Business budget planning tips for SMEs and freelancers
Budgeting – a process feared by the unprepared and a useful tool on the hands of every successful small business owner. Every new professional beginning requires business budget planning before testing the waters. Before opening your own small business it is crucial to have a good estimation of your finances. This way, you will be better at allocating resources and not be part of 61% of companies that did not create a business budget in 2018 according to research conducted by Clutch.
In simple terms, you need to know how much money your business is going to need at the offset and then, how much of the estimated revenues can cover the expenses for further improvements.
Business budget planning essentials
The concept is simple, yet it entails a lot of speculations and you need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario to make it through rough times. Even though running a small business may seem easy, planning a budget is very important so as to stay on top of obligations. Even though every business is different in terms of cash requirements, there are some similar demands such as taxes, utility bills, raw materials, payroll and other expenses you should anticipate.
We are going to pinpoint the key areas you need to pay attention to so that your business budget will not only suffice but will work as a safety net. Our tips apply to the majority of cases and will help your small business start and keep growing.
Tip #1 – Do your homework
Knowing your trade is not enough when it comes to planning your small business budget. Given the fact that your business’s resources are limited, you need to focus on the necessities first. Study closely any competition you may have so you can differentiate from them and attract your own clients.
Also, you need to know the legal framework that your industry abides by, tax legislation, regulatory costs, and common insurance policies followed.
All the above require money and are only a small portion of all the hidden costs you need to save for before you go spending your funds to new technologies, state-of-the-art machinery, and other stuff.
Tip #2 – Save up for tough times
As we mentioned earlier, your small business budgeting planning will prove its worth during rough patches.
Small businesses tend to be more susceptible to industry downturns than larger corporations and this is why you should try saving 20% of your earnings every month to get by when the time comes.
Of course, because your business budget is built on estimations it is perfectly OK to make some adjustments every now and then to make it more flexible. In case the larger economy is going fine, you can use your “cushion” to expand operations, open a new store or hire more employees. Remember that even at good times you must always save for the future and your small business will continue to grow no matter the weather!
Tip #3 – Shop around for the best deal
After drafting a business budget plan for your small business you need to come up with ways to fortify it. This can be done by sticking to it, but as we said before, adjustments may need to be made frequently because your plan is, at parts, quite speculative.
Trying to reduce your expenses is another way to save money. Search the market and you will find cost-effective solutions that don’t lack in quality.
This applies to purchased goods, but also for services rendered. Do your research and request quotes from several firms, before deciding who you are going to hire for a project. Being proactive is very important, especially in the early stages of your business development.
Tip #4 – Your business loan is a priority
The majority of small business owners get a small loan to cover initial expenses and boost their cash flow at the offset.
This can benefit your business provided that you pay off that loan on time or, even better, sooner. You want to get rid of extra worries and obligations and focus on what really matters, growing your business. So, make sure you meet your installments’ due dates to avoid interest charges and on the occasion, you have extra revenues, pay more than the minimum.
Tip #5 – The owner deserves a paycheck
While focusing on expanding your business may seem the right thing to do, don’t forget to take into account your wage as well on the budgeting plan. Give yourself a fair paycheck every month and stick to it.
On the other hand, if you are the only person your business occupies, you shouldn’t confuse your firm’s cash register with your wallet. This may lead to excessive spending of cash otherwise set aside for emergencies.
The importance of business budget planning
The budgeting plan is the “financial compass” that small business owners employ to forecast (and then) compare future revenues to expenses. The insights you will get from your plan, coupled with your practical skills, will not only ensure financial security but will help your business thrive under any circumstances!