Budgeting Advice for Small Businesses: How to keep track of your finances

Budgeting is a spending plan for your company based on its revenue and expenses. It determines your available cash, estimates your spending, and assists you in forecasting revenue. 

Making a budget allows you to see:

  • The amount of money you currently have 
  • how much money you have spent
  • how much money you will need in the future. 

A budget can guide business decisions such as reducing unnecessary spending, hiring more employees, or acquiring new equipment. If you run out of money, the budget can help you adjust your business plan or prioritise your spending on activities.

You can keep your business out of debt or find solutions to lessen the debt with the right budgeting strategy. Additionally, a budget can even be used to get business loans from banks or other financial organisations.

Budgeting for small busineses

Why Is Budgeting important?

A budget can help you in planning your business activities and can serve as a benchmark for establishing financial goals. It can assist you in overcoming both short-term and long-term challenges.

It enables you to monitor and better understand if your company’s income (incoming money) is sufficient to support its costs. A budget can assist you in making better educated financial decisions.

Budgets are necessary to guarantee that these expenditures are paid and that the business does not develop any long-term obligations. Without a budget, a business could face a variety of consequences, including the company’s death. Some of the expenses that a company may be required to pay include:

  • Payroll: This can cover everyone in the business, including the owner if they are currently paid.
  • Rent: Most businesses lease an office, a warehouse, a physical site, or another area where they conduct business, and they must pay rent on time.
  • Insurance: General liability insurance, property insurance, and coverage for unemployment and workers’ compensation
  • Professional services: A corporation may incur costs to remain active. IT services, printer repair costs, a tax professional, and even a cleaning crew are examples of these.
  • Advertising: This helps to enhance sales or brand awareness. Advertising costs money and may be a recurring expense for which a firm is liable.
  • Debts: A business may have loans that it must return to launch the business, and obtain capital from investors.

Budgeting Techniques

A master budget is an aggregate of lower-level budgets prepared by an organization’s various functional areas. It makes use of data from financial accounts, cash predictions, and the financial plan. In larger businesses, senior management is in charge of producing numerous versions of the master budget before it is completed.

The operating budget is based on the organization’s activities, a sales budget can assist estimate sales in terms of both quantity and value. For example, if the company manufactures equipment for sale, it is essential to undertake quantitative measurements. Alternatively, if it manufactures convenience items, the medium of measurement should be commercial value.

Improper sales forecasting or its absence would have an impact on the organization’s performance, especially the availability of resources because it would not be effectively estimated (if estimated at all).

A cash flow budget estimates the amount of money that enters and leaves a business over a certain period. Cash budgets are created by organisations using insights from sales projections and production, as well as forecasting payables and receivables. This budget’s details can assist you in determining whether you have adequate liquid cash to operate.

A product budget can be created based on the sales budget. Other factors considered include the organization’s stock levels and manufacturing programme. This form of a budget is typically used to determine the manufacturing expenses that impact the final product’s pricing. Every organization has its own form of production budget.

How to create a budget

Analyse costs

Knowing your costs inside and out gives you the baseline knowledge needed to craft an effective spending plan. A budget should factor in fixed, variable, one-time, and unexpected costs. If your business is new, then you must include start-up costs as well.

It’s a two-step approach to figuring out your monthly fixed costs.

Make a note of all your monthly expenses and identify the charges that are the same each month.

Add all of these expenses to find your total fixed costs. You can also divide this value by the number of units produced to calculate your fixed cost per unit.

Some examples of fixed costs include:

  • Rent
  • Supplies
  • Insurances
  • Debt repayment
  • Taxes

If you’re looking to cut costs and increase your profit margins, consider tackling your variable costs first. 

Variable costs vary based on the number of goods or services you need to operate in a given timeframe. They tend to be more flexible than fixed costs, such as rent or payroll.

Variable costs include:

  • Owner’s salary
  • Replacing old equipment
  • Utilities
  • Equipment
  • Marketing costs

Predict one time costs

One-time expenses, sometimes known as sunk costs, must be considered and budgeted for. These costs will be less frequent and significant in the early stages of your business. However, not all one-time expenses can be expected in advance, which is where an emergency fund comes in handy.

Examine your revenue

Examine your existing business and find all of your revenue (aka income) sources. Add all those income sources together to discover what money comes into your business monthly. Look for seasonal patterns so you can prepare for leaner periods in your business’s financial future.

Set Spending Goals

Goals provide a framework to check if your money is being spent wisely. For example, if you are spending money on equipment that is going unused, it may be time to cut those expenses. This money may be better spent on marketing efforts that generate more leads and revenue. Determine and invest in those costs that will benefit your company in the long run.

Use an accounting software

An accounting system will provide you with real-time financial information. An accounting system creates financial reports that track your actuals and compare them to your budget. The success of a budget is determined by how well your company meets any projected goals.

Comparing your budget to your actuals is a key stage in determining a budget’s performance.


Budgeting is an important activity, especially for small businesses, because it helps owners estimate and allocates funds for various business activities. Preparing a budget also provides a clear picture of the money that can be used to meet business objectives and guarantee that there is enough on hand to deal with any unseen emergencies. Similarly, estimating for the entire year may be challenging for a small business because the early phases of building a company are sometimes unpredictable. In such instances, you can make smaller budget estimates for two or three months and continue to analyse them for better outcomes.

When using an accounting system, the process becomes even more manageable. You can easily manage activities like projecting cash flow or calculating expenses, and you can create realistic goals for your business.

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