Building Forecasts from the Bottom Up

The Entrepreneurial Mind

The post Building Forecasts from the Bottom Up appeared first on Dr Jeff Cornwall. Bootstrapping Business Model Cash flow Growth bootstrapping discovery-driven planning entrepreneur financial forecasting small business

Entrepreneur Business Forecasts Are Not Black Magic

Startup Professionals Musings

Most aspiring entrepreneurs understand that you can’t build a business if you won’t commit to delivering a product or service, but many are hesitant or refuse to commit to any financial forecasts. External investors will demand a financial forecast, but it’s equally valuable to you, even if bootstrapping. Forecast sales-volume expectations. Financial forecasts for startups are assumed to be estimates that will be updated as real data comes in.

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COVID-19 Strategy: How to Forecast Cash Flow in a Crisis

Up and Running

On April 3, join Palo Alto Software CEO, Sabrina Parsons for this free cash flow forecasting webinar. She’ll walk through how to effectively forecast cash flow using proven methods that she, and the team at Palo Alto Software, are currently using to combat the economic effects caused by COVID-19. In this webinar you will learn: How to create a 3, 6 and 12-month cash flow forecast. Cash flow management in a crisis is absolutely vital.

Top Startup Mistake: Unrealistic Forecasts

Up and Running

When I asked the standard “How are you,” he answered: “If I see another hockey stick forecast this week, I’m going to throw something at somebody.”. ” See Also: How to Forecast Sales. Sales forecasts should rest on assumptions. No, the problem is unrealistically optimistic forecasts with no real basis. A growth forecast works for investors when it’s built on realistic assumptions, laid out transparently. See Also: How to Forecast Cash Flow.

How to Forecast Sales

Up and Running

First, allow me to deal with a very common problem: Business owners are often afraid to forecast sales. I was a vice president of a market research firm for several years, doing expensive forecasts, and I saw many times that there’s nothing better than the educated guess of somebody who knows the business well. And that also means you should not back off from forecasting because you have a new product, or new business, without past data. That makes forecasting easier.

How to Manage Cash Flow With Accurate Cash Flow Forecast

Up and Running

If you’ve built a budget and forecast for your business, you’re already one big step ahead of most businesses. But, you can’t just rest on your laurels – you need to put that budget and forecast to work for your business. In fact, you can use your financial forecast to actively manage your business and improve your chances of success and growth. Develop your cash flow forecast. How to create a dynamic, more accurate cash flow forecast.

How to Build a Restaurant Sales Forecast

Up and Running

With restaurants, as with most businesses, there is no single right way to do a sales forecast. The best sales forecast method will vary according to how you manage information, how much past data you have access to, and what special factors drive your business. For the case sample here, I’m looking at how Magda forecasts her sales for a café she wants to open in an office park. She assumes a certain size and location and develops a base forecast to get started.

Business Plan Financial Forecasts Test Your Savvy

Startup Professionals Musings

Using your data, here are the basic elements of the projection process, which are measurable by milestones, and can be tracked to show when a re-forecast is required: Start with sizing per-unit profitability. This forecast is really their commitment. Plan to re-forecast every quarter. Initial forecasts should be aggressive for credibility, but don’t shoot for the moon. But a solid financial forecast is a required cornerstone for any business plan.

7 Ways Forecasting Software Can Improve Your Business

YFS Magazine

Here are 7 ways forecasting software can improve your business. Finance Grow forecasting money. cash flow

Sales Forecasting: A Curated List of Our Best Resources

Up and Running

When it comes to starting and managing a business, forecasting your sales is essential. Having a sales forecast can help you budget and manage your business’s funds, create a plan for expansion, and avoid unpleasant surprises. To that end, here are our best resources on sales forecasting, starting with the basics and moving on to industry-specific examples. The basics of sales forecasting. How to Forecast Sales. Just Do a Sales Forecast.

Better business forecasting – Part One

NZ Entrepreneur

You might see forecasting as a waste of time, or something you do when you have absolutely nothing else on your plate (which is, um, never). Or you may have been diligently forecasting each month in the past, and stopped once you found that reality turned out quite differently to your best laid plans. We’ve seen many of our customers thrive by harnessing the power of regular forecasting to make better decisions. Decide what you’ll use forecasting for.

