Welcome to our Help Centre ๐Ÿ‘‹

Creating your first forecasts ๐Ÿ“ˆ

How to use the platform for the first time
Written by Max Valentine
Updated 8 months ago

You've taken your first steps to financial nirvana ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Why you won't find spreadsheets on Numberslides

We built Numberslides to break the taboo around financial modelling. With our platform, there's no more secret magic and no more finger in the air ๐Ÿ‘† estimations. Our platform has been developed harnessing decades of experience of modelling start-ups, established businesses, projects and opportunities.

We've also built a really simple platform with a slick design that's easy to work with. Forget "normal" layouts or complicated spreadsheets, we've built something that is logical and needs no prior knowledge. In fact, we have made modelling so easy and intuitive that you can build financial models in a matter of hours and with no spreadsheets. We promise—there are absolutely none ๐Ÿ“Š.

Help! I know nothing about financial jargon ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

In this guide, we'll take you through how to use platform in a practical way and will refer to some financial terms. Don't worry, every time we bring up a new term we'll try to link it to our resource centre so you can see the definition and relevance of each item. If you get stuck, hit that chat box and let us know what you need.

What can I get from Numberslides ๐Ÿฃ?
We start from the bottom-up and guide you through the information that we need. Then we can unleash our clever forecast engine which will do the rest, producing the forecasts you need to evaluate your business. You will be able to answer the burning questions such as:

 ๐Ÿ“ˆ "What do I do if my rent payments go up 40%?"

 ๐Ÿ”ฎ "What does next year's revenue look like?"

 ๐Ÿ’ธ "Do I need investment?"

 ๐Ÿคต "When can I hire that kick-ass team?"

Knowing your numbers gives you the confidence and let's you get prepared.

First things first: getting around Numberslides ๐Ÿšฆ

When you land in your Numberslides account and create a new model, you'll dive into the platform and be presented with what we call the 'Inputs' section. Here you'll see 7 different tabs on the left hand side of your screen. You can easily navigate between them using the menu on the left.

(At the bottom of the menu is a button that lets you run your numbers and launch your model, but we'll get to that in a bit).

For each input that you are required to provide, there is a super short (and relatively easy) definition of what the input is and why it's important.

While we are talking navigation, you can use the top bar to:

  • View your notifications to get tips and guidance. It's kinda like Clippy ๐Ÿ“Ž from Microsoft Office!
  • Share your model with your team mates, advisors and investors
  • View your progress on your financial model

When you enter inputs in the specific section, the forecast line (revenue, cost etc) is set up in the top half where you give the line item a name and a mechanism as to how it is calculated.

Once you click the "Add xxx" button, the line become live in the forecast and the popup input section appears, where you enter the inputs for that line.

Ok let's get started๐Ÿ‘Š

Section 1 - General

In this section, we gather some high level information on the model and some of the inputs that will run through such as the market conditions (taxation, inflation), the size of the market (this gives us an indication of the scale of your venture and a useful check), the market conditions (looking at inflation in particular) and some other basic model functions (dates and timings)

Once you have inputted this information, hit save and then move to the next section.

Section 2 - Revenue

In this section, we build up your Revenue (sales, Turnover). Our platform covers most revenue models including

๐Ÿ”ขTransaction revenue - driven by unit price of goods of service and volume of units

๐ŸฅŸCommission revenue - driven by Gross Contract Value and commission rate

โŒšTime-based revenue - driven by hours worked and hourly rate

๐Ÿ‘ŠFixed fee and one off revenue - driven by price, volume and frequency (this also captures any revenue models we have not built in yet!)

and any combination of the above.

When inputting the revenue in the platform, you first set up the revenue stream. This is done by completing the section shown here. Firstly, you set up the type of revenue, give the revenue stream a name and then input the "Days Given" - this is set to 30 days but can be changed in line with your business and don't forget you can always come back to change it.

