SaaS Financial Plan
Originally published: 30/08/2016 13:21
Last version published: 16/12/2016 16:19
Publication number: ELQ-73732-2
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SaaS Financial Plan

A financial plan template for SaaS startups based on a model created for Zendesk

This model provides a simple plan for an early-stage SaaS startup, with a low-touch sales model – minimised human interaction for each step of the sales funnel, replaced by automated processes. For example, a company that markets a SaaS solution via its website, offers a 30-day free trial, gets most of its trial users organically and through online marketing, and then converts them into paying customers. Thus, in this model, the key drivers of the hypothetical startup are: organic growth rate, marketing budget and customer acquisition costs, conversion rate, ARPU and churn rate.

If, in reality, your SaaS startup has a higher-touch sales model, with more human involvement in the sales process and where revenue growth is more driven by sales headcount, the model should be modified accordingly.

Other features of the module include:
o Support for multiple pricing tiers
o Support for annual contracts with annual pre-payments
o Solid headcount planning
o Visibility into “MRR movements”
o Cash-flow planning
o Charts

The spreadsheet is largely self-explanatory but comments have been included to help you better understand the model. These can be accessed by hovering over the small red triangles.

Thanks for this model should also be given to Chris Amani, Sr. Finance Director at Humanity, and Pawel and Dominik of Point Nine, who all contributed by reviewing drafts of the model and providing valuable feedback.

- Christophe Janz,

This Best Practice includes
1 Excel Model, 1 Online Methodology

Christoph Janz offers you this Best Practice for free!

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Further information

"For non-SaaS business models the template needs to be modified more heavily or may not be useful at all, other than that it shows my way of thinking around business planning. That was one of the points that I was trying to make in the original blog post – you can't simply re-use a template, your financial plan needs to mirror your specific business case."

- Christophe Janz,

4.7 / 5 (121 votes)

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