A 2014 Social Media Forecast

YoungUpstarts

By Jessica Oaks. A new year brings with it the hope of better things to come. The past year saw some radical developments in social media – witness the rise of Vine and Snapchat – and 2014 looks to promise more of the same. Below are some social media predictions for the coming year. Investment in Social Media Experts Will Become a Necessity.

How to measure the accuracy of forecasts

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

So, was the forecast accurate? Does that mean the forecast was inaccurate? How do you hold forecasters accountable, when the forecast is only a probability? The forecast is what chance this lead has of converting, or what dollar value it has.

Forecasting Models: What You Need to Know

Up and Running

Whether your business is brand new or it’s been around for a while, you’ve probably thought about putting together a financial forecast. Forecasting and comparing your actuals with what you projected should be a regular and ongoing part of your process—not something you do once, or once a year. But how do you know if your forecast model is reliable? What is forecasting? How is forecasting different from budgeting? Forecasting screenshot from LivePlan.

How to Forecast Sales

Up and Running

Sales forecasting is much easier than you think, and much more useful than you imagine. You review and revise your forecast regularly. Since sales are intimate with costs and expenses, the forecast helps you budget and manage. You measure the value of a sales forecast like you do anything in business, by its measurable business results. If you know your business, then your educated guess is better than any sophisticated forecasting model.

Don’t Want to Plan? Just Do a Sales Forecast

Up and Running

Just do a sales forecast, which means you aren’t doing text, editing, or a document, just good management. Step one: The first forecast. A useful sales forecast is a lot easier than most people think. What makes one sales forecast better than another is how well it matches the categories that drive the business, and the reports you get from actual sales. Managing a Business Starting a Business business plan business planning forecast forecasting

Better business forecasting – Part Two

NZ Entrepreneur

In Part 1 of this two-part series on forecasting, we discussed why it’s important for any size or type of business to get into the habit. Then we looked at four ways to help improve your forecasting accuracy. The point of forecasting is to give you a view of what’s most likely to happen in the future – so you can make decisions and plan, based on having the real data rather than relying on hunches. Does the forecast stack up when you express it in non-financial terms?

A Detailed Sample Restaurant Sales Forecast

Up and Running

Remember, there is no single way to forecast any business. Magda was looking at forecasting sales for a small restaurant. The point of this example is simply that Magda has to find a way to make sense of her forecast. And now her sales forecast is up and running.

An Inside Look at the Best Way to Build a Sales Forecast

Up and Running

Second, skip everything else you’ve heard people talk about and jump right into your sales forecast. I just finished an initial sales forecast for our new product Outpost , and am going to share the process I went through to put it together. Sales forecasting is a great way to kick off your financial planning and gives you a solid starting point for the rest of your forecast. A quick caveat: The process for creating this sales forecast was for just one product.

A Detailed Sample Restaurant Sales Forecast

Up and Running

Remember, there is no single way to forecast any business. Magda was looking at forecasting sales for a small restaurant. The point of this example is simply that Magda has to find a way to make sense of her forecast. And now her sales forecast is up and running.

Forecasting in venture capital

The Equity Kicker

Good VCs need to be good forecasters. Deloitte have just published an interesting synopsis of Tetlock’s Superforecasting which gives us some insights into the types of people we need to recruit and the habits we need to cultivate to be good at the forecasting game. cautious in their forecasts. I’m not saying I’m a super forecaster, but I did learn from that and backed off from mobile until after the iPhone.

10 Entrepreneurs Forecast Where Their Business Will Be In Five Years

Hearpreneur

Besides the general focus on customer and product development, an entrepreneur should foresee the next moves that will serve to guide him on the right path.When an entrepreneur can forecast his next moves, even his/her employees become part of the moves the business makes. We asked entrepreneurs and business owners where they forecast their business will be in the next five years. #1- 7- Several forecasts. Storytelling business aspirations entrepreneur forecast goals vision

The Phantom Sales Forecast – Failing at Customer Validation

Steve Blank

He said, “I insist on getting weekly status reports with forecasted deal size and probability of close. If the answer is no, you have absolutely no customers on your forecast who will be prepared to buy from you in the next six months.”. The Phantom Sales Forecast.

