I’ve learned the lesson the hard way that mapping out your new company’s financial roadmap early on is very important. I spent nearly a year with rough COGS and pricing numbers in shabby spreadsheet. That spreadsheet made me pay dearly once I realized our margins weren't good enough with how we were approaching things in the long run.
This template is made to help myself and others not make this same mistake.
Like many other entrepreneurs, I have new ideas on a weekly/daily basis. Figuring out the financial models for all of these ideas would be far too time consuming.
The Quick Financial Model was made to quickly model out 90% of ideas with 10 minutes of work. It’s built on the idea that you should be able to input just a few things and have a lot more things calculated for you. I hope it can save you time, and avoid months of pain.
Note, that this model isn’t something you’d slap on an investor’s desk. Its made for your personal usage. For you to see if your idea is financially feasible.
Before we get started, there are two basic things that you need to know:
- You only need to enter data in blue shaded cells.
- There are notes in some of the potentially confusing cells on the left that will explain what they are.
Lets get started. The model is made up of 6 sections, of only 2 that you actually NEED to fill out:
1. Roadmap — (Optional Entries)
This is here to get your ideas about the next 5 years of your business down right away so you can map out your finances accordingly in the model.
2. Revenue Stream 1 and 2 — (Mandatory Entries)
You DON’T need to use both revenue streams, but you will need to fill out at least one of them (because you want to make money, right??). This model doesn’t accommodate for all forms of revenue streams, but it covers most with either a direct sales model or a monthly recurring revenue model (Lines 10, 11, 24, and 25).
3. Expenses — (Mandatory Entries)
Here you input all of your expenses for the business at a “high level.” Based on Revenue Stream 1 and Revenue Stream 2, you will input your Marketing & Sales costs on lines 39 and/or 40. The growth of these costs each year is calculated on your growth rate that you listed on lines 15 and/or 29.
4. Market — (Optional Entries)
You only need to find two numbers here, the Market Size and its CAGR over the next few years. Inputting these values will help you get a better understanding if your revenue streams and growth rate is realistic based on what your market capture percentage is (Line 50).
5. Summary — (No Entries)
This is where the magic happens. Your 10 minutes of work has paid off. Here you can find a basic list of the high level numbers that give you a general idea of what your business’s finances would look like.
Another quick note, the year that you break even will be underlined in each section (Here, “Y3” is underlined).
6. Other Metrics — (No Entries)
Here you can find a few “extra” metrics that are also important to understanding what your business might financially look like. At the bottom (Line 99), you can find the approximated total amount of money that you would need to raise to get this business to profitability (note that there is a 1.5x multiplier on this amount as you always need more than you think you do. Aka a 1.5x error margin…).
If you are old fashion like I am and like to print out financial models, this one prints perfectly either in two pages or front and back on one to, you know, save the trees.
You can do this by printing/downloading it with the settings shown below:
If you have any questions, comments, or find an error in the sheet, please email me at: danstrangfeld(at)gmail.com