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Updated: March 27th, 2020
As a small business owner, you know that staying organized is key to being successful. What you may not know is that there are many helpful examples of a small business budget template to make your job easier.
A business budget template can help you not only with this organizational aspect, but also let you focus on your bottom line. Such a spreadsheet for income and expenses can help you prepare for expected slowdowns in your business, project costs needed to start and/or grow your business, as well as track items such as revenue, cash flow, and expenses.
A small business budget template is something you’ll be referring to quite often. You will want something that’ll be easy to use and understand. Here are five of the must-have spreadsheets for small business income and expenses.
No matter what type of business you own, you will need a general ledger spreadsheet. This is perhaps the most basic – yet most crucial – business budget template you can use. It will help you track your expenses and income on a monthly basis, and all income your company receives and all expenses it incurs can be broken into categories like labor and materials.
This simple small business spreadsheet for income and expenses will be a major building block for the accounting side of your business.
It’s great to have a general overview of how your business is doing, but to have a sense of your strengths and weaknesses, it’s essential to have a department-by-department small business budget template. These are a great way to hold each department accountable and compare forecasted expenses and revenue to actual numbers. It’s formatted with columns for the current year and past years so you can track the percentage of change from one year to the next.
There will also be rows that will break out your business’ income at the top, with department-by-department expenses below. Each department will have expenses that will include salaries, wages, and bonuses, but may also include marketing, printing, and other miscellaneous costs.
Once you have the first two basic small business budget templates created, it’s time to create an annual budget. This will allow you to see a more detailed picture of your business financials over the period of time that most business owners go by a calendar year.
The annual business budget template will break down all of your operating expenses and income by category in rows, with results for each month in a separate column. There’s truly no better way to assess whether you’re hitting your goals and projections than by tracking all your financials line-by-line for each month. This will also help you predict typical ebbs and flows in your business for years ahead.
Most successful businesses don’t just track how they are currently doing and how they did in the past; they make sure to create projections for the future as well. This helps business owners set goals for their departments, keeping all employees on track.
Forecasting also makes it easier for business owners to know if they may have to cut back on expenses to prepare for a down year, for example, or whether it might be a good time to invest in growth. This can be particularly important when you are considering obtaining business funding to help you achieve your goals.
For this example of a small business spreadsheet for income and expenses, you will be able to include all your costs from the time you started the business through each time period following. This will allow you to see how much you spent on employee payroll when your company was in its infancy, for example, and how much you need to spend to, say, open a new store or offer a new service.
A business budget template isn’t just for tracking and projecting on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. There are great benefits you can get from creating a small business spreadsheet for income and expenses related to a specific project.
Most companies have multiple projects, jobs and/or goals wrapped into the overarching goals of the company. This project-specific template will help you forecast expenses for – and income from – each of your projects to help you stay on budget throughout the year.
Small business budget templates built specifically for each project and/or job will allow you to see whether that project is worth undertaking, or whether that job is worth bidding on. In fact, the best way to control spending for your company on a macro level is to control spending on the micro.
These are some examples of small business spreadsheets for income and expenses that every business owner should have. Integrating these business budget templates into your company will help you stay more organized by tracking everything that’s going on today, and better prepare for everything that may be happening in the future.
Michael Jones is a Senior Editor for Funding Circle, specializing in small business loans. He holds a degree in International Business and Economics from Boston University's Questrom School of Business. Prior to Funding Circle, Michael was the Head of Content for Bond Street, a venture-backed FinTech company specializing in small business loans. He has written extensively about small business loans, entrepreneurship, and marketing.