Forecasting ecommerce multiples at exit

The Equity Kicker

revenues because growth is much lower – forecast at 5-7% next year, and their EBITDA margin is 8%. Mahesh Vellanki from Redpoint put up an interesting post yesterday about ecommerce valuations. His major point is that revenue multiples aren’t that high, largely because the market is highly competitive and margins are low – often because of Amazon. As you can see from the chart above, in Mahesh’s sample most of the companies have revenue multiples in the 1-2x range.

What Makes a Sales Forecast Credible?

Up and Running

So for me, what makes a sales forecast credible? I want to see a sales forecast with drivers. Well then, that helps makes a sales forecast credible. More often than not, the problem with unrealistic profitability is, it cuts into the credibility of your sales forecast. It starts with product market fit. I want to understand the story of the need, and not necessarily big numbers, but who needs this and why. That’s the beginning. Is this really believable?

The Forecast is Rosy

Austin Startup

July 24, 2016: Last week’s essay dealt with the fine art of pricing your startup product or service. Pricing is inextricably tied to your… Continue reading on Austin Startups

Extremely Valuable Tips for Creating a Financial Forecast During the Early Stages of an Entrepreneurial Journey

Up and Running

Creating financial forecasts and budgets are not typically how many entrepreneurs envision spending their time, but these tools are incredibly necessary. An accurate and thoughtful forecast can be time-consuming, but it will help you to make informed decisions regarding staffing and growth, and it will help you attract investors. Here are tips to create a practical and well-rounded financial forecast for your startup. The value of a forecast.

Is your budget a forecast? When do you change mid-course?

Berkonomics

Do we rely upon constant changes and call it a forecast? But during the year, if the forecast revenues fall short or are greatly exceeded, it is fair to revise the budget and rethink your hiring and resources. Email readers, continue here…] Note that I used the term “forecast” for revenues for the next year. Hold it! These are confusing terms. When does a budget become obsolete? So, let’s spend a few moments defining this sometimes-confusing set of terms.

US ecommerce sales forecast at $294bn this year, growing 9.5%

The Equity Kicker

New forecasts out from Forrester predict that online retail sales in the US will be $294bn this year, rising to $414bn by 2018. The growth rate from 2013-2018 is forecast to be 9.5%. Better still, even after this growth online retail in the US will only be 11% of total retail sales, up from 9% this year. Only 11%. That leaves miles to go. I love this market. Ecommerce

The thing everyone forecasts wrong

A Crowded Space

One observation that I made recently is the discovery of the most incorrectly forecasted number. I’ve now been through a bunch of board meetings at a variety of different startups. The typical meeting goes through the plan and compares to actual and we all review where the company is ahead or behind plan. It’s not revenue, traffic, conversion rates or anything like that. It’s headcount. Almost all startups I’ve seen overestimate their hiring needs and under-hire against plan.

Twitter ad revenues forecast to near $1bn in 2014

The Equity Kicker

Moreover, their star is rising, according to Forbes a year ago eMarketer was forecasting Twitter’s 2014 revenues at $540m, 43% less than the $950m they are now forecasting. I have been wondering lately how Twitter was getting on. Anecdotally people and companies seem to be getting more and more out of the site and its data but the chat I’ve heard about the efficacy of its advertising products has largely been negative. Well it turns out the business is doing very well.

Sunny Whether: Two Types of Forecasting Models for Running Your Startup

Hunter Walker

I don’t believe the forecast you show me. Ok, so far I’ve told you the forecast I’m looking at during fundraising is a lie and the one you’re using during initial iteration is a trap. So when is the right time for a startup to build a forecast that actually starts measuring the health of the company? The earliest a company should “manage by forecast” is post product/market fit and the absolute latest is at Series A fundraise.

