Frequently asked questions
What kinds of businesses does this work best for?
The Rocket Pro Forma template works best for online businesses (which is perfect for our new Covid-19 world). You can mix and match the following business models: subscriptions, transactions, inventory, and manufacturing. Rocket Pro Forma is great for SaaS (software as a service), eCommerce and online stores (with or without inventory), online marketplaces, hardware / IoT devices with or without subscriptions.
Here's a video walkthrough of how to choose your business models:
Is there a money back guaratee?
Yes! There is a 30-day unconditional money back guarantee. Simply contact us and we’ll refund your money with no questions asked.
Can't I just make my own spreadsheet?
Absolutely! I've made a ton of them. But I got tired of re-creating the wheel every time so I built this template that I can keep re-using. It's saved me a ton of time plus I make fewer mistakes (because spreadsheets have bugs just like software). Rocket Pro Forma also acts as a checklist so that I don't forget anything.
What isn't handled by Rocket Pro Forma?
I'm updating the spreadsheet all the time (see below for the change log). The next things on my to-do list are:
- Taxes and depreciation
- Use of Funds summary + chart + burn rate
- Allowing transactions to happen more than once per day and also less than once per month
- Improve building out both sides of a marketplace business (sellers & buyers)
- Add subscriptions longer than 1 year
- Curve calculator to project three years of sales and match to your sales funnels
Things that Rocket Pro Forma probably won't handle any time soon:
- More than three pricing tiers for any business model (you can use averages and/or add your own tab of you have more subscription tiers).
- Detailed marketing breakdown by channel (you can use average spend, cost-per-click, and conversion ratios).
- Expansion of multiple physical stores (I've done this in other models but haven't brought it into Rocket Pro Forma yet)
- Portfolio management
Rocket Pro Forma is powerful and I've been getting great feedback from the entrepreneurs who have used it. You're welcome to check it out and use the money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.
Why three years?
The world is moving so quickly that it’s hard to plan even three years ahead. I used to do 5-year projections, but switched a decade ago and haven’t looked back.
How do I enter my assumptions?
Mostly by entering three values for year 1, year 2, and year 3 along with a growth rate. The Rocket Pro Forma template automatically does all the work filling out the 36 monthly cells for you. And then you can easily change your assumptions as needed.
Here's a video walkthrough of how easy it is to enter (and update) three years of assumptions:
What is the format of the Rocket Pro Forma template?
It’s a Google spreadsheet. You can make your own copy and customize it to your business. The great thing about Google Sheets is that you can share them online. I often collaborate on financial models with entrepreneurs in real time.
Can I use Excel?
The short answer is no. The long answer is that I'm using Google-specific functions and I haven’t tried to open it in Excel in a long time (in fact, I like Google Sheets so much that I haven’t even installed Excel on my computer).
What if I’m afraid of spreadsheets?
I’ve designed Rocket Pro Forma to do all of the work for you, even if you hate spreadsheets. You simply enter your assumptions and you’ll automatically see a killer pitch deck slide plus income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet. Your accountant and your potential investors will all love you.
What if I’m awesome at spreadsheets?
Rocket Pro Forma is perfect for you! It does a lot of the heavy lifting, and then you can customize to your heart’s content. I’ve seen entrepreneurs and their hired guns do all kinds of cool extensions of the Rocket Pro Forma template.
How often do you update Rocket Pro Forma?
All the time! Here's the list of recent improvements:
October 22, 2020
Updated Hiring tab to allow discounted salaries for a certain # of starting months (an improvement from previous all-or-nothing functionality).
Adjusted green indicators in Hiring Tab column D to preform better when either column B or C is deleted (vs. set to zero).
Adjusted Transactions line in Pitch Deck Slide to better handle Buyers driving transactions in a Marketplace business model.
Added Fulfillment and Distribution to G&A section of Operating Expenses.
October 21, 2020
Updated Pitch Deck Slide to better handle customized names of Buyers and Sellers in Key Metrics for Marketplace business model.
