How it works
- Divide up the plan with sections.
- Create groups of financial components in each section.
- Enter numbers into each component.
Forecasting in Brixx is done by creating a folder structure to hang all of your business activities on. Sections and Groups allow you to keep everything organised instead of scrolling through one long list of items. It also allows you to report on different areas of your business to give you more useful numbers than just the top line. These are the basic steps toward forecasting your entire business. Completing these will automatically populate your charts and financial statements with figures.
Note: If you started a plan with 'a basic plan structure' ticked in plan creation then you will begin with some Sections, Groups and Components already.
1. Divide up the plan with sections
The first thing you do in a new plan is click +ADD SECTION.
You can name sections how you like. Don't worry about making them match your accounts. They are about making your business plan easy to navigate. If you are not sure where to start, keep it simple with a section for sales and a section for costs. Take a look at this hairdresser shop example:
- Haircut sales will be used for sales forecasts involving the different hair services available
- Hair product sales will be used to plan the sales forecasts for any accessory products sold
- Shop overheads will contain the running costs of the shop and staff salaries.
- Startup costs will contain the necessary costs and asset purchases the business needs to make to get up and running.
- Marketing costs will contain any costs related to promoting the business.
As we already covered, these can be named anything and you can add as many as you need to divide up your business. Keep in mind you can further split Sections down into Groups for another level of detail. Don't worry about getting this perfect first time. You can add, delete or edit anything you want as you go. You will learn what best fits you as you go along.
2. Create groups of financial components
Now you can starting adding your business activities to the sections you have made. Choose a section and click +ADD GROUP.
After you have added and named a Group you can click the COMPONENTS button to start adding your financial activities.
This panel contains a library of template building blocks. Each component fulfils a different financial task. Clicking one will add it to the current group.
Green: Income - Sales of your products and services
Red: Expenditure - Direct and indirect costs to the business
Yellow: Assets - Purchases for the business that hold value
Blue: Finance - Financial activities such as borrowing and repaying loans
Groups can consist of any combination of these. You could specialise a group to just contain the different products you sell or for a set of overhead costs. You could also add a mixture of components appropriate to something the business is doing. Example: the purchase of a van (asset) that is funded by a loan which has ongoing petrol and maintenance costs (operational cost) associated with it.
When you click a component it adds it to the group and gives you the option to name it. Below I have added an Income to represent hair cut sales:
You can add multiple Incomes to represent more products. This allows you to break down your total sales in reports by product. If you have lots of products then you may want to consider using one income component to represent multiple products. This will keep your plan manageable.
As you start to build up your plan, you can rename your groups to have more meaningful names. Double click any item in the list to rename it. I have added another group to divide up my products into two different categories, hair cuts and hair colouring:
You can go through all your sections in the same way, covering every part of your business. Your financial plan should cover everything the business is doing. Make sure you don't miss anything! If you are not sure where to start or how to name things, don't worry. You can always change the structure at a later point by moving things around, copying or renaming. You can't break anything by doing this so get stuck in!
You can see how every section of this business plan has been filled out below. Click the screenshot to see it in detail:
3. Enter numbers into each component
Now we are ready to add some numbers. Click on the name of any component to open a data panel.
When you open a component it will display the template for that component type. So an income component will have different options to a cost or asset component for example. They share common elements though, we'll go through them here looking at an operational cost component:
If you want to enter your own data into each period, click Show as table.
You can still quickly fill the table. Click FILL TABLE in the top left of the grid to show the fill options. You can fill the table with a repeating number but you can also use the grow by options to increase this number each period. You can increase it by an exact amount or a percentage. Choose the stop growth option if you want to the numbers to plateau at a certain month.
When you make changes you will need to SAVE CHANGES or CANCEL them before you can move onto other parts of your plan.
You can go through every component in this way. As you do, each component will update numbers to your outputs. You can build up your entire plan this way and go back in to make changes to any component if you want to tweak and experiment.
Other guides will go through individual components in more detail but you should have enough to go by now to get the vast majority of your forecasting complete.