How to Make Financial Projections Without Historical Data: A Beginner's Guide

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Table of Contents


When historical financial data is unavailable, creating financial projections may seem challenging. However, it’s still possible to forecast future performance. This beginner’s guide will provide you with the necessary tools and insights to navigate this situation successfully. Financial projections are crucial for attracting investors, preparing business plans, and gaining control over finances. Even without historical data, alternative sources and well-founded assumptions can be used.


By leveraging industry benchmarks and market research, you can estimate revenue and expenses accurately. Constructing financial statements and monitoring projections are essential for decision-making. Throughout this guide, we’ll explore each step in detail. Making projections without historical data requires critical thinking and creativity. Seeking professional guidance when needed can enhance the process. Let’s embark on this journey together to unlock the power of financial projections, regardless of historical data limitations.


NOTE: Historical financial data, comprising past financial records, provides a snapshot of an entity’s financial performance and activities. Derived from financial statements, it enables analysis, trend identification, and decision-making.

Understanding the Importance of Projections

Financial projections are crucial for effective business planning and decision-making. They provide a roadmap for achieving financial goals and guide strategic initiatives. By forecasting revenue and expenses, projections enable budgeting and resource allocation.

Financial projections play a key role in anticipating and preparing for potential challenges and opportunities. They assist in setting realistic targets, making informed decisions, and aligning pricing, investments, and expansion strategies.

Even without historical data, projections offer valuable insights and benefits. Alternative sources like industry benchmarks and market research can be utilized. Projections help attract investors, secure funding, and provide better financial control for businesses.

In summary, financial projections are essential for business planning and decision-making. They offer a forward-looking perspective, enabling organizations to anticipate challenges, make informed choices, and pursue growth opportunities. Despite the absence of historical data, projections provide valuable insights and benefits for effective financial management and planning.

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Why Financial Projections are Essential for Planning and Decision Making

  • Financial projections are vital as they provide a forward-looking view for strategic planning. They help anticipate challenges, set realistic goals, and allocate resources effectively. By forecasting revenue and expenses, projections guide decision-making and assist in budgeting.
  • Projections enable businesses to evaluate the feasibility and profitability of new ventures. They aid in assessing potential risks, identifying growth opportunities, and aligning strategies with financial objectives.
  • Financial projections also enhance financial control by tracking performance against targets. They provide a benchmark for evaluating progress, identifying areas for improvement, and making necessary adjustments.
  • For investors and stakeholders, projections offer insight into the business’s future financial health and potential returns on investment. They instill confidence and facilitate decision-making regarding funding, partnerships, and expansion opportunities.
  • Moreover, financial projections serve as a communication tool. They enable businesses to articulate their financial vision, attract investors, and secure funding by demonstrating the viability and profitability of their plans.
  • In summary, financial projections are crucial for business planning and decision-making. They provide a roadmap for setting goals, allocating resources, and evaluating profitability. Projections enhance financial control, attract investors, and serve as a communication tool for stakeholders.

The benefits of creating projections even without historical data

  • Despite the absence of historical data, projections offer valuable advantages for businesses. They allow entrepreneurs and startups to attract investors, secure funding, and create business plans based on reasonable assumptions.
  • By utilizing alternative sources such as industry benchmarks, market research, and expert insights, projections provide a forward-looking perspective that guides decision-making and strategic planning.
  • Creating projections without historical data enables better financial control, helping businesses identify potential areas for growth and align operations with long-term goals.
  • Even in the absence of historical data, projections allow businesses to set realistic targets, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions about pricing, investments, and expansion strategies.
  • These projections serve as a roadmap for future financial success and help organizations navigate uncertainties, adapt to changing market conditions, and seize opportunities.
  • In summary, creating projections without historical data brings significant benefits. They help attract investment, plan for the future, enhance financial management, and align strategies with long-term goals. By utilizing alternative sources and reasonable assumptions, businesses can still create valuable projections that support decision-making and facilitate growth.

Identification of Alternative Data Sources

  • When historical financial data is unavailable, businesses can turn to alternative sources for information. These sources include industry benchmarks, market research reports, and expert insights.
  • Industry benchmarks provide valuable reference points for comparing financial performance, analyzing trends, and making projections based on sector-specific data.
  • Market research reports offer market analysis, customer behavior insights, and industry trends that can inform revenue projections and business strategies.
  • Expert insights from industry professionals, consultants, or mentors can provide valuable guidance and knowledge to make informed assumptions and develop accurate projections.
  • Utilizing alternative data sources allows businesses to gather information that is relevant to their specific industry, market conditions, and target audience.
  • While alternative data sources may not provide the same level of granularity as historical data, they offer valuable insights and reference points for creating reasonable projections.
  • In summary, identifying alternative data sources is crucial when historical financial data is unavailable. Industry benchmarks, market research reports, and expert insights can provide relevant information and support the creation of accurate projections based on informed assumptions. Utilizing these sources enables businesses to make informed decisions and develop realistic financial forecasts.

