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The Best Free Business Budget Templates
Published: September 14, 2022
Business budgets are a source of truth for your income and expenses. That includes all the money you spend — from A/B testing your marketing campaigns to your monthly office rent.
While organizing the numbers may sound difficult, using a business budget template makes the process simple. Plus, there are thousands of business budget templates for you to choose from.
We’ll share seven budget templates that can help organize your finances. But first, you’ll learn how to create a business budget.
What is a Business Budget?
A business budget is a spending plan that estimates the revenue and expenses of a business for a period of time, typically monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
The business budget follows a set template, which you can fill in with estimated revenues, plus any recurring or expected business expenses.
For example, say your business is planning a website redesign. You'd need to break down the costs by category: software, content and design, testing, and more.
Having a clear breakdown will help you estimate how much each category will cost and compare it with the actual costs.
How to Create a Business Budget
While creating a business budget can be straightforward, the process may be more complex for larger companies with multiple revenue streams and expenses.
No matter the size of your business, here are the basic steps to creating a business budget.
1. Find a template, or make a spreadsheet.
There are many free or paid budget templates online. You can start with an already existing budget template. We list a few helpful templates below.
You may also opt to make a spreadsheet with custom rows and columns based on your business.
2. Fill in revenues.
Once you have your template, start by listing all the sources of your business’ income. With a budget, you’re planning for the future, so you’ll also need to forecast revenue streams based on previous months or years. For a new small business budget, you’ll rely on your market research to estimate early revenue for your company.
3. Subtract fixed costs for the time period.
Fixed costs are the recurring costs you have during each month, quarter, or year. Examples include insurance, rent for office space, website hosting, and internet.
4. Consider variable costs.
Variable costs will change from time to time. Examples include utility bills, advertising costs, office supplies, and new software or technology. You may always need to pay some variable costs, like utility bills. You can shift how much you spend toward other expenses, like advertising costs, when you have a lower-than-average estimated income.
5. Set aside time for business budget planning.
Unexpected expenses might come up, or you might want to save to expand your business. Either way, review your budget after including all expenses, fixed costs, and variable costs. Once completed, you can determine how much money you can save. It’s wise to create multiple savings accounts. One should be used for emergencies. The other holds money that can be spent on the business to drive growth.
How to Manage a Business Budget
There are a few key components to managing a healthy business budget.
The process all starts with properly preparing and planning the budget at the beginning of each month, quarter, or year. You can also create multiple budgets, some short-term and some long-term. During this stage, you will also set spending limits and create a system to regularly monitor the budget.
In larger businesses, you might delegate budget tracking to multiple supervisors. But even if you’re a one-person show, keep a close eye on your budget. That means setting a time in your schedule each day or week to review the budget and track actual income and expenses. Be sure to compare the actual numbers to the estimates.
With regular budget tracking, you always know how your business is doing. Check in regularly to determine how you are doing in terms of revenue and where you have losses. Find where you can minimize expenses and how you can move more money into savings.
Why is a Budget Important for a Business?
A budget is crucial for businesses. Without one, you could easily be drowning in expenses or unexpected costs.
The business budget helps with several operations. You can use a business budget to keep track of your finances, save money to help you grow the business or pay bonuses in the future, and prepare for unexpected expenses or emergencies.
You can also review your budget to determine when to take the next leap for your business. For example, you might be dreaming of a larger office building or the latest software, but you want to make sure you have a healthy net revenue before you make the purchase.
Free Business Budget Templates
Fill out the form to get the free templates., best free business budget templates, 1. marketing budget template.
Knowing how to manage a marketing budget can be a challenge, but with helpful free templates like this marketing budget template bundle , you can track everything from advertising expenses to events and more.
This free bundle includes eight different templates, so you can create multiple budgets to help you determine how much money to put toward marketing, plus the return on your investment.
2. Small Business Budget Template
For small businesses, it can be hard to find the time to draw up a budget, but it’s crucial to help keep the business in good health.
Capterra offers a budget template specifically for small businesses. Plus, this template works with Excel. Start by inputting projections for the year. Then, the spreadsheet will project the month-to-month budget. You can input your actual revenue and expenses to compare, making profits and losses easy to spot.
3. Startup Budget Template
What if you don’t have any previous numbers to rely on to create profit and expense estimates? If you are a startup, this Gusto budget template will help you draw up a budget before your business is officially in the market. This will help you track all the expenses you need to get your business up and running, estimate your first revenues, and determine where to pinch pennies.
4. Free Business Budget Template
You might be familiar with Intuit. Many companies, big and small, rely on Intuit’s services like Quickbooks and TurboTax. Even if you don’t use the company’s paid financial services, you can take advantage of Intuit’s free budget template , which works in Google Sheets or Excel.
It features multiple spreadsheet tabs and simple instructions. You enter your revenue in one specific tab and expenses in another. You can also add additional tabs as needed. Then, like magic, the spreadsheet uses the data in the income and expense tabs to summarize the information. This template can even determine net savings and the ending balance.
5. Department Budget Sheet
A mid- to large-size company will have multiple departments, all with different budgetary needs. These budgets will all be consolidated into a massive, company-wide budget sheet. Having a specific template for each department can help teams keep track of spending and plan for growth.
This free template from Template.net works in either document or spreadsheet formats. This budget template can help different departments keep track of their income and spending.
6. Project Budget Template
Every new project comes with expenses. This free budget template from Monday will help your team estimate costs before undertaking a project. You can easily spot if you're going over budget midway through a project so you can adjust.
This template is especially useful for small companies that are reporting budgets to clients and for in-house teams getting buy-in for complex projects.
7. Company Budget Template
Want to keep track of every penny? Use this template from TemplateLab to draw up a detailed budget. The list of expenses includes fixed costs, employee costs, and variable costs. This business template can be especially useful for small businesses that want to keep track of expenses in one, comprehensive document.
Create a Business Budget to Help Your Company Grow
Making your first business budget can be daunting, especially if you have several revenue streams and expenses. Using a budget template can make getting started easy. And, once you get it set up, these templates are simple to replicate.
With little planning and regular monitoring, you can plan for the future of your business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Free Small-Business Budget Templates
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A business budget template is one of the most important tools you can use to run your small business. However, many small-business owners skip this vital business management step.
