In our class discussion, we talked about how businesses rely on forecasting to formulate their strategies. We all know that forecasts are not perfect, they just give us an idea what the sales might be in the future. In most cases, companies would try to take all the outside factors into accounts while forecasting; however, what happens when you totally underestimated the impact of certain events?
It’s been more than three weeks since the Umbrella Revolution started in Hong Kong. The protesters occupied the financial district and some of the main shopping area in this small city. Countless retailers and restaurants have stood up and complained that how much loss they have during the protest.
This protest started just two days before the “Golden Week”, a week long holiday for mainland China to celebrate the National Day. The time when companies stock up and getting ready for the countless mainland shoppers. For small to midsize businesses, the owners complained that they are about to go out of businesses if the protest continues. These small/midsize rely largely on mainlanders and they are holding their inventories longer than they would like and since the Golden Week is now over, they are not optimistic about the inventories will be gone anytime soon.
This movement has been planing for more than one year and everyone in Hong Kong knows exactly when it was going to start. But it turns out most businesses have underestimated the impact of it. My questions are, how should a business forecast its sales under such events? What would you do about the forecasting for NEXT year?