Help me! Financial Calculator for New Workspaces

Hello Precious Plasticites!

Joseph here from the V4 team in Eindhoven. Can you help me out with some feedback? We’re developing a “Workspace Calculator” to help people starting a PP workspace to understand the financial feasibility of their project. This tool lets you play around with different variables to help you price your products, see how long it will take back to make back your initial investment, and know how much money you can expect to make on a monthly basis. After opening to tool below, click “file” and then “copy to my drive”. You need to sign into google to use it. Please let me know any feedback you have in the comments below or via a direct message – design improvements, variables missing, graphs you would like to see, etc.

Here is the link to the document:


Hey Joseph !

Very nice document you started there!
Another type of tax which should be emphasized is concerning the salaries (ie. in France, it is very high; approx 25% added to the net salary if you are an employee & 50% if you are an employer)
Also, a good example in your spreadsheet (in red) for the costs could be the moulds ! They can be quite expensive depending on how you make them !

Last but not least :stuck_out_tongue: There is also a lot of R&D & experimenting time needed to perfect the different techniques & discover new ones ! People shouldn’t neglect that part when preparing their PP project !

Hope the document will help a lot of people into officially starting a Precious Plastic Project !


@offtopic : we’e figured btw. (and sorry to bring this up again) that there is a minimum of 40% loss of all sales because :

– minor: v3.0 has missing/wrong/misleading information (safety, motor power, requirements), stuff we spent endless hours on our end to rectify and correct this

– major: much worst PP is not localized, @jaklatt could you please hammer this into dave’s head please 🙂

the very 40% could contribute to unlock securities for the family, your own life… there are at least 3 insurances everybody should have, that’s alone 800+ E in total.

here some data from the ‘front’ :

we came in 2 months ago with already the minimum equipment and a good bag filled with experience to make the machines but also being able to make research and new machines.  the minimum equipment is a top notch welder (fronius transsteel 2220 3500 Euro tig/mig), a 2 Tonne lathe with updates and tooling = 2500 Euro, a DIY CNC mill, able to cut steel = 3000 Euro, metal band saw 500 Euro, 2 second hand drill presses (small, and heavy duty) = 800 Euro and endless of power and hand tools for another 1000 Euro (that stuff dies fast). Absolute needed entry stuff, there are no corners one can cut here 🙂 Apart from the welder that are second hand prices.

With our MVP (minimum viable product) we’ve done well and earned around 1500 Euro the first month then later on we’ve sold a few shredders with extrusions and increased it all to 2400 Euro in total for 2 people and seems stable now (not increasing). Most of it goes back to the shop and research…

We are working full-time, 50% production and 25% research and 25% of volunteer work (PP and others) but I hope to increase production efficiency to spent more time on research…

After 2 months, we’ve figured we need more machines being able to make better PP machines : DIY plasma cutter = 5000 Euro, surface grinder = 2000 Euro, mill (with indexer, rotary, CNC update) = 8000 Euro (one 5K is ok too) and some tools to do quality testing = 1000 Euro, a paint room (powder coding) = 1500 Euro. As you see, this can’t be bought all together. It takes an entire year (or 2) to get that things. However, with every new machine one can extend the portfolio for new products (machines) and so may be things get faster…

Cash flow with the bazar is quite a big problem (we managed). One receives only the money after the first thing got marked complete. It can take many weeks til you receive the money. Til then you have to invest in not only the machines but also the material for the products, it’s then near 10 000 Euro. Rent not included …

After watching this for a while, I would say the best kick off is around 20000 – 30000 Euro to start a shop and do good products (still minimal, not looking really mature… we still feel bad to sell a 2000 Euro shredder when looking at what it is, there is sooooooo much todo to make those PP machines right)

btw, invoicing those machines makes it entirely NOT possible: you have to add income tax, VAT and so the machines go out for the double of the price = 1% of our customers can effort that. So to have normal life with building PP machines you have to be extraordinary good and work really hard.

Thanks for thevery nice sheet!
Certainly a good helper to start with basic financial planning. I suggest to have another tab for inventory to balance produced goods to sold goods and to keep track on what is in stock and what needs to be produced or prepared in advance.
The reason Behind my suggestion is to allow workload planning, especially when you work with an open community. You may need to rebalance your weekly efforts as you find that there is one product with a high sales rate compared to your planning and therefor needs more of them produced. Also this can help dealing with returned goods sold over a Webshop.

Thanks for the feedback @cgoflyn . We are working on an additional tool that will more similar to a monthly budget tool, which you will be able to update more regularly. The startup calculator is more for at the very beginning when you are planning your workspace.

yeah 12 individual sheets are way better, at least for the first year but as said, the sheet might be ok for some basic forecasts but for sure not for daily use. there is so much stuff happening on the way it’s impossible without being able to move invests, extras and even unexpected losses around in your sheet.
do as you like, evtl. you leave as is and just add another more advanced table.

Hi @imuh! Thanks for your feedback. I really agree with all your points. Especially about the time needed for research and development. We thought about building in a time lapse between initial investment and the month in which you are starting to actually pull in any revenue in order to help account for this research and development time. Do you think this would be a good idea? Perhaps a three month delay? I guess the problem is that this might be different for everyone.

Hello @cgoflyn! Thanks for your feedback as well. Do you think the cashflow section on the “financials” sheet is good enough for the month by month breakdown, or are you looking for 12 unique sheets for each month?

nice work! That should do for some basic calculations before doing anything. Possibly out of scope but in my tables I had to put an extra column for ‘extras’ (for every month sheet) or aka ‘unexpected’ expenses. It helps me a lot to adjust my monthly expenses but also to plan and manage better the purchase of new machinery, assets, name it… May be you can change the design a little (12 sheets, one for every month: fixed, extras, loss, extra profits, … ), because then people can project their budgets eventually more progressively of that very critical first 12 months.