A thorough and believable sales forecast is the cornerstone of your business plan and your financial projections. Learn how LivePlan makes sales forecasting easy.
A sales forecast is a prediction of the sales and revenue that you're hoping your business will achieve over the next 3-5 years. Sales forecasts are usually done month-by-month for the first twelve months and then simple annual predictions for the following 2-4 years.
Most companies create an initial sales forecast at the beginning of their fiscal year and then revise it on a monthly or quarterly basis. A sales forecast is a critical component of any business plan. Find out more about creating your business plan.
When you’re starting a business and building a business plan, putting together a solid sales forecast is one of the most important steps and the foundation of your financial forecast.
Meeting your sales projections is the goal that you’re going to aim for as you get up and running. So, getting your sales forecast right is crucial.
More importantly, if you’re seeking outside investment, investors will want to know what your sales goals are and how you’re going to hit them. Projecting your sales in a way that’s easy to understand and realistic is critical for investors.
Your sales forecast will also be one of the key tools you’ll use to build your expense budget. Your sales will help determine how much you can spend and when you can spend it.
Without a sales forecast, you won’t be able to measure your profitability or determine how much money you should spend on market and business operations.
LivePlan makes forecasting sales easy for virtually any business type. Whether you’re building a company that’s selling products, or a company that’s offering a subscription service, LivePlan will walk you through the process step-by-step. You can even combine sales forecasts if your business has multiple offerings. For example, your company may offer a subscription service and a consulting service that bills by the hour. LivePlan lets you create forecasts for both offerings and then seamlessly integrates the results into your financial plan.
If your business has a high season and a slower season, use LivePlan’s visual forecasting tools to drag and drop your way to a professional sales forecast. Instead of simply entering numbers into a spreadsheet, you can draw your sales forecast with your mouse. You’ll quickly visualize your sales goals and can make quick adjustments as you refine your forecast.
Present your sales forecast in a professional format that lenders and investors expect. LivePlan automatically creates the charts and graphs you need and integrates them into your business plan documents and presentations. You don’t have to link any spreadsheets or manually import charts into documents.
LivePlan also automatically links your sales forecast to all of your other financial forecasts so you don’t have to mess with any formulas or worry about getting the integrations correct. Your sales will automatically appear on your Profit & Loss statement and the appropriate numbers will flow through to the other financial forecasts, like your cash flow statement. You can learn more about all of LivePlan’s financial forecasting.
When you’re up and running, connect LivePlan to QuickBooks or Xero accounting software and automatically track your progress towards your sales goals. LivePlan automatically imports your actual sales from your accounting software and tracks how you’re doing compared to your sales forecast. You can easily share reports with business partners and investors so everyone’s on the same page and can track your company’s progress.
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