The Story Behind ProjectionSmart®
Feb 28, 2019 by Roger Scherping
Hi. I’m Roger Scherping, co-founder of ProjectionSmart®. I remember my first day at a small manufacturing company that I was hired to turn around in the early 2000’s. Right away that morning I took calls from the IRS about some unpaid payroll taxes and from several irate unpaid vendors, the utility company sent a cutoff notice, and two employees came upstairs to complain that their paychecks had bounced. I knew right away I had to very quickly figure out the numbers of our business, if for no other reason than so I could sleep at night. I had to know: How much cash would we need to get turned around? How quickly could we get sales to grow? How long would it be before we started making a profit again?
Being a CPA, it relatively was easy for me to do a financial projection for our business. I created a spreadsheet into which I entered our projected sales and costs, estimated borrowings, and estimated inventory and cash receipts. The projection told me how much cash we needed (a lot), how quickly we could grow sales (a few tense months), and how long it would be before we made a profit (about six months).
The projection worked so well that I did the same thing at the other companies I went on to manage. Even when I was a president and had a CFO, I still did my own projections.
Years later, as I looked back at that these small companies I had managed, I realized how critical it was to my success that I was able to forecast these businesses. I always knew where our company was going to be in the coming months, and that allowed me to effectively manage our resources. It gave me confidence in where we were going, and it told me what we needed to do to get there.
I also realized that every small business owner should be able to forecast his or her business. He or she should know whether there was a cash crisis coming, whether he or she could afford to buy that new machine or hire that new employee, and what the profit was expected to be for the year.
As I looked around I realized that there were no simple tools for small business owners to do a business projection. They could look at a software package created for much larger, more sophisticated companies. They could talk to their CPA and probably spend $3,000. Or they could create their own forecasting spreadsheet, but most small business owners don’t have the accounting knowledge or spreadsheet skills to create their own forecast.
So we created ProjectionSmart. Our goal is to help small business owners do their own financial forecasts. We had in mind a small business owner who doesn’t have a finance or accounting background, has only a bookkeeper, has less than $10 million in sales, and uses a simple accounting package like QuickBooks. If that describes you, then ProjectionSmart will help you achieve success by helping you understand the numbers of your business.