10 Keys To Investor-Friendly New Venture Financials

Startup Professionals Musings

In that context, I offer the following financial projection strategies, from my own experience: Forecast a business that has plenty of room to grow quickly. financial forecast financial projections investor startupIf you need to attract investors to your startup, your financial projections have to be as attractive as the idea. The problem is that these business financials are future projections, while the idea is “now,” so you believe the idea can do most of the selling.

Forecast Looks Solid for AllWebLeads

Austin Startup

Market research companies like IBISWorld forecast an increased demand for insurance coverage in 2012, but by the same token, insurance buyers are expected to be increasingly selective on the plans they purchase. Sites like InsuranceQuotes.org and others of a similar breed are widely used by insurance shoppers to compare plans and find both what is right and most cost-effective for them. However, where does that leave the hard-working insurance sales agent?

A Complete Guide to Forecasting Sales for Your Monthly Subscription Business

Up and Running

If your business is building a subscription service, creating a reliable sales forecast is a critical step to understanding how your business will grow and what the key drivers of revenue growth will be. Up next, I will walk you through the critical components of a subscription forecast, and show you exactly how to build your own. Our product, LivePlan, builds subscription forecasts automatically, so if you’re already a LivePlan user you’re in luck and can skip this article.

How to build a financial forecast that will look attractive to investors

The Next Web

Why should I build a financial forecast for my fundraising presentation? This is one of the most common reactions we get during a pitch when we ask about a financial forecast. Andrej Kiska is an Associate at Credo Ventures. There is no way I can predict what kind of numbers I can hit in the next four years.”

Delivering on Q3 forecasts!

BeyondVC

They not only hit their respective forecasts set early in the year, but they beat them. More importantly these numbers speak to the commitment of the respective teams to do anything possible to deliver on the Q3 forecasts. The post Delivering on Q3 forecasts! I received some incredible news last night from two portfolio company CEOs updating me on our Q3 numbers.

How Positive and Negative Cash Flow Impact Your Business

Up and Running

When you put together a cash flow forecast , you’ll have a solid prediction of what your business’s cash situation will look like in the coming months. Your cash flow forecast will tell you all of this.

First Hurricane Party Failed, Now Forecast Shuts Down

SiliconHills

Austin Technology Austin Capital Factory Forecast Hurricane Party Rene Pinnell startup app technologyThe Austin-based startup Hurricane Party received all kinds of attention at South by Southwest Interactive 2011. Mashable wrote about them. So did Read Write Web. TechCocktail labeled Hurricane Party the hottest app of 2011 at SXSW. Hurricane Party was a mobile app that let people know where the best parties were at. Then a year [.].

Your budget and forecast light your goal.

Berkonomics

During the year, if the forecast revenues fall short or are greatly exceeded, it is fair to revise the budget and rethink hiring and resources. Otherwise, it is the expectation of the board of directors of a company that each year’s budget be approved in advance and adhered to as long as revenue goals are met. [Email readers continue here.] Note that I used the term “forecast” for revenues for the next year.

YouTube revenues forecast to hit $5.6bn this year

The Equity Kicker

eMarketer are predicting that YouTube revenues will hit $5.6bn this year, 50% up on last year (reported in the Guarian ). Here are some other relevant facts: Projections of YouTube’s revenues are increasing over time – in May Morgan Stanley were predicting $4bn. The growth is coming from young people who are watching most of their television online – this is a good example of a behaviour from a fringe group that is likely to become mainstream.

Forecast your cash position and sleep more soundly.

Berkonomics

There are many techniques and time horizons for forecasting cash. For those companies with constant billings to customers during a month, and for those with extra large fixed costs such as payrolls at periods during a month, it is important to begin the discipline of the 13 week rolling forecast as a tool for finding and planning around short term cash problems. Each week, the actual cash position is updated and the past week dropped from the forecast and a new week added.

The Key to Building Your Startup Revenue Model: Forecasting

Early Growth Financial Services

The key to creating your revenue model is through forecasting—that is, projecting revenue estimates, even if you’re currently pre-revenue. Forecasting is an ongoing process that will help you to manage your cash and continue to grow. There are two general approaches to financial forecasting: top-down and bottom-up forecasting. Originally published in AffinityLive.