Simple initial calculation: do your sums add up?

You want your project to have a long-term impact? Then it needs to pay off. High profitability can even boost your project?s impact. On the other hand, the following is true for projects that make something available to purchase: no market, no impact. You should therefore develop a rough overview of your costs and income at an early stage. This will also serve as a reality check for your project. Your business plan is essential for the organisation and management of the project. It simply won?t work without doing your sums and performing a few numerical projections. Keep things as simple as possible, but make sure you do them right.

Example VillageOffice

A project has to pay off sooner or later. What did VillageOffice?s first rough estimate look like?

From the outset, the team focussed on a very specific offer under the title "co-working experience". The plan was as follows:

• VillageOffice finds 20 companies that each send 10 employees to a co-working space on a trial basis.

• The VillageOffice team supports the company during the implementation of this trial. The team members have their expenses reimbursed but do not receive a wage.

• In return for the additional customers, the co-working spaces receive a flat fee amounting to around one-third of the going rate, thus helping to keep costs down.

• The University of St. Gallen supports this experiment with a study, thus creating a basis for acquiring further companies for the project at a later date. The university charges a greatly reduced pro bono rate for the study.

• Each company pays a flat fee for their participation.

This calculation resulted in a small profit for VillageOffice, which was to be invested in the development of the co-working space network, thus allowing for a gradual increase in the capacities made available for the programme over time.

My 0 to 100 moment:

The celebration upon generating your first revenues. Or a simple initial calculation that sees you balance your books.

How it works

Be aware that your project is certain to generate costs. This may include rental fees, material procurement costs and communication expenses. In an initial rough estimate, you compare your costs and potential revenue. This will help you to remain flexible in all situations.

Every cost counts Make a differentiation between fixed and flexible costs. Don?t leave any out. Your salary, for example. Even if you don?t plan on paying yourselves anything at the outset, this is sure to change at some point.

Change the parameters and check whether your coffers are still full. What would happen if only 10 percent of the target group were to accept your offer rather than 50 percent?

Thinking in terms of scenarios Imagine different scenarios: the best possible scenario, the worst case scenario and something in between. This will ensure you are prepared for a great deal.

Willingness to pay For your service to have a value, it must offer a specific benefit for your target group. Find out what people are willing to pay for it.

Think in stages Think about your project in stages and for each step set quantitative goals that you want to achieve. You can then use these as a basis to measure your success, i.e. the impact of your project, and make changes where necessary.


On YouTube, you can find countless instructions for budgeting, using Excel - anyone can do it.

Figures don't lie: they help you to manage your project more successfully. And get ready for others wanting to see these numbers. Both potential investors and future team members.

Milchbüechli (simple calculation):

this provides you with an initial overview of your project finances.