The misconceptions surrounding budgeting are plenty. It seems complicated and time-consuming. But with a good business budget template, the process can be much less daunting.
An effective small-business budget template is a living document. Creating a budget and then forgetting about it is wasted effort. You must compare your actual numbers against your budgeted numbers regularly.
Therefore, your budget should be easy to access and adjust on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy budgeting software. There are several free small-business budget templates available online.
Why you need a business budget template
A business budget template is an essential tool for business owners who want to take care of their bottom line. Why should you invest in a smart template from the start?
Here's how a business budget template can set you up for success:
Track cash flow, expenses and revenue.
Prepare for regular business slowdowns.
Allocate your budget to the portions of your business that need capital most.
Plan for business investments and purchases.
Project all costs to starting and running your business.
Generally speaking, your business budget template can act as a business health scorecard if you invest in setting one up properly. Here's our list of the best budget templates available so you can do just that.
Capterra’s Free Small-Business Budget Template
The Capterra small-business budget template has been a fan favorite since it was published in 2015. In this one simple Excel workbook, you can create your monthly budget, your annual budget and then compare your actual numbers to your budgeted numbers. It also has a convenient overview sheet, which gives users access to their performance at a glance.
To help you through the process, Capterra has included a detailed Instructions tab, which walks you through how to use the template step by step. Start here to save yourself hours of time and frustration. As a bonus, there are several resources linked on the Instructions tab to help you create the perfect budget for your small business.
PDFConverter.com 15 Best Budgets
Rather than one bloated Excel workbook that tries to do everything, PDFConverter.com has compiled a library of 15 small-business budget templates.
These templates cover a wide range of budgeting needs, from a basic overview of your business income and expenses to marketing budget templates. The startup budget template is ideal for newbie entrepreneurs still in the planning stage of their businesses. And the cash flow template is perfect for identifying and plugging cash flow leaks.
Annual Business Budget in Google Sheets
Do you love all things Google? You can create a comprehensive budget for your small business right from Google Sheets. Simply navigate to your Sheets and then click on Template Gallery . Our friends at Intuit QuickBooks have created an annual business budget you can use for free.
To fully appreciate the power of the template, review the Summary tab after you have entered your budget figures. The tables and graphs on this tab offer a visual representation of your income and expenses, making it easy to see where you stand at a glance.
Microsoft Office Template
This beautiful template from Microsoft Office focuses exclusively on expenses, but it does that job exceptionally well. There are tabs for planned and actual expenses, a tab for automatically calculated variances between the two and an expense analysis tab complete with pie charts.
Your accounting software
While not a free template per se, you likely have a powerful budgeting tool available right inside your business accounting software . Though not as flexible as a separate template, there are many advantages to using the budgeting feature of your accounting software.
The budgeting feature in your accounting software will coincide with your chart of accounts. Depending on the software you use, you can create a budget to actual comparison reports with the click of a button, making analysis a cinch.
Some software programs even let you set multiple budget scenarios and have “cloning” features, which simplify the budgeting process after the first year.
Designing your budget
Now that you’ve chosen your business budget template, it’s time to start designing your budget. This is where many small-business owners procrastinate because people typically see budgeting as restrictive or punishing.
It's time to shift your perspective on budgeting. Most people start with income and tinker with their expense amounts until they arrive at a balanced or surplus budget. This method usually leads to unrealistic projections and ends in frustration.
Instead of a top-down approach, consider “reverse engineering” your budget by following these four simple steps:
Form your income projections and write those down outside of your budget template. Put this paper or spreadsheet away until after you have completed the next step.
Enter your expenses into your budget template. Be very honest in your entries and include everything. Going through several months’ or even a year’s worth of accounting data or bank and credit card statements will ensure you capture all your spending. This is not the step where you want to try to eliminate expenses. Record everything, only excluding expenses you have already eliminated from your monthly or annual spending.
Enter your income from the projections you formed in step 1.
Review your budget. If your budget shows a projected loss, analyze your expenses and identify areas where you can reduce spending.
This approach makes sure you avoid the temptation of forcing your budget to balance. While you do want your budget to balance — or better, to show a cash surplus — having unrealistic income or expense numbers will lead to frustration and resistance during the budgeting process.
Monthly or quarterly, compare your actual income and expense numbers to your budgeted numbers. Regular tracking helps identify financial pitfalls before they become unmanageable.
Frequently asked questions
How do i make a budget template.
You can create a small-business budget template from scratch by using free software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. However, it’s often more efficient to download a template (see our list above). A template with built-in tables and formulas makes plugging in your revenue and expenses and calculating your profit or loss quick and straightforward.
What is included in a small-business budget?
Your small-business budget will include your revenue, expenses and your profit or loss. Each section will be broken into subcategories. For example, under revenue, you might have sales and income from sponsorships. Expenses might be broken down into rent, employee salaries and marketing. After you tally your revenue and expenses, you can then calculate your profit and loss statement.
How much should a small-business budget be?
A budget will vary by your business and industry. For example, you can potentially start a social media consulting business for less than $5,000. But a food truck business may necessitate a budget of at least $50,000. You must tailor your small-business budget to your unique needs.
Business Budget Template
Having a business budget is essential for any size business. A business budget helps you decide whether you can grow your business, give yourself a raise, purchase additional inventory and assets, and whether you may be able to avoid bankruptcy.
It's possible to modify a personal budget spreadsheet to apply to a business, but if you are using our Income Statement Template , you'll want to use the business budget spreadsheet so that you can create a budget that is parallel to your income statement.
For those who are just starting a business, or thinking of starting a business, you might be interested in the free Business Start Up Costs template. A startup cost analysis is an important part of a good business plan and can help you get things off the ground before you begin using a more detailed business budget.
License : Private Use (not for distribution or resale)
"No installation, no macros - just a simple spreadsheet" - by Jon Wittwer
This spreadsheet contains two sample business budgets designed for companies providing services or selling products.
Service Providers : The Services worksheet is a simple business budget that separates income and business expenses into categories that closely match those used in an income statement. The categories are fairly comprehensive, but it is also easy to add, remove, and modify the categories.
Retailers, Manufacturers, Publishers : The Goods worksheet includes the categories in the Services worksheet, but also has a Cost of Goods Sold section for recording inventory and purchases and calculating Gross Profit.
