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IDEAS. STRATEGY. TACTICS. INNOVATION. INSPIRATION.

Building Financial Models



Holly Howard is the brain behind Ask Holly How, a business consultancy founded on the principle that successful entrepreneurship resides at the intersection of self-evolution, business growth, and the creative pursuit. Holly works with creative entrepreneurs who are building locally and growing globally. They are risk-takers by nature, with an expansive mindset for growth, driven by a sense of possibility. By catalyzing culture change, constructing a stable infrastructure, unifying teams, and clarifying the company vision, her clients gain creative freedom, financial prosperity, and a clear path towards generating their legacy. Since launching Ask Holly How in 2012, Holly has worked with over 1,000 businesses through her private consulting and business growth program. In the following discussion, she teaches us how to use our data, create solid financial models and understand our expenses.


Concepts to consider when building out our financial models

The first one is you. What are your personal needs as the owner-operator? Sometimes as founders, we might not put ourselves at a market rate salary or we'll push our compensation off for a while. Our businesses should be working for us and not the other way around. Next is the data. There is nuance in each of our numbers. Our numbers tell us many different things about our business' potential growth.


There is nuance in each of our numbers. Data in business is not just about financial planning, it tells us many different things about our business's potential growth.

The impact of big picture costs

Never set financial models without first setting marketing goals. Everyone likely has seasonality in their businesses and it's valuable information to take note of for our finances and the efforts we put into marketing and production. Whether you have a product-based or service-based business, your marketing efforts tie into your financial model. Sometimes we're very siloed in those things, but they speak to each other. Our marketing efforts are the building blocks of our financial goals, so we want to look at them together.

Bible business costs include employee benefits, professional development, culture-building initiatives, livable wages, business emergency funds and your salary. These costs should line up with our values, like taking care of our employees and taking care of ourselves. Our budgets and our values need to align when making our projections.


Top four financial roadblocks

  1. In our accounting books - QuickBooks or any other accounting software - often our data isn't detailed enough or updated frequently enough. If financial