All businesses need to recalibrate. The conditions and forces that affect the markets that your business operate in change, causing the need to shift efforts to maintain set goals or improvements . Business owners and leaders can easily run projections, under normal economic conditions, that calculate risks for 6 months to a year. Yet we have not been under normal conditions since late 2007.
A lot of businesses focus on leading indicators to guess at directional trends for the economy. Is the market going up or down? Are consumers spending their discretionary income? These types of questions are relatively predictable within a narrow time frame. For more long range projections, you might need to formulate a few different scenarios to use as contingency plans. These long range projections are more volatile, thus difficult to formulate. It is easier to grasp the near term than think years ahead. All businesses must look beyond the immediate for strategic planning (capital investments, etc.) which probably includes an evaluation of historical information (data from your MIS) mixed with best faith projections.
Although most economic sentiment in the media, as I write this, points toward a bottoming out of the recession because of stabilization or modest growth in some economic indicators, this momentum may be a false blip. A recent report by Societe Generale, points toward a more cautious outlook. The report contains three scenarios from best case (bear) to worst case (bull) with the centrist, most likely central policy in the middle. Economic reports, like the one provided by Societe Generale, can provide further macroeconomic information to support or change your internal scenarios. In other words, the long term guidance from these reports can provide food for thought in making your own business projections.
Side note: Check out Planet Money from NPR which always brings an interesting economic perspective to various issues.