Many businesses struggle to plan, thinking they need all the answers. Thinking about this as a process and working through the steps assists in some types of predictions.
Past performance will allow you to find the base level of costs that you can review and adjust accordingly. If you are looking at costs of job types or lifetime value of customers then past performance can assist, however understand that it has its limitations. Past performance also allows you to see trends such as variations of income and costs. You might find that your quiet months are December and January, but May and November are manic. This information allows you to make business decisions around staffing, stock, cash flow etc.
Whilst the look back gives you a good overview it will not provide the best measure of future performance and cannot be taken in isolation. Inefficiencies can become the norm by just accepting what has happened in previous years. Question everything such as new customers, trends in your sector, new products, etc. Take a holistic look at all your available data and make informed decisions.
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