How to Get into Financial Forecasting for your Business

Let’s face it, business forecasting can be clunky and confusing if you don’t know where to start. And even if you do, it can be pretty inaccessible without the right tools and software. But you shouldn’t have to rely on an accountant or a financial whizz to help you plan for your business. We believe that power should be in your hands. After all, your business is your dream, it’s your livelihood and ambition. You have the right to understand the numbers and to shape the future of your business.

The Forecast Canvas is our user friendly forecasting tool that helps you reimagine your cash flow, making forecasting accessible to business owners on a basic level. It’s a basic tool which allows you to map out your future projections and assumptions to help you budget, plan and prepare to meet targets head-on. And most importantly, it helps you avoid those nasty pitfalls and obstacles looming in the financial year ahead. It’s a creative tool that challenges your assumptions and makes you think differently about your business. No complicated graphs. No clunky excel spreadsheets.

Design-thinking approach

Taking the same design-thinking approach as The Business Model Canvas, our Forecast Canvas allows you to physically map out your estimated figures for the year ahead.

The canvas provides a view of the whole year, split into quarters. We recommend printing one out at A0 and sticking it up on the wall, however you can use it in any way you want. Starting with the first quarter of your year, you can use the canvas to predict the Income, Cost of Sales, Overheads and Net Profit for each quarter. To calculate your Net Profit for each quarter, subtract your total Overheads and your total Cost of Sales from your total Income. Using post-it notes and sharpies, simply write down your estimated figures for each box, using the smaller box in the bottom right corner for the total sum. The Net Profit from each quarter can then be added together to estimate your total Net Profit for the coming year.

We love to teach

Education is everything for us at Ashton McGill. We’re on a mission to change the definition of what an ‘accountant’ is and does. We’ll happily run workshops on the canvas if you want to learn more… we’ve already used this at Art Schools, Universities and Accelerator programmes.

Download the free tools here. Open Source forever.

This bundle includes a copy of our Forecast Canvas and a short guide on how to use it to take control of your finances.