A startup financial projection is an essential part of any business plan. It allows entrepreneurs to take a deep look into their capital needs, from start-up costs, to expansion strategies and potential profits. Understanding a startup financial projection also helps entrepreneurs determine if their business is viable and can remain profitable for the long term.

Startups should use their financial projection to closely monitor their business performance to ensure that the company is running as smoothly as possible. Keeping an eye on the data helps startups make well-informed decisions and avoid costly blunders. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to use your startup financial projection to monitor your business performance.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the importance of accurate financial projections
  • Be aware of capital needs from startup costs to expansion strategies
  • Closely monitor your business performance
  • Make well-informed decisions and avoid costly blunders

Benefits of Using Financial Projections to Monitor Business Performance

Financial projections provide a critical tool to help business owners gauge the health of their business. Not only do financial projections allow businesses to plan for their future, by setting realistic goals and expectations, but they also provide entrepreneurs the ability to track their progress with accuracy and precision. As such, utilizing financial projections to monitor business performance can yield a variety of positive benefits.

Establish Regular Review Points

As entrepreneurs move through the early stages of their business, it's important to regularly review financial projections in order to analyze the performance of the company relative to these predictions. Establishing a schedule in which to review the projections can help business owners to regularly assess the health of the company, recognize any discrepancies between the projections and actual performance, and take the appropriate corrective action. In this way, financial projections can help establish regular review points that allow business owners to ensure their business is operating according to their goals.

Allow for Budget Adjustments

Utilizing financial projections allows business owners to develop budgets based on their projections to ensure their funds are allocated in the most efficient way. As performance is tracked, any deviations from the projections can be identified and the budgets adjusted accordingly. This allows business owners to make strategic decisions regarding the allocation of their funds and drives them to take corrective action if they fall short of their predicted performance.

Monitor Customer Preferences

Financial projections also provide valuable insight on the customer preferences of a company's target market. By tracking customer responses to various products and services, business owners can adjust their strategies to maximize the success of their business. Using financial projections, entrepreneurs can adjust marketing campaigns, revise their product offerings, and enhance customer service in order to ensure they are meeting the demands of their target market.

Steps in Using Financial Projections to Monitor Performance

A. Choose appropriate metrics

Startup businesses need to choose the right metrics when using financial projections to monitor performance. Such metrics can include, but are not limited to, revenue growth, cost of goods sold, customer lifetime value and customer acquisition costs. Choosing the right metrics will allow your business to measure their performance, gain insight into which areas of your business are growing, and identify areas in need of improvement. Additionally, setting specific benchmarks, such as performance goals, can help your business measure its progress in an organized and meaningful way.

B. Analyze spending trends

Once you have set the appropriate metrics to measure your performance, you will be able to track your spending trends over time. This will help inform your decisions around how to allocate resources and prioritize certain strategies. Additionally, analyzing your spending trends over time will allow you to make smarter decisions with your budget, as you will have a better understanding of where your money is being spent. This data can also be used to create financial projections and help your business plan for the future.

C. Monitor market conditions

Monitoring the market conditions is critical for any business, as it provides an understanding of the current situation and how it may change over time. By tracking the changes in market conditions, you will be able to adjust your strategy accordingly and make sure that your business is well positioned to capitalize on opportunities. Additionally, monitoring market conditions helps you to stay a step ahead of your competitors and better inform your decisions.

Cost-Benefit and Risk Considerations

When using a startup financial projection, it is important to consider both the potential cost-benefit of the investment and the associated risk levels. This section outlines some of the key factors to consider when assessing risk and evaluating returns on investment.

Estimate Potential Monetary Returns on Investment

The most important consideration when evaluating a new venture is the potential return on investment (ROI). This means estimating the money that can be earned from the venture after deducting all associated costs. Using the startup financial projection, it is possible to calculate potential costs such as direct overhead, operating costs, and any capital investments for the project. Once these are identified, it is then possible to estimate the potential returns that could be generated from the venture. This may include sales revenue, market share gains, cost savings, or any other measurable financial gains.

