# What is run rate? ARR definition, formula & examples

Learn how to use the sales revenue formula so you can gauge your company’s continued viability and forecast more accurately. So, a lot of sales teams rely on ARR to predict the next 12 months of their organization’s revenue. But many important variables are left off of that envelope, which can lead to some seriously off-base estimates. If you’re in the midwest, planning your Memorial Day weekend barbecue in January because you expect a repeat of last year’s warm temperatures and clear skies is dicey. And if you run a business, planning a budget that’s based entirely on what run rate calculations predict your profits will look like for the next three quarters is too.

When a core business activity has been altered in a way that could impact the performance of the company, run rate could be an effective way to forecast the changes. The method of using current information to forecast potential results each year is known as annualizing. For example, if your business’s profit in the last quarter was \$100,000, you could extrapolate and report that the company has a \$400,000 annual run rate.

For example, if a company has revenues of \$100 million in its latest quarter, the CEO might infer that, based on the latest quarter, the company is operating at a \$400 million run rate. When the data is used to create a yearly projection for potential performance, the process is referred to as annualizing. Revenue Run Rate can be a very helpful indicator of financial performance for a young company that has only been in business for a short period of time. Revenue Run Rate can be an especially powerful tool if the company is relatively sure that the financial environment won’t change drastically. Company A could also use data from a longer time period to calculate their run rate. Say they made \$15,000 in April and \$20,000 in May—that’s a total of \$60,000 for the quarter.

## Unlock a measurable sales pipeline

It’s also common for companies to talk about run rates in terms of cost savings. When two businesses merge, they might project run rate savings of \$200 million annually as a result of expected synergies. The Viably Mastercard® is issued by Piermont Bank pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated, and may be used anywhere Mastercard debit cards are accepted.

This free guide examines three vital steps to establish a measurable sales pipeline that drives repeatable, predictable sales growth. The run rate can also refer to the average annual dilution from company stock option grants over the most recent three-year period recorded in the annual report. In addition, even if we discount the threat of sudden changes to the financial environment, the Revenue Run Rate and other Run Rate type figures can be very deceiving. The run rate might not be sustainable if the base period you used to derive a run rate applied a very high level of capacity utilization. You require some downtime to maintain the overworked production equipment in such a case.

Multiplying the quarterly revenue by four gives a run rate of only \$240,000, significantly lower than what we worked out based on the monthly data. Also known as the annual run rate, the revenue run rate is a financial performance indicator that helps you predict the annual performance of your SaaS company over the coming year. And it must divide quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payments by their intended subscription lengths to determine their actual monthly value. A company’s sales revenue from past years provides a much more solid basis for budget projections. Brand-new startups will not have that luxury, of course, but should still be as accurate and conservative as possible in their estimates.

• Using run rate in this instance provides more flexibility than using the calendar year.
• You require some downtime to maintain the overworked production equipment in such a case.
• You’ve probably heard the term, “run rate” in the context of business projections, but what does it mean?
• Although simple, the method extrapolates the company’s current financial information and performance without accounting for factors such as revenue expansion and churn.
• The run rate might not be sustainable if the base period you used to derive a run rate applied a very high level of capacity utilization.
• When a core business activity has been altered in a way that could impact the performance of the company, run rate could be an effective way to forecast the changes.

In January 2017, cloud storage company Dropbox announced that it had passed \$1 billion in Revenue Run Rate. Dropbox, based on the company’s own private valuation, is valued at \$10 billion. You can use the revenue run rate benchmark to track your company’s progress and compare it to SaaS averages. Revenue run rate is an important metric to track for any subscription business.

## What is run rate? ARR definition, formula, and examples

Accurate run rate calculations can help you manage your inventory better by ensuring you don’t overstock or run out of merchandise every other month. No one can be completely certain months in advance if there are literal or figurative storm clouds waiting for them on the horizon. But it is possible to improve the accuracy of your sales analytics.

