Keeping track of one’s finances is a primary concern of every entrepreneur because cash flow is an integral part of any business. A yearly budget needs to be drawn out to forecast and assess the financial aspect of your business more efficiently.
A budget is your plan interpreted into numbers. It is your roadmap that will guide you as you work on your short-term goals. A budget is a business tool for planning, monitoring and evaluating your venture’s progress based on your projected and actual income and expenses.
Even if you hire bookkeepers, accountants, auditors and experts in this field, it pays a lot if you are also knowledgeable about the financial side of your business. Given that, it is best that you work with your team when you draft your annual budget. To make sure that you plan your venture’s budget well, you can consider these few tips that can help you and your team.
It starts with identifying your targets for the year. From there, specify the requirements, materials and tasks involved and estimate the equivalent cost. Having those quantifiable figures will help you assess your progress as you work your way towards your goals.
Research on costs and trends
To make your numbers as accurate as possible, research on actual costs that will reflect on your budget. If you have been operating for quite some time, your previous financial statements could be your reference as a benchmark but consider other factors that may change your current cash flow. Talk to your suppliers and partners, familiarise yourself on tax laws, check the market trends, know the industry standards, and adjust your budget accordingly.
Break down per month
Monitoring your cash flow vis-à-vis your budget is easier if they are broken down into months. When you divide your budget this way, you can check the difference between your forecast and the actual income and expenses as you progress throughout the year. Other businesses also apportion their budget per department or per project.
Get into the details
When you put items or entries in your budget, be as detailed as possible. Make everything quantifiable. Remember that time also has an equivalent cost. Review where you can trim down the budget. Be conservative in your sales projections as you overestimate your possible expenses. Include changes in the business cycle during peak and non-peak seasons. Factor in your company’s capability to absorb the workload and count overhead expenditures.
Come up with contingency
Similar to how you plan your life and your business direction, you must always allocate a contingency fund that will cover emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. Have a plan B, C or D when you create your budget. Mark the items that you can easily adjust and those that are non-negotiable.
Nowadays, there are plenty of tools, templates, apps and software that can make budget planning faster and more efficient. Educate yourself about the financial side of your business by reading accounting books, listening to podcasts and attending learning events, such as those held by EO Melbourne. Once you surpass the hurdle of the first few years of your venture, you can approach budget planning with confidence and increased knowledge.