Brixx business planning – The Basics [video and transcript]

In today’s blog post, we take a look at one of the new Brixx training videos. This video goes through the basics of Brixx, it’s a great starting point and highlights what you can do in a Brixx plan and how you do it.

Video Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Brixx. In this video I’d like to give you an overview of the interface, touching briefly on all the different areas you’ll commonly use. Brixx is a tool for producing professional financial forecasts for your startup or business, but it’s much more than that. It’s a testing ground for playing with different ideas, trying out scenarios and exploring various growth paths for your business. So, let’s dive into the basics.

Here we have an example bakery business plan I have set up.

On the left, we have the model of this business. It’s a flexible structure containing everything the business does. It’s where you’ll organise your business and enter your numbers. It’s divided up into sections, groups and components providing 3 levels of structure for organising your plan. Structure is a big deal in Brixx, it allows you to break down totals in your reports by level, spotlight a specific part of your plan in the dashboard and turn on or off large chunks of your plan at a time for testing purposes. It’s always worth spending a bit of time to divide up your business into different areas to get the most out of Brixx.

The model consists of coloured components representing different financial activities. They contain your numbers automatically feeding them into the premade charts and reports. Clicking ‘components’ at the bottom of any group shows the different types of components and the financial tasks they are designed to fulfil. Green represents income, red for costs, yellow for assets and blue for financial. To add them to a group, just click one and give it a meaningful name.

Clicking any component brings up the numbers for that particular activity. There are plenty of options to help automate your forecasts as well as contextual tips for each property. We’ll go into more depth on entering your numbers in a later video. The key feature about components is that they have built-in formulas that calculate the numbers you enter sending them to the correct places in your reports and charts. It saves you time and you can be far less worried about errors creeping in.

If you want to copy, move or delete any item, click the box to the left of any row in order to select it, bringing up your edit options. This screen allows you to copy, delete and move items. Selecting a group or section will allow you to apply actions to multiple items at once.
Another way to reorder your plan is simply through drag and drop. Pick up any item or groups of items and drop it somewhere else to move it.

You can turn any component on or off with the coloured circle icon on each row. When the circle is empty it temporarily stops that particular component sending numbers to your charts and reports until you turn it back on.

Again, this can be done at the group or even section level. You can use this as a testing tool. Copy parts of your plan, make changes to the numbers and see different results by enabling and disabling adjusted versions of the same activity. Try out two different forecasts for a product or even copy an entire group of costs to see how your business copes when they are higher or lower.

Another major way you can manipulate your model is through the timeline which you can get to through the top menu. Every group and component runs on its own timeline row. This timeline can be used to tweak when activities happen in your plan. You can change the start or end date of any activity using the handles at the start and end.

If I click and drag the start handle, I can move this product’s start date, snapping forward a month at a time. I have moved this product by 2 months, so it now only starts sending out numbers from the third month of the plan. I can do the same with the end date as well. Moving from these handles allows you to increase or decrease the duration of the component. But you can also move the entire component without changing its duration by dragging from the central bar.

Using the timeline is another way to test out different scenarios. For example, you can look at the consequences of products being launched late or costs happening at different times.

Your financial reports are accessible through the menu at the top. The default report is the cash flow and like all reports, it has been automatically populated by the components in your plan. You control your report view at the top. Select the report you want to view through this dropdown. Switch between monthly, quarterly or yearly view with the dropdown on the right. You can download any report using the down arrow button. You can choose the reports you wish to download and the file format.

Reports leverage the structure you created in your model with built-in drilldowns. Most rows can be broken down using these arrows. Clicking reveals the layers of your model, showing totals at every level. They reveal the sections, groups and components you organised your plan with and how you named them. It allows you to understand what the numbers in every report are made up from.

That just about covers all the basic areas of the interface. Every part is covered in more detail with guides on our helpdesk.

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