revenue projections for startup

At the core of every startup, financial projections act like a heartbeat, reflecting the vital signs of your business. Just as a doctor would use a heartbeat to monitor your health, investors and other stakeholders use these projections to gauge your startup’s financial health and its potential for growth and profitability. They might sound daunting, particularly if you’ve never prepped a balance sheet or wooed potential investors. But financial projections for startups are easier to handle than you might think, provided you have the right approach, tools, and mindset. Don’t show an investor a financial model that shows smooth growth “up and to the right.” No company’s growth is without bumps.

Creating sales projections based on data

As will sales, however, it’s useful to examine healthy competitors and use their numbers as a guide until you have time to accumulate your own data. When the data you would like to analyze is only available on third-party platforms, the first step is to get it into your data warehouse. If you’d like to do it yourself, there are solutions that greatly facilitate this process, such as Fivetran, Segment and Stitch, with pre-built connectors that don’t require advanced engineering skills. Headcount is most likely going to be the largest expense for your startup. This is where you need to get the numbers right, or at least directionally close. Even if you really know Excel or Google Sheets, why waste time building from scratch?


revenue projections for startup

It is safe to create high-level estimates in this area based on revenue, location, industry, etc. If a full sales cycle is three months, then the headcount plan should include sales salaries at least three months before the first month of planned revenue. Ensure other variable sales expenses relate directly to the revenue estimates, including sales commissions, bonuses, and other selling expenses. The business should show steady growth over the years at a realistic rate. Then calculate the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to easily identify growth over a period of time. On the SEC’s website, check the public Forms 10K of competitors or companies in the same industry and compare net revenue.

revenue projections for startup

Creating Realistic, Compelling Financial Projections: Charting Your Route

For example, when you invoice a customer you’re probably not going to get paid for 30 days or 60 days. That is a working capital cost and that’s going to be reflected on your balance sheet and cash flow statement. Just be aware of all the changes to working capital, all the prepaid Navigating Financial Growth: Leveraging Bookkeeping and Accounting Services for Startups expenses that you have to do, all the accrued expenses. Those are going to all get flushed out on the balance sheet and cash flow statement. However, for a SaaS business it could be better to prepare a revenue forecast based on existing customers, new customers and the churn rate.

  • This isn’t always possible, especially in Year 1, but it’s always a good place to start to figure out whether we’re heading in the right direction with a new business.
  • Your expense projection should include any fixed expenses that will remain the same as well as a prediction of variable expenses that will change in proportion to your sales and business growth.
  • In doing so, remember your numbers must be not only accurate and complete, but sustainable.
  • If you haven’t already created a financial statement, the metrics in this template can help you craft one to secure lenders.
  • Anticipating expenses can be challenging for startups, particularly since it’s next to impossible to predict potentially catastrophic costs from a worst-case scenario (e.g., natural disasters, force majeure, etc.).

We hope that you find this data useful as you try to benchmark your startup performance or project for the future for your own tech startup. If you have any questions about the study, please feel free to reach out – Contact Us. For several business types we had enough data to break down the data by business type. The graph below shows the average revenue per employee over time by the stage of business. As we can see in the table below, not even the household names of tech have come close to that 10% performance, though a few have managed to exceed the 7% rate.

revenue projections for startup

Profit and Loss Forecast: Your Road Trip’s Mileage Log

revenue projections for startup

On one hand, there is always the risk that recurring revenue won’t last, as customers may churn and organic growth runs out of gas. On the other, there is a broader picture for predictable revenue that goes beyond subscription-based models. If you are raising capital or back-of-the-enveloping a startup idea.

How to Create a Robust Startup Financial Model (Tips and Examples) DigitalOcean

  • If you can convince them through your financial projection, that there is a good chance of a great ROI, they will go for it.
  • To prepare financial projections, all you need is an income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet.
  • Then, use that information to adjust pricing and sales so you can meet your profit and growth goals.
  • For some of the outputs supporting calculations and schemes are required.
  • Another critical point that many founders miss when discussing their numbers with VCs is that the investors are likely to remember the metrics that were presenter earlier in the process.
  • The discounted cash flow method is very suitable in that case, as it weighs future performance more than current performance.

KPIs do not only matter for an investor, but also for you as a company owner. In essence the top down method helps you to define a forecast based on the market share you would like to capture within a reasonable timeframe. A useful aid to perform top down forecasting is the TAM SAM SOM model. Oran Yehiel is the founder of Startup Geek, with an MBA specializing in financial management and a background in Deloitte. As a Certified Public Accountant and Digital Marketing Professional, he writes about venture capital, marketing, entrepreneurship, and more, bringing a wealth of experience to businesses seeking growth and success. You should strive to keep your financial projection flexible to changes by keeping your key metrics as variables that could change based on market signals.