A guide to maximising your budget as a new business
New to budgeting? You’ve come to the right place. Discover the key components of utilising a small budget and let us guide you through the process.
Starting a business can be intimidating, especially when it comes to managing your finances. As a business in the early stage, every penny counts. Whether you have funding or are self-funded, effective financial management is key to the success of your business. In this blog we will show you how to make the most out of your small business’ budget.
1. Track every expense
Start by tracking all your expenses. This will give you a clear picture of where your money is going and help you better manage your budget. Use online accounting software, tracking apps, or a simple spreadsheet to record all your income and expenses. By doing this, you can identify necessary expenses and areas where you can reduce or eliminate costs.
Categorise your estimated expenses then organise your expected costs into three main categories:
1. Essential costs: These are one-time expenses required to get your business off the ground. Essential costs will vary depending on your business type. Examples include business registration fees, computers and equipment, inventory or raw materials, and patents. Separating these costs from your long-term fixed costs will help determine how much capital you need on day one.
2. Fixed costs: These are ongoing expenses that continue regardless of your business performance. Basic fixed costs include rent or mortgage, salaries and employee benefits, website hosting, licences and permits, utilities, business insurance, accounting or bookkeeping, and business communications.
3. Variable costs: These expenses fluctuate based on your business output or priorities. Variable costs may include paid advertising, server hosting fees, legal fees, marketing/PR agencies, contractors/freelancers, sales software/CRM, travel and transportation, and business income taxes.
2. Prioritise your expenses
Once you have a clear overview of your expenses, prioritise them. As an early-stage startup, focus your funds on areas that directly contribute to your business growth. For example, investing in marketing strategies, working with an agency or hiring key personnel can have a significant impact on your growth prospects. Always align your priorities with your business goals.
3. Find cost-cutting solutions
As a small business owner, explore creative ways to reduce costs without hindering your business's growth potential:
- Outsource non-core functions to save on payroll expenses
- Embrace digital marketing instead of traditional methods
- Consider purchasing second-hand equipment or leasing instead of buying outright
- Explore using a digital marketing agency for specialist tasks such as Marketing, SEO, copywriting
4. Regularly reassess your budget
Don't fall into the trap of treating budgeting as a one-time task. Regularly assess and adjust your budget to stay on track. When you receive your financial statements each month, take the time to compare your actual costs with your budget and make necessary tweaks.
For early-stage businesses in planning mode, a spreadsheet can be very useful for keeping track of your budget. We highly recommend using Google Sheets to easily collaborate and share your budget with partners and advisors.
Once your business has established some financial infrastructure, such as bank accounts or corporate credit cards, take advantage of accounting software like Quickbooks Online. This will automate data entry, keep your finances organised, and provide an effortless overview of your expenses.
Mastering the art of budgeting is an important foundation for any small business. By tracking and categorising expenses and finding cost-cutting solutions, you can effectively manage your budget. Remember to regularly reassess and adjust your budget to stay on track. Whether you start with a simple spreadsheet or use accounting software like Quickbooks, maintaining financial organisation will contribute to your business's success.