How to Start Writing Better Financial Projections

A business plan and financial projections always go hand in hand in guiding the future success of any venture. The financial projection section of your business plan details an estimate of future revenues, expenses, and profits based on current data.

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at what financial projections are, their importance, and how you can make a comprehensive one. By taking the time to develop your financial projection properly, you can set your organization up for sustainable growth and increased profitability.

What is a Financial Projection?

A financial projection in a business plan is an informed estimate of how a company’s finances will pan out over time. It is used to help potential investors evaluate the risk of investing in the business and measure its long-term viability.

Financial projections also provide a roadmap for entrepreneurs to evaluate their business strategies, identify challenges, and devise solutions. It usually includes income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements and other important financial information.

Importance of Business Plan and Financial Projections

A business plan and a financial projection are crucial to success in any business venture.

A clear roadmap of your goals, objectives, resources, and strategies allows you to anticipate challenges and strategize solutions. Moreover, a financial projection provides tangible insight into the project’s viability by forecasting revenue, costs and cash flow.

Not only do these two documents act as guides, but they also serve to demonstrate credibility to potential investors and partners. In other words, having a business plan and a financial projection signals seriousness and professionalism — indispensable qualities when seeking funding or expertise.

How to Start Writing Better Financial Projections

Start with a sales projection.

Establishing a realistic estimate of future sales is key to creating an accurate financial projection. Analyze past trends to understand potential seasonal fluctuations and develop market projections to inform the sales forecast.

Consider factors like pricing changes, product launches, or market expansion. Also, consider current economic conditions and how they may impact your industry.

Create an expense budget.

After developing a sales projection, create a detailed expense budget that accounts for all expected costs associated with running the business. Include both fixed and variable costs such as marketing, payroll, rent, insurance, utilities, and materials.

Don’t forget to factor in any taxes due based on projected revenue.

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Project your break-even point.

Calculate the break-even point by comparing total revenues with total costs (fixed and variable). This will reveal when the company can expect to start turning a profit over time. Knowing where the break-even point lies help management decide whether additional investments are worthwhile.

Develop a cash flow projection.

Cash flow is essential to predicting financial success, so it’s important to develop a plan that predicts future levels of liquidity.

Look at current cash levels, estimated inflows from new sales, and outflows from expenses to determine net cash flow. Model different scenarios to assess risks, identify opportunities and anticipate challenges.

Tips for Writing Financial Projections

  • Do your research: Before writing a financial projection for a business plan, it is essential to conduct thorough research. This could involve researching current market trends, evaluating existing competitors, and analyzing data from past years. Doing this will give you a good starting point when constructing your projections.
  • Keep it realistic: The projections must be realistic and attainable. Investors may not trust their accuracy and credibility if they are overly optimistic. It is best to build conservative estimates that factor in possible risks and challenges associated with achieving them.
  • Hope for the best but plan for the worst: When creating a financial projection, consider various scenarios and how they might affect the results. Prepare yourself by planning for the worst-case scenario while hoping for the best outcome. This way, you can be prepared if something unexpected arises and have plans to mitigate any potential losses. 

Final Words

No business plan is complete without a financial projection. A well-crafted business plan and financial projections can be the difference between success and failure for a business. They provide essential guidance on how to manage and grow your venture.

When crafting your financials, research the industry thoroughly, make conservative assumptions, and strive for accuracy. Be sure to take the time to craft effective and detailed plans before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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