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    Getting The #'s for a Business Plan
    I'm working on a business plan for an e-comers co, and have lots of questions for those willing to help.

    The plan asks: How much $$ I plan to sell in 1 yr., 2 yr. etc...

    How do I forecast that?

    How would I forecast how much of the market share I'm going to have in 1 yr., 2 yr. etc.. ?


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    Financial Forcasts
    This is usually not easy to do (at least for me). The first thing you'll have to do is some market research. Who are your competitors? How much money do they make per year? How many customers do they have? How much do they charge for their services? Then set your prices and rates and make an educated guess. If you need financial support from a bank or other investors , then this part of your business plan is very important and needs to be as accurate as you can get it (even though it is really a guess based on trends and resources). If you don't need investors this is really for goal setting for your own internal processes. Set some realistic goals and plan accordingly. Remember this should be a living document that is addressed throughout the year. I usually look at my business plan quarterly.

    Good Luck,

    Mark


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    I agree with Mark2K5's assessment. Using your business plan to forecast your 1-2yr (or 3-5yr) sales is a great as (1) a Reality Check, and (2) a Goals setter.

    For instance, instead of asking "how much market share will I get?", ask "how much market share do I want?" The market share you obtain is directly correlated to the amount you desire to have and are willing to work towards having.

    I went through this exercise recently with my consulting business and realized I would have to add a few employees to my professional staff in order to meet the sales goals I had set for 3-5 yrs out. It can be intimidating, but we are all in this for a good challenge!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark2K5 View Post
    This is usually not easy to do (at least for me). The first thing you'll have to do is some market research. Who are your competitors? How much money do they make per year? How many customers do they have? How much do they charge for their services? Then set your prices and rates and make an educated guess. If you need financial support from a bank or other investors , then this part of your business plan is very important and needs to be as accurate as you can get it (even though it is really a guess based on trends and resources). If you don't need investors this is really for goal setting for your own internal processes. Set some realistic goals and plan accordingly. Remember this should be a living document that is addressed throughout the year. I usually look at my business plan quarterly.

    Good Luck,

    Mark
    This is an amazing and apt reply. I completely agree. Though I am no economist or statistician, I would say that most of the Goals and Targets remain unmet due to two reasons - 1. We are not realistic and rational when setting them and as such we set them too high beyond reach or too low. And 2. As time passes, we tend to forget about the fact that we had set the goals and do not try achieving them as we had thought and planned of (a kind of procrastination).

    I think, you should identify- 1. Your real target audience 2. How would you reach them 3. How would you face and survive the competition and 4. Be realistic in setting and achieving your targets. Start simpler and work out on strategies, keep updating them with the need of the hour keeping in focus with the goals.

    In due course, you would develop and grow as a brand and then you might set the goals on a higher tone.


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    It's tricky to figure out the measures of how much your business could achieve in terms of profit. I guess this is where you turn a bit optimistic, but at the same time, realistic. There was this thing my teachers taught me, where I have to determine a bad scenario, an 'okay' scenario, and an awesome scenario.

    In the bad scenario, you forecast financials and the result is that you don't reach profits at all. The 'okay' scenario is that you hit breakeven. The awesome scenario is where you get amazing results in profit. With these, you can determine what your quota is per month, your expenses, your modes of income, and other things relating to financials.

    It's great to always aim for the awesome scenario.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark2K5 View Post
    This is usually not easy to do (at least for me). The first thing you'll have to do is some market research. Who are your competitors? How much money do they make per year? How many customers do they have? How much do they charge for their services? Then set your prices and rates and make an educated guess. If you need financial support from a bank or other investors , then this part of your business plan is very important and needs to be as accurate as you can get it (even though it is really a guess based on trends and resources). If you don't need investors this is really for goal setting for your own internal processes. Set some realistic goals and plan accordingly. Remember this should be a living document that is addressed throughout the year. I usually look at my business plan quarterly.

    Good Luck,

    Mark
    Very nice guide. I would also do it this way. It's difficult to get the number right but you should be able to get the right numbers. Most of the numbers are also just guesses. Just make them good guesses.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark2K5 View Post
    This is usually not easy to do (at least for me). The first thing you'll have to do is some market research. Who are your competitors? How much money do they make per year? How many customers do they have? How much do they charge for their services? Then set your prices and rates and make an educated guess. If you need financial support from a bank or other investors , then this part of your business plan is very important and needs to be as accurate as you can get it (even though it is really a guess based on trends and resources). If you don't need investors this is really for goal setting for your own internal processes. Set some realistic goals and plan accordingly. Remember this should be a living document that is addressed throughout the year. I usually look at my business plan quarterly.

    Good Luck,

    Mark
    I totally agree. Market research is very important here. Besides, when you plan something international, you should do global market research too.


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    This is very difficult to do first do market research and search about your competitors.Regarding financial help you can just contact to any bank.


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    It's tricky to figure out the measures of how much your business could achieve in terms of profit. I guess this is where you turn a bit optimistic, but at the same time, realistic. There was this thing my teachers taught me, where I have to determine a bad scenario, an 'okay' scenario, and an awesome scenario.

    In the bad scenario, you forecast financials and the result is that you don't reach profits at all. The 'okay' scenario is that you hit breakeven. The awesome scenario is where you get amazing results in profit. With these, you can determine what your quota is per month, your expenses, your modes of income, and other things relating to financials.


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    Chennai architects are one of the world's leading consulting firms and provide an opportunity to work globally.
    http://www.studio7india.com/


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