The earlier version of the model used a rough estimate of $500/mo. per employee to estimate spend on external SaaS tools and vendors.
While better to estimate high than low, this needed refinement. Thankfully, the folks over at Blissfully publish an annual report that provides average cost of SaaS per employee annually, organized by company size!
Which means your forecasts now contain a more accurate "Vendor" expenses bucket (the orange portion of the stacked bar chart here):
This expense forecasting improvement applies to all forecasts at all subscription levels, free and paid.
"Like the CEO, CFOs have a company-wide view on the business. They operate in the middle of all the data flows in and around the business. A good CFO uses this vantage point to make a good company great, leading a high quality finance organization that manages critical responsibilities for the company. They do this by informing important strategic and operational decisions; finding new insights to improve business performance; and ideally being a consigliere to the CEO." --Jeff Jordan, a16z (link)
Analytics on future revenue and expenses are interesting, but recommendations on what to about those numbers are the real value of a CFO function. As part of our free offering, SimSaaS has started generating its first set of insights: a Health Check around runway, Solutions to navigate risks, Experiments to try, and ways to Sharpen your skills.
The Solutions section includes a mixture of targeted recommendations, relevant bits of financial planning wisdom, and direct links to solution providers that may be a strong fit for your business.
Insights are live for all accounts, free and paid. We're excited to evolve this from its current v1 status into a valuable co-pilot for early-stage founders.
The alpha version of SimSaaS required you to specify how many leads you expected to reach over a very long (12+ month) time horizon.
We soon learned the amount of mental gymnastics some of you were going through to calculate a reasonable number. Not the experience we're trying to create!
Now all you need is the number of leads you expect to reach this month. SimSaaS will use this as an organic baseline, and this number will automatically grow as your product is adopted by new customers (thanks virality!).
You can also model the paid acquisition of leads, spending a portion of your Net Income, Revenue, Budget (Non-Variable Expenses), or Investable Cash (free cash that won't cause you to dip into your runway reserves).
Setting your Paid Lead Strategy to a percentage of Net Income is a quick way to model the growth through bootstrapping your business off profits.
Feedback shifted during the private beta from "I need more features" to "whoa, I'm overwhelmed, I need help, I don't know what to put in all these input fields!"
To make it easy to use SimSaaS regardless of your skill level, the forecasting process has been segmented into levels, ranging from 'Beginner' to 'Expert.' This is to help make SaaS forecasting approachable no matter your stage. It also enables a sense of progress -- you can start at a simpler level and work your way up to higher levels as your skills improve and your business matures.
Lastly -- the higher-level tiers have been placed into paid accounts. Free users can still click "Preview" to check out the additional controls enabled by these higher levels.