Financial projections are a useful tool in predicting a business’ future performance based on a precise analysis of the current and past financial figures. With the aid of financial projections, companies can make sound, data-driven decisions to help shape the short-term and long-term strategy of the business. This blog post outlines the key steps to use financial projections to make strategic decisions.

Using financial projections in strategic decision-making can be highly beneficial, as the insights gained can give businesses an edge in the highly competitive market. It helps to identify which actions are more likely to generate a profit and which are unlikely to be profitable in the long term. Furthermore, it gives deeper insight into the risk profile of a company and its ability to take on additional debts. By understanding the current financial standing of the business, companies can more accurately create a sound strategy that takes into account the current financial health and future projections.

Key Steps Outlined Below:

  • Creating a timeline for financial projections
  • Creating a financial model
  • Using projections to inform strategies
  • Monitoring forecast accuracy

Understanding Financial Projections

Financial projections are a key component of any successful business strategy. They help businesses make better strategic decisions about the future of their organization. Financial projections involve predicting future revenues, expenses, and cash flows. This article will help you understand financial projections and how to use them to make strategic decisions.

What are Financial Projections?

Financial projections are forecasts of a company’s future financial performance. They are based on the past financial performance of the company and the expectations of how the company will perform in the future. They are used to better understand the financial risks and opportunities associated with a business decision. Financial projections can be used to evaluate current decisions and compare potential future scenarios.

Types of Financial Projections

Financial projections come in a variety of forms, including:

  • Cash flow projections
  • Income statement projections
  • Balance sheet projections
  • Projections of revenue, expense, and capital budgets
  • Financial ratio projections

Difference between Financial Projections and Financial Statements

Financial projections are based on expectations rather than actuals, unlike financial statements. Financial statements report the actual performance of the business over a given period of time. Financial projections, on the other hand, are forward-looking statements that predict the financial performance of the business over a certain period of time.

Information Needed to Make Financial Projections

Making financial projections allows businesses to make important strategic decisions about their operations and investments. In order for these projections to be realistic and actionable, it's important to have a firm understanding of the finances and other key details that are going to impact the final calculations. Here are some of the essential pieces of information needed to make financial projections.

Know Your Financial Position

Before getting into the numbers, you need to have a clear understanding of your business's current financial situation. This means having an up-to-date accounting ledger and knowing where your assets stand. Consider past performance, current accounts receivable, and existing commitments, such as business loans.

Understand the Accounting Assumptions

Financial projections are based on certain assumptions about the future of your business. These assumptions should be clearly defined so that you understand the limitations of any forecast. Examples of assumptions that should be taken into account include expected customer growth, expected cost inflation, and expected operational efficiencies.

Understand Industry Benchmarks

Comparing your financial projections to industry benchmarks is a great way to ensure that your forecast is reasonable. Industry benchmarks can provide insight into what other similar businesses are doing and what kind of performance is possible within that space. They can also help you understand how to account for things like customer acquisition costs and what kind of market share and profitability you can expect.

With the right information, you can use financial projections to make informed strategic decisions. Knowing your financial position and understanding the assumption and industry benchmarks should be the foundation of any financial projection.

Making Financial Projections

Financial projections are an important part of any business plan and can be used to make strategic decisions. By understanding and using the financial projections provided by strategic decision makers, companies can assess their current financial situation and make strategic decisions that will positively impact the business’s future growth and operations. The following outlines the steps necessary to create financial projections and make strategic decisions.

Create a Budget

Creating a budget is an essential step in creating financial projections. Developing a budget should include estimating future revenue and expenses, planning for long-term investments, and forecasting future cash flows. Additionally, understanding current loan repayments and debt servicing can provide insight into the overall financial state of the business. Once a budget is created, it can then be used as a baseline for creating financial projections.

Decide on Goals and Objectives

The next step in creating financial projections is deciding on goals and objectives. Strategic decisions makers should determine the company’s financial goals and objectives and develop plans to meet those goals. Doing this will ensure that the financial projections are in line with the company’s overall objectives and provide an accurate assessment of the company’s financial position.

Understand Cash Flow

Understanding cash flow is an integral step in creating financial projections. Cash flow is an assessment of the cash entering and leaving the organization, and includes items such as loan repayments, capital investments, taxes, and operational expenses. Without a solid understanding of cash flow, it can be difficult to make accurate financial projections.

  • Analyzing cash flow over time can provide insight into current and future spending patterns.
  • Understanding both cash outflows and inflows is key to creating accurate financial projections.
  • Monitoring cash flow on an ongoing basis can help decision makers adjust financial projections in a timely manner.

Analyzing Financial Projections

Financial projections are the estimated outcomes of your financial decisions. They help you make future-oriented decisions that have the potential to increase your profits and reduce your losses. Analyzing financial projections can help you gain insight into potential opportunities, set realistic goals and objectives, and adjust strategies as needed.

Projecting Trends

When analyzing financial projections, it's important to look ahead at future trends. Look for patterns in the data that could offer some predictive insight into what is likely to happen in the future. Trends might include increasing sales, rising expenses, or changing customer preferences. Over time, you can use this data to inform your future decisions.

Building Strategies Around Trends

Once you identify trends in the data, you can use this information to create a strategy. For example, you might use the trend data to develop plans to increase revenue, reduce costs, or target new markets. The goal is to take advantage of the trends to improve performance and profitability.

Collecting Data to Back Up Assumptions

Analyzing financial projections also involves gathering data to support your assumptions. This data can come from internal sources such as financial reports or external sources such as market research. You can also use qualitative data such as customer feedback or surveys to understand customer preferences. With this data, you can begin to understand which strategies are most likely to be successful.

  • Gather financial data from internal and external sources.
  • Look for patterns and trends in the data.
  • Use the data to create strategies to improve profitability.
  • Gather qualitative data to gain insight into customer needs and preferences.

Benefits of Evaluating Financial Projections

When making strategic decisions, financial projections can serve as a valuable resource. Here are some of the benefits of evaluating financial projections:

Helps Make Informed Decisions

One way financial projections can be useful is to help make informed decisions. By understanding the expected financial performance, organizations can make data-driven decisions that support their desired outcomes. When used correctly, financial projections can be an effective way to minimize financial risk and maximize profitability.

Assist in Risk Management

Financial projections can also help organizations reduce risk. By taking into account the potential future financial performance of the organization, decisions can be made that help minimize unnecessary risk and ensure the organization is properly positioned for long-term success.

Provides Insight on Potential Growth Opportunities

Finally, financial projections can provide insight into potential growth opportunities. By evaluating current and future financial performance, organizations can identify areas that may need attention or present a particularly interesting opportunity for growth. This can help organizations make more informed decisions and take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.


With the right knowledge and information, you now know how financial projections can be used as a tool to make strategic decisions. By forecasting potential events, organizations can plan better, assess the future more accurately, and grow their businesses in a more sustainable way.

Summary of Points Covered

We reviewed the different kinds of financial projections, the important steps to create an accurate financial projection, and the various processes involved in forecasting. We also discussed how to use past data to make more informed decisions, the different kinds of information to consider when creating financial projections, and the importance of an up-to-date financial plan.

Benefits of Using Financial Projections to Make Decisions

  • Gain insights into the organization’s growth potential and ability to manage cash flow.
  • Make informed decisions with more exact numbers.
  • Develop strategies and tactics that are based on reliable data.
  • Eliminate potential financial risks.
  • Improve the organization's visibility by understanding it's financial obligation.

In conclusion, financial projections are the process of forecasting an organization’s future financial performance. With the right information and strategy in place, it can help your organization make effective decisions, grow and become more secure.

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