Building Assumptions and Hypotheses

  • When historical data is absent, creating financial projections relies on developing reasonable assumptions and hypotheses.
  • Assumptions serve as foundational elements, guiding the projection process by providing a basis for estimating future outcomes.
  • Careful consideration of market trends, competitive analysis, and expert insights helps form realistic assumptions for revenue and expense projections.
  • Hypotheses are formulated to test and validate assumptions, ensuring the projections align with the business’s strategic goals.
  • These hypotheses may involve scenarios like different pricing models, market penetration strategies, or cost-saving initiatives.
  • Regular monitoring and analysis of market conditions and feedback can validate or refine assumptions and hypotheses.
  • Flexibility is key, as adjustments to assumptions and hypotheses may be necessary as new information becomes available.
  • By building well-founded assumptions and hypotheses, businesses can create projections that are grounded in realistic expectations.
  • In summary, building assumptions and hypotheses is vital in the absence of historical data. Reasonable assumptions provide the foundation for projections, while hypotheses help validate and refine them. Ongoing monitoring and adjustment ensure projections remain accurate and aligned with the business’s goals.

Creating a Realistic Revenue Forecast

  • In the absence of historical data, businesses can develop a realistic revenue forecast by considering various factors.
  • Market demand analysis, customer behavior insights, and competitor analysis help estimate potential revenue streams.
  • Pricing strategies, sales projections, and market share calculations contribute to revenue forecasting.
  • Understanding industry trends and economic conditions allows for realistic revenue projections.
  • Market segmentation and target audience analysis help identify revenue-generating opportunities and tailor strategies accordingly.
  • Regular review and adjustment of revenue forecast based on market feedback and changing circumstances are essential.
  • Collaboration with sales and marketing teams enhances the accuracy of revenue forecasting.
  • Using forecasting models and scenario analysis aids in creating a range of revenue projections.
  • A realistic revenue forecast provides insights for budgeting, resource allocation, and decision-making.
  • In summary, creating a realistic revenue forecast without historical data involves analyzing market demand, competition, pricing strategies, and customer behavior. Regular review and collaboration are important for accuracy, while forecasting models assist in scenario analysis. A realistic revenue forecast supports effective budgeting and strategic decision-making.

Estimating Expenses and Cost Structures

  • In the absence of historical data, businesses can estimate expenses and cost structures using several approaches.
  • Analyzing industry norms and benchmarks helps estimate typical expense ratios and cost breakdowns.
  • Consideration of fixed costs, variable costs, and one-time expenses contributes to accurate expense estimation.
  • Researching pricing and quotes from suppliers and service providers assists in determining cost structures.
  • Cost-saving measures, efficiency improvements, and economies of scale can be factored into expense estimation.
  • Regular monitoring and adjustment of expenses based on actual performance and market conditions are crucial.
  • Collaboration with relevant departments and teams enhances the accuracy of expense estimation.
  • Utilizing budgeting tools and software facilitates the organization and tracking of expenses.
  • A thorough understanding of the business model and operational requirements is essential for precise expense estimation.
  • In summary, estimating expenses and cost structures without historical data involves analyzing industry norms, researching pricing, and considering cost-saving measures. Regular monitoring and collaboration improve accuracy, while budgeting tools assist in organizing and tracking expenses. Precise expense estimation supports effective financial management and resource allocation.

Constructing Financial Statements

  • Constructing financial statements without historical data requires careful consideration of various elements.
  • Income statements showcase revenue, expenses, and profitability, providing insights into the business’s financial performance.
  • Balance sheets present the financial position, including assets, liabilities, and equity, offering a snapshot of the business’s financial health.
  • Cash flow statements track the movement of cash in and out of the business, highlighting liquidity and cash management.
  • Utilizing alternative data sources and assumptions, construct income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
  • Ensure accuracy and consistency in financial statement construction by cross-referencing data and validating assumptions.
  • Consider industry benchmarks and expert insights to enhance the credibility and reliability of financial statements.
  • Visual aids such as charts and graphs can effectively present financial information and enhance understanding.
  • Regularly review and update financial statements based on new information and changes in business circumstances.
  • Financial statements serve as a valuable tool for decision-making, investor communication, and financial analysis.
  • In summary, constructing financial statements without historical data involves careful consideration of income, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Alternative data sources and assumptions contribute to their construction. Accuracy, consistency, and credibility are essential aspects. Financial statements aid decision-making and communication with stakeholders.

Where to Get The Information from?

  1. Yahoo Finance ( Yahoo Finance provides historical price data, stock charts, financial statements, and other financial information for a wide range of stocks, indices, and commodities.

  2. Google Finance ( Google Finance offers historical stock prices, interactive charts, and basic financial information for various publicly traded companies.

  3. Bloomberg ( Bloomberg provides extensive financial data, including historical price information, news, and analysis for stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, and more.

  4. ( offers historical price data, charts, financial statements, and economic indicators for stocks, indices, currencies, commodities, and bonds.

