Financial Modeling · Fundraising

Should a financial analyst conduct market research to provide financial analysis & forecasting?

Julie (Brothers) Founder, Activist, Writer, Photographer, Educator

October 25th, 2016

I'm in need of financial analysis & forecasting for my early stage bootstrap start-up in the sustainable foods sector.  I need to create a stellar biz model to back up assumptions, think through revenue models and look at market size by city (approx 80 cities).

At this stage, what can I expect to pay? And is it too early to bring on a CFO?

SHARIQUE NISAR Consultant- Business Intelligence | Marketing Strategy | B2B Leads | Automation | Digital Innovation

October 26th, 2016

A smart financial analyst would always conduct secondary market research so as to provide solid financial analysis & forecasting results.

There has been instances where research plays a backbone to your output as a number of assumptions needs to be taken into consideration and validated.

I feel you don’t need a CFO at this stage but can certainly look for firms specialising in supporting early stage startups and small businesses with a variety of critical to business functions.

I can be of help, if interested.

Good luck.

Allan Ong'ang'a

October 25th, 2016

It depends on how much you are willing to pay vs what the market rate is. I am assuming that at this stage you might not be able to pay a CFO at the prevailing market rate so then you must ask yourself how much equity you are willing to give out to bring them as co-founder. Otherwise, you can keep it simple and adapt as time goes by.

Christopher Hollinger Managing Director at Blackwell Hollinger & Company LLC

October 25th, 2016

Hi Julie, not sure how early is early stage for you.  So my thought is it would depend on how early you are (pre-revenue, limited revenue, shipping to customers, etc), who is going to be the audience for your forecast models (internal, potential investors, etc.), and what your budget is (since you are bootstrapping).  I would suggest that you take a look at the Nomad Financial starter model (  It is inexpensive and produces the income stmt, balance sheet and statement of cashflows.  If you need anymore specialized help, I would be happy to talk to you in more detail.

Jim Scott CFO * Financial Growth Accelerator * Virtual Company Architect

October 27th, 2016

You can find CFO level consultants for $200-300 per hour who can help you with this. Check out right in your area.
Look for someone with Food experience, it is too early to bring in a full time CFO.

Jeet Doshi Love helping businesses & investors with accounting & bookkeeping and managed IT services

October 25th, 2016

Hi Julie,i think we could be the right fit for your requirements since we help early stage startups and small to mid sized businesses with a variety of critical to business functions like part time CFO services, forecasting & financial analysis who are looking for quality services at a competitive price. Visit to know more. What's the best way to reach you?

Yaniv Sneor Founder, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels; President, Blue Cactus Consulting, Trustee, ILSE

October 25th, 2016


It looks like you are trying to validate your assumption, and build a model with which to move forward.  Work with someone who can help you flesh out your assumptions, provide feedback and help you build the model.

I think the key here is that at least in this first iteration, it has to be your vision and your model.

I don't think you are ready for a CFO.

Let me know if I can help you.


Todor Velev Managing Partner, EEI Network

October 27th, 2016

Answering the question - depends on what you have agreed. In general, should make a reality check of the information you provided about the market. 

If it was clear from the begining that you have no market information, probably the analyst could perform very limited market overview. But if you expected a full market study, this is a separate service, there are specialized companies that provide detailed reports, and their price is between 1.5K and 3K dollars (per report).

In summary - if you have a fixed price contract, the analyst is not going to perform market analisis. If he is on hourly contract, he should advise you on the expected cost and scope before conducting it.

Ema Chuku Product Developer. Founder.

October 25th, 2016

Keyword "Stellar", "Bootstrap". Unless I'm missing something here, you need a simple forecasting and analysis at this stage. With a little bit of further research you can get this done on your own. I'm assuming you are familiar with market you are entering. As things progresses, you can get a specialist for re-analysis if you felt a need for it.

As for the CFO, you can bring on one as a cofounder.

Business models can be a waste of time at initial stage because 9 out of 10 it's guaranteed to be changed or updated. Hence, why one should spend little time and money investments on it.

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

October 25th, 2016

This depends on what you think a CFO should do.  They are steps above an accountant and supervise many other functions (i.e. legal and HR). You can look at a "rented" CFO. I have had great success with that in the past. A CFO needs to be much more than a chief accountant. They do, to your question, need to be able to model the space and look at revenue options.  A great CFO is $15,000 to $20,000 a month.  You can rent one for $5,000 (yes, they have other clients, so you do not get full time for that). 

Rod Abbamonte Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute

October 25th, 2016

Dear Julie, as you need a CTO, CEO, you also need a financial knowledge CFO all as co founders. Related your main question I would say that on the early stage what you need is a big picture from the market and a simple projection and after that, step by step you will need a deep financial data and more sofisticated financial projection.