When writing (or revisiting) a business plan, the basis of any good sales projection is good information. While no one can totally predict exactly what will happen in the future, we can definitely get a ballpark idea based on what has happened in the past.
Suppose for a moment that you own a modestly successful car wash. This little car wash has been in operation for a year and has been operating from nine to five, six days a week, and brings in more money in the summer than in the winter. If you do nothing differently next year, will revenues remain the same? Well it depends…
You need to look at the neighborhood, the economy, the weather, and the competition. Will these things remain constant? These environmental factors will each have an impact on your sales revenues. If you have heard that there is a new car wash that is about to open up around the corner from you, then you can bet your business will be negatively impacted. If you find out that the local gas station, that has been your main car wash competition will be closed down and replaced with a fancy new condominium, you can predict an increase in your business.
If a particularly wet summer is predicted, your sales will be negatively impacted. If the economy is more robust than usual, your business will grow.
Some things to look at include:
So you were open from nine to five Monday through Saturda y- was one of these days a standout for sales? Was there a particular time of day that you were swamped? Will you keep your opening hours the same next year, or will you rearrange them a little bit to maximize the effect of your rush times?
If your marketing campaigns generally give your sales a certain percentage boost in sales, then you can extrapolate how doing them more often might give you even better sales.
You have been selling one thing: Clean. But what if you added a few extras for sale? What percentage of your current customers might be interested in buying a few car accessories if you had them available for sale at your cashier’s counter?
Your sales projections will not be perfect, but the more detailed you can be in your estimates, the better off you will be. Predicting the future is not magic, it is a lot of common sense and record keeping.
Have you done a sales projection for your latest business plan? What kinds of factors did you consider and how did you account for them?