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Sales Forecasting

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Sales Chart

Sales Forecast

Image (c) Susan Ward

Definition:

Sales Forecasting is the process of estimating what your business’s sales are going to be in the future.

Sales forecasting is an integral part of business management. Without a solid idea of what your future sales are going to be, you can’t manage your inventory or your cash flow or plan for growth. The purpose of sales forecasting is to provide information that you can use to make intelligent business decisions.

Sales forecasting for an established business is easier than sales forecasting for a new business; the established business already has a sales forecast baseline of past sales. A business’s sales revenues from the same month in a previous year, combined with knowledge of general economic and industry trends, work well for predicting a business’s sales in a particular future month.

Sales forecasting for a new business is more problematical as there is no baseline of past sales. The process of preparing a sales forecast for a new business involves researching your target market, your trading area and your competition and analyzing your research to guesstimate your future sales. See Three Methods of Sales Forecasting and Sales Forecasting for Your Business Plan for further explanation.

 

Also Known As: Sales forecast, sales predictions.

Common Misspellings: Sales forcasting, sales fourcasting.

Examples: Sales forecasting done on a month by month basis will give you a much more realistic prediction of how your business will perform than one “lump” sales forecast for the year.

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