Assess Associated Risk Levels

In addition to potential returns on investment, it is also important to consider the level of risk associated with the venture. Risk may include financial losses related to unforeseen market conditions, product demand, or competitive disruptions. Other risks may include operational or regulatory issues, or delays in product or project roll-outs. A thorough assessment of the risks will help inform the decision-making process and provide a clearer picture of the potential benefits and risks of the venture.

By using the startup financial projection to estimate costs, calculate potential returns on investment, and assess the risk levels associated with the venture, entrepreneurs will be better equipped to make smart financial decisions related to their startup. Doing so will provide a clearer understanding of the venture’s potential success and help inform the decision-making process.

Developing an Action Plan

An action plan is the blueprint to achieving an effective corporate strategy and capitalizing on opportunities. An action plan helps create a roadmap and timeline for achieving goals, and serves as a tool for monitoring progress. When an individual uses their start up financial projection to monitor business performance, they need an action plan to achieve various objectives and identify potential risk factors.

Examine External and Internal Factors

Before creating an action plan, it is important for a business owner to accurately analyze external and internal factors. This includes quantifying the company’s current financial standing through the start up financial projection and looking at other sources such as competitor analysis and market trends. Quantifying external forces provides valuable insight and a baseline for measuring progress. Examine internal factors such as primary objectives, corporate strategy, staffing resources, and monetary resources.

Plan Out Activities and Objectives with Timeline

Once external and internal factors have been evaluated, the business owner should create an action plan and list out all activities necessary to achieve specific objectives. Developing clear and defined goals is key to creating an effective action plan. All goals should have a timeframe and it needs to be clearly communicated to staff. Additionally, objectives should have measurable metrics so that progress can be tracked. A successful action plan provides the necessary guidance and helps pinpoint where adjustments may be needed.

  • Identify measurable objectives
  • Create timeline of activities to achieve goal
  • Analyze external and internal factors
  • Provide guidance for staff, management and investors
  • Use start up financial projection to track progress

Chapter 6: How to Interpret the Data

A. Understand Financial Projection Reports

As a business leader, it's important to understand the financial projection reports you use to monitor your business performance. The most common type of financial projection report is a projected income statement. This document contains estimates for a company's expected revenues, expenses, and overall profits over a specific period of time.

In addition to the income statement, a financial projection report may also contain other reports such as a balance sheet, which lists a company's assets and liabilities; a statement of cash flows, which tracks how a business is utilizing its cash; and a projected cash flow statement, which estimates how much money will be available at any given time.

B. Interpret and Rebalance Projections

Interpreting and rebalancing financial projections is key to successfully monitoring your business performance. When interpreting the data, look for any discrepancies between the actual numbers and the projected numbers. If there are any signs of trouble, evaluate the source of the discrepancy and make adjustments as needed.

Once you have identified any discrepancies, you can begin to rebalance your projections. Analyze trends to ensure the projected numbers are realistic and attainable. Adjustments should be made as necessary to ensure accuracy. Decide where the company should allocate its money and resources, and be sure to factor in any expected changes in market trends or sector performance.


Financial projections are a powerful tool for helping to monitor and evaluate a business's performance. Having accurate financial projections enables business owners to forecast future expenses and income, as well as budget accordingly. This allows owners to make decisions on where they should focus their attention and resources in order to maximize their profits. Additionally, financial projections can help owners keep track of their progress, identify opportunities, and adjust their strategy to adapt to changing environments.

Summary of how financial projections can help monitor business performance

Financial projections provide an overview of a business’s financial performance, both current and projected. They provide a view of the business’s financial health, enabling owners to effectively plan for the future. With an accurate and current projection, owners can calculate revenue and expenses, set goals and strategies, and monitor their progress to help ensure their business is achieving its desired outcomes.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial projections provide an overview of a business's financial performance.
  • This enables owners to make decisions and plan for the future.
  • By having an accurate financial projection, owners can budget, forecast, and keep track of their progress.
  • Financial projections can also help owners identify opportunities and adjust their strategy to adapt to changing environments.
Expert-built startup financial model templates

500+ Excel financial model templates for your business plan