12-Month Business Budget
This worksheet is a variant of the above business budget, with sales and business expenses broken down by month . This is helpful for budgeting quarterly expenses and other business expenses that occur at specific times of the year.
The Goods worksheet lets you record sales and cost of goods sold for multiple products .
Business Budget for Multiple Products
This version allows you to perform a detailed analysis of your business expenses and cost of goods sold (COGS) if you are selling multiple products. Columns are also included for calculating the Percentage of Total Sales for each product and the various expenses.
Using the Business Budget Spreadsheet
These business budget templates are pretty simple to modify and customize. However, here are some things you should know and keep in mind as you use these templates:
Double-Check the Formulas
If you add or move categories around, make sure to double-check the calculations, especially the SUM() formulas that calculate the totals and subtotals, to make sure that the right cells are summed.
Conditional Formatting for red Values
The Difference is calculated as Actual - Budget. Conditional formatting is used to highlight the Difference red if income is less than the budget amount or if business expenses are more than the budget. In other words, a red value means you ought to take a closer look at it.
Analyzing Cost of Goods Sold
The costs associated with producing and purchasing goods are variable costs that increase or decrease with the volume of production and sales, such as wages for direct labor required to produce the goods, packaging, inventory purchases, shipping, and commissions. These costs are usually compared to the total sales. A careful study of these costs can help you determine pricing for your products, which products are more profitable, etc.
The Goods spreadsheet is set up initially to record total net sales for each quarter. If you want to perform a more detailed analysis for multiple products, you can insert additional rows and separate the sales and costs according to product, or you can use the bonus spreadsheet that is designed for performing a detailed analysis for multiple products.
A separate section under business expenses calculates the Net Income Before Taxes by subtracting the Total Expenses from Total Income. This helps you make a simple estimate of the income taxes, assuming all the Expenses are tax deductible. If you have any taxable expenses make sure to subtract those values from the Net Income Before Taxes before estimating your income tax budget.
Budgeting Large Non-Recurring Expenses
One of the reasons for budgeting is of course to help you determine whether you will be able to afford upgrades, new construction, asset purchases, etc. However, this budget spreadsheet is mainly for comparing your operating income and expenses to make sure that in your normal business activities you are earning more than you are spending. You would typically look at your Net Income to determine whether you will be able to expand your business, make large asset purchases, etc.
More Business Budgeting Resources
- Small Business Budgeting Tips and Techniques at investopedia.com
- Drafting Your Budget at entrepreneur.com
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How to Create a Business Budget, With Free Budget Template
Business budgets are necessary for keeping a finger on the pulse of your business's financial health. Download our free business budget template and learn how to use it.
Creating a budget for your business may seem like a daunting task, but it’s a vital step in your business’s development. In fact, you’ll probably need one as part of your business plan. A business budget can take multiple forms. At its most basic level, it is a document that shows how much money you have coming in and what you need to spend money on. It also shows how much money you will need to make to continue making a profit and satisfy your expenses.
How do you create a startup business budget?
If your business is new or still in the planning stages, creating a budget is tricky – even with a template – because you don’t have actual numbers to plug in. Still, it’s something you need for your business plan.
This is especially important if you’re planning to apply for a small business loan to help you launch your business. Here are five steps to help you create a startup budget so you can start your business off on the right foot.
1. Set your budget goal.
Your budget goal is the total amount you are willing to spend on your business. This helps you establish clear parameters for your budget from the beginning and keep your spending in check.
To set your goal, consider the amount of money you currently have or can realistically obtain. How much makes sense for you to spend? Keep in mind that loans must be paid back, often with interest, and you must not deplete your personal savings. [Read related article: How to Decide Which Type of Business Loan Is Right for You ]
2. Categorize your expenses.
For this step, start by brainstorming all of your potential expenses on a budget worksheet. Begin with your startup costs, which are any one-time expenses related to starting your business.
This could include things like a building (if you’re buying, not renting), computers and photography equipment. Be specific and write down the exact costs of every item you will need to purchase and any associated costs. For example, to build a website, you will need to pay for a designer, host, domain name, plugins, stock photos, and security software.
Next, categorize each item as “essential,” “nonessential” or “later.” Essential items, as the name suggests, are purchases that are crucial to getting your business off the ground, such as a business license.
Nonessential items are things that will make your life easier but are not crucial to the operation of your business. This can be subjective, but try to look at your business as a whole and use your best judgment.
An example of a nonessential item would be a professionally designed logo or website.
Later items are things that you can put off for at least six months and are not required for the function of your business, like a fresh coat of paint for your building. Add up your essential and nonessential items to get your estimated startup costs.
3. Estimate your losses.
Your losses are how long you will go without turning a profit while accumulating overhead expenses. Losses are a result of a new business needing time to build a customer base, and your budget must reflect them.
Start by calculating your estimated monthly overhead costs . These are things you will need to pay for more than once that are not tied to your business’s product or services, such as subcontractors, payroll, software subscriptions, website fees, rent, and advertising fees. This will create your operating budget.
Next, estimate how many months you will go without revenue. It can be difficult to forecast your income when starting out, so begin with the number you will need to hit to break even, and then use that number to come up with an educated guess.
4. Build in a safety net.
Many small business owners exceed their budgets. It is easier to do than many think, given the unpredictable nature of starting a business. Build some financial padding into your budget to cover you in the event of unexpected costs. Think of this money like a vehicle’s airbags; they’re used only in a true emergency. To create your safety net, add 10% of each expense in your startup budget, and add 15% of your monthly operating costs.
5. Refine your budget.
Now that you have some rough numbers to work with, it’s time to tighten them up to make your budget more actionable.
Start by going through your nonessential startup items. Is there anything you can cut out or move to the “later” category? Can you reduce the cost of any items by, say, buying something secondhand or trading labor?
Next, look at your overhead costs. Determine if any of them are unnecessary, at least while you’re starting out, and can be cut.
You can also reevaluate your essential costs if you cannot get your budget to balance. Go through them with a trusted friend or colleague to determine if they are all truly essential to start your business.
Many of the best accounting software solutions can help with your business budgets. When choosing accounting software , see if it has that capability.
What is a business budget template, and how do you choose one?
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to create a budget from scratch. There are a number of preexisting budget templates you can use. Budgets can be complicated, so you may want to download a template if this is your first time creating a business budget.
A small business budgeting template is a handy tool that gives you a place to record all your numbers in an organized way, making your budget easy to read and update.
