Sometimes all you have are a few figures.  Revenue, cost of goods sold, rent.  Now what?

It certainly isn’t enough to write a business plan but there is still a lot of information you can extrapolate from that.  Industry averages of financial ratios are very helpful in determining what other companies in your industry are spending on, for example advertising.  There are many paid databases, such as Factiva and that provide this information but is a free site that offers information on general industries.  Also, at your local library they should have the  Almanac of business and industrial financial ratios, and Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios.  Two helpful and highly detailed reference books that I use regularly.

There’s always a will if there is a way so keep researching and gathering as much info as possible.  Like they say, it’s better to measure 10 times and cut once than vice versa.  Know as much of your costs first before taking them on.