Industry sector: Retail and wholesale

Lingerie shop: Cash sales

'Cash sales' means all income from your main business activity which is received at the time of sale. While some of your customers may pay you in cash, remember that Cash sales can also include:

  • debit and credit card payments
  • vouchers
  • payments made using a smartphone
  • PayPal, if you sell through eBay or offer PayPal as a payment option on your own website
  • cheques, if you decide to accept them (many retailers no longer do)

To prepare your cash flow, you need to estimate how much income you will receive over the next 12 months, including VAT. To do this you will need to work out how many items of lingerie you are likely to sell, at what price and when you will receive the payment. You will also need to decide on any other ranges you might stock and on any services you might offer.

There are a number of things to consider when you make your estimates:

Type of business

  • who will you be selling to - will your customers be mainly local or will you hope that the reputation of your shop attracts customers from further afield. Perhaps you will make sales online (through your own website or an online marketplace like eBay or Amazon) or through a mail order catalogue
  • where will your premises be
  • how big will your premises be - this will affect the range of lingerie and other items you will be able to display and stock
  • what will your opening hours be - customers that work might welcome the chance to shop during the early evening

Your product ranges

  • what range of lingerie items will you stock - will you target more affluent customers by stocking exclusive designer underwear or will you carry more mid-market ranges that appeal to a greater number of customers
  • will you design and make any ranges yourself
  • will you target a particular age group, such as the mature woman who needs more support and control
  • will you specialise in larger bra sizes
  • will you stock specialist items such as sports and maternity bras
  • what other complementary product ranges will you stock

Your services

You may decide to offer a range of services to your customers such as bra fitting or gift wrapping. Think about whether you will make a charge for these or offer them free.


  • what will your pricing policy be (don't forget, you must be able to cover your costs, overheads and drawings)
  • how often will you review your prices
  • what will your policy be on exchanging goods (there are particular matters to take into account when it comes to exchanging underwear)
  • will you offer discounts, special offers and other incentives

To help with your decisions, click on the checkpoints for guidance. Once you have worked out a Cash sales figure add it to the relevant field in your cash flow forecast.