As it can be complicated for first-time entrepreneurs to create a budget from scratch, it is nice to know there are a number of preexisting budget templates you can use. Even if you choose to create your own, it may be helpful to refer to templates or sample budgets to keep yourself on the right track.
If you decide to use a business budget template, download business.com’s easy-to-use template that is suitable for small businesses.
What does a business budget template include?
If you’ve never used a business budget template before, you may feel slightly confused. Our budget template comes with five tabs. To get started, rename the first tab with your business’s name.
Once you do that, it will automatically fill in the other pages. Let’s look at a breakdown of each of the other four main tabs:
The annual budget tab looks at how much money your business brings in each year. Use this tab to input your company’s yearly revenue and expenses. You want to be as specific and detailed as possible because this information is used throughout the budget template.
The monthly budget tab looks at your monthly expenses. You’ll notice that since you already filled out the annual budget tab, that information has been prorated, so you have monthly estimates for each of your yearly totals.
Each month’s budget is weighted equally by default, but you can change this by updating the percentages in line 5. Just keep in mind that your percentages must add up to 100.
The monthly actuals tab is used to track your actual expenses and revenue as they come in each month. This lets you see how much money your business is bringing in.
Finally, the overview tab shows how your actual numbers compare to your budget. It gives an overview of your annual and monthly budgets. This information helps you to see where your business is doing well and to identify areas for improvement.
To see your finances for a particular month, you can select that month from the dropdown list in line 4.
Editor’s note: Looking for the right accounting software solution for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
Why do you need a business budget template?
A business budget template is vital to keep your expenses and financial goals up to date. A good template makes it easy for you to see how much money you have available, what you need to pay for, and how much money you have left after covering your necessary expenses.
It will show you if you can grow your business, give yourself or your employees raises, and purchase inventory and assets . If you don’t have sufficient money coming in, it will show you which bills you don’t have the funds to pay or if you are nearing bankruptcy.
If you need to apply for loans or grants, the applications may ask you for a monthly or annual budget, as well as an income statement or balance sheet, to give the lender an idea of where your business stands financially and how you manage your money.
For these reasons, it is in your best interest to have an up-to-date budget from the beginning.
Kiely Kuligowski contributed to the writing and research in this article.
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Easy-to-use startup budget template for 2023
Wondering how to budget for your startup? Try using a startup budget template. Not only is it a great way to organize your startup’s finances, but it’ll give you peace of mind knowing you have enough resources to get your small business up and running.
In this article, we’ll discuss the monday.com startup budget template. But before we dive into that, we’ll talk about what a startup budget template is and how it can make or break your business.
Get the template
What is a startup budget template?
A startup budget template helps you budget and estimate all the costs involved in launching your business. And they can make a huge difference in whether your startup soars or struggles to get off the ground.
Download Excel template
A robust startup business budget template typically includes a list of “startup expenses,” like office space, inventory, marketing costs, and so on. Also, many top-notch templates are customizable, letting you add or subtract budget line items to better reflect your business.
Regardless, there are a few key components you’ll see in every startup business budget template:
- Operating expenses: ongoing costs of running your business, like rent, utilities, and payroll
- Capital expenses: assets your business needs to make money, like inventory or equipment
- One-time expenses: startup costs that you’ll only incur once, like land acquisition or certain legal fees
- Revenue projections: estimates of how much money your business will generate over a given period
- Break-even point: the amount of revenue your startup needs to reach before making a profit
Bringing a startup to life is no easy task. Thankfully, the right budgeting template can help keep your finances in check , so your business has what it needs to succeed.
Why use a startup budget template?
Financially, a startup budget template helps keep a young company from going broke. But what about the other advantages of using one? Let’s explore a few of those benefits below.
You won’t miss important financial considerations
Many startup budget templates are pre-populated with lists of important financial information. This can be a lifesaver for startup founders who might overlook key expenses.
Underestimating your startup costs can put you in a vulnerable position and cause cash flow issues down the line. And the last thing any up-and-coming company wants is to go under before they’ve had a chance to start making profits. With a startup budget template guiding your financial planning, you can feel confident that you’ve accounted for every expense.
You’ll make better hiring decisions
One of the most important aspects of any startup budget is projecting your revenue and expenses into the future. This exercise can help you determine when and how to hire new employees.
For example, let’s say your startup is growing quickly and you’re thinking about hiring a new salesperson. But after looking at your budget, you realize that you won’t be able to afford a full-time salary for another six months. In this case, you might decide to hire a part-time or commission-based salesperson instead.
It’s a great asset for landing investors
A sound business plan and a detailed budget are essential for securing additional funding from investors — or when applying for a loan. Without either of these documents, it can be difficult to convince someone that your startup is a wise investment.
Organizing your budget with the right template can help investors see that you’re serious about your startup and that you’ll use their money strategically.
Startup budget templates empower you with the confidence to make your business a success. They can help steer your financial planning so you can achieve your startup dreams.
The right startup budget template for you may depend on your specific needs.
To help you find the perfect budget template, let’s quickly walk through a few of the most common options.
Plan your budget from A-Z
Join the 152k teams that use monday, what are some examples of startup budget templates.
It’s one thing to talk about budgeting, it’s another to see it in action. From annual budgets to restaurant budgets, here are a few different ways you can get started.
Annual startup budget template
An annual budget template gives you a 12-month overview of your finances. With it, you can plan — in detail — where every dollar goes during your first year in business.
By breaking down every revenue stream, investment, and expense into monthly projections, you can test scenarios and find the best way to allocate your financial resources. This can be helpful when calculating your “burn rate” — the rate at which you’re spending money — and when making decisions about things like hiring and expansion.
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Savvy business owners use an annual budget to make better financial decisions. By analyzing actual income and expenses against their budgeted amounts, they can tweak next month’s budget based on what they’ve learned the month before.
Break-Even startup budget template
A break-even template calculates how much money you need to make to cover your total costs and start turning a profit. Break-even analysis is a crucial part of any startup budget, as it can help you determine whether your business is viable.
With these templates, you’ll list your startup’s fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are expenses that don’t change, while variable costs change with the amount of product or services you sell. Once you have all this information, the template uses pre-built formulas to calculate your break-even point.
