Accounting & Finance
Start-Up Business 101: 10 Budget Management Tips To Stay Out of the Red
Sometimes when you’re starting up your own business, you can get overwhelmed, mainly when sticking to your budget. The good news here is that it doesn’t have to be horrible. It can actually be straightforward to come up with a budget.
Here are 10 budget management tips that you can use for your start-up business.
1. Make A Spreadsheet
Before you even open up your business, create a spreadsheet for estimation purposes.
Include the total dollar amount and the total percentage of revenue you will need to put toward raw materials and other costs. Contact all of your suppliers before you start this spreadsheet.
Create a similar one for taxes, rent, insurance, and other expenses.
2. Use Your Budget As A Target
Use your budget as a target for your company to hit. Having this target in place will make it more tangible, and you will be more likely to stick to your guns.
You shouldn’t do this for just the budget for your start-up business but for everything else. You want goals you can meet as a team with your employees.
You should have target goals in place, but these goals shouldn’t be unreasonable.
3. Set Realistic Goals For Yourself
Unreasonable and unrealistic goals will set your start-up business for failure. No matter how well you think out your budget or how great you set up the numbers, you won’t meet the goal if it’s not practical.
This means you must analyze your companies finances over a period of months and then make reasonable choices from there.
Even though you should be strict in these goals, you should always leave a little bit of wiggle room.
4. Leave Room For Flexibility
Being too strict with your budget and not leaving any flexibility is impractical and won’t get you anywhere. Sticking too closely will prevent you from accomplishing other needs as they pop up during the quarter.
You shouldn’t assign every penny of the marketing budget to individual needs. Leaving a small percentage unaccounted for will allow you to use the money for other issues as they pop up.
In other words, you always want a bit of back up money. When your budget goals aren’t met, you have to hold people accountable as the business owner. Even yourself.
5. Hold Your People Accountable
Your budget can look great on paper and in your head, but it takes a great team to help to see it through.
Sticking to a budget can be challenging, so it’s important that you periodically set everyone down to go over it. This will keep everyone on the same page, and working as a team.
Remember when we said you should even hold yourself accountable? This is entirely true.
Allow your employees to call you out when you don’t stick to the budget, just as you would call them out.
It takes a team to make a budget. You really need to include multiple people and then hold these people accountable.
6. Involve More Than One Person
It isn’t practical to sit alone in your office and create the budget without anyone else’s input.
A budget created by one person hardly ever reflects the company’s needs as a whole.
Successful budgets need to include a group of multiple people. Ideally, each department of your business should be represented by one person. Each of these representatives should get together as a team to discuss the budget.
These should all be people you can trust to know how to make things run efficiently. Once you have the budget in place, you must keep up with it.
7. Stay On Top Of It
We know that budgeting can be incredibly dull, and accounting may make you want to rip your hair out. As boring as it is, and as much as you would instead do other business-related things, accounting is a necessary evil.
Because of how annoying accounting can be, many businesses will let it fall on the back burner until it’s absolutely needed. If you want to keep your budget out of the red, this is a bad idea.
Check and keep up on your budget daily. This is the only way you’ll be able to keep up with it.
Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and you have to cut costs somewhere.
8. Look To Cut Costs
Sometimes the budget veers off course a little bit. This is okay, but in these cases, it may be possible that you have to cut costs somewhere to pay bills.
Take a look at items that can be controlled to some degree or wait until the start of a new billing cycle to make purchases.
Either way, you have to do something to keep expansion and breathing room. Shopping around for cheaper suppliers may give you this breathing room.
9. Shop Around For Services/Suppliers
Never be afraid to change suppliers in favor of a more cost-effective option. You should look around for various quarter periods like when you’re starting up the business, setting your monthly budget, and during business reviews.
You may not want to change suppliers. Perhaps you’re comfortable with what you go through now, but eventually, cheaper opportunities may come up, and you should go for it.
10. Revisit Your Budget Often
The biggest mistake you will ever make is creating the budget and then not revisiting it until the end of the quarter.
As you can see, there are a lot of steps when it comes to budgeting. It’s not something you can ignore if you want to stay out of the red.
Budget Management Tips For Your Start-Up Business
There are a lot of steps when it comes to budgeting for your start-up business, but it’s necessary to keep it on track. You want to gather a team you trust and periodically go over the budget.
You have to put your heart and soul into a business to keep it afloat. For more tips on running your small business, look to our blog for help.