Business Strategy

Why Businesses Need to Look Beyond Historical Data When Doing Forecasts

Why Businesses Need to Look Beyond Historical Data When Doing Forecasts

Why Businesses Need to Look Beyond Historical Data When Doing Forecasts

When it comes to growing and maintaining a healthy and successful business, leaders understand that it is vital to have a well-crafted prediction of their company’s financial future. This involves many factors, but one of the most important to focus on is the historical data that you may possess. The following list entails some of the most important things to keep in mind about not only the importance of historical data but how to use it properly as well.

The Value of Historical Data

Ask any successful business leader — what do they do before the end of their current quarter? More likely than not, they will reply by saying that they will be preparing their future forecast by utilizing their past data. This is because the value of historical business data is so important in determining your potential success. Historical data has been a commonly used tactic by business owners because of its almost exact prediction of your business variables. These would include an estimate on your factory overhead costs, client acquirement, and loss, etc. Historical data does have its limitations. One of the most obvious ones includes considering the current business position, such as additional locations or work-in-progress projects.


Taking Current Events Into Account

Earlier the limitation of historical data was brought up. Although it provides plenty of good information, it does not consider any current events. Current environmental factors can have a significant impact on performance, so it’s wise to take those into account when forecasting for a business. On-going international business relationships such as finding new overseas factories to produce your product can greatly change the numbers on your business forecast. Implementing historical data into the equation when current events are drastically different or soon to change must be avoided or at least omitted from most of the forecast.


The Value of Big Data

There’s a reason why businesses have, for many years, used historical data to predict their financial growth or loss, and that’s because it was a great predictor. However, we’ve now come to understand that although it does provide business leaders with good information about potential events, it is not the most accurate. Big data include information gathered from your current email subscribers, clients, and marketing team. Both new and experienced business leaders are catching up to this trend because it is a great predictor of a company’s future. It gathers both older and present information to be used for a more accurate approach to business. 


Historical data still has its place in business, but it must not be the only medium to look at if you’re hoping to develop a well-crafted forecast for your company. Simply adhere to the list of recommendations above to begin truly looking beyond the traditional historical data.

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What Businesses Need to Know About Arbitration

What Businesses Need to Know About Arbitration

What Businesses Need to Know About Arbitration

The word arbitration is being heard more and more in the business world. The term is commonly used concerning issues like retail contracts, credit card agreements, and employee contracts. Arbitration is also becoming a go-to method for solving business disputes. If you ever become involved in an arbitration hearing, it is important to understand what this means for you and your business.

Arbitration Agreements

Arbitration is a dispute resolution method that does not require a lawsuit or legal proceedings of any kind. In order for a business dispute to be settled by arbitration, both parties must be part of an arbitration agreement. These agreements are usually a few sentences long and written into a business contract before a dispute of any kind takes place. An arbitration clause will oftentimes stipulate any future disputes that will be decided by a third-party arbitrator. Other times, an arbitration clause will contain language identifying specific disputes that will come under the jurisdiction of an arbitrator.

Time Commitment

Arbitration is generally less time-consuming than the litigation process. The process of arbitration also costs less, is less public, and is not as adversarial as dealing with the court system. The focus of arbitration is oral hearings and both sides of a dispute will have a chance to voice their concerns. Part of the premise of arbitration is that arbitration should take less time than litigation. The process is less formal than a court and arbitration proceedings can begin in as little as a few days after contacting an arbitrator. Witnesses for both parties will be called, and these disputes are often settled in under a week.

Parties to Dispute Enjoy More Control

The parties to an arbitration proceeding can make decisions regarding their dispute even before the process begins. This differs from a court proceeding where everything will be governed by laws and statutes. Agreements can include who will arbitrate the matter, how many arbitrators will become part of the process, and what language can be used at an arbitration hearing. The parties to a dispute can also determine what set of arbitral rules will govern their arbitration proceedings.

Expertise of Arbitrators

Arbitrators are often lawyers who possess a measurable degree of expertise in the business sector the disputing parties are involved with. This knowledge of the industry makes it simpler for the parties to an arbitration dispute to explain the nature of their dispute to an arbitrator. Many times, in a court proceeding, a judge will have to consult with a specialist to gain an understanding of important aspects of the case. This will add a significant cost to the proceedings.


When two parties agree to settle a matter by arbitration, they can expect a much higher level of confidentiality than can ever be expected with traditional court proceedings. Court proceedings are public matters that anyone can view or research while arbitration hearings can be handled as privately as desired by the two parties involved. An arbitrator will take no position as to how confidential the details of an arbitration hearing is handled. However, he or she will honor the wishes communicated by the parties to the dispute. This means the parties are also allowed to make public any information that results from arbitration on which they agree.

