August 24, 2022
In order create sales projections for a startup or small business we have a handful of tools that we like to use. These tools will help you structure your revenue forecast, but also help you do the research necessary to build realistic projections. Once you know which of the two approaches you should take when creating sales projections, the five tools we recommend are:
Sales Projection Templates
The first tool you need is one of our free sales projection templates. The templates will give you the structure you need to develop a revenue forecast. They help you determine what questions / assumptions you need to answer. For example, for our B2B SaaS Financial Model you will have to develop assumptions for the following:
Monthly ad budget $
Cost per click to acquire a website visitor $
# of Organic website visitors
% conversion rate of website visitors to customers
# of sales people
# of leads per sales person per month
% conversion rate of leads to customers
Total # of new customers
% of customers who cancel each month (churn rate)
= Total number of active customers
Average monthly spend $ per active customer
= Total $ revenue
Once you know what assumptions you need to answer, I always recommend that you start with a simple Google Search. Just Google the questions and see if you can find a solid answer. For example, we can find that the average churn rate for a B2B SaaS company is 4.67% with a quick search:
You will likely be able to find good answers which can serve as a assumptions for your revenue model for most of the questions you have. For the data that you can’t find, we have a few more tools and tricks up our sleeve.
Google Keyword Planner
Next, I like to used the Google Keyword Planner to be able to answer questions about how much it should cost per click to get a visitor to your website and what the potential traffic volume might be. You will want to sign up for a free Google Ads account and then use the Google Keyword Planner tool. Let’s say you are opening a coffee shop in Chicago and you want to know how much it will cost to advertise and how many people are looking for a coffee shop in Chicago each month. You can see below the average monthly search volume is 6,600 searches and the cost per click ranges from $0.33 cents per click to $4.19.
This data is helpful to be able to fill out assumptions in our templates like cost per click, ad budget, organic search traffic and more. Here is an sample section from our Dental Office Financial Model that highlights where you can utilize this type of data:
Another great tool to give you some context on how much organic search traffic you might be able to generate to your website is Ahrefs. This tool will allow you to get traffic volume data from your competitors, so you could look up a competitor website on Ahrefs and see how much traffic they are getting to help you determine how much organic traffic you might be able to receive.
Google Search Trends
The last tool I will show you is Google Search Trends which I like to use to help determine the seasonality of your business. For example, if you have an ice cream shop and you want to see just how variable your business might be based on the season you can search for “Ice Cream Shop Near Me” on Google search trends and see the variability by month.
Once you have completed your sales projections, make sure to send them our way for a free review, or let us know if you have any questions along the way!