Updated Pitch Deck Slide to properly credit cash flow for Batched (pre-paid) inventory vs. Just In Time / Drop Shipped inventory (added a new section on the Cash Flow Statement to track this).
October 20, 2020
Updated NPV calculation in Financing tab to reflect cash flows instead of simply EBITDA.
Updated the Change in Work in Progress Inventory on the Cash Flow Statement to reference the correct cells on the Income Statement.
Updated Transactions section starting in row 4 of Cash Flow Statement to properly reflect cash in from Top Down Sales Targets.
Updated Units section starting in row 44 of Cash Flow Statement to properly reflect cash in from Top Down Sales Targets.
October 19, 2020
Updated Customers tab to turn off appropriate inputs when Bottom Up Sales is disabled.
Updated Marketing Spend on Channel Partners per Month line 297 of Income Statement to more accurately reflect settings in Assumptions tab.
Updated Retail & Wholesale Margin calculations for Tier 2 Units on Assumptions tab to reflect the proper COGS.
Updating hiring spend (desk + computer) to properly calculate per-hire spend in Year 1.
Updated Paid Ad spend to properly calculate in situations where start month was greater than 12.
October 16, 2020
Added Fulfillment Expenses to Assumptions tab, with calculations added to Customers and Income Statement tabs (Amazon & Other / Shopify)
Moved Credit Card Expenses into Selling Expenses on Assumptions tab and Income Statement
October 13, 2020
Adjusted available Buyer calculations in Marketplace model to more accurately reflect churned Buyers.
Adjusted Marketplace Transactions from Buyers to properly reflect # of newly onboarded Buyers each month in situations where Buyers are driving Marketplace transactions.
October 8, 2020
Marketplace now supports flat fee per transaction (in addition to % fee per transaction).
Adjusted line 22 of Pitch Deck Slide to properly display revenue from Marketplace transactions.
Deleted 5 hidden sheets for older versions of Pitch Deck Slides.
Hidden revenue detail on Pitch Deck Slide now dynamically adapts when Marketplace is active.
Adjusted Cash Flow Statement to properly account for Marketplace fees.
October 7, 2020
You can now choose whether Sellers or Buyers drive the transactions in your Marketplace, which can make a big difference in the number of transactions.
Made the Pitch Deck Slide more resilient so you can now change the names of the Key Metrics in cells C4, C14, and C16.
Adjusted Revenue Growth % calc in Y4 and Y5 of Pitch Deck Slide to properly refer to Revenue line.
Adjusted 2nd and 3rd Key Metrics for Y4 and Y5 in Pitch Deck Slide to automatically disappear if one or both isn't being used.
Adjusted Start Month for Marketplace to solve a potential error in some situations where the Transactions business model was disabled.
Adjusted Pitch Deck Slide to properly count Buyers, Sellers, and Transactions for Marketplace configurations.
Adjusted "Active Sellers - Tier 2 & 3 (Incl. Newly Onboarded)" line 594 and 595 of Customers tab to properly include newly onboarded Sellers.
Adjusted "Monthly Budget to Acquire Buyers" line 606 of Customers tab to properly reflect Y2 and Y3 budget set in line 285 of Assumptions tab.
Adjusted "Total Revenue Recognized" line 86 of Income Statement to include Marketplace revenue under all circumstances.
October 5, 2020
Adjusted Navigation tab to include Top Down Paid Ads to Close Gap for summaries of all three business models.
Set MKT_Active to also include if Transactions business model is active.
Added "Inventory - Work in Progress" to Balance Sheet to better capture manufacturing batches that have been started but not completed.
Updated "Change in Inventory (COGS)" line 130 of Cash Flow Statement to include new "Inventory - Work in Progress" subtotal.
Updated "Cash at Start of Period*" line 52 of Pitch Deck Slide to properly reflect starting cash for Q2, Q3, and Q4.
October 1, 2020
First version of Marketplace functionality! You can turn Marketplace on / off inside of the Transactions business model.
