Operating and Financial Forecasts Using Artificial Intelligence
Guest writer Steve Clegg brings technology to the table in his blog post for this week, “Operating and Financial Forecasts Using Artificial Intelligence.”
Operating and Financial Forecasts Using Artificial Intellignence
Forecasting your operating and financial results is an important part of any business. Whether you are a startup or an established company, accurate forecasting will help you make informed decisions in your day-to-day operations.
Operating forecasts drive your financial forecasts—not the reverse—and allow you to predict key metrics like customer retention and customer transactions, resulting in reliable forecasts for revenue, expenses, and profits, so that you can take advantage of any growth opportunities as they arise. By understanding how you can improve outcomes in these areas, you create a business strategy that helps you maximize your profitability and meet the expectations and needs of your customers. With the use of Artificial Intelligence, forecasting and managing your growth is simplified.
Let’s look at some of the most important things that you need to understand about operational forecasting.
The determination of the key operating metrics that drive your financial performance is often very difficult to understand. As a result, many businesses are reactive versus proactive because of everything that can impact a business, including competition, service expectations, distance, seasonality, technology, and the economy.
It is important to remember that successful businesses focus on what really matters. They make choices to identify who their customers are, what products and services are most profitable, and the markets and industries that make the most sense to target. With this approach you can improve your product and service offerings to exceed the expectations of your target customers.
Identifying which customers, industries and geographic markets are important to your business is the first step in managing your future. You can then use this data to segment customers by type, provide them with the products and services that they are most likely to purchase, and deliver the customer engagement they expect. This approach will help you improve customer satisfaction and keep your customers coming back. Retained customers double their purchases every year that they stay with you.
How do you create and maintain reports that track your performance and accurately forecast your next 12 months?
AI technology has come to the rescue. These plans can be easily created and updated using Artificial Intelligence which will provide a detailed plan to help you, identify what drives your business, and set clear goals and targets. With a clear plan and outline for how you intend to achieve your goals you can stay on track, overcome obstacles and manage your employees and resources to determine which operating, sales and marketing programs are working. AI allows you to be proactive by knowing the future versus being reactive and a victim of the past.
By using AI, you are able to make data driven decisions that are proactive, rather than emotional reactive decisions, based on misguided opinions or guesses. It also provides you with valuable feedback that you can use to measure the effectiveness of each decision and accurately forecast and improve future performance.
Tracking your operating results and forecasting them correctly is a critical step in ensuring that you meet all your operating and financial goals.
Zintoro.com is an online artificial intelligence tool that automates forecasting and tracking of your key operating and financial metrics and determines what is really driving results by branch, department, product line and customers. Zintoro.com tracks historical results and provides 12 month rolling forecast with a >95% accuracy for forecasting your customers, transactions, and revenue.
The first step in creating a good financial forecast is to understand the key operating metrics that matter most to your customers and your organization. By constantly using these metrics, you will be able to make better business decisions that maximize your organization’s financial performance and meet the expectations of your customers.
Let’s look at an example of a key business metric that Zintoro.com uses as the foundation for preparing an operational and financial forecast for your business: Your Customer Retention Rate
The retention rate tells you the number of customers who return to purchase your products or services over a specific period. For example, if you have a rolling 12-month retention rate of 70% this means that 70% of your customers will continue to do business with you after their first 12 months. A high retention rate indicates that your customers are happy with your products and services and will return to buy more. If you have a low retention rate this indicates that your customers are not satisfied and continue to look for alternatives to meet their needs. Understanding the retention rate can help you make important changes that improve your customers’ experience and ultimately improve their satisfaction and loyalty to your brand.
Customer retention is your primary growth engine, because each year a customer is retained their transactions and revenues will double for up to three to five years. With a successful sales and marketing program, transactions and sales will double again.
A successful financial forecast is based on your ability to retain customers, which helps you identify business opportunities, achieve your growth goals, and make smart business decisions that contribute to your overall success. The financial forecast, which is determined by your customers forecasted transactions and their retention, helps you manage your costs and avoid unexpected expenses that can negatively impact your bottom line.
Zintoro.com automates the process and identifies your key metrics that drive your business and which customers you are at risk of losing. Stop guessing and start anticipating the future.