Using The Goal Seek Function In Excel

Excel function tutorials

In some cases, I’m looking to find the exact value that would get me to a specific result. Here is one sample. Look at this sample spreadsheet. Suppose that my company expects to have sales of $1,000,000 this year. I’m trying to set targets for myself in order to reach $3,000,000 by 2021, 10 years from now. I will simply set up the spreadsheet with a bogus growth rate as you can see here:

The formula that I use is the following:

=D5*(1+$G$4)

Which I dragged. As you can see, with a growth rate of 1% annually, I would have sales of $1,093,685 in 2021 which is way under my target. How much growth do I need to reach my target? I could simply try changing the growth value until I get close to $3M but there exists a much faster method in excel. I will use the goal-seek function that you can see in the data menu:

You can see the result here:

So 12.98% is the annual growth rate required to reach my objective. As you can imagine, this function can be very useful even though it has some limitations.

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