ForesightStandard Financial Model

Better, faster, easier financial projections for entrepreneurs.

The Standard Financial Model is a spreadsheet template startup financial model to help Pre-Seed and Seed Stage entrepreneurs to create forward-looking financial projections. Downloaded by over 17,600 entrepreneurs from 73 countries, this template helps you understand and grow your business and raise investment capital.

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The Standard Financial Model is a fully-functioning financial model for Excel and other spreadsheet programs* for entrepreneurs and startups to:

  • Create estimates of user and customer acquisition based on paid, organic, and viral acquisition strategies
  • Create revenue forecasts for different revenue models: the model is built to let you easily switch between and refine on B2B and B2C SaaS, ecommerce and commerce, marketplace, advertising-supported, and app download and in-app transaction revenue models. Input your assumptions and evaluate each potential revenue model with flexible price points, launch timing, and other metrics specific to each revenue model
  • Create detailed expense forecasts broken down by cost of goods sold (COGS) and selling, general and administrative (SG&A) costs
  • Create cash flow and income statement
  • Create funding estimates and capitalization table to estimate ownership structure

Depending on how you choose to use the model, it can be a template, a framework, or an educational tool. For many businesses, it can be a “plug-and-play” template, allowing you to enter the assumptions particular to your business, and the model will calculate your complete forecasts automatically. If you’re looking to evaluate and understand your business, it’s likely that this is all you need. But for deeper uses, such as raising investment capital or building an operational plan for a real business, and since all businesses are different and have their own unique characterists, all templates (including ones here and elsewhere) will require some modification to completely model your business. For some users, the Standard Model is a framework or an educational tool, providing a look into best practices and examples of how to model different types of businesses as you build your own model from scratch. The Standard Model is built to be valuable for all usecases, from a person looking for a robust template to model their business quickly to a person looking to build a completely custom model for their unique business.

Why I built this

I created the financial models behind Foresight so early-stage entrepreneurs can spend less time on finance and more time on their products. I’ve been building and helping entrepreneurs build financial models for startups since 1998. More here.

How It Works

The Standard Model uses a mix of assumptions to estimate all revenue and cost line-items monthly over a flexible five year period, and then sums the monthly results into quarters and years for an easy view into the various time periods. For all inputs, you can easily set the start date and year for key decisions and the model adjusts automatically.

The model is broken down into four different revenue models: SaaS, commerce / ecommerce / marketplace, app download and in-app transactions, and advertising-supported. Each revenue model is independent from each other, with its own assumptions, user acquisition, and revenue projections, but all four revenue models exist with the framework model, meaning you can compare, contrast, and select with revenue models to “use” with a simple drop-down, yes/no menu.

The model uses the revenue models you select and combines them with your cost projections to create a set of financial statements, consisting of cash flow, income statement, and balance sheet, allowing you to build a complete financial model.

More Excel templates and resources from the web, see my list of free Excel templates and financial modeling best practices.

Forecast User Acquisition

Completely revamaped from past models. Forecast user acquisition by downloads, install, users and / or customers, the model is flexible enough to deal with multiple conversion paths. Accounts for organic and viral, paid marketing, incentivized referral, and business development / partnerships methods for user acquisition. Uses time-based cohort methods for returning users, repeat purchasers, churned and renewed customers, and more.

Complete Revenue Projections

Completely revamped from past models, this model includes full structure for four different revenue models: SaaS, commerce / ecommerce / marketplace, app download and in-app transactions, and advertising-supported. Under SaaS, supports monthly or annual subscription pricing models; for commerce and marketplace revenue models it can be used to model at multiple products and repeat orders. The model computes all four methods simultaneously, allowing you to see how the revenue models compare, and you select which revenue model(s) to use through a simple drop-down menu. Some customization may be required, but model is flexible enough for you to customize your revenue model in the same sheets.

Model your Cash Burn and Cash Flow

Model focuses on cash flow, using the revenue and expense forecasts to model your cash burn and cash on hand at all times.

Build Hiring Plans in Minutes

Type in the role, the salary, and when to hire, and the model computes your hiring plan and salary projections automatically. Flexible enough to fit company of any size, with customization.

Estimate Operating Costs

Flexibility to forecast all cost items. Technical, selling, administrative, and all operational costs can be estimated with ease.

Streamlined Financial Statements

Income statement and balance sheet focuses on just what matters, aggregating the potential revenue models, cash flow, and detailed financials into a simple, easy to use set of simple statements.

Financing and Cap Table

Streamlined capitalization table lets you plan out financing rounds that flow into the model automatically.

All Your Assumptions In One Place

All assumptions in the model are in one sheet, making it easy to find all the assumptions in the model.

Tips on Estimating Market Size, Creating Projections, and Presenting your Financials

Tips and information on how to create your market size estimates and present your financials.

Customize Your Model

For purchasers of the Standard Financial Model or Venture Fund Model, I can modify the model to fit your exact needs. Turnaround is usually within 24-48 hours after I have confirmed your exact needs and goals and we have set a scope for customization. Request a customization here.

User Note

There are issues with using in Google Docs, in that some of the formulas do not work in Google Docs.

Please note that the model may require customization for your unique operations or strategies. This templates solves the majority of needs for a wide range of businesses, but no template can provide exactly what you want without any customization (see my FAQ). In addition to customer support, I also offer advisory services to help with customization and personalization of the model, as well as separate completely custom models and strategy work.

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