Updated Cash Flow Statement to reflect Change in Accounts Receivable across new Marketplace and Ad / Data income streams.
Added small green lights to Hiring Tab to show if each position has been hired at some point in 3 years—makes it easier to read at a glance.
Updated Pitch Deck Slide to label Year 4 and Year 5 to match Years 1, 2, and 3.
Added Sellers and Buyers as optional key metrics on Pitch Deck Slide to support the new Marketplace functionality.
September 29, 2020
Updated Customers tab to properly reflect Y2 and y3 "Ad Spend per Month" from Assumptions tab.
Updated Navigation tab to point to the new Pitch Deck Slide.
Naming Transactions & Units now handle plurals for words that end in "y".
September 21, 2020
Added credit card per-transaction flat fee to Assumptions tab, to handle 30 cents + 2.7%. Also created new "# of Purchases Counter" section in Customers tab to add up all transactions per month.
Updated "Trials from Ads to Close Gap" in hidden section of Pitch Deck Slide to properly reflect annual totals.
Added ability to decide whether 1) new + existing customers or 2) only new customers drive secondary business models. This can have a large effect on # of sales fo rthose secondary business models.
September 15, 2020
Updated Pitch Deck Slide to better handle blank entries for Key Metric #2 and Key Metric #3
Assumptions tab now grays out sections for years that aren't relevant—in order to declutter and make things easier for users to understand.
September 14, 2020
Consolidated Pitch Deck Slide into one tab (it used to be six separate tabs)
Pitch Deck Slide now automatically customizes itself based on the business models you choose.
Pitch Deck Slide now has an option to override key metric #2 and key metric #3 to your choice.
Pitch Deck Slide now offers year 4 and year 5 with adjustable growth rates via a hidden group along the top.
Adjusted returns and allowances to properly reflect Tier 2 and Tier 3 as negative numbers in Customers tab, Income Statement, and Pitch Deck Slide.
September 3, 2020
Added "Ads / Data Revenue" to Assumptions tab, so you can now monetize both your customers and your website visitors. Also updated Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement accordingly.
Updated Cash Flow Statement to better reflect accounts payable for monthly and annual subscriptions. Also updated Customers tab to support.
September 2, 2020
Updated Unit COGS to better handle zero-month lead times and 0-month batching (same as selecting Just-In-Time or Dropship options for Unit COGS).
Added "Skip Sales Quota" to Hiring Plan Column G which allows you to exclude certain sales people from selling the quota (to more accurately model complex sales teams).
Added "Free Months at Start" to Hiring Plan for founders and other early employees who will work for free for an initial period.
Updated Basic Salary Subtotals section in Hiring Tab to accurately reflect total salaries in four categories: COGS, S&M, R&D, and G&A.
August 21, 2020
Added starting cash in bank to total invested before this model starts in Financing Tab
Updated exit multiple on Financing Tab
August 17, 2020
Upgraded Top Down Sales Targets to better handle repeat customers
Updated Investment & Financing* line in all Pitch Deck Slides to not include loan payments (cash out)
August 2, 2020
Updated Units assumptions to reflect Avg # of Units Purchased per Retail Transaction for each tier
Updated Units assumptions to reflect Y2 and Y3 discounts for Tier 2 and Tier 3
Avg # of Months to Repeat Purchase must now be set between 1 and 37 months (setting it to zero months would create an infinite loop)
Repeats now feed back into the # of customers from which to calculate future repeat sales, since existing repeats are most likely to repeat again
July 24, 2020
Published a major upgrade with intelligence to automatically map out your sales and revenue plan via Top-Down Targets
You can also map out a Bottom-Up Sales Strategy to achieve your Top-Down Targets, and you can close any gap with Paid Ads.