Don’t overlook your break-even point when putting together your startup budget. Not only can it impact how you price your products and services, but it can also influence other decisions like how much inventory to carry.
Restaurant startup budget template
A restaurant startup budget template is a great tool for anyone opening a new pub, cafe, or eatery. In addition to the standard categories — like rent, marketing, and overhead costs — this template includes line items specific to restaurants, like food and beverage costs.
Creating a budget for a restaurant startup can be tricky, as there are so many variable costs involved. By using a template, you can make better decisions about things like menu prices, portion sizes, and how many servers and kitchen staff you need. But there’s one more template we haven’t discussed yet that takes budgeting to a whole new level.
monday.com’s startup budget template
Our template is a complete budgeting solution that can help your startup go the distance. Backed by all the firepower of the monday.com Work OS — a digital workspace that helps you work without limits — creating a startup budget that impresses investors and soothes finance stress will never be easier.
Let’s see how monday.com can help you stay on budget and in control of your finances.
Powerful visualizations help you grasp important information quickly
Create dynamic dashboards that highlight all your key financial information. Customize your views by adding tables, graphs, and charts so you — and your investors — can see your progress at a glance.
Built-in formulas make it easy to analyze data
Calculate your break-even and track your burn rate and other important metrics using our built-in formulas. You can also perform complex calculations to get whatever budget information you need to help guide your business decisions.
Conditional Coloring points out critical financial details
With Conditional Coloring, you can flag key financial data — like if you’re spending too much — for quick and easy reference. This information comes in handy if your budget needs adjusting for the month ahead.
With the monday.com startup budget template, you’ll automatically have everything you need to successfully budget for your startup.
Now that you’ve got the startup budget template of your dreams, it’s time to learn how to put it to work.
Startup budget template tips & tricks
If you’ve never created a budget before, they can look intimidating. Don’t sweat it, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help get you started.
Prioritize your expenses
Not all expenses are created equal. When budgeting, prioritize your spending based on what’s most important to your business. For example, if you’re a tech startup, you may want to allocate more of your budget to research and development so you can bring your product to market faster.
Don’t forget your fixed costs
Fixed costs are an important part of any startup budget, so don’t overlook them when building your budget. Things like rent, insurance, and payroll can be major expenses for startups, so make sure to factor them in.
Keep it flexible
Your startup budget should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in revenue and expenses. As your business grows, you’ll want to adjust your budget to reflect those changes.
Make it easy to understand
Faqs about startup budget templates, how do i create a startup budget.
You can create a budget for your startup in seven simple steps:
- Determine all your essential one-time costs and capital expenditures
- List all your fixed and variable monthly expenses
- Estimate funding from investments, bank loans, and savings
- Estimate your expected monthly revenue
- Calculate a break-even point
- Calculate your total business startup cost
- Review and adjust your budget
What should be included in a startup budget?
At the very least, a startup budget should include:
- Fixed expenses
- Variable expenses
- One-time expenses
- Sources of capital
- The break-even point
- Revenue projections
You can add more fields and data if you — or potential investors — want a more detailed picture of your future finances.
- Sign up — it's free
Business Startup Budget Template
Take a wild guess: How much money will it take to start your small business?
Actually, don't just guess wildly, that seems like a bad idea. Most creditors and employees don't appreciate it when you simply guess how much you owe them and whether you might be able to pay. When it comes to your finances, carefully-considered budgets are much better than wild guesses. Use this business budget spreadsheet to calculate the startup costs for your business so you can request funding, attract investors, and estimate when you’ll turn a profit.
What is a Startup Business Budget?
Simply put, if you're starting a business, you either need a budget or very rich and forgiving parents. It's easy for unforeseen costs to mount up and exceed the money you have available, which is why it's important to plan things out with a budget. This simple startup business budget template offers you a starting point for estimating the startup costs and funding needed for your new business.
Because it's a template, you can of course adjust it for the needs of your particular business. It comes pre-populated with a list of basic expense categories that apply to many businesses, some of which are often overlooked. Use it to plan for your fixed and monthly expenses, in order to get an overview of how much funding you will require for your business to stay solvent in your first year.
Did you know?
90% of startups fail, the vast majority of them within their first five years. And sure, some of those are just poor ideas, like online coffin-shaped toilets for dogs. But even a good idea isn't enough if you haven't budgeted correctly and run out of money.
Startups rely heavily on developing an MVP, but not all founders realize that this stands for Minimum Viable Product. It is important not to financially ruin your business by expending your full budget on baseball's 7-time National League MVP Barry Bonds.
In 2018, 82% of businesses that failed did so due to cash flow problems. Why don't we have a more recent statistic for last year? It's possible the business that collected and shared that information also failed due to cash flow problems. Cash flow: It's a serious problem.
How does it work?
This budget template is composed of two main sections: Costs, and Funding.
The Costs section is broken down into fixed expenses and monthly expenses. The list of expected fixed expenses includes common things you'll need to launch your own startup business, ranging from advertising and franchise fees, to computer equipment and permits and licenses. Note that because this is just a simple template, you will need to make adjustments for your particular industry.
Monthly expenses like rent, utilities, and salaries, are all tallied in their own section, and then that subtotal is multiplied by the number of months you have selected. If you need your initial funding to last for longer than 6 months, be sure to change the default month multiplier number.
The Funding section is broken down into Investor Funding, Financer Funding, and Other. Your total funding is then compared to your total startup costs, so you can see a bottom line of whether your funding is enough to cover your expenses, or whether you're in the red.
Further explanation is available on the About worksheet.
Why do I need a business budget template?
Some people say that starting a business isn't easy. But they're wrong; starting a business is as easy as declaring that you've started a business.
Starting a successful business that doesn't immediately collapse and run out of money, however, is much harder.
You need to know your market, pick a good location if you're not fully remote, secure funding, build an effective team, and carefully budget to ensure that you can cover your costs long enough for your business to become profitable. You're on your own for researching your market and picking a location. But here’s an Applicant Tracking Template to help you build an effective team.
Now when it comes to building a budget, some items can be easily forgotten if they're not on your mind. That's why it's helpful to have a business start up costs spreadsheet like this one: to make sure you've got all your expenses, both fixed and monthly, accounted for. And to make sure that your funding can cover them.
Which businesses need to plan out their budgets?