Run rates can be a helpful indicator of financial performance for companies that have only been in business for a short period of time. Especially if the financial environment around the company isn’t expected to change significantly, run rate can be a valuable metric for early-stage startups. The annual run rate is used to roughly estimate a company’s annual revenue based on existing monthly or quarterly data. You can use the annual run rate to predict the future of any business, calculate the annual burn rate, and prepare for future demand. Future prediction and annual burn rate calculations can help you determine the amount of inventory you need to hold or how many sales reps to hire for your SaaS company. Revenue run rate (also called annual run rate or sales run rate) is a method of projecting upcoming revenue over a longer time period (usually one year) based on previously earned revenue.

## Why accurate MRR calculations are best for recurring revenue businesses

Additionally, the run rate is generally based only on the most current data and may not properly compensate for circumstantial changes that can cause an inaccurate overall picture. As an example, certain technology producers like Apple and Microsoft experience higher sales in correlation with a new product release. Using data only from the period immediately following a large product release may lead to skewed data.

Run rate calculations are an easy and fast method for gauging your company’s current and future financial health, assuming that sales continue along the same trajectory. It’s July, and Company A posted revenues of \$25,000 in the month of June. To get their annual run rate, Company A multiplies June’s monthly revenue by 12, giving a run rate of \$300,000. The run rate can help you determine if a company will likely be profitable in the long term. This may be helpful in deciding whether or not to invest in a company.

• This means run rate isn’t always accurate, but it is handy for predicting the future growth of your business and comparing the relative size of your business to other companies.
• In finance, the run rate extrapolates a firm’s current performance in order to predict future performance with the assumption that current conditions will persist.
• Run rate is a fairly easy metric to calculate, once you have a few months of revenue data in hand.
• But it is possible to improve the accuracy of your sales analytics.

Run rate analysis is highly subjective and requires incorporating disclaimer whenever you produce run-rate calculations within your M&A reports. In some of your M&A reports, you may request the buyer to make a bid based on the EBITDA run rate instead of the adjusted EBITDA figure based on actual results. This happens when the adjusted EBITDA does not incorporate a full year of value for new customer contracts. If your company applies a cost reduction strategy, possibly after an acquisition, it’s likely to focus on the most accessible savings to achieve a significant expense reduction. Suppose it uses this information to create an expense reduction run rate. In that case, it’s likely to get an unrealistic amount as it will base future reductions on more difficult areas to compete.

Using run rate in this instance provides more flexibility than using the calendar year. To calculate an annual run rate based on quarterly data, simply multiply by four; for monthly data, multiply by 12 for the annual run rate. Lastly, if you ever decide to sell your company, you could use it to forecast growth. You would project your financial achievements to prospective buyers, aiming to get a better sell price for your business based on the latest profits. While run rate can be useful for a business with relatively consistent financial success, it doesn’t always show the whole picture.

As it extrapolates the current financial information and performance there is an implied assumption that the present financial environment will not change significantly in the future. The basic run rate calculation assumes company performance will remain the same throughout the forecasted period. Having an idea of your company’s annual revenue run rate helps you predict your future cash flow needs.

For recurring revenue businesses like SaaS startups and other subscription-based companies, there’s typically a more meaningful metric. A run rate is a rough estimate of a company’s annual earnings based on monthly or quarterly financial performance data. You can compute any run rate by multiplying the data you have by the number of periods in the longer time frame for which you want to know the run rate.

They are helpful when making performance predictions for startups that have only been in operation for a short time. Even established businesses can still use run rates for individual product launches. If the calculated run rate looks high enough that your business will have trouble meeting demand, it might be time to start looking for funding. The run rate can be a very deceiving metric, especially in seasonal industries, where estimates of future performance may be incorrectly inflated. Also, since it is generally based only on the most current data, it may not properly compensate for circumstantial changes that can cause an inaccurate overall picture. Furthermore, run rates do not account for large, one-time events which can skew projections.