Every year, more than 627,000 small businesses open for the first time. If you’re one of them, you’ll quickly learn that there’s more to running a successful business than meets the eye.

You need to plan for the future and find ways to budget appropriately. The best way to do this is through financial forecasting.

No matter what types of forecasting you use or how great you think your financial forecasting strategy is, it’s easy to make mistakes. And those mistakes can cost you.

Here are a few of the most common financial forecasting mistakes business owners make and what you need to do to avoid making them yourself.

1. Dwelling on the Past Too Much

Historical data is essential if you want to gauge how your business is doing throughout the year. It helps you create a basis for your budget and makes setting long-term business goals easier.

However, relying too much on past data can cause problems. It fails to take into consideration changes in the industry that impact your budget and your overall operations strategy.

Instead of looking at historical data alone, consider industry trends, too. This will help you paint a more accurate picture of your company and helps make cutting business costs easier throughout the year.

2. Not Embracing Technology

Manual data entry increases the risk of introducing errors into the forecasting process. The more errors you have, the harder it will be to forecast your company’s performance with any degree of accuracy.

Instead, try to use technology to your advantage. Let spreadsheets perform those complex calculations for you. Get more info on different budgeting and forecasting software and use those programs for your company.

By letting software handle the complex data analysis needed to create an accurate forecast, you’ll set yourself up for success each time you start the process.

3. Updating Forecasts Sporadically

Your business’s needs change throughout the year. This means you’ll need to run forecasts several times each year to keep your budget on track and hedge against seasonal changes.

If you’re running business forecasts once or twice a year, you won’t have the information you need to budget appropriately. Instead, get in the habit of running forecasts once each quarter (or more often if you need more clarification).

This way, you’ll know what’s happening with your company and what changes you need to make to meet your goals.

Avoid These Financial Forecasting Mistakes

Financial forecasting is a simple way to look at your company’s performance. It allows you to establish a solid operating budget throughout the year so you can plan for the future.

As long as you avoid making these financial forecasting mistakes, you’ll set yourself up for success from the beginning.

Keep in mind that forecasting is just one way to avoid the common financial issues that newer businesses face. Check out our latest posts for more tips to help you keep your company running well for years to come.