How to Use a Budget Template for Your Business

By Shannon C , last updated July 29, 2011

Creating a business budget template for your business is not as difficult as it may first appear. If you have any experience creating a budget template for your home expenses, you can simply build on this model, taking what you've learned and adapting it for your business needs. If you are brand new to the task of creating a business budget template, then there are some easy steps that you can follow to start getting financially organized and prepared to monitor your business' success. Learn the basics of creating a business budget template from experts and get started with your new business budget today.

Select Your Template

Your first step will be to select a budget template to use. Google, Open Source, SCORE, and Microsoft are three places online where you can find excellent free templates for home and business budgeting use. A strong sample budget template will include a place for income and expenses, and a format to calculate the difference between the two categories.

Begin With What You Have

When you are first outlining your business budget, you will want to use past history as a guide. If you are a brand new business and have no prior history with which to estimate from, you may want to conduct informational interviews with others in your field to discover what typical expenses and income might look like. You can also often receive business mentoring from area SCORE offices or the local college's small business department. If you have some prior history of your business activities, use this as a guide to list out the basic categories of income and expenses. Next, add up the totals across each category and divide by the number of months you have been operating. This will give you your basic monthly estimate of what to budget for in each category.

Keep Track of Where You Are

The budget spreadsheet will help you keep track of where you are in terms of meeting your monthly goals as well as your quarterly and annual goals. If you are using Excel or another spreadsheet program, you can use simple formulas to calculate monthly totals by category and by month to see where you are falling short and where you have some extra to invest or spend. You can link your budget to your cash flow analysis and other documents like quarterly sales tax estimate worksheets to help you track the overall progress of your business in various areas. Your budget should also align closely with your business plan, which is the written plan you have created to explain how to take your business from dream to reality.

Plan Ahead

If you have certain times of the year when income or expenses traditionally increases, build that into your budget right away. Your budget will be a useful planning tool to help you forecast when to make significant purchases, when to ramp up sales efforts, and what is on the horizon for your business. Also be sure to budget in costs for your advertising and marketing expenses.

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Establishing a reasonable budget for your business is essential to business success, whether you are a small business with three employees or a global corporation ...
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