In the digital age, businesses are more able than ever before to grow and succeed without needing to invest in expensive physical assets. Instead, almost any business can start online, often for little or no cost.
Demand for new firms is rising, and more people are ready to invest in them. The global equity market is now worth an astonishing $70 trillion; a figure set to grow even further within the next few years.
However, when it comes to investing in new businesses, things aren’t quite as straightforward as they may seem on the surface. That’s because there is so much more at stake than simply how much profit a company makes or its potential for future growth.
Even well-performing enterprises can fail if investors aren’t aware of the hazards. Financial modeling helps investors determine how much risk they’re accepting by funding a business.
What is a financial model?
So, what is financial modeling? A financial model is a simplified representation of a company’s financial statements. These statements are typically the balance sheet, cash flow statement, and income statement. A financial model allows investors to examine the assumptions behind these statements, including the effect of projected growth rates and risks to the overall business.
A financial model is typically built in an Excel spreadsheet, although there are many other business analysis software options available on the market today. A financial model is not a business plan or a forecast but rather a financial forecasting tool that focuses on the numbers and allows the user to play with the assumptions. To know how to learn financial modeling read on as we go into the nitty gritty of financial modeling types.
Why Do Businesses Need Financial Models?
Businesses need financial models to determine how much funding they need and from whom. They also need them to predict their growth and revenue so that they can make smart decisions about hiring and expansion.
In addition, investors need financial models to determine whether or not a business is worth funding. So, while financial modeling may sound like an esoteric or unnecessary process, it is actually of vital importance to everyone in the business world. Financial modeling for startups is very important because new businesses usually lack enough funding and they need to be cautious about how they spend their money.
It’s important to remember that financial models don’t predict the future as such. Rather, they are more like a set of instructions that help us understand what might happen if we take a certain set of actions. This is known as financial forecasting modeling.
A financial model allows us to test different scenarios, like increases in revenue or the effects of scaling up our staffing. It also provides insight into potential risks that may not have been expected.
The basics of financial modeling
Here are some of the key aspects of any financial model that you should be aware of:
- Assumptions – When building a model, the first step is to make assumptions about key metrics like revenue growth and the time frame for that growth. These depend on the industry and business type you are modeling.
- Assigning values – Once your assumptions are complete, you assign values to each of the metrics you have chosen in order to build your model.
- Inputs, outputs, and constraints – To ensure your model is valid, input data on the assumptions and run it to observe how it affects the financial statements.
- Scenarios – After testing your model, you can compare the results of different scenarios. For example, you might want to see what happens if the company hires more employees or if there is a sudden drop in revenue.
Five typical financial modeling templates
There are five known types of financial modeling templates. Let’s have a look at what each entails:
1. Merger and acquisition (M&A) modeling template
A merger and acquisition (M&A) modeling template is used by businesses to calculate the potential impact of a proposed acquisition. It helps businesses determine the potential costs and benefits of getting involved in M &A services.
Mergers help businesses determine the potential impact of a proposed purchase and how long it will take to complete. The company must have an M & A model in place to calculate the impact on its financial statements. This template is also used by businesses to calculate the risk and benefits of any merger proposal.
2. The three-statement model template
The three-statement model template is designed to give an investor or other interested party a broad but detailed overview of a company’s financial situation. It’s a good first step for a quick and easy financial modeling exercise, and it can be beneficial for businesses in terms of attracting funding.
The three-statement model is also known as the “financial snapshot” and it includes the balance sheet, the income statement, and a cash flow statement. The income statement shows how much revenue the company earned over a certain period of time. The balance sheet shows the company’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a certain point in time. And the cash flow statement shows the company’s sources and uses of cash during a specific time frame.
3. Discounted Cash Flow Model (DCF) Template
This is the most common type of financial model and it is used to forecast the amount of money a company is worth. This is also known as its present value. The DCF model is based on the idea that a company’s value is equal to its expected future cash flows, discounted to account for the time value of money.
The DCF model is based on the principle that any investment has a certain risk of failing. If you invest in a risky project, there is a chance that it will not succeed and you will lose your money. The DCF model is used to factor risk into investment decisions. Investors use it to determine how much they should be willing to pay for a certain asset, such as a company’s stock, or for a project requiring funding.
4. Comparable company analysis template
This financial model allows you to compare your company to others in the same industry to calculate your fair value. This is a useful exercise for businesses looking to sell their company, either as a whole or in part. A comparable company analysis model can also be helpful for entrepreneurs who are considering selling their company or taking it public.
A comparable company analysis model allows you to calculate your company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). This is an important figure for investors because it shows how much money your company is actually making.
5. Sum-of-the-parts model
The sum of the parts model is a financial model that helps analyze the performance of a company’s business. This model is used to determine whether a company should focus on one part or all of its business functions. The model can be used to determine how much money your company is spending on one aspect of its business, such as marketing or sales.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there is far more to financial modeling than simply plugging numbers into an Excel spreadsheet. Financial modeling is a process that allows you to make informed decisions about your business and your investment portfolio. It also enables you to test strategies and explore potential outcomes before they become realities.
This saves you a lot of time and money, and it can keep you out of sticky situations that might otherwise be unending and difficult to resolve. If you’re in a position where you need to make important investment decisions, financial modeling helps.