I'm writing a short (3-5 page) business plan in Japanese. I'd like to include an "estimate" of the sales for the next 3 years.

The question: what would you choose for the graph titled:

2012 Fiscal Year Sales Projections



I've seen words like 目標 and ノルマ used to refer to a sales target/sales "budget" -- e.g. how much sales a company expects a person, team, or division to achieve.

I use 予算 more frequently to discuss a client's budget (i.e. for spending, not for earning) for a project, as in the construct:


About how much are you thinking to budget for this project?

But I've also heard 予算 used to discuss the "budget" that a company must achieve in terms of sales.

That said, something like 推計 translates nicely in English as "estimate" or "estimation", and given that I'm trying to plan a business sales plan for 2.5 years from now, I'd say "estimate" in English is a pretty good sense of what I'm doing -- it's just a few stages short of a "SWAG" :).

Any feedback is appreciated.

  • 1
    no one here knows what a SWAG is. Why you tell us all?
    – crunchyt
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 3:29
  • @crunchyt - because it's not family friendly. LMGTFY :P
    – makdad
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 5:13
  • This is not the point of the question, but ご予算はどのぐらいお考えですか should be ご予算はどのぐらいをお考えですか if you are asking a client how much the budget is. If someone says the former to me, I would guess that it is a mistake for the latter, but if I ignore this possibility, the former could be an (arguably unnatural) way to ask “How hard are you thinking about the budget?” Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 15:10
  • @Tsuyoshi Ito, I wasn't paying attention. You're right, I'll fix that.
    – makdad
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 4:13

2 Answers 2


As a lay reader of news articles with a general interest in businesses and a little more interest in the field of business I'm in, my candidates are:

  • 予測: projection, forecast - based on some grounds/numbers
  • 予想: estimate - may or may not be based on actual calculation, or you just don't want to go into the details
  • 試算: calculation based on hypothetical formula/numbers to test assumptions, expectations, etc.
  • 希望的観測: wishful thinking - (handle with care)

From what I understand about "SWAG" guesses, 予想 seems to be the one that fills your bill.

Regarding 推計: Personally I've seen 推計 mostly in the context of making guesses about past or current figures, as in "人口推計" (current population estimates).

Regarding 予算: I'm not familiar with the usage of 予算 on the earning side of the equation, but a quick web search gives me the impression that it's best suited for accounting, sales and/or project management people, who get the work rolling in earnest [1].

[1] Case in point, this person is asking about what 予算 means as a salesperson jargon: http://questionbox.jp.msn.com/qa880337.html

  • Thank you for a well-researched, thought-out answer! Helpful!
    – makdad
    Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 0:50

Hopefully someone with experience in the financial industry will chime in on this, but in the meantime, after poking and prodding some dictionaries and Google, it looks like you have these options:

売上高の予測 sales predictions/projections (seems to be the most common)

見積売上高 estimated sales

I'm not familiar enough with 予算 to say whether you can use it in the context you're referring to, but I personally can't recall hearing it in connection with 売上高.

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