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Why You Need To Budget


As a small business owner, you have to get used to wearing many hats. You’ll play the role of the leader, the manager, the marketer, the customer support, the salesperson, and more. One hat that many business owners are reluctant to wear, for one reason or another, is that of the bookkeeper.

Many business owners put off or flat-out deny the need for a budget. However, there are many ways that a budget is not just helpful, but essential for your SME. It might seem like hyperbole but laying out a budget can and will change the way you do business. Often, small business owners don’t recognize that until they create one and start seeing the benefits for themselves.

The purpose of the budget is to help you create more informed goals, to communicate more effectively with the team, and to unlock real profits, but how does it do that? Let’s take a closer look at why you really do need a budget for your SME.



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Effective communication through numbers


A budget involves putting down the revenue and expense expectations of the company as a whole, as well as individual sectors or teams within that company. This helps your team have a better understanding of what they can expect and what your vision is for the company. For instance, if you’re planning on scaling a part of the business, your team can be better prepared for the change.

Understand your incomings and outgoings


You may already have an idea of where your revenue is at, as well as how much you’re spending on different things. However, putting all those figures together and seeing the relationship between what’s coming in and what’s going out can help you see the wider implications of every purchase and financial decision from this point on. You can more effectively see what expenditures are being wasted, as well as opportunities to save.

Create better plans


Good business leadership isn’t just about offering a service or product that the market needs. It’s about making the best use of the resources available to you. A budget lays out those resources in full, so when you’re making plans for the next year or five, you can be more specific with where you plan to save or to make more money.




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Follow those plans


Once you have your plans in place, your budget can act as another guiding light, much like any project deadlines you might have. If you’re following your budget, you can see whether you’re sticking to your expectations, exceeding them, or falling short of them. This allows you to adjust on the fly, rather than being surprised by the end result. For instance, lower sales in one quarter might mean you have to cut expenses, and a budget lays out those expenses clearly so you can more effectively find what to cut.

You shouldn’t expect any financing without one


Many business owners will use credit not only to fund the start of a business but also to help it scale effectively. This means looking at banks, investors, and other routes of financing. However, those looking to put their money in your business will only do so if they can be assured that it’s a safe bet. Simply put, they want to dig into the numbers. If you don’t have them ready, then you’re not going to be taken seriously when applying for financing. Bad budgeting practices are the single biggest red flag to financial institutions and investors.



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A budget delivers insights on demand


Before you make a decision in business, you might have a few questions you need to have answered. Those answers might lie within the budget. For instance, it can tell you whether or not you might be able to afford new staff, to make a financing deal for new equipment, to be able to afford a new website design, and much more. It’s all too easy for small business owners to make financial decisions that they later find out they didn’t have the funding to make. The budget ensures that this doesn’t happen.

React better to an emergency


If sudden costs threaten the company, you need to make your finances much more efficient in very little time at all. It might mean ending service agreements, selling equipment, and even saying farewell to some members of the team. A budget can help you identify the lowest priority expenses so that you can avoid cutting off the most crucial parts of the business for longer. Staff reductions are often considered a last-ditch effort, but the truth is that many business owners without a budget miss the opportunity to keep their staff by letting go of less important expenses first.

How to build the budget your business needs


Hopefully, the reasons above offer more than enough evidence that a budget can be a key tool in the business. Now, the question is: how do you get one? Budgets need to built from scratch, relying on your own recordkeeping and projections, but there are a few different ways to bring them to life.

The most traditional route is hiring staff or services that specialize in creating budgets. Hiring someone to handle your books is recommended, but there are consulting services that can help you put together an annual budget, as well.

SME budgeting software is becoming a lot more common, too. Programs as ubiquitous as Excel can be effective for building one manually, but other business accounting software can automate many of the processes involved in that, calculating budgets and tracking revenue and expenses automatically. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to use them, with many of the software providers also offering free tutorial videos and courses.

Is it time to create your budget?

You might feel like your SME is running just fine without a budget and that may very well be true. However, by putting one together, you gain a lot more insight, a lot more direction, and a lot more opportunity to make the business more efficient and effective. Isn’t it time you sat down and created the budget your business needs?

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