A small business sales analysis report gives you a quick overview of your sales performance, showing you at a glance how much you’re selling, and whether your sales are increasing, decreasing, or remaining at constant levels. At the same time, it shows you sales volume trends, helping you make the right inventory management decisions at the right time.

Accurate sales forecasting needs accurate and reliable sales analysis reporting. The amount of data a sales analysis report contains depends on what sales analysis tool you’re using, as well as on the metrics you are tracking. Although it may sound a bit complicated, a sales analysis report isn’t that hard to decipher. Helen Akers wrote an informative post on the topic on Chron.com a while ago, with a lot of good tips.

Total Sales

As she suggested, it’s good to try to make sense of your report by looking at your overall sales first. Charts and graphs help you place current sales in context by comparing them with sales performance over the previous months while viewing average sale price per unit and profit margins.

Ideally, you want to use a tool that shows you actual sales on an annual, monthly, quarterly, weekly, and even daily basis, and that also enables you to view sales during specific time frames. Actual sales are the pulse of your business, and by tracking them you get an idea of where you’re heading and whether the operations and strategies you are now using work.

Individual Sales

Sales, profit, cost of goods sold (COGS), and profit margin for individual items enable you to assess the performance of each individual product. These numbers help you filter out items that sell from those that don’t and can inform your inventory management process. These numbers also give you an idea about the product demand level on a per item basis, and can be used for sales forecasting.

Customer Data

As Helen’s post notes, another crucial aspect of a small business sales analysis reporting is the customer purchases data. A detailed report like the one DataQlick can generate shows you who bought what items and in what quantity, as well as average sales per transaction. This helps you understand how many new customers you have and how many old customers are returning, as well as the periods of increased sales.

Understanding a small business sales analysis report and using it for sales forecasting becomes a lot easier with an inventory control app such as DataQlick, which presents data beautifully and doesn’t bombard you with numbers. DataQlick includes a powerful yet easy to use sales analysis feature replete with graphs, charts, comparison reports, and more. Learn more about DataQlick’s sales analysis capabilities here.