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Bottom-Up vs Top-Down Forecasting: Realistic Financial Planning Forecasting is the process for projecting estimates for your future sales and revenue. Many entrepreneurs use a top-down approach for financial forecasting. So, top-down or bottom-up forecasting?
What do they mean and which approach should you use? Top-Down Financial Forecast A top-down forecast looks at the overall market and uses this information to identify your company demographics and target mark.
The assumption is that, given the existing market and potential market growth, your company can expect to capture a certain percentage share of the market in year one, a greater percentage in year two, and so on. For example, if your company has created an iPhone app, you might take a look at the number of consumers who have purchased apps for their iPhones.
If there are 80M active iPhone users and half of iPhone users buy at least one app per month, you can extrapolate from here. That would give you K new customers. While you want to be optimistic in your projections—enough so as to be interesting to investors—you should not be unrealistic about your potential growth.
Entrepreneurs typically tend to be way too optimistic with their forecasting. Grounding your forecasting with facts and creating more realistic projections will provide legitimacy to your business, if there is real potential there. So how can you create a more realistic projection?
Forecast from the bottom-up.
Bottom-Up Financial Forecast A bottom-up forecast is a detailed budget with spending plans by department. Hiring plans and revenue projections are based on actual sales forecast. In other words, you calculate your potential revenue by multiplying the number of potential sales per product by the average sale value.
Obviously, this is a more strategic approach wherein you take a real look at your current situation and capabilities and see where you can reasonably expect to go from here. Contact Early Growth Financial Services for help with financial forecasting.
Using our previous example of your new iPhone app, you can see how your revenue projections would substantially shrink using this approach. Now, instead of looking at the market and its potential, you need to look at your own market for example, your existing customers or Twitter followers and map out how you can parlay your current standing into new sales.
Do you use bottom-up or top-down forecasting? Tell us about it in comments below or contact Early Growth Financial Services for help with your financial planning and strategy. David Ehrenberg is the founder and CEO of Early Growth Financial Servicesa financial services firm providing a complete suite of financial and accounting services to companies at every stage of the development process.sales plan template excel 2 all plus business templates for existing businesses format sheet free google docs,best business plans images on planning plan template free download ppt biz format sample,business plan sample pdf of t shirt company template excel format corporate responsive by theme care,business planner template excel plan sample pdf ppt templates for existing businesses .
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