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:


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.


Look Good at Work and Become Indispensable Become an Excel Pro and Impress Your Boss