Sales Forecast

Forecast Your Sales

Your sales forecast is the backbone of your business plan. People measure a business and its growth by sales, and your sales forecast sets the standard for expenses, profits and growth. The sales forecast is almost always going to be the first set of numbers you’ll track for plan vs. actual use. This is what...


So What’s Accrual Accounting and Why Does it Matter?

So you make a sale. When you deliver the goods, you record it as a sale. If the customer didn’t pay you immediately, you record the accrued amount as Accounts Receivable. You order some goods. When you receive them, you don’t pay for them. Instead, you record the accrued amount as Accounts Payable. At the...


Snapshots of Spreadsheets

Just a quick note. I hope it’s obvious. With examples in this book I’m not showing you the full columns of the spreadsheets, because that would be awkward. Numbers would have to be very small and difficult to read. I use my spreadsheets for sales forecasting and other normal monthly projections with a standard layout. I base my...


Sometimes Timing Matters a Whole Lot

Don’t reinvent wheels. Please. As you do your sales forecast, be aware that accountants and financial analysts have definite meanings for timing of sales. If you don’t deal with this their way, then when you do eventually incorporate the work you’ve already done on the sales forecast into more formal financial projections, you’ll have it...


If You Have a New Product

“But I have a new product, how can I forecast for that. There’s no history.” Join the club. Lots of people start new businesses, or new groups or divisions or products or territories within existing businesses, and can’t turn to existing data to use for forecasting the future. You’re still going to forecast, and don’t...


How Could I Know?

One of the more powerful drags on business planning in general is what I call fear of forecasting. Lots of people have it. “How could I possibly know?” is one of the more popular complaints. After all, who can predict the future? How can you know what’s going to happen in the market, with the...


Example: Initial Sales Forecast For a Restaurant

Remember, there is no single way to forecast any business. It’s often very creative. Magda was looking at forecasting sales for a small restaurant. She hadn’t locked in the location at that point, but she had a pretty good idea of the small size she wanted. She decided she would be able to seat six...


More Sales Forecast Examples: Building The Numbers

Although we probably agree that the best way to forecast sales is by looking at past experience, I know that you can’t always count on having that kind of information available to you. So let’s think about some other examples. It’s never as exact as it sounds. There’s a lot of creative guessing. Following are a few...


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