Practical Business Forecasting is a relatively recent development.
Businesses must consider impartially how they, in their different businesses, can benefit from a systematic forecast of business conditions. Many may be somewhat skeptical (which in some ways of itself is a healthy attitude of mind), but any who are need to remember how skeptical they were of things such as costing, planning, routing, functional organization and other things which are now very much accepted as essential to the efficient conduct of industry.
The attitude of many towards business forecasting still may be, unfortunately, “You might as well try to forecast the weather!” Wouldn’t the practical and sensible response to this be that we do try to forecast the weather? Realistically, we know that, in most climates, the weather can never really be forecasted for any substantial period of time with any certainty. Yet, surely, a scientific forecast with a certain margin of error is better than no forecast at all?
Don’t’ most of us act on this belief by listening in to the forecasts? Farmers and other agricultural businesses have to rely on forecasts to harvest their crops. As a matter of fact many have mentioned that they are very agreeably surprised at the degree of accuracy of weather forecasting as a whole.
It is not my intention to suggest that at the present time the vast complex of business can be forecasted for very far in advance, nor either with complete accuracy. YET, every one in business must continually be forecasting, in a careful and systematic way — based on certain dependable principles. Forecasting is likely to be a much more certain guide than any feelings of the moment we may have.
The point is we must forecast. We cannot take any important action in our business lives without forecasting!
As a matter of fact I would go so far as to agree with the viewpoint that a man who does not forecast may be defined as a savage! He has very little sense of time. The past and the future invariably have very little meaning for him.
For anyone to ever say that because the future is difficult to foresee we should give up all and any attempts to foresee it seems absolutely ridiculous. To be sure any business man holding a view similar to this should retire immediately, while he may still have some money on which to do so.
FORECAST OR FAIL! Every man or woman in business must forecast!