Weekly forecasting of sales is one of the most valuable management tools and can help to boost sales and manage payroll costs – though it’s important to remember that forecasting has to be actioned by appropriate members of the management team on a regular basis throughout the week.
To review food or accommodation sales after the event is akin to shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted – it’s of historic interest only.
True, you can compare these results with those of the previous week, and even with the same week of the previous year, and this will show trends and will highlight any deviation – valuable information in its own right.
But you cannot take any action to alter the figures. Combined with a weekly sales forecasting programme, however, you have a valuable tool that can help drive the business forward, enabling you to compare expected revenues with the budgeted revenues for the week in question.
Forecasting enables the management team to focus on key sales issues and to take appropriate action. For example, should the forecast show below budget room revenue for a specific day in the following week, action can be taken to fill the expected gap. If a forecast is not made, you will only discover the gap a week later – too late. A night’s empty bedroom cannot be sold the following day.
For weekly sales forecasting to work effectively, all department personnel need to:
- Know the budgeted sales figures
- Have been trained to be objective and to work in a positive team environment
- Have performance linked to incentives (not essential but can be helpful.)
Forecasting also (and most importantly) enables a business to calculate staff rosters which is a critical management decision that can have a huge impact on payroll costs.