A major change in your business model can make forecasting difficult, because the future will not be like the past. Since SimSaaS is designed for startups, it's now possible to incorporate these kind of pivot dates into your forecasting. Here's an example of a company that launched a freemium program in July 2018 (purple line). As you can see, the trend to the right of the "Now" (grey line) is showing a lot of uncertainty and a major correction because it doesn't understand the pivot.
Let's re-run the model taking the pivot into account. Notice how the trend adjusts? This means your forecasts will also reflect the change in business model.
Whether the launching of freemium programs, changes to go-to-market, or even changes in ownership, marking such an anchor (pivot) date can make all the difference in the insights you gain from a forward-looking view.
Anchor dates can be set under your Account Settings.
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.
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.