Most businesses. Or at least, most businesses that succeed. If your business has startup costs, budgeting to ensure you can pay those costs is basic good business practice. If your business has no costs, then you don't need a budget, and can soon become the richest elf in fairyland.
Excel Project Tracking Template
Managing Startup Budget with Excel Template
You might be wondering whether you should use an Excel business expense template instead of the online budget template above. That depends. Both templates will give you an easy way to list out all your business expenses and have them automatically totaled to see what your business budget needs to be. If you're a startup that needs to compare your business expenses to your funding and financing, then our online expense report template Excel alternative will be more convenient in having places to enter that all in and view it online. But if you're just focused on expenses and prefer to do everything in Excel, then you might prefer this small business expense tracking Excel template .
7+ Free Small Business Budget Templates
Running a successful small business is hard. Running a successful small business without a budget is virtually impossible.
Without easy access to your financial information, many decisions are tougher than they should be. For example: How could you make an informed decision about whether it’s a good time to grow your business, purchase new inventory or assets, or give yourself a raise?
Clear, up-to-date budgets can help with questions like these.
A budget is a tool that allows you to measure your ideal financial numbers against your actual figures. Effective budgeting requires regular calibration of the real business environment against the theoretical one.
If that sounds daunting or time-consuming, fear not. There are online resources that simplify the process. In fact, there are several downloadable, customizable business budget templates that you can access right now. And just to keep them within your budget (see what we did there?) they’re free!
We’re going to walk you through seven of our current favorite small business budget template tools, but first let’s look at what you need to know about actually creating a business budget.
How do I create a business budget?
Creating a business budget is an extremely important step towards making sure your business not only stays on track financially, but is using the funds you have available in the most strategic ways possible. Whether you’re a startup or a more established business, adding a business budget to your business plan is a great way to stay organized and to plan how you can best use your budget to your advantage. If you are running a startup, you’ll want to budget for both your ongoing costs and the costs you will need accrue to actually get your business off the ground.
How you create your business budget will depend a lot on what type of budgeting method you pursue. Once you’ve chosen your preferred method, you can use one of the template tools we’re going to discuss to help you actually create your budget.
Master budget. If you have a master budget, your budget will involve taking the information from other smaller budgets within your business (think marketing versus labor) and compiling them into one main budget. This type of budget is a good fit for bigger companies with multiple departments who each have their own budgets. A master budget provides a more thorough look at your expenses.
Operating budget. This type of business budget is very popular and estimates revenues and expenditures during a select period of time. This allows businesses to compare their actual results to their operating budget.
Financial budget. When you create a financial budget, you’ll look past just your revenue and expenditure and include any assets, liabilities, and stockholder equity in your budget. You’ll use a balance sheet to present this information and to gain a clear vision of your business’s overall health. This type of budget is often used when a business is pursuing funding, an initial public offering, or a merger.
Cash budget. This type of budget estimates how much money will pass through a business during a certain period of time (such as a quarter). A cash budget provides insight into how an organization can meet their immediate financial obligations or if they’ll need the help of financing, such as a line of credit , to pay for any upcoming expenses.
Labor budget. If you have employees, you may want to consider creating a labor budget that can help determine how many workers you will need to hire to achieve your desired level of production and how much it will cost to do this.
Capital budget. A capital budget helps businesses plan for purchases of large assets. For example, buying a new warehouse or expensive machinery. A capital budget will account for the cost of the asset you plan to purchase and will look at the expected payback period and what the potential return on investment will be.
Strategic plan budget. By incorporating financial information, a strategic plan budget can help create a practical road map for how your business plans to grow . If you have long term goals, this budget can help you achieve them in a realistic—and frankly financially—possible way.
Static budget. If your business sales and expenses are fairly consistent, then a static budget may be all you need to keep things on track financially. You won’t alter this budget throughout the year and it can be a great way to identify variations between your budgeted and actual line items. A static budget can also prove useful when evaluating sales performance.
The download available from Capterra includes both a monthly and annual breakdown that can be used on an Excel spreadsheet. “Imagine going into a month having no idea what you were going to spend or how much money you were going to make,” the site says. “If you’re interested in having money in your bank account at the end of the month, you might want to start thinking ahead.” The goal of a budget, they say, is to have a “fixed point to track your progress against.”
Once again, you don’t need to look very far to find a range of budget templates. Google’s Template Gallery provides a variety of visually striking, easy-to-use Google Sheets business budget templates. The tables and graphs in the Summary tab offer an illustrative glimpse into your income and expenses, quickly getting you up to speed on where you stand financially. Not sure where to start? Check out this well-designed annual budget template .
Do you use Microsoft Office? If so, you are probably sitting on a database of useful budget templates right now without even realizing it. Microsoft Office has a wide range of budgets for every need. They feature charts and graphs of your variances from month to month.
Score small business resources
This resource for small business includes budget templates designed specifically for financial projections, startup expenses, profit-and-loss statements, and cash flow statements, among many others. In addition to budgeting, the site features templates for startup planning, marketing & sales, even business management.
It’s Your Money
It’s Your Money is a no-nonsense home for all things financial, with tons of helpful and educational resources and tips that business owners can use, no matter what your level of financial savvy. Here you’ll find multiple free, downloadable Excel business budget templates for help with spending plans, “planning for future expenses, amortizing loans of various types, and tracking your debt loads.”
As the site warns, these templates aren’t fancy, but they are flexible and easy to customize for your own situation. For example, find the cash-flow budget template spreadsheet here . Or, find the whole list of IYM templates here.
This site provides separate sheets for service-based and goods-based businesses to create their own budgets. Income and expenses are further broken down so that you can see where money is coming in and where it’s going out. Find and download the free budget templates here .
Another site that relies on business budget Excel template spreadsheets, Vertex 42 includes a pair of sample budgets aimed at businesses that offer services or products. It features a worksheet that breaks down, month-by-month, both sales and expenses. And for anyone considering launching a new business, the site offers a free downloadable Business Start Up Costs template .
Figure out which of these small business budgets is useful in outlining the goals for your enterprise. In order for any of these templates to work, however, you must keep on top of your daily expenditures as part of your regular routine. When you get closer to really mastering your cash flow, you’ll be better equipped to grow your business in a sustainable manner for years to come.
