Run Rate

Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Run Rate Meaning

The run rate refers to a financial metric estimating the future financial performance of an entity based on its current financial performance. For example, it can determine future revenue based on the current revenue. 

Run Rate

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The metric helps forecast future scenarios for companies that are new in the market and have made their first profit to let investors and stakeholders know the prospects. The run rate doesn’t primarily need historical data and easily applies current data or performance to predict future financial performance.

Key Takeaways

  • The run rate in business is the metric to forecast a company’s future financial performance based on the current financial performance.
  • It is a standard metric to judge any business’s future growth and profitability, irrespective of size and nature.
  • The whole concept of business run rate assumes that the existing conditions will remain constant throughout the future, mainly for the year.
  • The formula for run rate can help determine several business factors like sales, profit, revenue, etc.

Run Rate In Business Explained

Run rate is a future performance prediction metric that outputs the value in the future, which is positively correlated with the current value. For example, if the entity earns goods, the projection will be attractive and vice versa.

The metric helps any company understand its annual performance and growth potential. The derivation using the metric motivates the company to work with everything aligned to achieve the target. If they are unhappy with the forecast, they can implement new techniques and business strategies to cross their forecasted annual performance.

The run rate definition of business explains the various benefits of using it. The core benefit is that it is one of the simplest ways to gauge the future performance of a business in terms of sales, revenue, or profit. If the company is new and is listed on the stock exchange, investors can use the run rate revenue technique to measure the company’s financials for the foreseeable future.

Another benefit of run rate applications is the implementation of cost-saving techniques. For example, in mergers and acquisitions, the overall growth of the two merging companies can be gauged together to understand the wideness of profit and implement the cost-saving techniques in line with the analysis.

The run rate technique also helps understand future risks, aiding in better decision-making in the company’s management. However, the critical problem with run rate is that it is based on the assumption that the present scenario will remain constant in the future, which is misleading because every business has its ups and downs that must be considered.

How To Calculate Run Rate?

The business run rate is convenient for entities aiming to multiply their current financial growth by the months or period. The basic formula is the following:

Run Rate Formula

For example, a casino had a business of $2 million in one month, so for the whole year, it will be $2 million multiplied by 12, which is $24 million. But if the casino had made the business of $2 million in two months, then the calculation would have been $2 million multiplied by 6. And similarly, if $2 million were the casino’s quarterly profit, in that case, $2 million would have been multiplied by 4 to give the annual result of $8 million.


Let us look into some examples for a better understanding of the concept:

Example #1

Mary started a company providing house cleaning services in January 2022; in the first month, she received many orders and made a revenue of $200,000. She expects her business to grow, so she needs funding and has managed to score some good investor meetings. Since the company is new, many investors are skeptical about it. Based on her current situation, Mary tells them that by the end of this year, by December 2022, she will be registering revenue of about $2,400,000.

Mary multiplied her present revenue for 12 months to reach an approximately predicted future revenue performance of $2,400,000. The figure was good enough to interest many investors, and she got funding from a few of them for business expansion.

Example #2

Susan runs a clothing store, she is also a fashion designer, and in January, she introduced a new collection in her store, which was an instant bestseller. Not only did people come to buy her new collection, but it also lifted the overall sales of her store. By the end of March, she registered a sale of $90,000, which was just one quarter; Susan calculated that with the existing performance, she would make an annual sale of up to $360,000.

In this example, Susan multiplied the quarterly sales over four quarters to determine the annual sales performance. It helped Susan understand the prospect of her clothing store. In both the examples of Mary and Susan, revenue or sales are predicted based on their businesses’ time and financial position.

Pros And Cons

Let’s look into the pros and cons of run rate:


  • It helps in predicting the future growth and profitability of the business.
  • It can be calculated based on the existing performance without mandating significant historical data.
  • It helps in understanding the feasibility of new companies in the market.


  • One of the downsides is the assumption that the present financial condition will remain constant throughout the year.
  • Many other factors are not considered while determining sales, profit, or business revenue run rate.
  • It is not practically applicable for companies with a season-based business model, and it may happen that after peak season is over, the sales or profits decline during the off-season period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the revenue run rate?

It translates a company’s current revenue for a specific period into an annual amount to obtain the full-year equivalent. So if a company made a revenue of $2 million in the first month, taking it as a parameter, the annual revenue is expected to be around $24 million. 

What is meant by run rate sales?

The basic concept of run rate in business is to predict a company’s future performance based on the current financial status. Now, it can be applied to different elements of a business, like the number of sales, profit, etc. For example, if a toy company sold 2000 toys in its first quarter sales, it is highly predicted to sell approximately 8000 toys by the end of the year.

Why is run rate important?

It is essential in the following scenarios:
– Forecasting future growth and performance
– Indicating future risk or losses
– Gaining insight into the company’s future

This article has been a to what is Run Rate and its meaning. Here, we explain it in business, how to calculate revenue, its examples & pros & cons. You may also find some useful articles here –

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