You then click the "Add revenue" button - the relevant revenue drivers pop up which you then input with your information. If you have another revenue stream to add then just add the details to the top inputs (Type, name, Days Given) and click the "Add Revenue" button again.

Once you have added your revenue streams then click save and move on

Section 3 - Team

In this section you complete the team that will deliver the plan, similar to revenue, we first enter the team/ individual name (if you want to forecast each individual member) and type (payroll /freelance - which is important to understand the extra cost of employment: bonuses, taxes etc).

Once you click "Add Employee or Team", the input boxes pop up which aske you to complete the FTE and the average salary per annum. Helpful hint: If you think that the role will not last the full years of the forecasting then just enter zero for the years where it is not applicable

Once you have added your revenue streams then click save and move on

Section 3 - Cost of Goods Sold

Now let's look at your Costs of Goods Sold (Direct costs, COGs) - as a remainder, these are the costs that are directly linked to producing your good or service that delivers the revenue. Numberslides covers most of the COGs drivers being:

% of revenue - as direct costs related directly to revenue then % of revenue is reliable way to work out the costs e.g. payment processing

FTE - where you have direct labour (making the product, delivering the service) then their salaries are COGs

Cost per revenue driver - some costs will relate to your revenue models and could be a cost that increases with the volume of that driver (customers, projects)

Fixed costs - if you have some other costs that we have not covered then you can enter them in here

When inputting the COGs in the platform, you first set up the cost line. This is done by completing the section shown here. Firstly, you set up the type of cost and the cost driver, give thecost it's own name so you can identify it and then input the "Days Taken" - this is set to 30 days and represents the days it takes for you to pay these costs (i.e. cash leaving your bank account). When you select your cost type and cost driver, the relevant input boxes will appear in the cost input section.

Once you have added your COGs items then click save and move on

Section 5 - Operating Costs

On to the Operating Costs (Operating Expenses, Opex, fixed costs)- more than half way through! Similar to the previous sections, you first set up the cost line - giving it a name, selecting a category and a mechanism to calculate the costs. Similar to setting up the COGs, the drivers of the OpEx are:

Cost / FTE - as employees go up so do the costs (e.g. office space, training)

Cost per revenue driver - some costs will relate to your revenue models and could be a cost that increases with the volume of that driver (customers, projects)

Fixed costs - if you have some other costs that we have not covered then you can enter them in here

You can enter a number of costs (depending which plan you are) and each one cost line can be calculated using a different driver. Once you have set up you opex line, hit "Add Cost" and then the input lines will pop up allowing you to build the cost over the forecast years.

Section 6 - Capital Expenditure

Now let's figure out how to build items on the Balance Sheet. Your business will (probably) buy invest in things (Assets) over time and you can build that in this section. Hopefully, you have picked up on the way to do this now.

The platform splits assets into two categories: Physical Assets and Non-Physical Assets. First thing is to input the life of your asset in years which will let us know how to depreciate (see Depreciation) over time (or Amortise it, see Amortisation)

We then set up each Asset, by giving the asset a name and then selecting the type. Once you click "Add Asset", you will that the input box will pop up and you can enter the costs of that asset over the year - Helpful hint: You can group Assets or list them out individually and if this is a one-off cost then just enter the cost in the relevant year.

Once you have entered the Assets, we move to the final section.

Section 7 - Financing & Returns

The platform considers two forms of financing: Equity and/or Debt.

In this section, you input information about how the business will financed by including the number of months that you will finance the company and the amount of equity (and runway you will need) you will give away each finance round that the platform work out you may need.

You can also add any details of a loan - similar to the other sections, you add the amount, term and start date of the loan and than click "Add loan" button.

Forecasts walk investors through to the potential of your vision and the assumptions "show your workings" and your forecasts will be one of the most important documents that will be reviewed and secure your funding. In fact, assumptions are so important that we give you a validation list that you can share with funders - in other words, a crib sheet that tells the investor the sources of your assumptions and the rationale, all of which will give them the confidence that you get your business and your market.

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