Bridging Budget Gaps
After you create your budget using a business budget template, you may find that you need help bridging a gap to hire staff or purchase pricey equipment. If that’s the case, then you might want to consider your financing options. Fundbox’s business line of credit options can step in and help when your business experiences slow sales, late invoice payments, or urgent unplanned expenses.
Learn more about Fundbox’s business line of credit today .
Ready to grow your business?
2022 Small business toolkit: Online resources to help you manage and grow your business
Business Funding: Know Your Options
How to Budget for a Construction Business Expansion
10 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund and Grow Your Business
Free business budget templates (PDF/Excel) + how to create
By Ken Boyd
January 7, 2022
Running your own business presents unique opportunities for you to be your own boss, bring your entrepreneurial vision to life, and direct your financial future. But to avoid being among the 20% of small businesses that fail within their first year, you’ll want to take every precaution behind the scenes.
Creating a business budget is an excellent first step for any new business owner. By taking a closer look at your assets, expenses, and financial goals, you can craft a better plan for the future of your booming business. And ideally, you can reap some of the monetary benefits.
Let’s take a closer look at how to create a business budget and discuss the benefits of budgeting. You will even find some helpful resources and a business budget template we hope you can leverage moving forward. With the right tools and processes, you can use business budgeting to your advantage.
What is a business budget?
Benefits of a budget for your business, what’s included in a business budget, how to create a budget for a business, small business budget customization, free business budget templates, printable business budget template, business budget template for excel.
- Budgeting best practices for business
Business budgeting with QuickBooks
A business budget is an outline of an organization’s revenue, expenses, and profit over a period of time—generally monthly, quarterly, or annually. A good business budget assigns a purpose to every dollar your business earns. For instance, some money might go toward bills or business growth. Others will help fund daily operational expenses and take-home pay for yourself and your staff.
Solid business budget planning will provide a road map for spending and earning. It’ll create a lens into your organization’s financial future and facilitate better decisions all around. Ready to get your business idea off the ground? You’ll need to consider startup costs. Wondering if you can or should purchase new equipment this year? Refer to your business budget plan.
Maybe you’re looking for ways to cut down on expenses. Your business budget can present a view of your financial health, including where you’re spending money and where you might benefit from cutting back. With better foresight, you can cultivate stronger business performance and improve earnings from the last quarter or the last year.
The benefits of budgeting may be obvious to some. But a chilling statistic suggests that not all business owners are completely convinced.
63% of small business owners contribute personal funds to their business at least once per year. This is a clear indication that business owners are not budgeting accurately or at all.
“A business budget is a financial road map to success, a vision of where you want to take your business for the upcoming 12 months,” the FDIC says . What’s more, research has suggested that business budgets offer the following benefits:
- They give business owners more freedom to run their organizations with confidence.
- They allow business owners to identify cash flow and spending problems.
- They empower business owners to have a greater sense of control and insight when dealing with financial challenges.
- They help business owners and decision-makers predict cash flow and identify trends.
- They demonstrate positive money management to lenders and investors.
- They give you the chance to identify and rectify problem areas quickly.
Bottom line: Consider a detailed budget one of your key business needs.
A business budget takes into account an organization’s total revenue and expenses to reveal net profit (or loss). The FDIC says the best business budgets comprise the “nuts and bolts” of everyday revenue and expenses like:
- Average order amount
- Number of product orders per month
- Billable hours
- Average payroll costs
- Material expenses
- Rent, mortgage, and utilities
When building a business budget, business owners should bear in mind that output depends on input. Make sure you’re collecting accurate data points whenever you’re dealing with your business’s finances. A simple mathematical error or typo can lead to confusion or, worse, uninformed financial decisions.
Now you know what a business budget is, why it’s important, and the essential components. Let’s now take a look at the steps you need to take to create one.
1. Calculate all forms of income
Whether you’re optimizing your personal spending or building a business budget, your first step should be aggregating all of your forms of income. Your net income determines how much you can afford to spend. It also indicates your take-home pay and whether your business performance is growing or stagnating.
To find out how much money your business is bringing in, refer to your profit and loss statements. Depending on your business model, you may have several income sources, so be sure to include any and all revenue streams in this section.
2. Subtract your fixed expenses
Once you’ve added all of your business’s income together, you can subtract your fixed costs. Fixed costs are expenses that remain consistent throughout the year. Whether you pay bills monthly, weekly, or annually, you can expect to spend a set amount of dollars on each expense. These costs are easy to predict, so they’re easy to work into your budget. The one-off expenses, or variable costs? Not so much—more on that in a minute.
Examples of fixed expenses include:
- Commercial rent or mortgage
- Operational utilities
- Loan payments
- Insurance bills
- Employee salaries
Once you’ve tallied up your fixed expenses, you can subtract that number from the total income you calculated in step 1.
3. Subtract your variable expenses
In addition to your fixed costs, you might anticipate monthly operating expenses that may not always be the same amount. These variable expenses may be harder to predict, but you can refer to old receipts and invoices to estimate them.
Examples of variable expenses include:
- Material costs
- Billable staff wages (freelancers, outsourced work, etc.)
After identifying your variable expenses and estimating how much they cost each month, subtract the amount from your income.
4. Prepare for emergency and one-time expenses
Life is full of unexpected circumstances. As a business owner, you’re likely familiar with unexpected expenses. New equipment, hiring expenses, and unplanned events can add up, so it’s wise to plan ahead as much as you can.
You can’t predict when you’ll need to pay for an emergency expense or how much it might cost, but you can set aside a cash reserve to lessen the burden.
5. Create a profit and loss statement
You’ve accounted for your income and fixed, variable, and emergency expenses. Now you can better understand your business finances by creating a profit and loss (P&L) statement. A P&L statement is a high-level overview that shows whether your organization is profitable or in the red.
When you add up all of your income then subtract your total expenses, you should have a positive or negative number. A positive number indicates that you’re in the black and, therefore, making money. A negative number indicates that you’re in the red and, therefore, burning a hole in your pocket.
Your P&L statement serves as a baseline for creating your business budget . You can access your profit and loss statement, track trends, monitor invoices, and more from your QuickBooks account.
Keep in mind that your profit and loss statement may not always show you the results you want. But with better business budgeting and forward thinking, you can set yourself up for a brighter and more profitable future.
6. Draft your business budget
After reviewing your P&L statement, you’ll have a better idea of where you’re spending your money—and if you’re spending responsibly. With this data in mind, you’re ready to draft your business budget for the next year, quarter, or month. Most businesses opt for quarterly budgets.