July 23, 2020
Upgraded return calculations for Units
Adjusted renewal period for annual subscriptions by one month in "Churn for Subscriptions" section of Customers tab
Adjusted trial to subscription conversions from Direct Sales and Channel Partners by one month in "New Subs Channel Partner Commissions & Cash Flow Calc" section of Customers tab
Moved previous cash invested by founders into Financing tab (from Assumptions tab)
July 20, 2020
Disabling Tier 3 Units now grays out both buinsess model and COGS assumptions
Fixed inventory prediction engine for manufacturing batches that start after month 1
Activating human override now grays out inventory prediction engine for all three tiers of Units.
July 16, 2020
Base Case, Best Case, and Worst Case scenarios in Dashboard tab now handle zero revenue years more gracefully.
Updated the way the Assumptions tab calculates CAC for subscriptions without trials.
Updated the way Office Build-Out in CapEx flows through to the Cash Flow Statement.
Updated Sheet Protection of Changelog tab so that people can delete it if they want.
July 14, 2020
Fixed % of new customers allocated across 3 tiers for Services, Units, and Subscriptions business models.
July 13, 2020
Moved hourly billing FTEs to bottom of Hiring Plan tab to reduce confusion.
Added bottom-up sales funnel in Assumptions tab (which is calculate in Customer tab)
Made Hiring Plan tab more resilient when adding and removing rows
Hiring Plan tab now alerts with red box when Cost Type isn't present in Column H, which often happen when people create new rows in the Hiring Plan tab.
Removed unused Range Names from Hiring Plan tab
Fixed annualized revenue per employee calculation in Hiring Plan tab
Assumptions tab now lets you assign one-time purchase of computer and furniture for new hires to either OpEx (default) or CapEx
July 10, 2020
Fixed the formatting of the Assumptions tab including moving notes out of input boxes and greying out sections as they are disabled.
Added Waitlist funnel # of sales + revenue to all 6 pitch deck slides
Set all waitlists to zero for all tiers of all 3 business models
July 7, 2020
Income statement now ignores batched manufacturing for Tier 2 and Tier 3 units if they are disabled.
June 29, 2020
Fixed more totals for pitch deck slides to solve for weird bug in Google Sheets that occasionally shows #REF errors even though the formulas are correct #stupidgoogle
Added waitlist sales to Cash Flow Statement for Services and Units
Added checkbox to turn on / off trials for subscriptions & re-wired Customers tab to respond accordingly (if there isn't a trial then everyone who would've been a trial converts to paid at 100%)
June 17, 2020
Fixed plurals for customized vocab for Transactions and Units business models in multiple locations across all tabs.
June 16, 2020
Now correctly caculate COGS for Units biz model in Income Statement
Now correctly caculate COGS for Units biz model in all Pitch Deck Slides
June 15, 2020
Now show "Investment & Financing" by default in Pitch Deck Slides to make it easier to understand where $ is coming from and how much $ your company needs to raise for this plan
Now calculate all Pitch Deck Slides using Named Ranges in order to avoid summing bug in Google Sheets
Adjusted some Capital Expenses to appear as negative values on the Cash Flow Statement, in order to accurately represent cash flow
Adjusted Cash Out for Operations line of all Pitch Deck Slides to reflect Accounts Payable length
June 10, 2020
Added on/off checkbox for Startup Costs > Operating Expenses (OpEx)
Added on/off checkbox for Startup Costs > Capital Expenses (CapEx)
Adjusted cash flow calculations for Startup Costs > Capital Expenses (CapEx)
June 9, 2020
Added 3-Year Summary to Income Statement
Added 3-Year Summary to Cash Flow Statement
Added 3-Year Summary to Balance Sheet
Adjusted booking calculations (net to your company) for sales of subscriptions by channel partners to more accurately account for sales commissions to channel partners.
Prepaid Expenses are now properly accounted for on Cash Flow Statement
Adjusted quota calculation for direct sales teams that don't require training or ramp to quota
Adjusted calculation of repeat customers for Transactions and Units to reflect customizable year 2 and year 3 settings
Adjusted calculation of customers coming into Transactions and Units from other biz models to reflect adjustable year 2 and year 3 settings
June 8, 2020
Added waitlist functionality for both Services and Units. Customers from waitlist will be added and charged the first month that each tier becomes available.
