**6 tips that will help you plan your small business budgets.**
**Tip No.1: Check Industry Standards**
Not all businesses are alike, but there are similarities. Therefore, do some homework and peruse the local library for information about the industry, speak with local business owners, and check the IRS website to get an idea of what percentage of the revenue coming in will likely be allocated toward cost groupings.
Small businesses can be extremely volatile as they can be more susceptible to industry downturns than larger, more diversified competitors, so you only need to look for an average here, not specifics.
**Tip No.2: Make a Spreadsheet**
Prior to buying or opening a business, construct a spreadsheet to estimate what total dollar amount and percentage of your revenue will need to be allocated toward raw materials and other costs. It's a good idea to contact any suppliers you'd have to work with before you continue on. Do the same thing for rent, taxes, insurance(s), etc.
**Tip No.3: Factor In Some Slack**
Remember that although you may estimate that the business will generate a certain rate of revenue growth going forward or that certain expenses will be fixed or can be controlled, these are estimates and not set in stone. Because of this, it's wise to factor in some slack and make sure that you have more than enough money socked away or coming in before expanding the business or taking on new employees.
**Tip No.4: Look To Cut Costs**
If times are tight and money must be found somewhere in order to pay a crucial bill, advertise, or otherwise capitalize on an opportunity, consider cost cutting. Specifically, take a look at items that can be controlled to a large degree. Another tip is to wait to make purchases until the start of a new billing cycle, or to take full advantage of payment terms offered by suppliers and any creditors. Some thoughtful maneuvering here could provide the business owner with much needed breathing and expansion room. (To get venture capitalists to invest much-need capital into your company, see Fly High With Angel Investors.)
**Tip No.5: Review the Business Periodically**
While many firms draft a budget yearly, small business owners should do so more often. In fact, many small business owners find themselves planning just a month or two ahead because business can be quite volatile and unexpected expenses can throw off revenue assumptions.
**Tip No.6: Shop Around for Services/Suppliers**
Don't be afraid to shop around for new suppliers or to save money on other services being performed for your business. This can and should be done at various stages, including when purchasing or starting up a business, when setting annual or monthly budgets, and during periodic business reviews.
Budgeting is an easy but essential process that business owners use to forecast (and then match) current and future revenue to expenses. The goal is to make sure that enough money is available to keep the business up and running, to grow the business, to compete, and to ensure a solid emergency fund.