Raising Money

Essential numbers for running your business

When writing a business plan, here are the numbers that will help you make smarter choices on your strategy and how you will come up with a business plan.

Break-Even Analysis

The most important numbers for a start-up are often the most basic. Among them: Predicting what it will take to have more money coming in per month than going out. Get that wrong, and you could find yourself out of cash, and out of business.

Start by estimating the revenues generated by an average sale. Then subtract the costs that change with each transaction, like sales commissions and costs of producing the products sold. The result is your “unit contribution.” Next, predict your monthly overhead, or expenses that don’t vary directly with sales volume, such as rent, salaries, utilities, legal fees, and accounting expenses. Finally, divide your monthly overhead by your unit contribution. That number will tell you how many transactions you’ll need per month to break-even.

Now for the analysis

Q. Is that a realistic sales target?

Q. When do you think you’ll hit it?

Q. What resources will you need to get there?

Q. How much cash will you burn through in the meantime?

Marketing Efficiency

If you reach customers directly as opposed to selling your products to a wholesaler or retailer that will then sell to customers then make sure each of them brings in more money than it costs you to get them in the door. Get that basic number wrong, and no amount of sales volume will save you.

First, estimate the cost of acquiring one customer, by researching similar companies, and forming a hypothesis you’ll test and hone over time. Then, estimate the lifetime value per customer. Predict how long an average customer will stick around, and how much unit contribution they’ll generate during that time. Ideally, the lifetime value of a customer should be three or more times greater than the cost of acquiring a customer.

Financial Projections

Projecting your financials will help you develop a sense for how to expect money to flow in and out of your business over the first few years. The numbers here are very difficult to predict, so don’t waste too much time on them. Instead, run the numbers in a simple way, and adjust them as you get real revenue and expense data. If you don’t understand the basics of finance and accounting, or know how to use a spreadsheet program like Excel, you should probably get help. But make sure you understand how the equations work, and what they mean for your business.

Here are the most important takeaways from your financial projections

Opportunity to scale While it’s nearly impossible to predict how big your company can get, it’s helpful to make an order of magnitude estimate

(Are you shooting for sales of $1 million, $10 million, or $100 million?). That will help investors, partners, and other stakeholders grasp the attractiveness of your opportunity and help them know that if things go well the rewards will be worth the risks. Also, make sure your scale is reasonable. One way to do this is to look at comparable companies.

Q.How long did it take them to reach a similar size, and how much did it cost them?
Capital requirements It’s important to estimate how much money you’ll need over the course of the next year in order to break-even. That way, you can get enough cash in the bank to allow you to focus on running the business for a while before needing to spend your energy lining up more financing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Growing a Business

Want Great Guidance ? Find yourself a Super Mentor


They are the gods of small businesses, those inspired individuals who have achieved the highest levels of success. They can be the shining beacons who light up the path of running your business with their vision, wisdom and wealth of resources and contacts. They are The Mentors.

If you are fired with the passion to take your business to great heights, the best thing to do is find yourself a super mentor. Here are some tips to help in your quest

Pinpoint your Need

Sit down and focus your thoughts on your business growth strategy. Which area of the business needs a lift. Is is staffing, is it the finances, is it the production, is it the your lack of customers or is it the business as a whole that needs a makeover. Once you’ve zoomed in on the sore spot, this is where you need…

Read More
Growing a Business

Dreaming Big? You can Move Mountains with these Business Productivty Tips


You may be full of admiration for some people who seem to manage themselves and their work so usefully and efficiently. They seem to fit in so much productive work into the same number of hours which everyone has.. Let’s look what makes them tick and take a few tips.

Learn to identify your most productive hours

Its true, most productive people know which time of the day they can be most creative and efficient. They identify and allot these hours for the best part of their work. This way they are able to give their 100% awareness to the job and business productivity.

Early to rise- A winning habit

Waking up early is a personal habit that has all the plusses on its side. You need not necessarily go to work that early. It’s a habit that gives you more time for personal care, like mediation, exercise, walking,…

Read More
Growing a Business

Leadership Qualities that can make you an Icon


You may have reached the leadership position through sheer dedication to performance and a do or die attitude . Now that you are at the top, your viewpoint needs to change. You have to now be a role model, one whom others will look up to and follow. Here are some tips that can shape your leadership and management skills

Be Competent: Employees will look up to a leader who has good industry knowledge and management skills. If you do not possess these skills you should surround yourself with knowledgeable people who can offer good counsel. Competence is a trait all employees will admire.

Be Trustworthy: No one will look up to a person they cannot trust. Your employees will want to rely on you and count on you. In difficult situations, leaders are expected to apprise their employees of the situations and find solutions on how to address…

Read More
Raising Money

Are You offering Your Services Using the Right Pricing Strategies?


In these times of fierce competition, business people , mostly those that offer services and belong to the service based industry, are finding it a challenge to implement the right pricing strategies. It is virtually a struggle to set the right business price that will retain and attract the customers, and not drive them away. Follow these tips, the crucial dos and don’t s and you may be in a much better position to offer your services at the best price.

Maintain your Business identity and Dignity

If you are offering a unique or special product or service, don’t underrate it just because you want to build a better relationship with the customer. This will just cheapen your offering as another run of the mill. If its something special you are offering the customer, then communicate this fact to the client and get the equation right with the most…

Read More
Raising Money

What is a Fair Wage? How Do you Assess Fair Wage?


How do you figure out a fair wage?

This is a very common question for startups and small businesses. They can’t seem to decide or understand how to set wages and manage reputations at a time. They are determined to pay well but they also have to think about encouraging their employees to stay with them for a long time. This is why there is a need to think strategically.

Listed below are a few expert tips to help you decide:

Don’t Focus Only on Money

Money should never be the main focus for you or for your employees. You should decide on the wages in such a way that your employees are tied to your business. When your business does well they should be able to taste that success and vice versa.

Also, think about additional perks such as exclusive benefits and time off. Many employees value this more than the overall…

Read More
Raising Money

Tips to Winning Hard Negotiations With Ease


While some negotiations are easy, others are quite hard to win. If you stumble you will lose.

Whether it is a potential client or an investor, negotiations can be very tough and frustrating. The problem is that the moment you let your frustration overwhelm you, you will lose the deal and you will give in to whatever is being offered to you. In order to avoid that, here are tips to overcome tough times and to win even the hard negotiations:


Know your opponent as well as possible. This is the rule no matter what you do. You should understand your opponent to the T. Who the person is, what his culture is, what he thinks, what he stands for, how is his network, etc. are the questions you should ask yourself and answer through research before meeting up for the negotiation. Understanding the opponent will give you a great advantage.


Read More