Fixed an issue where start month for tier 2 and 3 of Units was tied to start months of Transactions.
Broke out recognized revenue per tier for Channel sales for Services, Units, and Subscriptions in Customer tab—to correct issue where channel commission were not being subtracted.
June 6, 2020
% of tier 3 subscribers is now calculated correctly (was using % of tier 2 subscribers for tier 3 instead)
Reversed Accounts Payable to properly calculate cash flow
June 3, 2020
Added hourly billing as a new biz model / revenue stream to Hiring Plan, Customers tab, Income Statement, and Cash Flow Statement
Removed OpEx and CapEx Hooks from Customers tab
Changed name of Start Here tab to Assumptions tab (now that you "Start Here" on the Navigation tab)
June 1, 2020
Updated calculation of subscribers at end of period in Monthly Subscription Pitch Deck Slide
Removed script for naming ranges
Fixed issue with custom start month set in Start Here tab (needed to update row 3 of Hiring Tab)
Fixed OpEx subtotals in expansion groups. for all six pitch deck slides
May 29, 2020
Updated calculation of Investment & Financing in quarterly pitch deck slides
May 26, 2020
Created new Customers Tab out of existing Hooks tab.
Simplified Income Statement Tab by moving all customer calculations into Customers Tab.
Fixed issue where entering start month of zero for pricing tiers could case REF error.
Added OpEx salaries into Navigation tab to make it more intutive to get the full picture of operating expenses by category.
May 22, 2020
Changed the name of this spreasheet to Rocket Pro Forma (why didn't I think of that sooner lol)
Added "Next" buttons to Navigation tab to simplify the user experience.
Added a table of contents to the Navigation tab to orient users and make it easier for them to jump around the spreadsheet.
Dashboard section covering Accounts Payable Days now handles AP = 0 correctly.
May 21, 2020
Made Organic and Paid Ad sales funnels much easier to use.
Combined CVRs (conversion rates) for website Organic and Paid Ad sales funnels into one number (vs. separate CVRs for Transactions, Units, and Services).
May 15, 2020
Added Dashboard tab with common metrics and KPIs to evaluate the projected financials incl. accounts receivable days, accounts payable days, operating expense measures as % of revenue, inventory turns, simple breakeven calcualtions, working capital, quick ratio
Added more How To videos
Changed Subscription calculations to End of Period in Pitch Deck Slide (both Quarterly and Monthly)
May 14, 2020
Implemented first version of upgrading from an old version of Rocket Pro Forma to a new one.
Formatted Start Here and Finance Tabs to match new Navigation Tab interface
Average expense per employee to all Pitch Deck Slides (3 quarterly + 3 monthly)
May 12, 2020
Added Accounts Receivable for Annual Subscriptions (and left a hook for AR for Monthly Subscriptions if needed, but thinking that Monthly Subs will pay up front via credit card)
May 11, 2020
Added Accounts Payable (in months) for better cash planning and management. Enter in Start Here tab. Changes are reflected in Cash Flow Statement and Balance Sheet.
Adjusted some calculations on Balance Sheet to recalculate Shareholders' Equity
Pitch Deck Slides - Added average (operating) expense per employee
Unit sales through partners now factor in AR # of months partners take to pay (in addition to standard AR from customers)
Added concept of Outstanding CapEx to delay payment on purchases of Equipment, Tooling, and Other CapEx
Added checkbox in Start Here to "Allow Upgrades and Downgrades Between Subscription Tiers?"
May 8, 2020
All 6 Pitch Deck Slides now show a more friendly cash tracker at the bottom (cash in and cash out per period)
Added cash from other biz model sales funnels to Services and Units in the Cash Flow Statement
Months and Years can now be customized to either be generic (Mo 1 of Year 1) or start the financial projections on a specific month of a specific year (Apr of 2021)
May 7, 2020
Updated inventory calculation in Balance Sheet to include all three tiers of Unit sales.