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Business Planning: Sales Forecast

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Business Planning: Sales Forecast

By Tim Berry, Guest Blogger
Published: February 12, 2010 Updated: December 12, 2011

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 you’ll do even if you do no other numbers.


When it comes to forecasting sales, don’t fall for the trap that says forecasting takes training, mathematics or advanced degrees. Forecasting is mainly educated guessing. So don’t expect to get it perfect; just make it reasonable. There’s no business owner who isn’t qualified to forecast sales — you don’t need a business degree or accountant’s certification. What you need is common sense, research of the factors, and motivation to make an educated guess.

About the Author:

Tim Berry
Tim Berry

Guest Blogger

Founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software and bplans.com, on twitter as Timberry, blogging at timberry.bplans.com. His collected posts are at blog.timberry.com. Stanford MBA. Married 44 years, father of 5. Author of business plan software Business Plan Pro and www.liveplan.com and books including The Plan As You Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press, 2008.


Sales is the lifeblood of any business. I recall learning in business school that accounting is the language of business. It is important to understand the financial numbers of your small business to determine its' health and status. There are plenty of free online tools out there to help small businesses keep track of their sales and accounting. I personally do an excellent job with looking at the revenues of my tutoring company on a daily and weekly basis. AJ Saleem
I think the 2nd video is broken. When I clicked the play button it crashed. Maybe I just need to reboot my computer? I will try that. Edit: nevermind. It worked in FireFox. Great series of videos, thank you for sharing!
Wow, alot of infomation! But I really appreciate all the useful information. I will do my best you follow your guidelines in creating a sales forecast :)
Yes very correctly said that sales forecast is the backbone of any business plan.
Keep up the excellent work , I read few articles on this site and I think that your web blog is real interesting and Power to the People of excellent information.
Yes very correctly said that sales forecast is the backbone of any business plan. Through sales forecast we can measure our future goals also see the current trend in market.Since vision for any co. is sometimes not measurable but forecast always gives a chance to foresee a vision.
This is an absolute must! You can't hit a target you can't see!
I have been looking for videos like these. Thanks!
What about professional websites can we measure sites as small business or we can set out goals on larger base?
Wow actual expert useful information. Rarely do I see a blog that actually has good information. I used the weblinks to point a few of my customers to your information. You are a long way from us so no worries on competition. Either way you have some great information and well written too.


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