in order to make a big difference on the overall business planning? We’ve compiled a brief list based on our own experience. Please note that there are lot of different actions that will contribute to a positive business outcome. However, we limit ourselves to a few steps that we know will be effective for all businesses.
1. Gather ALL your planning in one place
Instead of performing your annual budget in Excel sheet A, your project management in tool B, and your forecasting in another Excel sheet C, it is undoubtedly better to gather all your planning in one place. By automatically connecting the numbers you insert into your planning forms, you save time and eliminate the risk of the data being lost or poorly inserted into another document. You will have better overview and instant access to all your planning. You simply have the budget users login to one platform, where they enter their budgets and forecasts – without the need for finance personnel to manually gather and collect the figures.
2. Reduce the need for manual work
Finance personnel, such as business controllers, often spend a lot of time in manually entering data from one sheet to another in order to consolidate the numbers into one cohesive budget. When working with a single platform, numbers are automatically consolidated, without the need for the business controller to do manual work. Furthermore, with the system automatically entering historical data, the business controllers do no need to extract figures from different systems into their planning forms. This is a time-saver for many controllers, who instead can focus on analyzing the data and strategic business controlling.
3. Make greater place for rolling forecasts
We have mentioned it before but rolling forecasts will simplify your life. The businesses that use both budgeting and rolling forecasts, have an easier time in executing their activities while in the meantime staying alert on what needs to be changed. The budget acts as a roadmap for the year ahead, while the rolling forecast is predicting the future based on the actual results – making your overall planning more agile and flexible. While it might sound like more work to create another planning form besides the traditional budget, it is more a case of balancing out the different types planning to give a more comprehensive picture of the business. While it is important to have good budgeting practices in place, it is also important to understand that it will never be able to predict where your business is heading.
All the above changes in a business’ planning process can be done with Bizview. By gathering all planning in one place and by reducing the need for manual input, companies save an incredible amount of time which they instead can use to focus on other things.
If you or your customers are interested in improving the budgeting and planning process, please contact us for more information and a personal demo guided by one of our business advisors.