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Managing & Planning Your Business Budget: What to Spend & When

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Even the biggest and most successful businesses have to account for every single penny or risk ruin.

Here’s our short guide to managing and planning your business budget to make sure that everything works, everyone’s happy, and you’ll always have something to fall back on should anything ever go wrong.

Think on a Departmental Level

Even if you’ve only got four employees in your team, your business is still the sum of several different departments – sales, marketing, accounts, HR etc. Each department will have its own set of unique budget needs, and it’s up to you to ensure they’re met.

So, take a look at the previous financial year. How much did each department get? Which departments met their targets? Did any departments have anything left over at the end of the year? Did any department have to dip into any other department’s budget, and what effect did this have?

Think Big and Small

Plan for the year ahead. Anticipate every expense. There might be times of the year when you have to channel more money into production, recruitment and marketing to meet a seasonal rush. But during quieter periods you might be able to invest in the sort of things that go out the window when you’re at your busiest, like new equipment or R&D.

It’s important to think of the small stuff too. Over the course of the year seemingly small expenses can add up. And if you’ve not adequately planned, this could present a problem.

You need to be precise when doing this sort of planning. Work with exact figures and never round anything up or down. You don’t want to run out of money, but you don’t want to cut yourself short either!

Expect the Worst

When managing and planning your business budget, it’s important to prepare for emergencies.

An emergency fund will give you a safety net in the event of the sort of worst-case-scenario that could scupper you if you’re unprepared.

Say you lose a major client, or one of your top-performing employees decides to jump ship. Some money in the bank will help you through the turmoil, ready to emerge stronger. But an emergency fund can keep you trucking on through smaller emergencies too – like a broken kettle.

Be a People Person

Of course, you’re going to account for everyone’s salaries in your business budget. But if you want to attract the top talent and get the best from your employees, it’s a good idea to think beyond the paycheque.

If you can, set some money aside that’ll allow you to show your employees how much you value them. If you can afford generous bonuses for everyone, fantastic! But if not, even budgeting for the occasional staff drinks, or a genuinely good Christmas party, will show your staff that you care.

Make the Most of Your Marketing

Finally, there’s the question of your marketing budget. This one’s particularly important to get right, as in theory, the more you put into your market the greater the return you’ll get.

We’ve put together an essential guide to the metrics you need to track to ensure you’re getting the best from your marketing. A deep dive into your numbers could provide some excellent insights into how, where and when to spend your marketing budget.

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