Sample Business Budget Template to Estimate Income and Expenses

Your budget can help you maximize profit from your company

Japanese electronics giant Sharp's employee displays 22-inch sized high-definition LCD television which has spreadsheet as a PC monitor at the company's showroom in Tokyo 21 December 2007.
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Here is a worksheet you can use to set up a basic business budget. Depending on your particular type of business, you may have to include different types of income or expenses, but this worksheet should give you the general idea of the types of items you should include in your business budget.

Basic Business Budget Worksheet

 
CATEGORYBUDGET AMOUNTACTUAL AMOUNTDIFFERENCE
Sales Revenue   
Interest Income   
Investment Income   
Other Income   
TOTAL INCOME   
EXPENSES   
Accounting Services   
Advertising   
Bank Service Charges   
Credit Card Fees   
Delivery Charges   
Deposits for Utilities   
Estimated Taxes   
Health Insurance   
Hiring Costs   
Installation/Repair of Equipment   
Interest on Debt   
Inventory Purchases   
Legal Expenses   
Licenses/Permits   
Loan Payments   
Office Supplies   
Payroll   
Payroll Taxes   
Printing   
Professional Fees   
Rent/Lease Payments   
Retirement Contributions   
Subscriptions and Dues   
Utilities and Telephone   
Vehicle Expenses   
Other   
Other   
TOTAL EXPENSES   
TOTAL INCOME MINUS TOTAL EXPENSES   

 

How to Use Your Business Budget

Ideally, you should update your budget monthly, using your expenses and income for the prior month as your guide, and working with your senior staff. That way, you can tweak your budget as you go.

This monthly business budget review may indicate where efforts have been successful. For example, if you switch health insurance carriers to obtain lower-cost coverage, you can see how that change affects your bottom line month over month (and year over year, as well).

A monthly business budget review can help you spot potential problems, as well. For example, if you're a retail business, you may realize you need to ramp up your advertising spending more in the fall in order to take advantage of the holiday shopping season. Or if you've made changes that could have tax implications, you may need to bump your accounting spending.

Why Write a Business Budget at All?

If your business is small, you may wonder why you need a budget -- after all, you most likely have a pretty good idea of your monthly cash flow and expenses.

This may be even more true if your business is well-established, with a cash flow pattern that's quite similar year over year.

However, even if this is the case for your business, you still should consider at least drafting a basic budget, like the one on this worksheet. Even the best-established business can run into problems with supply chain, or face a sudden, unexpected expense like a substantial rent increase.

Having a budget in place — even if it's a rudimentary one that you update only once per year — can help you plan for those eventualities and ride them out when they happen. It also might help you see where you could shave costs to increase your profits.

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