More Comfortable

Legal proceedings take place in a courtroom. These environments can be intimidating for some people. On the other hand, the arbitration process can be conducted in informal settings. Information gathering conversations between party representatives and the arbitrator can take place over the telephone. And the arbitration hearing can take place in a conference room. The parties, their representatives, and any witnesses can sit together at a table. There is no need for a judge to wear a black robe. There is no jury and the level of tension will be much less than what is common in a courtroom.

Streamlined Discovery Process

During the discovery process, both parties to a dispute must provide information that is pertinent to the dispute. There are a number of ways a party can obtain the information it desires including document requests, interrogatories, property inspections, subpoenas of third parties, and depositions. The discovery process is the most expensive part of traditional court proceedings and often causes a business to disclose information that is detrimental to its operations. Arbitration agreements allow businesses to limit discovery efforts. For example, it can be written into the arbitration agreement that only a predetermined number of interrogatories, requests for documents, and deposition hours are permissible. In some cases, arbitration agreements disallow discovery altogether.

Recover Attorney Fees

Arbitration agreements can include a condition that the party which prevails in the settlement of an arbitration dispute will receive compensation for the monies spent on attorneys and other costs to settle the dispute. This provision is especially important for a business considering the possibility of filing a lawsuit against another business entity. Laws differ slightly from state to state regarding these provisions and it is probably best to consult with an experienced attorney before adding this to your arbitration agreement.

The Weight of an Arbitrator’s Decision

Arbitration decisions can either be binding or non-binding. This is usually decided by the language used in the initial arbitration agreement. Binding agreements are final and enforceable by law. They can only be overturned in rare circumstances where the misuse of power or fraud has taken place. Non-binding arbitration means the decision of the arbitrator is not enforceable and is given as a guide to the parties involved with the dispute. Parties often treat these types of arbitration decisions as an assessment of their position if a lawsuit was filed and can choose to litigate the matter even after the arbitrator’s decision.
The popularity of arbitration in lieu of litigation is a trend that is only expected to increase. Yet, many business owners are still unsure of how this process works. The savvy business owner would do well to gain a working understanding of the arbitration process and how it can be used to protect the interests of their business.
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Is Your Workplace a Hostile Environment?

Is Your Workplace a Hostile Environment?

Is Your Workplace a Hostile Environment?

We spend the majority of our lives at work. In fact, we spend more time working than we do sleeping. And since we spend so much time spent at the office, your work environment needs to be one where you feel happy. Unfortunately, even if your boss is the best and the rest of your colleagues feel like family, there always seems to be that one person who makes your time in the office less than enjoyable. Whether it’s passive-aggressive behavior or outright disrespect, working in a hostile environment can take its toll.

Are Negative Behaviors Promptly Dealt With?

Aside from making your workday less than ideal, a hostile work environment needs to meet certain criteria. Typically, this involves someone, or more than one person, making it impossible for you to thrive at work. This could be anything from a boss who embarrasses daily in front of co-workers or a fellow colleague who takes workplace bullying to the next level. Regardless, the way the issue is handled plays an enormous role. When reported, it’s important that you take action, even if it’s a supervisor who is the guilty party. If negative behavior is reported to you, don’t deal with it the way this supervisor did. No one deserves to feel isolated and abused in the workplace, especially since employees are there helping to build someone else’s dream. When matters are left unresolved, it also opens the door for legal action.

Are Employees Treated Fairly?

Another key piece of the puzzle is workplace equality. Even now, the reports of discrimination in the workplace run rampant. From race or gender discrimination, this behavior is completely unacceptable. All employees should be treated equal, regardless of color, gender or title. Keep in mind that workplace racism isn’t always cut and dry. It doesn’t have to be in-your-face racism for it to be valid. It can something as continually not emailing a specific person important information they need to do their job effectively. Workplace racism takes on many forms, so it’s important to listen when someone finally finds the courage to speak up.

Are Employees Able to Do Their Jobs?

In a happy, productive work environment, employees are able to meet deadlines and even surpass personal goals. However, in a hostile workplace, productivity is below average, and employees may fail to reach benchmarks, which only perpetuates the hostility. Sadly, those most affected by the hostility have a hard time navigating the murky waters of their workday while trying to focus on productivity. When it comes down to it, bullying isn’t something that only happens on the playground. Bullying in the workplace is real and affects people from all walks of life. Being able to identify signs of workplace hostility and effectively nip it in the bud is what makes someone a good leader.

Most importantly, people in positions of power also need to be held accountable. Being the boss doesn’t give anyone the right to torment, belittle or berate another person. Sadly, when this does occur, employees are left floundering, unsure of what to do. Set the example by being the person who does the right thing.

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