# Ballpark Figure

### What is an approximate figure?

A rough figure is a rough numerical estimate or an approximation of the value of something that is otherwise unknown. Rough figures are commonly used by accountants, salespeople and other professionals to estimate current or future results. A stockbroker could use a rough figure to estimate how much money a client might have at some point in the future, given a certain rate of growth. A seller could use a rough figure to estimate how long a product that a customer was considering purchasing would be viable.

An approximate figure is essentially a placeholder established for the purpose of speculating on the amount or total of something, so that the parties concerned can move forward in the negotiations or planning in progress. As a concept, it has applications in business appraisals, as well as in everyday life, depending on the circumstances.

A rough figure is a large numerical estimate of what something might represent if it were measured with precision, evaluated for the purpose of business negotiations, negotiation or general brainstorming of ideas.

### Understanding the approximate numbers

Rough numbers are estimates used to advance a discussion or to advance when the exact measure of the size or quantity of something cannot yet be determined.

The rough numbers can be used for daily purposes, such as estimating the amount of food and drink that might be needed for a barbecue or how many months it will likely take to pay for a new purchase.

Rough figures are also used throughout the business world, for example to estimate how much it could cost to grow in a certain market, or how many years it would take for a business to be profitable or sales to warrant important purchase. It can also be used to estimate public adoption of a concept, technology or product, such as the number of people likely to buy a certain phone and the time it will take them to put upgrade this phone, once purchased.

### Key points to remember

• A rough figure is an estimate of what something could represent numerically when a more precise number is evaluated, such as the cost of a product.
• Approximate figures can be useful for establishing a placeholder, for conversation or estimation purposes, when a more precise number is not available.
• Rough numbers are used in daily life and in many aspects of business; however, it is important to remember that this is only an estimate, not an accurate reading of something.

### Special considerations

Although approximate figures are used frequently and may be useful in establishing a baseline for discussion, they should be treated as nothing more than estimates; these are not hard numbers. These numbers are often disproportionate to salespeople and other professionals who must use persuasion to generate income or close deals. Significant business and financial decisions should probably not be made based on these figures; however, they could first serve as estimates to be refined by further analysis.

A popular theory of the term postulates that probably has a history similar to that of the language “in the same ballparkm” which means “approximately the same amount”.