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Forecasting sales of your product or service is the starting point for financial projections. The sales forecast is the key to the whole financial plan, so it is important to use realistic estimates. Divide your projected monthly sales into "Categories", which are natural divisions that make sense for your type of business. Typical categories: product lines, departments, branch locations, customer groups, geographical territories, or contracts.

Enter the actual category names in the first column, replacing the existing "cat.1, cat.2", etc. Enter annual sales, by category, in the four "Sales History" columns on the right side of the sheet. (Startup businesses may delete this section.) Study your past sales records in detail. Note seasonal or other periodic fluctuations; determine what caused them and when they are expected to recur. Be sure to build these fluctuations into your projections for the coming year. You may forecast sales in dollars using the rows labeled "Total".  Or, if you prefer, you may enter sales in units, then indicate the sales price per (@) unit, and the spreadsheet will automatically calculate the dollar sales volume.

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