How do I forecast sales growth? Follow


If you want your forecast to show an increase over time in your sales or costs, LivePlan has an entry mode for that. It's called Varying amounts over time.

You can select this mode in most forecast entries. The Varying amounts over time mode allows you to enter different numbers for each month (or year) of your forecast. When you enter increasing numbers in a Revenue entry, your forecast will show income growth over time. This entry also allows you to experiment with a flat percentage of growth.

Note: This entry mode works well for other kinds of scenarios, too - for details, read Forecasting varying amounts over time.


The example below shows you how to access Varying amounts over time for a sample revenue entry, but the process is identical for most sections of your forecast:


Note: Clicking on the 3 small dots that appear underneath any of the monthly entry fields when the cursor is flashing in that field will display the option Fill right with the same value. Click Apply to auto-fill the remaining months of the forecast with the value from the field above.



Showing growth with the point-and-click chart

For a quick way to enter sales growth, you can use the point-and-click chart to draw the increase, and the numbers will fill in automatically, as shown below.

Just enter the first month's number to give the chart a starting point, and then click on that point and drag it forward to chart the growth. You can then manually adjust any of these numbers as you like:



Showing growth with manual entry

You can also manually enter increasing numbers to represent growth:


Applying a percentage of growth

Once you've entered your numbers into the forecast entry, you can then apply a flat percentage of growth using the Change calculator. This will increase or decrease all numbers in the year you're currently editing by that percentage, as shown below:


Note: You can add a positive or negative number in the percentage field. If you've forecast zeroes in any month (or annual total), when you apply the percentage, the result will still be zero.
Note: This change only applies to years with monthly detail. You can add more years of monthly detail to your forecast if you'd like to use this calculator on subsequent years. The percentage will not apply to years that are only represented as an annual total.


Copying and pasting from a spreadsheet

If you already have a spreadsheet in another program, you can also copy a row of sales data into the Varying amounts over time input. For more details, see Pasting numbers from a spreadsheet into the forecast.

Note: when you use this option, be sure to pay special attention to the type of data the Revenue entry is requesting. Some fields require unit sales numbers, not dollar amounts. The instructions in the entry will guide you.
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