Whether you love it or hate it, budgeting is extremely important for all types of businesses. The key to successful and accurate budgeting is to not forget anything. What’s the best way not to forget anything? Have a checklist. When you use a checklist, you limit surprises and help ensure you didn’t forget anything during the budget building process.
I have built hundreds of budgets and projections for businesses (yes, that many!). After the first 50 or so, I found myself asking a key set of questions. Here are the top six most important things to think about when building a budget.
Tax season! Personally, it is not my favorite task. I love spreadsheets and financials and numbers, but I do not like doing my taxes. Tax season is also that time of year where we all take a hard look at how we did last year.
– Did we hit the revenue goals that we were expecting?
– Did we achieve the cash flows that we were planning on?
– Are we going to make a contribution to our 401(k) this year or defer that decision another year?
– Did I make enough money to make a withdrawal or pay myself a little more?
I talk to business owners all the time who have heard that building a budget is a good idea, but don’t have a budget. Here are the three main reasons I’ve heard as to why this is:
– I’ve never built a budget and wouldn’t know where to start.
– I’m not a big numbers fan or I don’t like Excel.
– I’ve done one in the past, but never ended up looking at it so it seems kind of pointless.