Proactive-reactive-plan-300x300We’ve talked about mitigating risk and overcoming challenges, but there are multiple ways to plan for those challenges. To be as efficient as possible is to plan as effectively as possible. If  you can’t put a stop to revenue and profit surprises, all of the hard, earnest planning, process development and resource and technology investments that go into your corporate initiatives could be wasted. Those outcomes can be especially painful given the unpredictable economy. Effective use of your time and resources is essential.

The current business environment is riddled with uncertainty and challenges that demand your time to plan, forecast and solve. Leading organizations are meeting today’s challenges by perfecting their planning strategies–moving from reactive to proactive. The past can offer your business a ton of insight. Even better, it can answer a lot of questions you may have with your present challenges. But haven’t people been telling you “you can’t change the past” for as long as you can remember? For your organization to be as successful as possible, you have to look ahead and focus on the future. That is why proactive planning offers the most effective insight.

Most companies spend too little time on strategic planning and target setting and too much time on creating multiple iterations of budgets that is outdated by the end of the first quarter. A proactive planning strategy and solution uses the past to create a predictive analysis of the future, alerting you of most challenges before they attack your business. With anticipatory, focused plans, decision making is improved in all functions of your organization because team members respond rapidly to change with confidence. Forecasting should be concerned with what the future will look like, planning should be concerned with what the future should look like. Stop focusing on overly-detailed budgets and reports and start focusing and turn them into a predictive analysis of key operational drives and trends for coming years, providing value to your decision making.



On March 12, 2015, 9Dots hosted a panel discussion regarding Budgeting & Forecasting for Law Firms. The panelist included Richard Piotrowicz of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, Shelley Ford of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, and Edward Palmer of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. Register to here to listen to the discussion…

GotoWebinar: Learn Best Practices from top Law Firms

Bright-Spark-road-to-success-pointing-up-300x300Mitigate Risk without Difficulty: With a budgeting and forecasting solution, reaching a hurdle doesn’t mean you will struggle to jump it. The economy, regulation, product pricing and consumer demand are no hurdles too high. With a customizable solution and a rolling forecast, budgeting is no longer a tedious task that leaves you feeling uncertain about your numbers. Setting a budget is quick and easy which grants more time to focus on an accurate forecast. With an accurate forecast you gain the necessary means to answer what-if scenario questions. You are able to use your budget as a roadmap and your forecast to navigate you down that road despite any risk or challenge you may face.

Gain Competitive Advantage: The ability to easily mitigate risk is a major competitive advantage. Simply put, there are other companies who will face similar challenges as you and not be able to overcome them. You will know immediately by following your roadmap and analysis that you can afford those new supplies, you will quickly understand the impact a 10% sales increase will have on your employees, you will understand how a challenge will affect your bottom line and cash flow without spending hours or even days crunching numbers. There will be companies struggling and spending copious amounts of time and effort trying to understand each of these scenarios, but with a budgeting and forecasting solution these are just “what-ifs” with an endless amount of answers that you can use to your advantage in the present moment or in the future.

Profit and Growth: Ultimately the goals of any company when they make decisions are profit and growth. There is not one person out there who doesn’t want to profit, financially or personally. With a budgeting and forecasting solution you have the opportunity to do both. Mitigating risk leads to a significant competitive advantage which leads to a significant jump in your company’s profit margin and success. With a tedious budgeting process, challenges you struggle to overcome, and an overall lack of confidence, it’s rare that you will find positivity and the chance to prosper. By changing all of those things your business can profit in more ways than one. Not only is it possible that you profit by seeing an increasing bottom line, you will profit on time. By eliminating inefficiency, quickly overcoming obstacles, and gaining more time to spend on tasks that help your business profit tangibly, you will find time that you had no idea you could take advantage of.