Tag Archives: Probability

How Do You Forecast Revenue for a New Technology? Three Ideas

Situation: The Board of a company has asked the CEO to generate to forecast of revenue for this year. Their primary technology is new and the company has just started receiving orders. An achievable revenue forecast my not please the Board. However, the company may lack manufacturing capacity to meet a higher level of demand. How do you forecast revenue for a new technology?

  • Be realistic in your forecast. While the Board may not like your number, the impact of setting the goal too far out of reach is potentially significant, including discouraging the team, and impairing credibility with the Board. However, if you aim realistically and significantly exceed the target you will be heroes.
  • How is it best to approach this in discussions with the leadership team?
    • Create a set of objectives and revenue targets and put probabilities around each. Also look at the obstacles to hitting the higher numbers, including manufacturing capacity and the cost of increasing capacity.
    • For examples if your most likely forecast is $X, then put probabilities around achievement of multiples of this number:
      • $X – 95%
      • .75X – 99%
      • 1.5X – 75%
      • 2X – 60%
    • Once your determine the objective, think through everything that must be covered to meet that goal, from sales to production, and start developing plans and contingencies to address these.
  • Share your probabilities with the board, as well as your plans and contingencies that may increase likelihood of reaching the higher targets. Ask for their input and assistance hitting the higher targets.