Here's How It's Done:
- Open up a new spreadsheet
- Pick a financial goal for a period (Like $10,000 in January 2009)
- Enter "Dates" in the 1st column
- List clients in the "Source" column
- Put what you expect that client to generate financially in "Potential Revenues"
- Predict the % odds of getting that client in the "Adjustment" column
- In the "Adjusted Estimated Revenues" column, multiply "Potential Revenues" by "Adjustment"
- At the bottom right cell you add the "Adjusted Estimated Revenues" to get your expected income for the period
By adding up your "Adjusted Estimated Revenues" you have a pretty good idea of your take for that period. You'll get better at guessing the adjustment % as you use the tool and you can use the Google Docs revision tool to track how well you guessed.
Another great use is seeing if your income is wedged towards the end or the beginning of the month, which you can do by sorting the date column. (Tip of the hat to Sat for this recommendation)
As you contact clients you can change the "Adjustment" column % to reflect what happened.
If the client declines, change the result to 0%. If you will be talking more with the client, or they're thinking about it, change to a % that best reflects the situation. When you close, change your "Adjustment" % to 100%. This way you'll have an up to date "Best Estimation" of revenues.