Agency Financial Forecasting

Here are 10 ways to get the most out of your agency’s financial forecast.

Confirmed Revenue. Probably the single most important number on any forecast so your forecast should focus on this number. Only include confirmed projects/retainers. This is your worst case scenario hopefully something from your pipeline (below) will drop in but it’s not guaranteed.


Same spreadsheet, different worksheet. Not all opportunities are equal so we should differentiate between opportunities. Some Agencies prefer weighting (i.e. pitches @ 80%, RFPs @ 20%). Some Agencies prefer qualitative i.e. Negotiation, pitches, proposals etc. Doing so will give you a far clearer idea of what could happen in the future.

Opportunities are binary not weighted

If you weight your pipeline there is a temptation to work out the value of your weighted pipeline. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong in this it’s a nice metric) but be careful – it’s a metric about your pipeline. Real life is binary – you will either win or lose a pitch you won’t get 80% of the revenue.


Simple one this – always have your breakeven revenue figure in mind when you’re looking at your forecast. For good or bad this will focus your efforts on what needs to be done next. Flex resources up or down, reduce costs or focus on specific opportunities.

Revenue Gap

If you’ve set yourself a revenue target let’s use it to work out the gap between your forecast for the year and your target. This revenue gap is a simple way of concentrating the mind on where we are overall.

Revenue by Client

If you’ve got a forecast it’s easy to add in a calculation ("Sumif") to work out the rankings of your clients. This is always interesting to know – you just need to make sure you name clients consistently.

Profit Maximising

The simplest, and most important, question you can ask of any choice in an Agency is "What revenue will this bring in and what will it cost us?" The forecast is a perfect place for this.


Where do you leads come from? Add in a column to your pipeline and you’ll have a direct insight into the real performance of your new business pipeline. Inbound or Outbound? Word of Mouth or Intermediary?

Pitch Win Rate

Whether by number or value of opportunities your success at pitches will determine a lot of your success. Combining this with the attribution (above) is incredibly useful.

Which opportunity?

Choices have to be made and sometimes you have to choose where to concentrate your limited time and resources. Having an overall view and a knowledge of the impact of your choice on your agency will make that choice clearer and easier to make.

Via @novemberfridays /

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