  5. Alpha Vantage ( Alpha Vantage provides historical price data, technical indicators, and other financial data for stocks, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

  6. Quandl ( Quandl is a platform that offers a wide range of financial and economic data, including historical stock prices, futures, options, and economic indicators.

  7. Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) ( FRED is a website maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and offers a comprehensive collection of economic data, including historical financial and economic indicators.

  8. Intrinio ( Intrinio provides a vast collection of financial data, including historical stock prices, fundamentals, and economic data.

  9. Eikon by Refinitiv ( Eikon is a comprehensive financial data and analytics platform that provides historical market data, news, and analysis for various asset classes.

  10. MarketWatch ( MarketWatch offers historical price data, stock charts, financial news, and analysis for stocks, indices, commodities, currencies, and more.

  11. Morningstar ( Morningstar provides historical price data, financial statements, ratios, and other investment-related information for stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and other investment vehicles.

  12. SEC EDGAR ( The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system allows you to access and download historical financial statements and reports filed by publicly traded companies.

  13. Quandl ( Quandl offers a wide range of financial and economic data, including historical stock prices, futures, options, and economic indicators.

  14. Tiingo ( Tiingo provides historical price data, news, and analytics for stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.

  15. World Bank Open Data ( The World Bank Open Data portal offers a vast collection of economic and financial data for countries worldwide, including historical indicators, GDP, inflation, and more.

  16. StockCharts ( StockCharts offers historical price data, technical analysis tools, and charting capabilities for stocks, indices, and ETFs.

Here are some of the websites known for providing free historical financial data:

  1. Yahoo Finance (
  2. Google Finance (
  3. (
  4. Alpha Vantage (
  5. Quandl (
  6. Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) (
  7. Tiingo (
  8. World Bank Open Data (

Monitoring and Adjusting Projections

  • Continuously monitoring and adjusting projections without historical data ensures their accuracy and relevance.
  • Regularly compare actual performance with projected figures to identify any discrepancies and make necessary adjustments.
  • Stay updated on market conditions, industry trends, and changes that may impact the projections.
  • Analyze and evaluate variances between projected and actual results to understand the reasons behind the differences.
  • Consider feedback from stakeholders, customers, and industry experts to refine and improve the projections.
  • Make adjustments to assumptions, revenue forecasts, and expense estimates based on new information and insights.
  • Maintain flexibility in projections to adapt to evolving circumstances and changing market dynamics.
  • Regularly review and revise projections as new data becomes available or business conditions change.
  • Collaborate with relevant teams and departments to gather feedback and validate the accuracy of projections.
  • Monitoring and adjusting projections ensure their alignment with business goals and enhance decision-making.
  • In summary, monitoring and adjusting projections without historical data involve continuous evaluation, comparison with actual results, and incorporating new information. Flexibility, collaboration, and responsiveness are key in refining and improving projections. Regular review and adjustment help maintain their accuracy and relevance, supporting effective decision-making.

Seeking Professional Guidance

  • In situations without historical data, seeking professional guidance can provide valuable expertise and insights.
  • Consulting financial advisors, accountants, or industry experts can help navigate the projection process effectively.
  • Professionals can offer guidance on alternative data sources, assumptions, and projection methodologies tailored to specific industries.
  • Their expertise enhances the credibility and accuracy of projections, ensuring they align with best practices and industry standards.
  • Professional guidance can assist in identifying potential risks, opportunities, and strategic considerations.
  • Collaborating with professionals can bring fresh perspectives, identify blind spots, and validate projections.
  • They can provide valuable feedback, review assumptions, and offer recommendations for refining projections.
  • Utilizing online resources, webinars, or industry forums can provide access to expert knowledge and guidance.
  • Leveraging professional networks and mentorship programs can connect individuals with experienced professionals for personalized advice.
  • Seeking professional guidance instills confidence, reduces uncertainties, and enhances the quality of financial projections.
  • In summary, seeking professional guidance without historical data allows businesses to leverage the expertise of financial advisors, industry experts, and mentors. Their insights enhance the credibility and accuracy of projections, help identify risks and opportunities, and provide valuable feedback. Online resources and networks offer additional avenues for accessing professional guidance. By seeking professional advice, businesses can navigate the projection process with confidence and make informed decisions.


Creating financial projections without historical data may seem challenging, but it is possible with the right approach. By leveraging alternative data sources, building well-founded assumptions, and seeking professional guidance, businesses can develop realistic projections. These projections enable effective business planning, decision-making, and strategic alignment. Despite the absence of historical data, projections provide valuable insights into revenue, expenses, and financial performance. Regular monitoring and adjustment of projections based on new information and market conditions ensure their accuracy and relevance. Financial projections serve as a roadmap for achieving financial goals, attracting investors, and facilitating growth. Through careful analysis, collaboration, and adaptability, businesses can navigate the projection process and harness the power of financial projections, even in data-scarce scenarios.

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