A basic budget outlines your expenditures and designates limits for each over a given period. This outline can help you determine whether you’re earning and spending within your abilities. With QuickBooks, you can glean insight into spending patterns and assess where your business stands financially.
Every small business has a niche, workflow, and financial goals. So it’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to business budgeting. As you learn how to build a business budget and experiment with the strategies you’ve learned, consider the following:
- Seasonality may affect customer buying behaviors, depending on your business type. Consider these fluctuations in profit and expenses as you plan your budget.
- If you run an e-commerce business, beware of hidden costs like shipping fees, website upgrades, and point-of-sale expenses.
- Budgeting for a startup can be especially challenging because they’re typically much more limited on data and performance history. But accurate accounting software and conservative estimates can help you improve your business budget year after year.
- If you run a service-based business, you’re working with more estimates than a product-focused business. Keep an eye on trends to make sure your budget has plenty of wiggle room.
Budgeting best practices for business
A great business budget creates a clear connection between your day-to-day operations and financial resources. It can help you navigate tough business decisions and even help you identify areas for growth. But an effective budget doesn’t happen overnight. As you create and reflect on your business budget, keep these small business budget best practices in mind:
- Consider how every change in expenses or income will trickle down to your budget. Hiring a new employee doesn’t just mean you’re adding another salary but can also translate to changes in payroll taxes, benefits, and other expenses. Any time you adjust your business budget, consider the consequences.
- Make sure that you’re budgeting for all expense categories , including fixed, variable, and emergency expenses. Anticipating these costs can help you balance your business budget and plan ahead. You can track your business expenses effortlessly and accurately using QuickBooks.
- View your business budget as a living document. Financial circumstances change, and the unexpected happens. Your business should always be prepared to weather the storm. Review your financial statements regularly, reconsider your costs and spending, and refine your business budget as necessary.
- Set goals but avoid wishful thinking. Use your bookkeeping records to determine what might transpire over the next month, quarter, or year. But ultimately, it’s a better idea to be conservative with your budget than to expect the best-case scenario.
- Look out for ways to cut costs and create growth. As a business owner, it’s up to you to position your business for greatness. Break down your finances into areas of success and room for improvement. Spotting opportunities to improve your business finances can make your organization more profitable and sustainable in the long run.
If you’re just getting started with budgeting for your business, these templates are a great medium for learning the process. We invite you to create copies, download, edit, and print these business budget templates.
Use this editable and printable template to create a quick and easy budget for your business:
Use our free Excel template to develop a budget for your business. The template uses an example budget from an imagined business, Widget Inc., to help guide you through the process of creating a business budget.
How to use the Excel budget template
1. enter prior year information.
Input the year-end balance sheet and income statement into your Excel template.
Equity is the difference between assets and liabilities—the true value of your business. The $10,000 net income in the income statement increases equity in the year-end balance sheet.
2. Forecast future sales and costs
Next, we’ll make some assumptions for the upcoming year. In this example, Widget Inc.’s budget accounts for changes in sales, cost of sales, employee payroll costs, and other expenses.
Some accounting transactions, however, are unusual and cannot be included in a budget. For example, Widget Inc. had a $5,000 loss on the sale of equipment in the prior year.
Widget Inc.’s primary business is manufacturing and selling widgets, and the sale of equipment is not part of its annual budget. Accountants refer to these transactions as non-operating income and losses because day-to-day business operations don’t generate them.
3. Create a budget income statement
Widget Inc. produces a budget income statement using the assumptions in step 2. Note that the Widget Inc. budget has a line item for gain or loss on sale, other revenue . While the company may have an actual transaction in the category, this line has a zero budget.
4. Create a budgeted balance sheet using assumptions
The budgeted balance sheet includes assumptions that address each of the line items in the report. The budget provides percentage increases or decreases from the prior year, and 2 categories have no change.
5. Create a budgeted cash roll-forward for January
A cash roll-forward report lists your beginning cash balance, expected cash inflow and outflow, and your ending balance in cash for each month of the year.
The balance sheet and the income statement are financial statements , but the cash roll-forward is an informal internal report. The statement of cash flows is generated as part of your financial statements, but a cash roll-forward is more useful for budgeting purposes.
Business owners should create cash roll-forwards last because they need a cash projection for each month. Step 5 presents the cash roll-forward for January. You’ll see that the beginning of January cash balance ($10,000) is the year-end cash balance in the prior year’s balance sheet.
The majority of cash collections are from sales and the bulk of cash payments are for inventory. When a business sells inventory, the dollar amount transfers to the cost of sales, which is the largest expense in the budget. So it makes sense that the biggest cash outflow is for inventory.
Widget Inc. assumes that cash received for sales and the cash paid for inventory will be evenly distributed over 12 months. In reality, the payments will be uneven, but the cash inflows and outflows can be difficult to predict by month.
The budget also includes miscellaneous receivables collected in cash and other cash payments, such as payroll costs.
6. Budgeted cash roll-forward for February, other months
The beginning cash balance for February ($10,500) is the ending cash balance for January, and this connection applies to each month of the year. The February cash budget uses some of the same assumptions for sales and inventory purchases. The ending cash balance for February is also the March beginning cash balance.
Widget Inc. continues this same cash roll-forward process until the company has a cash budget for each month.
Building a business budget can feel like an overwhelming process, but it’s an essential one if you want to have an edge on the competition, maintain financial stability, and move your business forward.
QuickBooks features tools like automated cash flow forecasting , a business debit card integrated with your accounting software, and budget envelopes, making it easy to manage your business finances. Explore our product features to learn more.
Ken Boyd is a co-founder of AccountingEd.com and owns St. Louis Test Preparation (AccountingAccidentally.com). He provides blogs, videos, and speaking services on accounting and finance. Ken is the author of four Dummies books, including "Cost Accounting for Dummies."
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Steps for creating your business budget template · Set your budget's total. You need to first set the budget goal for your business even before making your start
Financial budget. When you create a financial budget, you'll look past just your revenue and expenditure and include any assets, liabilities
Creating a business budget is an excellent first step for any new business owner. By taking a closer look at your assets, expenses, and
Monitor all of your home or business expenses accurately and decide what areas of your budget can be better managed. Whether you're managing the office budget