Open Revenue with Calculate ARR


I meant what I said in β€œOpen Source All Of The Things πŸ“–β€. Today I’m excited, maybe a little scared, to announce I’m making public Anchor Hosting’s internal revenue numbers. This is made possible with a new tool I created called Calculate ARR. Take a look: https://anchor.host/calculate-arr/.

YNAB meets Baremetrics but for annual futurecasting.

I’ve always been inspired by Buffer’s crazy amount of transparency. They use Baremetrics to make public all of their revenue as pulled from Stripe. I’ve often wanted to do the same however could never justify paying for Baremetrics considering my business is primarily annually recurring revenue (ARR) not MRR. Also not all of my revenue hits Stripe which would make for slightly inaccurate data.

Running an ARR business is a cashflow challenge. I created Calculate ARR so that I could be more intentional with my business budget and less dependent on Google Spreadsheets when forecasting revenue. Data is a manual feed. Considering I expect to make adjustments monthly, that’s all right with me. No need to get too fancy with automatic integrations.

From idea to v1.0 release in a single day.

Like most ideas, I started by telling my friend Craig all about it over Google Hangout. That lead to a video chat where I described my pain points and began brainstorming how I might improve that.

With my business being largely an annually recurring business I was using a mix of Google Spreedsheets and YNAB to estimate how healthy the business is doing and predict cashflow. I could peak into my accounting software and review the profit and loss statement however I’ve always felt that to a bit misleading. I mean just changing specific timeframe by a little and I could make widely different conclusions about my business. This is due to the fact that the majority of my business expenses happen once per year.

I knew I wanted to build some sort of visual calculator. I began by converting one of my recurring cost Google Spreadsheets to JSON format using https://www.csvjson.com/csv2json.

From Google Sheets to JSON

With that I began to play with that data within a single .html document powered by Vue.js and Vuetify. After about a day I was quite happy with the results. A simple tool I can use for budgeting income and forecasting revenue. This replaces my previous Google Spreadsheet.

There are only 2 files index.html and data.json. It’s just html and javascript which means there is no persistent storage. Whenever changes are made, data needs to be export and updated manually. The benefits of such a simple tool means anyone can edit anyone’s public Calculate ARR to create and export their own data.json file. See more detailed instructions on implementing see here: https://github.com/anchorhost/calculate-arr/.

Built-in versioning.

The idea is to manually feed in the last 12 months of real revenue against the next 12 months of projected expenses. The hard part is to make the initial business budget. If you have an existing budget for your business then simply add them in as expenses. Then each month, generate a new version and update revenue and modify any projected expenses. Over time this will produce a nice historical view of revenue/expenses.